Maturing as a Christian (Part 2)
Sunday, November 16 2014 @ 06:00 AM CST
Contributed by: Ricky
Radio transcript for the week of November 16, 2014
Ricky Berger preaches on "Maturing as a Christian (Part 2)" on Seeking the Lost - International Radio.
2 Peter 3:18 says, "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen."
Just as we grow physically each day, Christians must grow spiritually also. Personal growth in Christ is required of Christians:
- 1 Peter 2:2 - "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby". We all grow at a different pace, but every effort should be made to grow in Christ. The Bible gives us a remedy for Christian growth"
- 2 Peter 1:3-11 - "as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".
Having your priorities in order will help you to mature as a Christians. Jesus tells us about people who did not have their priorities in order.
- Luke 9:57-62: "Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, 'Lord, I will follow You wherever You go'. And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.' Then He said to another, 'Follow Me.' But he said, 'Lord, let me first go and bury my father.' Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.' And another also said, 'Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.' But Jesus said to him, 'No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
Make a list of your priorities then compare it to what you actually do. Ask yourself: If the Lord were to return today would what I’m doing matter?
- "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
- "But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up" (2 Peter 3:10).
- There is nothing wrong with wanting and having nice things, or taking time to enjoy life. Just don't sacrifice your relationship with the Lord for your personal wants.
- "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you" (Matthew 6:33).
It is sinful to not grow in Christ.
- "As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby," (1 Peter 2:2).
- "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Peter 3:18).
- "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food (Hebrews 5:12).
Here are six areas that will help you to grow as a Christian:
- Bible study:
- "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me" (John 5:39).
- "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15).
- "Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so" (Acts 17:10-11).
- "Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18).
- "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" (Philippians 4:6).
- "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
- "And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
- "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
- "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved" (Acts 2:42-47).
- "And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:15).
A Christian should have the desire to grow stronger and closer to God every day. A failure to grow not only disappoints God, but it makes Satan's work easier; "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Corinthians 10:12).
What does the Bible say about salvation?
- All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
- The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
- But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 6:23).
- Not everyone will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
- Only those who obey God will go to Heaven (Matthew 7:21).
- Obedience means believing that Jesus is the Son of God (John 8:24; Hebrews 11:6).
- Repenting of sins (a change of life) (Luke 13:3; Acts 17:30).
- Confessing your faith in Jesus (Romans 10:9-10).
- Being baptized for the remission (forgiveness) of sins (Mark 16:1; Acts 2:38; 22:16; 1 Peter 3:20-21).
- Live as a faithful Christian until death (Titus 2:12; Revelation 2:10).
What does the Bible say about how we are to worship God?
- We are to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
- Worship is to be on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
- The male members are to lead the worship service (1 Corinthians 14:34).
- God's word is to be preached (Acts 20:7).
- Prayer is to be offered to Him (Acts 2:42).
- Christians are to give cheerfully according to how God has prospered them (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
- The Lord's Supper is to be taken (1 Corinthians 11:23-29; Acts 20:7).
- Members are to sing one to another from the heart (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16).
- We are not to change by adding to or taking from (Revelation 22:18-19).