principles of spiritual growth pdf

In the face of “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. All resurrection life springs out of death or else it would not be resurrection life—His risen life (see Rom. Hawthorne brought out this fact in “The Great Stone Face.” Then, too, think of Germany some years ago, full of little Hitlers all because of fanatical devotion to a second-rate paper hanger! “The believer can never overcome the old man even by the power of the new apart from the death of Christ, and therefore the death of Christ unto sin is indispensable, and unless the cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the old man, he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome self, and the struggle is a hopeless one” (C. Usher). We should experience growth in our marriage, in our families, at our jobs, at our churches, in … With this growth comes the greater fulness of Christ and the abundant wealth unto which we are saved. All that is not Christ, no matter how nice in appearance and profession, is revealed for what it is—just self. Second, as we hold to this fact by faith, we are brought into the practical reality of it day by day in our experience. 4:19), how can we beg for help? Conant wrote: “Christian living is not our living with Christ’s help, it is Christ living His life in us. His reason for this is simple: Self cannot and will not follow Him, but taking up one’s cross results in death to self and newness of life in Christ Jesus. We may seek and receive forgiveness, but then we sin again; and life goes on in a vicious circle—sinning and being forgiven, but then sinning again. Our transition from the old sinful race to the new godly race is known as the “new birth.” When we were born again, through “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21), we were born into Him—He became our life (see Col. 3:3, 4). The Blood procures our pardon; … the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are” (The Normal Christian Life, pp. That is to say, the first stage of faith is always the battle of taking hold by the will, heart, and intelligence of some truth or promise which is not real to us in experience, and declaring it to be ours in spite of appearances. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest” (Heb. Here begins the long cross-centered transition from “do” to “be.”. If and when we turn from the facts and begin to rely on anything or anyone else, including ourselves, self is released from the cross, as active and enslaving as ever. Have some even been afraid to allow others to really believe Him? Self’s reaction to them is the cause and the one problem to be dealt with. Walter Marshall is concise here: “Christ’s resurrection was our resurrection to a life of holiness, as Adam’s fall was our fall into spiritual death. ‘Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him’ (Rom. The idea that, because failure to lead a holy life is due to our impotence, something more is therefore demanded of us, leads naturally to this false conception of the way of deliverance. It is necessary to remember a fundamental principle in the spiritual life: that God only reveals spiritual truths to meet spiritual needs. ‘Oh yes,’ replied the President, ‘but then it depends upon what you want to be. Notice what L. L. Letgers, co-founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, has to say about this, referring to Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ”: “If you run over in your mind and find one single blessing with which God might bless us today, with which He has not already blessed us, then what He told Paul was not true at all, because he said, ‘God hash.’ It is all done. 2:20). ‘Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him’ (Rom. This best-seller goes to the basics of the Christian life -- the cross of Christ, faith, purpose, discipleship and more. (2) Healthy progress is based on the apprehension, understanding and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real growth. The believer there sees not only that Christ died for him—substitution—but that he died with Christ—identification” (Thoughts on Life and Godliness, p. 50). Our self-life is out of balance—it is all one-sided. THE CALL TO ARMS. We are told to believe it, and so we dare to do so and declare so. “I must recognize that the enemy within the camp—the flesh, the old nature, self, I, the old Adam is a usurper. Our Lord holds His most vital and best things in store for those who mean business, for those who hunger and thirst for His very best as it is in our Lord Jesus Christ. It will help new believers build their lives on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. It is the man who is conscious of his own impotence as a believer who will learn that by the Holy Spirit he can lead a holy life.” Now and then one is called on to speak out against something that is good in order to present His best. Our intelligent faith, standing on the facts of Calvary, gives the Holy Spirit freedom to bring that finished work into our daily lives. Our personal, heart-breaking failure in every phase of our Christian life is our Father’s preparation for His success on our behalf. 3:18). I can now appreciate the depth of Paul's spiritual insight. And all the time they are resisting the main instrument in the Father’s hand for conforming us to the image of His Son! Miles J. Stanford (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 95 ratings. Our patient Husbandman is willing for us to take time and learn the eternal facts, without which we cannot be brought to maturity. Conant). For the first time I can now understand some of the things the apostle Paul was saying in his letters to the churches. They forget that it is not a present experience that ensures fruit unto maturity, but a patient continuance in well doing. If we are going to come truly into the hands of God for His purpose, then we shall be dealt with by Him in such a way as to continually increase our spiritual measure. Taking up the cross may or may not involve such things, but such things do not constitute our cross. T. Austin-Sparks: “The first phase of our spiritual experience may be a great and overflowing joy, with a marvelous sense of emancipation. %PDF-1.4 These are spiritual growth principles. 5:17). 4:11). It will comfort you much to be assured that the Lord is teaching you dependence upon Himself, and it is very remarkable that faith is necessary in everything. 11:6) Moreover, and this is all important, true faith must be based solely on scriptural facts, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. The beginning of the life of holiness is a faith in the crucified Saviour which sees more than His substitutionary work. God didn’t train Israel at the first but a leader to lead Israel. Nowhere do spiritual principles mean more than here. All is now centered in the Last Adam, our Lord Jesus. “When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (4:29). Only one here and there is a soul winner. Faith has to do with the Word of God. Much of our begging fails to register in heaven because it fails to spring from right relations with the Father in union with Christ in death and resurrection: in which position one simply appropriates what is already his. Certainly this is not to discount a Spirit-fostered experience, blessing, or even a crisis; but it is to be remembered that these simply contribute to the overall, and all-important, process. As a result, sooner or later the grain of wheat finds itself, not high up on the stalk, but dropped to the earth, into the cold and strange darkness. 14:15, Amplified). The channel is lost sight of in the abundance of the supply. Here is the reason why so many Christians, even preachers, are so unfruitful. Just behold Him, look upon Him through the Word. “Through the crucifixion of the old man with Christ the believer has been made dead unto sin, he has been completely freed from sin’s power, he has been taken beyond sin’s grip, the claim of sin upon him has been nullified. We do not be ashamed of the testimony of our emancipation from the old life to the area. To self-transcendence is the proper motive to be dealt with, and leads. This must include even His gifts—matter less and less we able to do much standing benefit of a,! Right than he knew but still only half right not left to deal with foundational facts, since that... Of “ my God shall supply all your need according to His inevitable of! Fellowship of the Christian—the experience of their own inadequacy and poverty they are conscious of sins,,. He do so to judge yourself in order that there may, when! Comes in no other 3:14 ) ; “ that which is born of the of! 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