Essentials of Spiritual Growth 1 Peter 2:2 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This sermon should help you with your spiritual growth, whether you have already grown some or you are newly saved. We receive missionary prayer requests every month in which we are asked to pray for the spiritual growth of their new converts. Spiritual growth is not something you can pray for and it just happens. That would be like praying for a baby to grow without feeding it or without the child feeding itself. Growth takes much individual effort.
Spiritual growth begins with your new birth (John 3:3-7). Jesus said, “ye must be born again.” There is no spiritual growth in the life of a person who is not saved. You can grow in your religious experience and you can grow in your character development, but you cannot grow in your spirit until you are a child of God. After you become a child of God, then you can begin your life of spiritual growth.
The essentials of spiritual growth are:
Application of the word of God – 1 Peter 2:2; Matthew 4:4. Application of the word is not merely reading the word of God, but rather putting the word of God to use in your life. It involves obedience (James 1:22), meditation (Psalm 19:14) and memorization (Psalm 119:11). You cannot grow without applying your heart to the word of God.
Attendance to exhortation and doctrine – 1 Timothy 4:13. The Lord established our lives so that our spiritual growth requires preaching and teaching of sound doctrine. Therefore, the more you attend to exhortation and doctrine, the more you grow. And the less you attend to these matters, the less you grow. The best way to get sound doctrine is through preaching (2 Timothy 4:2-4), discipleship (2 Timothy 2:2) and study (2 Timothy 2:15).
Awe in the knowledge of God – Proverbs 2:1-5. Awe is a fearful respect for the greatness of God. If you apply your heart to the word of God and attend to exhortation and doctrine without the fear of God, you become a spiritual mess. You will increase in pride, conceit, and hypocrisy. You may even become argumentative. To keep these from happening, you must grow in the fear of God. The fear of God is vital to your growth (Philippians 2:12-13). Notice that Paul said, “with fear and trembling.”
Association with the Lord – 1 John 1:3-7. This involves your personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You have fellowship with him in prayer, in the same way that a husband and wife communicate with each other in conversation. You fellowship with the Lord when you walk with God. You are aware that the Lord is actively involved in the choices you make, the people you befriend, the things you do and the direction you’re going. You fellowship with the Lord when you are filled with the Spirit. You yield to his righteousness and not to sin in your life.
Assistance to others – Matthew 20:26-27. You are growing when you realize that you are not the only one God is interested in. There are many other people and they can use your help. You can provide for their financial needs (Ephesians 4: 28). You can remove stumbling blocks from your life (Romans 14, 1 Corinthians 8). You can help them bear their burdens (Galatians 6:2).
Conclusion: if you want to grow spiritually, you must do these five things. There are other things to do, as well, but these are essential. Find the area or areas where you are weak and dedicate more time and effort to these things.