UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GROWTH PART 1
In WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN PART 1 – 5, we deal with the parameters to measure spirituality. We looked at the wrong and the right parameters as we have it in the Christendom today. Therefore, we deemed it fit as led by the Spirit of God to put up this article to further enlighten and establish our knowledge on spiritual growth in general.
We tried our best to break it down as simple as we can and we pray the Holy Spirit Himself will interpret it and help you growth spiritually. If you haven’t read the article WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A SPIRITUAL CHRISTIAN PART 1 – 5, please do so before you continue this series.
You can click the link below to read them:
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL (PART 1)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL (PART 2)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL (PART 3)
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SPIRITUAL (PART 4)
HELP! I SPEAK IN TONGUES YET I FEEL I’M NOT SPIRITUAL
What do we understand by the word Spiritual Growth?
Spiritual growth is one of the most crucial subject of our Christian walk yet it’s one of the most controversial. But unfortunately, there is scarcity of the subject of spiritual growth and that which will aid a Christian to grow on our pulpits, leaving the members to find the answers on their own. This has caused many Christians to misunderstand and misjudge the parameters of spiritual growth.
Many thought, their church attendance, how long they have been in the church, their tithe and offering and involvement in kingdom project is the parameters to measure their growth (which is wrong). Some thought it’s the operation of the gift of the spirit in your life, the position you occupy in the church and your activities in the church is the parameter to measure spiritual growth (also wrong).
What then is spiritual growth?
Spiritual Growth is the degree in which we are able to conform to the image of Christ, where our actions, decisions, character, speech and lifestyle reflect Christ. It is what we have being able to become starting from the day of salvation.
Therefore it is more or less becoming as Christ and not about church attendance. There are people who are in church for so long and even occupying positions in the Christendom but are not living in Christ. Spiritual growth deals with a life that has find its expression in Christ just as Apostle Paul put it in Acts 17:28 “For in Him we live and move, and have our being….”.
The journey of your spiritual growth starts from the day you accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. It is one thing to be a born-again child of God; it is another to have grown into the status of being a son of God.
Apostle Paul emphasized more and more on becoming like Jesus; the state where our character, speech and way of life reflect the nature of Christ in us.
After the new birth, we have the new nature in us as rightly put in 2 Cor. 5:17 “therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” But what you have is on the inside and no one can see it yet.
When you said you are born-again and you have a new nature, it doesn’t affect your physical structures; there won’t be any changes in your body. You won’t be taller than before, you won’t add more flesh to your body and you complexion won’t change from dark to fair or fair to dark.
Therefore, everyone around you won’t know what you said you experienced because there won’t be any physical changes yet of a truth, you just experienced a drastic change in your spirit-man difficult to explain to anyone.
Let me quickly note here that unless you made an effort to yield and allow the new nature in you to grow and influence your soul which in turn affect your character, speech and way of life, nobody will truly believed you are born-again. This explains why some people are truly born-again but everyone can easily question their salvation.
Sadly, although we have the new nature in us, the old nature (the old man) is still much more in us but suppressed. Apostle Paul stressed about this in Eph. 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”.
We can deduced
- The old man is corrupt according to the lust.
- We have the responsibility of putting off the old man while we rely on the grace of God.
- And this can only be done by renewing the spirit of the mind (that’s your soul) Rom. 12:2
- The new man (the new nature you have now) is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Now, because the new nature is created in righteousness and true holiness, it will begin to rise-up against the flesh (anything that is contrary to the Spirit of God) in us. That is the reason for the strive you do experience deep down in your mind when you are about to do that which you normally engaged in before you were born-again. The struggle is between the new nature in you now and the old nature before.
Let me correct a motion here to conclude this part, most of us think that once you are born-again that is all that is to be on your journey to heaven. If that’s the case, we will all be falling to the influence of the flesh over us even though we are saved. You may ask, is it possible to have the new nature and yet still fall to the influence of the flesh? YES, very very possible because the flesh will always place a demand on our appetite and desires which are most of the times contrary to the Spirit of God. But the one you yield to is determined by the strongest among them. And the strongest among the new nature and the old nature is who you feed most.
In the mean time before the part 2 of this article is out, please do a thorough check on yourself and your journey as a christian. you will be shocked to find out that you have stop growing for long. who are you feeding? who are you yielding to? although you are a worker in the church, you have been a christian for long but can you really say you are growing spiritually?
Thanks for reading this long; we believe this write up is helpful. Please feel free to comment below and share this write up to your friends and family. It can save a brother/sister.
©Oladimeji Olayinka Joseph