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Understanding growth in the Christian life

Sunset at the farm
Sunset at the farmMichael Thacker

Different places at different times doing many different things with many different people. Growth is necessary for life whether it be physical, mental or spiritual. For Christians growth is life and is necessary not just for growing closer to God, but also growing in Him. “That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head-Christ.” (Ephesians 4:14,15). Now by examining some different verses of scripture you will be able to better understand growth in Christian living and how each Christian should judge less and see each other in a different light.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we give our lives to Christ we are made new, but this transition is not instant. Growth and the transformation accomplished in God occurs overtime, which entails God’s time and His timing is always perfect. In our society of instant gratification this is sometimes hard to understand and many new Christians become discouraged overtime and lose faith if the right teachers and mentors are not there to help guide them.

Growth requires good and godly people and mentors to help a new believer get started on his journey with God and to help him continue through the struggles of his journey. “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14). As the believer grows then he or she will become more sensitive to the Spirit of God and will begin to hear Him speak and guide them to where and what He wants them to be and do. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14).

While one’s sensitivity to the Holy Spirit increases and they are led to their calling in God, they will also be taught by the Holy Spirit. “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teaches you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” (1 John 2:27). The Holy Spirit will begin to reveal certain truths that were not known or not clear before. He will reveal the true nature of the Lord through the word of God, experiences, nature, and many other avenues.

In the growing process one should also feel the Holy Spirit convict them of certain sins in their lives that need to be let go. This convicting process takes time just as the growing process as a whole does and certain sins may be easy to get rid of while others may take more time and energy to completely denounce them from your life. “How many are my iniquities and sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin.” (Job 13:23).

Growth in the Christian life is an ongoing process that continues from the time you first believe in Jesus and follow God till death unto eternity. It is by no means an easy path or the most glamorous as much of the world will hate you for it, but the end result is sweet and rewarding beyond measure. As we grow closer to the Lord and grow in the knowledge of His word, then we are told to teach others about Him. We should listen closely to the prompting of the Holy Spirit as to who and when we should teach someone as the Spirit brings people to us. “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” (2 Timothy 4:2).