Growing In Christ

What We Need and What To Avoid

Peter Miles

   Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ (Ephesians 4:15 ESV).


Growth is a sign of life and health. As a father and mother rejoices to see their children grow in stature and maturity so our Father in heaven rejoices to see His children grow spiritually into the likeness of His Son, Jesus. But how and what evidence should there be to show we are 'growing in Christ'? Do we need to?

I hope that here these questions will be addressed and show that God's salvation in Christ goes much further than to forgive our sins and give us a right to enter His eternal kingdom. Spiritual growth is not just desirable but essential. Lack of growth or none is an indication that something is seriously amiss. We may believe certain Biblical facts and attend church but are we growing and bearing the fruit of God's Spirit, the character of Christ in our life?

In writing this I have two main concerns: - a superficial, shallow faith and worldliness - love for this world and the things of this world rather than the kingdom of God. In the parable of the sower Jesus told His disciples that these both present great spiritual dangers, which, if not addressed will cause us to be unequipped to face the trials of this life and hinder or even prevent our growth and bearing the fruit of Christ's spirit in us.

I also have a deep concern of the popular idea that all we need is faith. This is a serious misconception as the Bible teaches us we also need to practice holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Holiness is the evidence of a soul who has been saved and transformed by the power of God, through repentance and faith. Through the cross of Christ we are not only are saved from the penalty of sin but also its power. The good news is that in Christ God has given us, by His grace, everything we need to grow in Him and become a holy people, not only to
ensure our entrance into His eternal kingdom but also that we might know peace and joy now to His praise and glory.



Introduction


Salvation Saved From and Saved For


    Exodus: God's example of salvation

    Salvation: What God does

    Salvation: Our response

    Repentance

    Faith

    Faith needs to continue

    Faithful to Jesus

    Faith will be tested

    Obedience

    Examples of faith and obedience

    Baptism


The Cross - the End and the Beginning


    The significance of the Cross, Christ's death and resurrection in the salvation and the life of every believer

Living As God's People


    The fear of God

    The character of God's people

    The Beatitudes

    We are to deny self

    We are to be led by the Holy Spirit

    We are to be the salt of the earth

    We are to be light in the world

    We are to bear fruit

    We are to be holy and righteous

    We need to forgive

    Love - the greatest commandment

    We are the body of Christ, a holy temple

    We need to remain in Christ
    We Are To Be a People of Joy and Who Know God's Peace

The Spiritual Battle, Warnings and God's Discipline


    The Spiritual Battle: the world, the flesh and Satan

    Warnings About Departing from God

    God disciplines His people

Assurance


Further Words of Caution From Scripture


    The parable of the house built on the rock

    The parable of the sower

    Warnings from the book of Hebrews


Are We Once Saved Always Saved?


Acknowledgements

    I would like to thank Derek Stancombe, David Fleming and John Staer for their encouragement, constructive criticism and invaluable comments.

 

    Unless otherwise indicated Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission (www.Lockman.org).


    Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved