Spiritual Growth(4)

Have you ever scratched your head and wondered why your profession and practice are at times so different? If you have, welcome to the club. One of the widest gaps in the Christian life is the gap between profession and practice.

Our eighth principle is that spiritual growth is about matching up our practice with our position in Christ. We are “raised up with Him [and] seated with Him in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6). God wants us to reflect our position in Christ through progressive growth. (MacArthur)

Neil Anderson asserts:
. . . your hope for growth, meaning, and fulfillment as a Christian is based on understanding who you are – specifically your identity in Christ as a child of God. Your understanding of who you are, is the critical foundation for your belief structure and your patterns of behavior . . . Understanding your identity in Christ is absolutely essential to your success at living the Christian life! No person can consistently behave in a way that’s inconsistent with the way he perceives himself. If you think you’re a no-good bum, you’ll probably live like a no-good bum. But if you see yourself as a child of God who is spiritually alive in Christ, you’ll begin to live in victory and freedom as He lived. Next to knowledge of God, knowledge of who you are is by far the most important truth you can possess. (Anderson, 1990, 43-44)

Lewis Chafer reminds us that the Holy Spirit’s works for the believer are regeneration, indwelling, sealing, and baptizing. These particular ministries serve to establish the believer’s position and possessions in Christ. The flip side of Chafer’s statement is that there is also a practical feature of this truth. This side is the believer’s responsibility in thought, will and action toward God, others, and self. Chafer called these positional truths and life truths respectively.

The new problem which he confronts … is not one of how he should live that he might be accepted and perfected before God, but rather of how he, an accepted and perfected person should live after these stupendous realities are accomplished by the grace and power of God. (Chafer)

Thus spiritual growth is the merging and applying of these two truths (position in Christ and our practice).

See you Sunday,

Pastor Byron