Formula for Spiritual Growth
The formula for spiritual growth is given briefly in 2 Peter 1:5-7. Make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge, self-control, and to self-control, perseverance; and perseverance, godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
This is given in a logical order. It must be in the order given.
All one has to know to obey the gospel is that we are lost and that our only hope is the grace of God. After we obey the gospel, we must first add goodness to our faith. We must acquire goodness before more knowledge because if we haven't cleaned up our act, eliminated evil things from our life, more knowledge would probably be interpreted wrong and we wouldn't mature spiritually. If we haven't committed to being good people, knowledge would give us false pride, not make us more spiritual. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up (1CO 8:1).
Knowledge must be added to a pure heart committed to being the good person God desires. Without the proper attitude a little knowledge can be dangerous. Unless being fully committed to becoming what the Lord calls good, one would probably stop after learning a little and think he has all he needs. He would then have the wrong idea about God's grace and sin more, influencing others to follow.
Before we can persevere at anything, we must have self-control. It is impossible to be an effective Christian or even a good citizen without self-control. If we can't control our actions' others, have to. That is why prisons are necessary. If we can't control our sins, we will be back in Satan's prison of bondage again. If we can't live right, others will be tempted to follow our evil ways. If we can't control our tongue, others will be offended and the unity of the church will be lost.
After we have mastered goodness, and knowledge, we are ready to tackle perseverance. It takes all of the Christian virtues we have to keep climbing the spiritual ladder in the midst of trials and temptations we all face. Satan will throw all he has in our path to stop us. Christians that live for God are considered bitter enemies by the evil one. They are a menace to his cause. He will stop at nothing to distract them. All that we have to keep us going is our faith. He knows that we will be given strength when we pray, so he will attempt to keep us so busy that we will think we don't have time to talk to God. Don't listen to the devil. He is a liar. Ask the Lord for help, resist the evil one and you will succeed.
Godliness can only be achieved after the preceding attributes are acquired. We can readily see that there is quite a bit to be learned between goodness and godliness. There is a difference between worldly and spiritual goodness. The world's idea of good doesn't include biblical principles. We must have the purpose to be totally committed to him. He is as much impressed by our intents and purposes as he is to our actions. Our works make our faith complete.
It is only at this point in our journey to spiritual completeness that we are ready for brotherly kindness. We do not qualify for this type of kindness until we master the other virtues. Being kind to a worldly friend does not possess the spiritual qualities that brotherly kindness has. This term comes from the Greek word Philadelphia, which refers to kindness, love of the brethren. Christian brothers and sisters are to be closer than family members (if they are not Christians). We are to prefer Christian brethren and love them with special affection.
Love is the ultimate and most difficult to achieve. This is translated from Agape, which is love in a spiritual and social sense, a God like love. Christians with this type of love can agree to disagree with no hard feelings, respecting each other's position. Paul said that we should consider others better than our self (PHIL 2:3). He didn't say that others are better, but that we should consider them better.
This has nothing to do with self-esteem. It is laying down the principles of relationship. If I consider you better than me, and you consider me better than you, we are going to have a beautiful relationship. When we have achieved all these virtues, we will be complete, spiritually mature.
You may publish this article provided you leave the resource box intact. It would be appreciated if you notify me at email@example.com when you do.
Lynn Bradley is the author of the paperback book, "Climbing the Heavenly Stairs." It is meant as a guide to growing spiritually and becoming mature. Learn more at http://www.thelynnbradleybook.com.
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Energy Fields and Group Healing
I have held numerous teleconference workshops where I help individuals experience the effects of a new modality called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) (MRP) which clears negativity from the human bio-field.I want to share here an exciting and powerful consequence of having done this work in groups over the years.
Relieve Me of Myself
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.
The Breath of Life
The earth is wrapped in a thin, loose shell of gases - which we call the atmosphere. The mix of gases that make up the atmosphere has changed greatly over the eons.
Jesus Birthday: Sacred Children Series - 2 of 3
I had visions of my daughter for about five years before she finally showed up. She turned out exactly like the little girl in my dreams who had haunted me all that time.
Where Are You, God?
Do you ever have one of those days when you wonder if God is really there? Does he really exist? If he does, then why can't you see Him or even sense His presence? Why do you feel so desolate, so alone? I was in that place a few days ago.I stood at my window facing south on a cold winter's day.
The Power of God's Word in Your Prayer Life
Prayer. It's the foundation of a Christian mom's life.
Your Guide to the Archangels
An angel can be your best friend. Angels have been known respond to prayers that contain the phrase "Hey, somebody, anybody up there HELP!!!" but they come quickest when addressed politely by their Christian names.
People May Let You Down
Is your hope in God? Or, is it in people?I will tell you this, people will let you down. Only God is infallible.
Thank You Lord, Most Graciously
There are moments in the believer's life when the Spirit of the living God gets in us and gives birth to thanksgiving and holy reflection. Moments when we really comprehend how good God is and how good He has been.
The Meaning of Life
Recently I was watching a re-run of "Everybody Loves Raymond". This particular episode was about a life long question we all ask.
Shamanism is an ancient form of mysticism. Although there are many localized variations, the basic tenet is that all things are sacred and alive.
Dead Man Walking
One of my favorite movies is "The Green Mile". A memorable scene was when the presumably guilty murderer was being brought into the jail and they announced his arrival as "the dead man walking.
We Are Not Our Personalities
As a Psychiatrist I spent most of my life training and researching effective therapies that would help my clients make changes in their personalities. The premise was that by making such a change the client would feel capable of doing or feeling things that they could not access before.
We, the human species, stand on the threshold of a new era?..
Gilligan Finds Jesus!
One day Gilligan ventures off as usual into the jungle. After a few hours the Skipper knows Gilligan's absent-minded behavior, gets a little worried and goes trotting off looking for him.
Stress & Spirituality, Part 1
Stress & Spirituality - How Spirituality Affects Stress LevelsTake a moment to close your eyes and think about what a 'spiritual' person looks like. Whether you see them as sitting lotus-style in saffron robes or speaking emphatically from a pulpit, I'd bet one thing you won't see them as is 'stressed'.
E=mc², Emotional & Physical Gravity
The word "gravity" is a word coined by Sir Isaac Newton to describe an unseen force that attracts objects with mass to each other. As human beings living on planet earth we experience this force as one which constantly impedes us from floating away into the cosmos.
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. --GALATIANS 3:27, RSVI was thanking the Father today for His mercy.
The Power of Namaste
I honestly am not sure why this hit me so strongly, but it did."Namastè is a salutation which essentially means that I greet and acknowledge the God-Spirit that resides within you.
What Part of Thou Shalt Not Dont You Understand?
Back in the days of the old law of Moses, God gave him a set of 10 Commandments all of which began with "Thou Shalt Not"..
|home | site map|