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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Which Will it be: Stagnation or Vibrancy?"

Date published: 01/24/2020

Hebrews 4:2 “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

 

   Every Christian needs to be reminded that they were saved not to be merely receptors of spiritual truths and the Word of God but transformed followers of Christ who are stepping out in faith on the truths they hear.  In my book “Through the Eye of the Needle – How to Experience More of Christ” I gave the example of who you would want to operate on you if you needed brain surgery.  Would you want the doctor who had studied and researched the most on the subject or the doctor who had performed the most surgeries on your condition?  You would want the doctor with “transformed knowledge” who had used his training and knowledge to perform many successful brain surgeries.  In the same way many Christians have become sponges of truth but have used little of their knowledge by stepping out in faith so to allow God to lead and use them.  It is in this arena of life that God’s fruitfulness is born! 

 

   Recognizing the importance of actions could very quickly move you to practicing a faith that is governed by legalism instead of a relationship with Christ.  This is far from what the writer was suggesting.  In Hebrews 7:18-19 he clearly points to the importance of relationship with Christ: “The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”  Growing in knowledge can be helpful in your walk with Christ, but God’s power will flow out of a growing relationship with Christ.  It is out of a flourishing, growing, personal intimacy with Christ that God’s convictions for you will occur.   Being convicted by God is not enough, but you must move to action by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.   In Jesus’ day the Jewish nation was steeped in knowledge and truth.  Instead of this knowledge moving them to faith and obedience, they allowed their flesh to corrupt God’s truths. 

 

   Allow God to continually take you down the path of fruitfulness.  The path to fruitfulness begins by allowing God to surface opportunities to live out your faith as well as grow in Christ through your Bible readings and prayer times.  Daily seek God’s conviction in the area of greatest opportunity, so you can by faith obey His leading to become more like Christ.  Your daily pursuit of allowing Christ to extend your faith to action will allow you to experience God as never before.  James 2:18-19 shows God’s desire for faith to be translated into action: “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.  You believe that there is one God. Good!  Even the demons believe that — and shudder. Be empowered by the Holy Spirit so that you can bear fruit for God by regularly living out God’s truths by faith.

 

James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.”

 

Do you know someone who needs this message on moving from stagnation in the faith to vibrancy in the faith?  Click below to forward this devotion to them. 

 

Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience in this area:  “Satisfaction” and “Transformation – Part 3.”