Sunday, February 25, 2024

How We Grow

How do we grow? As a bodybuilder? As a Christian? 

This is a big topic, but one thing seems clear. Growth doesn't happen simply by thinking about it. As Jesus pointed out, you can't add a cubit to your height simply through your imagination. You can't just say, "I'm going to grow." You have to make sure that the factors that make for growth are present. If they are, growth will occur by itself, naturally and unforced.

According to Paul -- I was in Eph. 4:13 this morning -- the factors for spiritual growth involve increasing in (1) the unity of the faith and (2) the knowledge of the Son of God. These two factors, he says, will lead to mature manhood -- "the fullness of Christ." 

The unity of the faith is our shared understanding as Christians of the great truths revealed in the Scriptures. We grow when we exert ourselves to understand the Bible and Christian doctrine. That was an emphasis in my talk yesterday. What good does it do to say we have an authoritative Bible if we don't read it! The knowledge of the Son of God refers to a growing personal encounter with the Lord Jesus himself, so that we come to know him more and more, intimately and personally. This, too, results in maturity.

In short, it's no good to say "I'm going to grow my muscles" without a knowledge of proper lifting technique coupled with a lot of exertion at the gym. 

We can apply this to our spiritual life as well. By the way, I hope I was clear yesterday that you don't need professional training to understand the Bible. You don't have to know Greek and Hebrew. If you can read, you can dig into the Scriptures yourself. So don't be afraid of the word "study." Bible study can be fascinating beyond words!

Have a wonderful day!