The Value of Growing in Christ
Watching our children grow is one of the most exciting parts of being a parent. We feel the wonder and amazement from the time they are conceived, watching them progress through the natural stages of life. We anticipate pictures from ultrasounds. There’s a thrill when we hear them cry for the first time, when they say their first words and take their first steps. We capture the significant moments of life as they grow to maturity, from their first day of school to graduation from high school and college. New feelings and emotions emerge as they marry and usher in the next generation.
We should experience the same joy when we’re born again into the family of God. Described as being raised to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4), Christianity was never intended to be a static existence. From day one there has always been a committed devotion to growing in the faith. Luke shows us the desire of new Christians to learn from those who were eyewitnesses to the life and resurrection of Jesus, to strengthen the new connection between fellow believers, to sharing meals in their homes, and to pray. (Acts 2:42, 46).
Our heavenly Father desires to see His children grow to maturity, always ushering in the next generation of His family. From the first generation of the church there has always been the expectation of growing to maturity. The Bible is not familiar with a once-a-week, ninety-minute ritual. Rather, it presents a total transformation of our lives. At least two passages make growing in Christ, and in the faith, the greatest endeavor of God’s children: Ephesians 4:11-16 and Philippians 3:7-14.
There is, in fact, great value in growing spiritually. This value, however, is not found simply in increased knowledge, nor is it realized just by improved attendance. The value of growing spiritually is seen in consistent practice. James tells us that even the strongest faith is worthless if it is not accompanied by action (James 2:14-26). Continual and consistent transformation into the likeness of Jesus is God’s will and desire for every person (Romans 8:28-30; 12:1-2). Here are ten of the abundant values of growing in Christ:
- We are given direction for pursuing righteousness.
- We are encouraged by the promises of God.
- We are protected from believing ideas that are not in the Bible.
- We are guided in how to function faithfully as a family.
- We are reminded of the priorities that are important to God.
- We are provided with wisdom to make godly decisions.
- We are gifted in unique ways in order to serve others.
- We are empowered to pray confidently, boldly, faithfully, and effectively.
- We are equipped and adequate for every good work
- We are conformed to the image of Christ
This calls us to place greater emphasis on our efforts to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). As a congregation we are called to make this ministry most prominent. Growing in Christ must be one of the highest priorities in our lives, in our families, and in our church family. We need to take necessary steps to ensure that we are “building up the body of Christ” in the most faithful and fruitful ways. I look forward to sharing with you in the coming weeks the practical ways we can make REAL growth happen.
In addition to capturing the special moments of everyday life, capture your significant spiritual experiences. Create a spiritual journal where you can record the times when you discover the special meaning of a passage of Scripture. Record your prayers so you can see all the ways God responds – and how the content of your prayers changes over time. Record your experiences in ministry and how they motivate you to greater fruitfulness for the kingdom. Let’s use study, prayer, and experience to grow in our relationships and in our faith.