Pursuing spiritual growth

BethanySMC - Friday, 20 July 2012 04:56

А desire to grow is а natural longing of a child. In a spiritual case, after new birth and regeneration, we must pursue spiritual growth as well.  Apostle Peter in 1Peter 2:1-3 writes: Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. If you can honestly say that you have been born again, I have a question for you: How much do you grow spiritually as the years go by? Let every man check himself because many who have been born again didn’t progress in their development. Perhaps the words of Apostle Paul are addressed to you as he writes to thechurch ofCorinth:

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? 1Cor 3:1-3

Everything in the word of God concerning foundational truths of the Christian faith including the doctrine of salvation, the teachings of Jesus and His apostles, the purpose of the church, meaning of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, promises God has given us and the expected end – is the “milk of the word”. All this knowledge is essential for proper spiritual development. However, for the “milk of the word” to nourish the spirit and produce spiritual growth, it must be received with a certain attitude of the heart. It takes desire to be thought, diligence and effort to learn all of the aspects of faith.Reading of the word must be combined with determination and an effort to obey the word. The heart must be ready and prepared to change.

In James 1:22 -25 we read:  wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.  Only in such cases we see real spiritual progress from the “milk of the word”. Without these attitudes, some become scholars who know all, able to debate and prove their point, yet years and decades later still not progressing in the Christian life; bounded by sins, unable to resist temptations, and struggling in their private life.

As we grow, we should not be satisfied with just a milk diet. Milk should become important and an essential part of the meal, along with solid foods that require much more time to digest. When we begin to grasp spiritual concepts and are able to discern spiritual matters, when we no longer are carried about with every wind of doctrine, when we are able to apply what we have learned in the word of God to our every day practical life, when we begin to comprehend what God wants form us personally – we have made transition to solid foods and are progressing in our growth! Such progress is expected and desired by our Lord from healthy Christians who have been born again.

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God… For everyone who partakes {only} of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil. (He.5:12-14) 

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