Sixth of Seven Musts of Salvation; GROWTH

Spiritual Growth

The sixth of Seven Musts of Salvation: GROW in Grace & Knowledge…

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” [2Peter 3:18]

Everyone recognizes the need for growth. Mothers desire for their children to not only grow physically, but to grow emotionally and intellectually.

God is no different. He uses Parent-child phrases to demonstrate our relationship with Him…

He is our Father. Heb 12:9

Jesus is like a Mother Hen. Mat 23:37

He calls us Newborn babes. 1Peter 2:2

We’re His children. 1Peter 1:14 Let us examine a few verses where God is commanding and therefore expecting spiritual GROWTH.

#6, we must GROW: All quotations are from the ASV or KJV

  1. “For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.” Hebrews 5:12
  • “Putting away therefore all wickedness, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as newborn babes, long for the spiritual milk which is without guile, that ye may grow thereby unto salvation;” 1Peter 2:1-2
  • “…that we may be no longer children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, in craftiness, after the wiles of error; but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, even Christ;” Ephesians 4:14-15
  • “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” 2Timothy 2:22
  • “And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” Mark 4:20
  • “Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge; and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness; and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.” 2Peter 1:5-7
  • “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and for ever. Amen.” 2Peter 3:18

No verse states we are to grow at the same pace as another. We grow, each according to our ability. [cr. Mat 15:15]

5 keys to spiritual…

GROWTH? 2Peter 3:18

We are to have GROWTH in

GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2Peter 3:18. It is to be cultivated. Grace is a gift from God to be received by us and utilized.

GROWTH requires

REFLECTION and examination to see if we are in the faith. 2Cor 13:5. “But let a man examine himself,” [1Cor 11:28]

GROWTH requires spiritual weeding by

OFFLOADING (put off) the old man of sin. “But now ye also put off all these…” [Colossians 3:8; cr. Heb 12.1; 1Pet 2:1; Eph 4:22; Jas 1:21]

GROWTH requires a

WEIGHT check. “the LORD weigheth the spirits.” [Prov 16:2; cr. Dan 5:27; 1Sam 2:3; Job 31:6] God weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart.

When GROWTH stalls, a Mother will often make a

TEMPERATURE check. God does also, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” [Rev 3:14-16; cr. Titus 2:14]

Finally, GROWTH requires a

HEALTHY diet of spiritual food. “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:” [John 6:35, 48, 51]. “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:” [1Peter 2:2; cr. Heb 5:12]

No two children grow at exactly the same rate. There are benchmarks to which the Great Physician will look to determine our GROWTH. As we mature, we ought to examine those benchmarks in ourselves so we may be will pleasing to our HEAVENLY FATHER. May God Bless you all. Spencer

How will you redeem the time at HOME

We’re all being urged to self-quarantine at Home during this COVID-19 panic. How will you be spending the time?

Will you be WASTING time or REDEEMING the time?

Here are 4 things we can do to REDEEM the time while we’re confined at HOME.“>watch.

No Absolute Truth?

what is truth

SOMEBODY once said, “There is no absolute truth.” To which we must ask, “Is that absolutely true?”

I find funny the things people assert about the Bible, God and religion. They’re “absolutely certain” about what they claim. When pressed, they never have a logical answer.

We should be ready for these assertions and be able to answer them [1Peter 2:15]. Let’s examine a few things people claim…….

I’M AGAINST ORGANIZED RELIGION: This claim is often used to excuse a person from weekly Sunday worship. They bolster the claim by pointing out the hypocrisy of church goers.

AN ANSWER: We are hypocrites. That’s because we’re people. John said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” [1John 1:8] Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians what kind of person they once were, fornicators, idolaters, thieves, drunkards and the list goes on [1Co 6:9-11]. Do you suppose that every Christian stops all sins as soon as they are baptized?

Another answer for this is found in the fallacy of the argument. Why is this discussion only used with religion, but seldom elsewhere? We never criticize the Ford Motor CompanyTM for a few lousy drivers of their cars. We never criticize the grocery store when one of the shoppers is rude to us. Why then do we criticize God’s command to worship? I suppose it’s because of the false notion from the first part, that all Christians must be perfect.

Sometimes we foster that belief when we as Christians act arrogantly, and speak with unbelievers without love. [Ephesians 4:15] Besides, can we ignore the commands of God when others fail to follow them accurately?

I’VE READ THE BIBLE: This one is usually used when a person is attempting to establish their credibility as they preach an opinion. This is hard to contradict because you have no actual proof, (other than they don’t know scriptures), and they get angry when you call them out.

AN ANSWER: One way you can disqualify this assertion, without calling them a liar, is by pointing out that the Bible cannot be learned with ONE reading. It requires continual, daily, reading and study [Acts 17:11]. Ask them this, “Did you go to school? If so, were you able to understand all of your lessons upon reading your textbooks once?”

ALL CHURCHES LEAD TO THE SAME PLACE: Another way this claim is stated is when a preacher says, “Find a church of your choice.” The belief is that, due to the different personalities of people, the Lord has allowed different style of churches, but they’re all leading people to heaven.

AN ANSWER: The Scriptures teach that the church is the body of the Lord, [Ephesians 1:22, 23], therefore, when in chapter 4 it says, “There is one body,” it’s teaching that there is only one church. If there is only one church, then why are there so many different doctrines, even ones that teach a different gospel? [Galatians 1:6-9]

In order for any assembly of Christians to be considered a church of our Lord is if they follow the whole council of God. [Acts 20:27] Our desire here in Borger is to be a true church of Christ. [Matthew 7:21]

THE BIBLE DOESN’T SAY I CAN’T: For me, this is one of the most ridiculous statements I ever hear. What they mean is that there is no specific mention of their sin, therefore, they are free to commit said sin.

I tried this line of reasoning with my parents once. Just once. This method of reasoning NEVER works in other areas of our lives, yet we expect to use this rational with bible study. It is this attitude that causes problems, not just in the church, but in our personal lives. You’ve heard the unverified story of the person that is injured because he used his lawn mower as a hedger. He subsequently sued the mower company using this logic, “you didn’t say in the manual that I couldn’t use it as a hedger.”

AN ANSWER: The Lord has taught us that silence is not authoritative. When King David sought to build God a permanent Temple, he was stopped because God NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT IT.  In 2Samuel 7:7, God asks, “Wherever I have moved about with all the children of Israel, have I ever spoken a word to anyone from the tribes of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd My people Israel, saying, ‘Why have you not built Me a house of cedar?‘”‘  This is also taught in the book of Hebrews regarding the priesthood of Jesus [Hebrews 7:14], as well as over the issue of circumcision, [Acts 15:24].

These passages teach clearly, silence is prohibitive. If the bible doesn’t say you can, then you can’t. To argue, as do so many denominations, “any practices not expressly forbidden could be considered”, is to argue AGAINST God and His divine word.

There is an absolute truth, it is God’s inspired and divine word [John 17:17]. God delivered this truth to His Apostles and inspired men, and they wrote it down. When we read it, we can know what they knew about the mystery of God. Let us study God’s word and know the truth. [John 16:13; Ephesians 3:3-4; John 8:32]

spencer blackwelder
evangelist – Franklin St Church of Christ, Borger Texas.