In today’s article,we’ll be looking at one of the purposes of the church;”Cultivation: Growing in Christ-Likeness”.The word “cultivation itself is a gardening term that calls forth images of planting,watering,tending the soil,etc. And so it is a very appropriate word to use when we talk about growing in our faith as a Christian.
After you accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Saviour,you put your trust and faith in Him for salvation. But God doesn’t want you to just put your trust in Christ. He wants you to grow in your faith. Christianity is not a one-time decision that we take .It is a living,personal relationship with God through his Son, Jesus.
When you come to Christ,you become a new creation. Spiritually, you’re a new born baby and like all babies, you need to grow.
2 Peter 3:18 says,”BUT GROW IN THE GRACE AND IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST…”
We are saved by God’s grace and we need to grow in that grace.Growing in grace means growing in your understanding that you’re accepted by God not on the basis of your performance as a Christian but on the basis of Christ alone.Some people might think that would cause you to sin more,but ironically, “THE MORE WE GRASP THE GRACE OF GOD,THE LESS WE WILL SIN”.
We also need to grow in the knowledge of Christ. This we’ll achieve through learning about Christ in the Bible.But we must also grow in our personal knowledge of Jesus,as we walk with him daily,as we spend time in prayer and submit to His Lordship and authority through the choices we make.
Every Christian needs to grow in his spiritual life.Trust me,if you had a baby who wasn’t growing,you would be checking with every doctor to find out what was wrong.If you’re not growing as a Christian, then that means something is wrong.
But you can’t grow as a Christian until you first become a Christian. “There should be spiritual life before there can be spiritual growth”.
When we talk about spiritual growth and maturity, we are not just talking about your bible knowledge or the years you’ve spent in serving Christ but about “character”.
True spiritual growth and maturity will always result in the Christian becoming more like Jesus in character. That is why I defined cultivation as ” Growing in Christ-Likeness”.
If you’re a Christian, God’s ultimate plan for you is that you will be “conformed to the likeness of His Son” (Romans 8:28-30)
God is far more interested in the development of your character than he is in what you do or how much you have. Spiritual growth is all about becoming like Jesus.You could know the Bible backwards and forwards, but if you’re not becoming more like Christ in your character, then what’s the point?
God develops the character of Christ in you through the Holy Spirit.The Bible calls this “the fruit of the Spirit”.Love,peace,joy,forgiveness, kindness,etc. (Galatians 5:22-23)
Those character traits were expressed perfectly by Jesus.The ultimate measure of spiritual maturity is not about how much you know but how much do you exhibit those character traits.
You can attain spiritual growth and maturity by;
- Studying the Bible:Read and study God’s word.The Word brings you closer to God and allows Him to shape and renew your life.
- Prayer:If the Bible is the fuel for Christian living,then prayer is the oxygen that feeds it.God speaks to us through His word and we speak to Him through prayer.Therefore develop a pattern of daily prayer.
- Fellowship: Commit to a church. Attend regularly.Get involved in a bible study group.Get together with Christian friends but don’t neglect the non-believers.
- Service: Look for ways to get involved. Volunteer at church.Don’t just be a spectator.Use your spiritual gifts and talents to serve others.
Are you a Christian? Have you really turned from your sins and put your faith in Christ? If you have,then God expects you to grow in your Christian life.
By: Justice Smith Annobil,
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