Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Seeking Spiritual Growth

Last week, I started one of John MacArthur's Bible studies on Spiritual Growth.  I have finished the first section and want to reflect on what I learned.  The main theme that he focused on was that spiritual growth is accomplished by giving glory to God.  Spiritual growth has nothing to do with prosperity, the amount of time I've been a Christian, busyness with church activities, book knowledge, the amount of God's love for us, or even my position in Christ (because I was placed in Christ from the moment I believed).    

Instead, spiritual growth involves matching my practice with my position.  Growing in grace equals giving glory to God.  In all I do, I should focus on the glory of God.

"But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity.  Amen." -2 Peter 3:18

There are many examples throughout the Bible of when God showed His glory, but the world rejected it: in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:8); in the face of Moses (Exodus 33); in the Temple (1 Kings 8:10); and in Christ (John 1:14).  In the future, when Christ returns, the glory of the Lord will fill the whole earth  (Matthew 24:30), and none will be able to turn away from it.

In the present, the glory of God should be displayed by His believers.  The key to my spiritual growth is showing the glory of God through me.  

"And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 3:19

"To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  -Colossians 1:27

My pride can stand in the way of giving God glory, because man seeks glory for himself.  However, as I focus more on God and giving the glory to Him, I will be changed into the image of Christ - this is the process of spiritual growth.

The writer of the study gave the example from 1 John, which we had also studied recently at our church Bible study class.  In 1 John 2:12-14 there are three levels of growth:  little children, young men, and fathers.  The little children know the Father, but they do not know the Scripture well.  The young men know the Father and have the Word of God abiding in them.  They are strong and grounded in the Word.  The fathers have those two things, but they also know God intimately.  

Spiritual growth progresses from knowing that I am saved to knowing the Word to knowing God himself.  By spending my life focusing on His glory, I can work toward spiritual growth.  I'm looking forward to reading the rest of this series and absorbing the teaching from the Bible.  I pray that God will show me how I can give Him glory and grow spiritually through this study.

No comments:

Post a Comment