The Herald Weekly Vol XVI : 10

Spiritual Growth (Colossians 1:9-10)

What is Spiritual growth? Spiritual growth is a development of the believer’s faith and life in learning to know, trust and honour God intellectually and experientially. This is the work of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be Christ-like to live a practical Christian life as His grace abounds in us. When we mature in the faith a deeper insight is gained into spiritual freedom in God.

From, it states, “Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. When we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins the process of making us more like Him, conforming us to His image. Spiritual growth is perhaps best described in 2 Pet 1:3-8, which tells us that by God’s power we have “everything we need” to live lives of godliness, which is the goal of spiritual growth. Notice that what we need comes “through our knowledge of Him of Him comes from the Word, given to us for our edification and growth.

“Christians must not be satisfied with just being born again. But to pray for growth into maturity. When we understand it that way, spiritual growth is natural to believers as physical growth is to children. There is much room for growth and improvement in our spiritual life. It is God’s will for all His children to grow daily and eventually to maturity in Christ.”

Five Reasons for Spiritual Growth as given by Wilhelmus A. Brakel
1. God promises that He will cause His regenerated children to grow,
(Ps 92:13; Hos 14:5-6)
2. It is the very nature of spiritual life to grow, (Prov 4:18; Job 17:9)
3. The growth of His children is the goal and objective God has in view by administering the means of grace to them, (Eph 4:11-15)
4. It is a duty to which God’s children are continually exhorted, and their activity is to consistently striving for growth, (2 Pet 3:18; Phil 3:12)
5. The need for spiritual growth is also conveyed by the difference in believers with regard to their condition and the measure of grace, (1 Jn 2:13)

An indication that one is born-again is to have a desire for spiritual growth, as the 4th Beautitude goes, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst for righteousness,” (Matt 5:6). As a healthy infant has a strong desire for growth, so does a born-again child of God wants more of the Heavenly Father. It would be contradiction for a Christian to be satisfied with being alright in life or rich in the increase in goods. But a true believer is one who the more he loves God the more he desires to know Him. So Paul prayed for the new converts at Colossae that their minds and hearts are deeply filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. This is desire of the Apostle for us too that we “walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”(Col 1:9-10) Do we pray for spiritual growth in ourselves and in the church? Is it our priority? We ought to pray rather than longing for or talking about it. Robert Rollock said, “Earnestness and fervent prayer to God is the means to get grace from Him.” Let us not be like what James said, “Ye have not, because ye ask not,” (James 4:2). We must indeed pray for ourselves, our families, our fellow believers, and our church.

Paul’s prayer for spiritual growth has several facets like a diamond as deliberated by Joel Beeke in his book, “Developing Healthy Spiritual Growth.” It begins in the head and the heart, (v 9), works itself out in our daily lives, (vv 10- 11), and is consummated in the praise and thanksgiving that we offer by word and deed to our Father in heaven, (v 12) for our deliverance in Christ, (v 13). A further detail is given by Peter when he wrote, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.“ (2 Pet 1:5-7)

Let us remember that spiritual growth is part of the larger doctrine of sanctification that includes the exercise of the law of God and the use of the means of grace.

Pastor Bob Phee

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