Grow in Christ!
What is it to be a Christian? What is expected out of the Believer?
When someone comes to Jesus, in repentance towards God through the blood of Christ, believing into Him, change happens, Salvation is granted and with that the new Believer is also a new creature.
“…testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2nd Corinthians 5:17
There is a renewing of the mind and with this renewing of the mind a renewing of the direction and purpose of our lives.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2
“If then you are raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on the things of the earth; for you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” 1st Corinthians 3:1-3
No longer are we to seek our own, but we are to seek His will, we are to follow Jesus, serving the Most High God.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps…” 1st Peter 2:21
What then, how is it that a Believer does not produce excellent fruit?
“You will know them from their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces excellent fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, nor is a corrupt tree able to produce excellent fruit. Every tree that does not produce excellent fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore from their fruits you will know them.” Matthew 7:16-20
I speak from experience, knowing the temptations that happen to all of us. The problem lies with our hearts, it is an inner conflict of the flesh verses the spirit. How ought we to live?
“Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
“Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilements of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” 2nd Corinthians 7:1
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also become holy in all conduct, because it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.” 1st Peter 1:13-16
God says, “Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah: Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (Isaiah 1:18), so where lies the problem? Do we not believe that we are fellow partakers through Christ? Where is the growth that a Christian is to experience, are we growing in Christ?
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2nd Peter 3:18
Are we feeding ourselves? Are we yet living in sin? Are we distracted? Is our hearts right before the Almighty, the just Judge before whom we will all stand?
Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that comes forth from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4b
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” 2nd Corinthians 5:10
Consider your ways carefully, examine yourselves. Understand what is expected of a Christian and diligently pursue it.
“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know, yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you; unless indeed you are ones failing the test?” 2nd Corinthians 13:5
“Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 1st Corinthians 9:24
God did not call us to continue on with our lives while including Christ into them, rather through Jesus we are called to be His servants, our lives dedicated to serving Him and doing His will.
“You shall walk after Jehovah your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice, and you shall serve Him and cleave unto Him.” Deuteronomy 13:4
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
It is no longer our purpose in life to chase dreams and fulfill vain desires, but rather to do the will of God, the Almighty Creator, from whom we were carefully crafted in the womb.
“Only fear Jehovah, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you.” 1st Samuel 12:24
“My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my embryo, and in Your book I was enrolled, and all my days had been preordained, when as yet there was nothing.” Psalms 139:15-16
No longer should we be slaves to sin, but rather slaves to Christ.
“But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves to righteousness.” Romans 6:17-18
Even in this late hour, let our fruit grow graciously, due to the mercy of God who gave His only Son that we might have life.
“Therefore bring forth fruits worthy of repentance…” Matthew 3:8
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” John 3:16-17
Let our focus rest on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.
“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
“Do not be led astray, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap eternal life.” Galatians 6:7-8
Let us have assurance of our calling in Christ, resting securely in His merciful might.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make sure of your calling and election, for if you do these things you will not ever stumble; for so an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.” 2nd Peter 1:10-11
“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;” 1st Peter 1:13
Examine yourself and consider carefully. What restrains you from doing His will, what causes you to backslide and not continue forward?
“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1st Corinthians 15:58
You are in a race and in that race you must press on.
“Therefore I run in this manner: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” 1st Corinthians 9:26-27
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.” 2nd Timothy 4:7
“For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” 2nd Corinthians 6:2
Do not delay! Understand the magnitude of the blessing that God has bestowed upon us, understand the seriousness of following Christ and the indescribable gift that we have received through His blood.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and understanding, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might sum up in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and which are on earth; in Him.” Ephesians 1:3-10
“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift.” 2nd Corinthians 9:15
“Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled on the Son of God, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of Grace?” Hebrews 10:29