Your word is a lamp to my feet
Volume 02, Number
In this issue:
Are you growing spiritually? Christians are expected to grow up in Christ. The apostle Paul wrote of this need in his letter to the church in Ephesus, saying, "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head -- Christ -- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love" (Eph. 4:14-16).
The goal in response to the command should be to put forth the effort to make real spiritual progress in becoming more and more like Christ. When God gives man a command, He also provides the means necessary in order to fulfill that command. What tools has God provided to help each Christian grow?
1. The written word of God. Paul wrote of the spiritual armor of the Christian, saying, "And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:17). The word of God equips the child of God to combat the forces of wickedness. The apostle Peter writes, "Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby" (1 Pet. 2:1-2). In order to grow spiritually, Christians must strongly desire, and must make use of, the word of God. Christians will not grow without taking time to read, study, and make proper use of God's word. The Scriptures serve as a tool for spiritual growth.
2. The privilege of prayer to God. The ability to approach God in prayer with the expectation of being heard is a privilege reserved for the faithful. Affirming the words of the psalmist, Peter writes, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil" (1 Pet. 3:12. Prayer allows the child of God to communicate his praise, thankfulness, fears, desires, and requests to his Creator. Since this is true, Paul instructs Christians to, "Pray without ceasing" (1 Thess. 5:17). In order to grow spiritually, Christians must continually make use of the privilege of prayer to God. Christians will not grow without setting aside time to personally approach the God of heaven. Prayer serves as a tool for spiritual growth.
3. The people of God. Paul wrote of the importance of the spiritual relationship shared between Christians, saying, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13). Fellow Christians are provided by God in order to help the child of God to grow. To the members of the church in Thessalonica, Paul writes, "Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing" (1 Thess. 5:11). In order to grow spiritually, Christians must offer one another the help and encouragement that enables each one to be built up and strengthened in the Lord. Christians will not grow while having little or no connection with other faithful children of God. The people of God serve as a tool for spiritual growth.
Conclusion: Peter concludes his second letter to Christians with the following instruction: "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen" (2 Pet. 3:17-18). In His word, in the privilege of prayer, and in fellow faithful Christians, God has provided the means by which each child of God can grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Are you making use of these tools for growth?
There have been many from the first century until now, who have doubted
whether or not Christ will ever return. Knowing that, let’s look into the
all inspired word of God, and let’s examine the very important question
referring to the return of Christ. Beginning with...
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies,
kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another,
and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even
as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things
put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God
rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be
thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom,
teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual
songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do
in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God
the Father through Him.
Created by Chuck Sibbing, last updated. 03/17/2023
The Mount Baker Beacon is a
weekly publication of the Mt. Baker church of Christ, Bellingham, WA.