What is Spiritual Growth?
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18 NIV
As Christians we want to move forward in our faith. We can stay where we are without spiritual growth or we can enjoy the life God has given us as we draw nearer to Him. This is not to say it will be perfect, but life will be more joyful.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive the Holy Spirit. He is how we are able to understand God’s Word and grow spiritually.
When we pray and read God’s Word, it inspires us to want to know more about Him. In 2 Peter 3:18, it reveals what spiritual growth is, learning more about Jesus and what He teaches.
“Do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.” James 1:22-25 NIV
It’s really easy just to read the Bible. The intention is to read, meditate and then do what it says. It will not be effective if you don’t use it.
The Bible’s Definition of Salvation
There are not words in Scripture actually defining salvation but many verses describing what it is. Salvation means being saved from sin and its consequences by Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV
“Jesus is “’the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4: 11-12 NIV
According to God’s Word, Jesus is the only answer to salvation. Without it you cannot move forward in spiritual growth.
Who then is Jesus Christ?
“And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him: And there came a voice from heaven, saying, ‘Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Mark 1: 9-11 KJV
Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life and ministered for three years. His own people rejected Him, which was foretold in the scriptures. They crucified Him, then He died in our place but He did not stay dead. He arose on the third day. This is the proof of who He is. Death cannot keep God down.
Why Do We Need Salvation?
When God created Adam and Eve, He gave them the ability to choose between right and wrong. They were told not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When faced with the beautiful and delectable fruit, they quickly forgot the command from God and ate. In a twinkling of the eye, humans sinned and separated themselves from God. Sin became part of the human condition.
“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” Romans 5:12 ESV
God does not tolerate or look on sin.
Psalm 5:4-5 “For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.” Psalm 5:4-5 ESV
Since God will not communicate with us because of our sin, what is the solution? It is impossible for us to do anything to alleviate the problem.
Because of God’s love for us, He chose to give the solution. The only one that could help would have to be sinless. That one is Jesus Christ, God’s only Son.
“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5: 20-21 NKJV
A Repentent Heart is Necessary for Salvation and Spiritual Growth
“testifying both to Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21 ESV
John the Baptist was sent before Jesus to teach the Jews to have a repentent heart toward sin to prepare them for salvation.
In the Bible repentance means to “change one’s mind”, referring to our sin. We need to turn our back on our way of living and choose Jesus’s way.
“For Godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10 ESV
What Do We Need to Do to be Saved?
The plan of salvation is very simple. We need to admit we are a sinner and need a savior.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23 ESV
We look over our lives and think, I’m really not a bad person, in fact I look pretty good compared to some. The problem is, are we on the level with God?
Accept the gift of God in Jesus Christ His Son who died for you so you could spend eternity with Him.
“For, ‘Everyone who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.'” Romans 10:13 NIV
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” Romans 6:23 ESV
If you genuinely do this, you are now saved and a follower of Jesus Christ. Scripture says,
“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:7 NIV
God wants everyone to come to Him. No one is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter what someone has done. God is waiting with open arms.