by Tim Ayers
Each Christian is responsible for spiritual improvement and growth. No one else can do it for you. Others can help, but each of us must accept our personal accountability. Peter admonished the people on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, “Save yourselves” (Acts 2:40). Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Peter wrote, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). We need to give serious attention to the following questions, and let them help us to grow mature in Christ.
Am I the person I ought to be? In 2 Peter 3:11, the apostle wrote, “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness?” First, we should be Christians. That is the most important matter for everyone to take care of. Then, after you have obeyed the first principles of the gospel to be born into God’s family, take your place in God’s kingdom. Each of us has personal abilities and opportunities unique to each one, and we must take advantage of and use these for God’s glory. “Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Do I respect Bible authority? Peter wrote, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Peter 4:11). John told us that we must remain within the bounds of scripture, the “doctrine of Christ,” or we no longer have a relationship with God (2 John 9). Anyone who does not care what God’s will is cannot succeed in spiritual growth. After all, how else is that growth going to occur, except by continual study of the word? Read 2 Timothy 2:15 and Romans 10:17.
Am I willing to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ? This is a real earmark of maturity in Christ. Paul was willing to give up all for Jesus, even those things that he previously had thought were so important (Philippians 3:4-15). The Macedonians “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5). After that, they found it easier to give “beyond their power,” even though they were in “deep poverty” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
Do I understand the true nature and mission of the church? Read these passages to see God’s purpose for the church: Ephesians 3:9-11, 21; 5:25-27. The church will be presented to Christ, but in a condition that requires personal character development on the part of each member. Since the church is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1; Colossians 1), the Christians who compose it should be doing what He did while He was here on earth, i.e., seeking the lost (Luke 19:10). Are we?
Am I becoming more spiritually mature? Several passages in the scripture encourage us to grow up and not remain as babes in Christ (e.g., Hebrew 5:12-14; 1 Corinthians 14:10; 16:13; Ephesians 4:14).
Read and study God’s word every day, and you can “grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
Taken From South West Church of Christ Website http://swcofc.org/