Interactive Flash presentation of the Gospel:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Spiritual Growth - Introduction

You are a new creature. You became a Christian and began a new life when you prayed to God and accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.

Now what? Do you say to yourself, "Is there more or is this all there is? What am I supposed to do now?"

You start learning.

I accepted Christ 32 years ago - Aug. 29, 1982. I participated in a Bible Study, a Practical Guide to Spiritual Growth, known as Survival Kit for New Christians.

It was a good place to begin then ... to learn more about what being a Christian means, and it is a good place to begin now - for you.

There are 5 Bible principles. You can remember them on your hand:

The Thumb represents the Body 
The First Finger represents your old and new natures (personalities)
The Second Finger represents things about salvation 
The Third Finger represents authority
The Little Finger represents the Five-and-Five Principle

The Palm of your hand represents Christ living in you and controlling everything.

You will face many problems and temptations in everyday life -- as a babe in Christ, much of your future growth in your Christian life depends on your relationship to the church.

There are 5 stages you will pass through:

  1. The Honeymoon Stage  - This is when you are happy and excited. You have a new life. You have been baptized and you are a member of His church.
  2. The Fight Stage  - The Honeymoon stage ends when you have your first fight. Frustration, temptation, jealousy, gossip, etc. crop up again -- the same old problems are present. Christ started to live in you when you began your new life. The old self, with all the sins, did not die. So, you have your old self with the sins and your new self with Christ living in you. The new nature and the old nature battle for control.
  3. The Doubting Stage - You begin to doubt your salvation if you do not learn the right things.  You start thinking that just knowing you are saved is all that is important. Jesus promised  that when you became a Christian the Holy Spirit would be with you. He would teach you all things.
    (John 14:26 -  "But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you." New Living Translation)
    You need more information about salvation when you have conflict within yourself between your old life and your new life. The more you know, not just in your head, but primarily your heart, the less you doubt. Three times to know about your salvation are: a) it happens at an exact time; b) it is a process  through time as you beat the old you; c) there is a final time when Christ will make you free forever.
  4. The Panic-Search for what is Right Stage - Here you need to learn where to go to find what is right to be protected from this stage. You must learn how to compare the truth to other things. The only place to find the truth and what is right is in the written word of God, The Bible.
  5. The Silent Christian Stage - A silent Christian is one who does not witness, but instead substitutes church activities. A Christian who does not witness is not effective in helping another become a Christian or influencing others in a positive way for the Lord. To become effective in witnessing, learn the Five-and-Five Principle - five people in your live you can witness to and five people you cannot witness to but can pray for.
Think about these things. The 5 principles and the 5 stages.  The next time we meet we'll begin our study.

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6