FOUNDATIONS: PART 4
GROWING IN YOUR NEW LIFE
Remember: The Holy Spirit can empower you to live a Christ-directed life. As you continue to breathe spiritually (exhale – confess your sin; inhale – yield control to Christ), you will experience a deepening fellowship with God enabling you to grow in Christian maturity …
Maturity takes time – there are no shortcuts.
IT’S A LIFELONG PROCESS.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO GROW IN CHRIST?
It means to increase in knowledge of Christ and love for Him.
Read Philippians 3:7-10
- Why did Paul count all things as loss?
- There are more than 600 commands in the Old Testament. Why do you think Jesus singled this one out?
- How would loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind affect your life?
Just as it is a natural process for a child to grow in a loving relationship with a parent, so it is also natural for you to grow in your love relationship with God.
HOW CAN YOU GROW IN CHRIST?
If you met a guy or girl whom you enjoyed, what would you do to get to know that person better?
Communication is vital to any relationship, including your relationship with Christ. Since communication must be a two-way street, you need to let Him speak to you and you need to speak to Him.
Four principles of communication that will help you grow in your relationship with Christ as you walk in the power of the Holy Spirit.
1. God communicates with you through the Bible, revealing His character and His will.
- How would you define each benefit described?
- Which of those uses of the Bible would be most helpful to you right now?
- How would you evaluate the helpfulness to your life of the Bible reading you have done so far?
2. You communicate with God through prayer, sharing your thoughts, your needs, and your desires to do His will.
Pray about everything.
Pray specifically – so you can see God answer specifically.
- How can you know if what you are praying for is really something within God’s will?
3. You communicate with Christians (fellowship); gaining from their experience and helping them through yours.
Just as logs burn more brightly when placed together, so Christians need each other for warmth and encouragement.
- Why is it important to spend time with other Christians?
- How important would this be in your own life now?
- Where could you find supportive Christian fellowship on a consistent basis?
The Greek word for fellowship, koinonia, means “sharing in common.” We desperately need to share our Christian experience with others who love God and walk with Him, and likewise allow them to share with us. The church where we can meet other Christians and hear God’s Word is God’s appointed place for Christians to meet. Bible studies and meetings on campus are also extremely helpful. – Dr. Bill Bright
4. You communicate with non-Christians (witnessing); sharing your relationship with Christ.
Read 1 Peter 3:15
- What would motivate you to tell another person about Christ?
SUMMARY: Read 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7. God is the source of your growth. You cannot develop spiritual maturity just by “trying real hard.” As you read the Bible, pray, tell people about Christ, and spend time with other believers, God will be at work in you producing fruitfulness and maturity.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT AS YOU GROW IN CHRIST?
List some characteristics that you expect to occur as God produces growth in your life.
2 Peter 1:5-9 gives us a picture of growth.
WHAT CAN YOU DO NOW?
Try to set aside time for personal Bible study and prayer.
A good passage is John 15:1-17.
As you read, underline particularly meaningful verses.
When a verse speaks strongly to you, 1) copy the verse on a sheet of paper, 2) summarize what the verse means, and 3) write down how you can apply that verse to your life.
Join a Bible study group where you can enjoy fellowship with others who are also learning more about this new life in Christ.
Talk to someone about Christ.
- Who would you like to tell about the good news of God’s love and forgiveness?
- When would be a good time to call to set up a time to see this person?
- Who would you like to have help you share this good news?