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Christians, I have a question about your spiritual growth

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We were in our final Sunday school session today, a group session with ages kids-adults (all ages joined together). The SS supervisor gave a mini-lesson, which got me thinking about what she was teaching.


What do you believe you (or any believer) need(s) to do to grow spiritually as a Christian? I mean absolutely NEED to do. What verses do you have that back up that belief...that you will not grow unless you do _____? I'd really like to see the scripture.


(This isn't meant to be a debate...I just want to do some searching based on how people answer.)


Thanks! :)

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I don't know of any scripture that say anything about how to grow.


I personally think that growing is something between you and the Lord.


I also think of it like homeschooling. You start out with simple stuff (I think of things like the Noah story, Jonah..Moses) and then progress on into reading ( I think of Romans...boy did I have a hard time with that one at first!).


It comes down to reading the Bible. As long as you read different parts and understand them you are growing.


Like I said before, if I had started reading the Bible in Romans, or Acts I woulda just laid it down and not picked it up for a long time. So I actually started in John...then Matthew and so on. I did start NT before OT.


I really don't think there is a magic formula and others may try but what is good for the goose isn't always good for the gander. You have to find your own way.

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When you believe in Jesus Christ and have faith in his atonement, you can continue to grow in your spirituality by:


1. Keeping the commandments (1 Samual 12:14 - "If ye will fear the Lord, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the Lord your God:")


2. Praying (James 1:5 - "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.")


3. Studying the scriptures (John 5:39 - "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.")


4. Serving others (Matt 25:34-40 - "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."


Obviously the scriptures don't specifically say that if you do this you will grow. It is through personal experience that I think these things are key to spiritual growth. I think that your spirituality can be lost if not nurtured regularly.

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Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33


It's about the heart. If you're truly seeking Him first He will lead you to what you need to do. Growing spiritually means you're growing in your whole life. God is faithful to lead those seeking into that growth.


Matthew 7 instructions about "doing Jesus words" also is probably a key to growth. Again, though, God is faithful to lead us where we need to go.


I think the biggest issue in lack of spiritual growth among Christians as a whole is more that we are not wholly focused on God and what really matters. We're not seeking the things of Him first in practice though we may claim that with our words.

Edited by sbgrace
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Hmmm....interesting question. It makes me really curious as to what the person giving the lesson said on the subject.


I can't think of anything that says you will not grow unless you do____.


I find scripture to contain a great many references to things that CAN help with spiritual growth, and also many warnings about things that can interfere with spiritual growth. I can't think of anywhere that says one specific thing that will absolutely prevent growth if you don't do it, though. Is that even what you're asking? Maybe I'm not sure about the question.


This passage might be of interest, though, in doing such a study:



1 Peter 2


1 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,

2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.


EDIT: I've been thinking about this a little more, and I think I've come to the conclusion that what a person needs in order to grow spiritually really depends on that individual person's current state of spiritual development.

Edited by MamaSheep
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One of my favorite passages on spiritual growth is Paul's prayer in Colossians 1:


9For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully 12giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you[d] to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. 13For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14in whom we have redemption,[e] the forgiveness of sins.


--I love this passage with regard to growth because he specifically addresses distinct categories (about how to please God in every way):


* Bearing fruit

* Growing in the knowledge of God

* Patience in trials

* Consistently thankful heart


So in terms of how to grow and in what areas, I like to examine my heart in those four areas and make plans accordingly:


* What does my life look like to others? Am I serving, involved at church, etc?

* What does my heart look like--am I faithful in studying and memorizing the Word and spending time with God?

* Am I faithful even in the tough times?

* Am I thankful in all circumstances?


Anyway, that passage is always a faithful and convicting barometer for me. And God is always faithful in letting me know, when I ask, which aspects need the most attention.... :D


To implement an actual plan for growth in whatever area (e.g. in the 4th category, let's say I'm fighting bitterness b/c of lack of finances, so I know I need to work on that), I go to 2 Tim 3:16-17:


16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


So I look at those four purposes of Scripture, find Scriptures that address my specific problem/area in which growth is needed, and design a plan based on those verses:


1) Teaching = What is the commandment or principle in Scripture?

2) Rebuking = How have I failed to live by it?

3) Correcting = What do I need to do instead?

4) Training in righteousness = What is my specific plan?


Each component here I make sure I dig in the Bible to find lots of relevant verses. I also make # 4 as specific as possible, just as I would a weight loss program. I find a verse (or verses) to memorize, I find someone to keep me accountable, etc etc.


It's a lot of work--but I LOVE having specific plans to deal with specific problem areas.



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OK - what I believe, teach and the verses that led me there:


1. A Christian needs the Holy Spirit to teach him in order to grow.


a. corrollary to this - the Holy Spirit teaches us through the Word of God.


Hebrews 5:11-13 (New American Standard Bible)


11Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.


12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.


13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant.


John 16:13"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.


Ephesians 5:18 (Be filled with the Spirit)


16that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,


John 15:26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. "


2. If you sin, you are out of fellowship and are not empowered by the Holy Spirit (although He still indwells you.)


1 Corinthians 2:13-15 (New American Standard Bible)

13which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

14But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

15But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one.

(I take it that the natural man is a person out of fellowship who acts like an unbeliever).


3. You need to confess your sin in order to regain fellowship with God and empowerment by the Holy Spirit


1 John 1 : 9 "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


4. Only what counts under the filling of the Holy Spirit is divine good. (gold, silver, precious stones) What is done under our own power is human good and is unacceptable to God. (wood, hay, straw)

1 Corinthians 3:9 For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.


10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it.


11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,


13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.


14 If any man's work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward.


15 If any man's work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

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Well, there are many ways to grow as a Christian in my opinion. A lot of people will disagree, but I believe one way to grow is to be part of a church. I think it's very difficult to grow in your faith when you aren't part of the body. I feel scripture supports this. If you really need me to share scriptures, let me know. You'd have just as much success googling it though.




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We have a saying around here..."you never see an apple tree straining to produce fruit!" Meaning as long as it's where it's supposed to be it's already designed to produce and bare fruit! KISS ;)

Edited by simka2
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:lurk5: I felt really challenged in my SS class yesterday. I hope to find some advice here, too. Our lesson was on the tabernacle. The people made a space for God to come and dwell. Our lesson ended with the question "how are you making a space for God to dwell in your life". It was very thought provoking.

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Now that you've received some responses, are you willing to share what the SS teacher said? :bigear:


Oh sure I will! :)


She said that in order to grow and develop roots as a Christian, you need to read your bible, pray, go to church, and memorize Scripture. She used the first part of John 15 which talks about God being the vine and us being the branches.


My theology used to be the same as the SS teacher, but over the past nine years God's taken me on a different journey...a journey that's on a slightly different road than most mainstream teaching, I suppose. What she's teaching is what I've been taught since I started attending church 24 years ago.


I appreciate the Scripture that posters used to back up their beliefs...I've been able to look at them and I respect everyone else's journey, too!

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Guest janainaz

I don't believe spiritual growth can happen any other way except through living this life and applying the principles and the ways of Christ to your life situations. I don't believe growth can happen by checking off of a list (praying, reading your Bible, tithing, etc.). The Pharisees did those things and they were far from the heart of God.


I have grown the most by going through the fire - which has been many different types of circumstances. I don't believe growth happens by going to church every Sunday. I've met the most immature Christians in the church. These are the Christians that dedicate all their time serving and yet they are very disconnected when it comes to real life matters. They have the lingo, they have the appropriate scripture on their tongue, but when I've observed that they can't dig into the heart of someone and have true empathy. They toss around words, but you're left feeling cold.


The church is inside us and we take it with us no matter where we go. Where two or more are gathered..... that is all that is necessary.

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I am currently working through The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and the theme throughout is growing spiritually. THere are many facets to it (serving, giving, fellowship, praying, memorizing scripture, etc); however, the one point he continuously makes is the growth comes when we allow it, and it is God driven because He knows what we need and where we need to go. Of course, we need to listen to the Holy Spirit to guide us down this path, but everyone's journey will be different.

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