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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Stagnation or Transformation"

Date published: 01/24/2019

Ephesians 2:22 “And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit.” (NIV)

 

   Imagine building a house in which you can live.  Lay the foundation, stub out plumbing and heat and air, frame it, roof it, enclose it, you get the idea.  Each stage of building moves you closer to living in the house.  The same is true about your life in Christ.  The foundation of your faith is laid at salvation.  Yes, you are a Christian, but God has so much more for you.  At salvation each believer begins the process of sanctification to be more like Christ.  The more you give your life over to Christ, the more you allow the Holy Spirit to freely live in and through you. 

 

   The Holy Spirit is your personal mentor for life as well as the actual empowerment of God to live life in and through you.  1 Peter 2:4-5 describes it this way: “As you come to Him, the living Stone — rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him — you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (NIV)  God desires His work in you to be so powerful that you reside not only in a spiritual house, but you are also God’s personification of His Holy priesthood here on earth!  This way of life is not represented by one that merely attends church once a week, but whose very essence pounds to the heart of Christ in this world.

 

   There are many ways to pursue sanctification (becoming more like Christ).  I want to share with you what I consider to be ground zero for sanctification.  Begin each day with a quiet time.  Read five to ten minutes in the Bible.  I suggest reading the New Testament every day and all or part of a Psalm.  If you have more time, read in the Old Testament.  Ask God to show you one application for you to grasp, pursue, and pray about.  Giving God this opportunity to speak allows Him greater opportunity to reveal a little more of His life to you, so that you can step more into the realm of the Spirit’s power.  Journal God’s application for you by recording just that part of the Scripture that spoke to you and how you can respond to it.  Be brief, but write it.  This facilitates a lasting habit.  Close your quiet time praying ACTS: Adoration (praise), Confession (sin), Thanksgiving, and Supplication (prayer needs).  Proverbs 29:18 gives a great truth about application (revelation), “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.” (NIV)  Sanctification is a continual process of revelation and transformation, while spiritual stagnation is a continual process of becoming numb to the very existence of God.   Revelation leads to transformation and abundant Christian living, while stagnation leads to a callousness to God’s desires and work in you.  Life in this lane becomes a spiraling away from God instead of experiencing the wonder and beauty of God. 

 

Hebrews 5:12-6:3 “In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again.   . . .  Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.  But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity . . .” (NIV)

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience:  “Discipleship” and “Your Life in Christ.”