A. GROWTH IS NECESSARY FOR US( Eph. 4:14-15; 2 Thes. 1:3; 2 Pet. 3:18 ).
B. SPIRITUAL GROWTH MUST BE BALANCED.
1. We must grow in knowledge, zeal, faith, Christ-like character, good works.
2. Growth involves the elimination of evil and worldly elements.
C. THIS LESSON IS INTENDED TO HELP US CONTINUE GROWING.
A. LACK OF EFFORT.
1. Growing in Christ is not automatic.
2. One may still be a "babe" after many years( Heb. 5:13; 1 Cor. 3:1-3 ).
3. Requires effort, but the lazy will simply not put out. They drift( Heb. 2:1 ).
1. Some people make a good beginning, but get discouraged and quit
2. Reasons may vary: lack of encouragement from others, personal problems,
church troubles, etc.
3. But consider the example of the apostle Paul( 2 Cor. 11:24-29 ).
a. Yet he did not "lose heart"( 2 Cor. 4:8-9 ).
c. He knew his labor was not in vain( 2 Cor. 4:16-5:1 ).
4. And so he encourages us( Gal. 6:9; 1 Cor. 15:58 ).
C. DISUSE OF ONE'S TALENTS.
1. Like an unused knife, we can get rusty!
2. Drifting is often the result of neglect( Heb. 2:1-3 ).
3. Growth is the result of exercise( 1 Tim. 5:7-8 ).
D. INTERFERENCE( Mark 4:18-19; 2 Tim. 2:4; 1 John 2:15-17 ).
A. BECOME ACTIVE IN THE WORK OF THE CONGREGATION.
1. Begin immediately! It is important not to delay (remember the "hindrances").
2. There's work for everyone, and it's best to start something easy.
3. Humble service can be a joy( Psa. 84:10; John 13:12-17; Matt. 10:42 ).
4. Look for work needing to be done!( Isa. 6:8 ).
5. Most of us are good critics; here is how we can put that ability to good use:
a. When we see something we want to criticize, take that as an opportunity to
SHOW (not tell) how it should be done
b. In other words, "Don't criticize, energize!"
B. SPEND TIME IN STUDY, MEDITATION AND PRAYER
( Psa. 1:1-3; Dan 6:10 ).
C. PARTICIPATE IN AN INFORMAL BIBLE STUDY GROUP( Deut. 6:6-8 ).
D. BECOME INVOLVED IN LEADING PEOPLE TO CHRIST.
1. Even if you don't do the actual teaching, you can do what Andrew and Philip
did: lead a friend to Christ!( John 1:40-46 ).
2. Those involved in teaching others continue growing in Christ themselves!
E. PRACTICE CONSTANT SELF-EXAMINATION( 2 Cor. 13:5 ).
1. Here are some questions we should often ask ourselves:
a. Do I have a better Bible knowledge than one year ago?
b. Am I as interested in Jesus Christ today as when I was baptized?
c. Have I helped someone else to become a Christian?
d. Am I enjoying life as a child of God?
e. Am I improving my life, my disposition, and becoming more like Christ?
f. Do I set a good example for other Christians?
g. Am I growing in such activities as Bible study, prayer, worship?
h. Am I able to identify sin and eliminate worldliness from my life?
2. Self-examination is not easy , but spiritual growth is impossible without it!
A. TOO MANY CHRISTIANS HAVE JUST ENOUGH RELIGION TO MAKE
THEM MISERABLE( James 1:6-8 )..
B. OUR LIVES ARE TO BE FILLED WITH WHAT?( Gal. 5:22-23 ).
C. HIS WILL FOR US( John 10:10 ).