Hello everyone, I just wanted to share my thoughts on Spiritual Growth for believers from the scriptures: How do believers bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit?
Spiritual growth happens the same way we received Jesus Christ:
Colossians 2:6-7 “As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.”
We received Christ by grace through faith and not our efforts.
Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one would boast.“
Therefore, spiritual growth is also not by our self-efforts but grace through faith in Christ.
It’s all about renewing our mind and walking in our new identity.
Ephesians 2:4-6 “But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,“
We were “dead in sin” before we had faith. But the moment we believed, we were made alive with Christ, born again, and seated in heaven with Him as Children of God, forgiven all our sins (past, present, and future).
Colossians 2:13-14 “You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us. He has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross.“
That’s why we are permanently seated with Christ in the spirit.
Jesus sat down because He finished the work, and He will not die again because there are no more sins to be forgiven for believers.
Hebrews 10:9-10,12,14,16-18 “then he has said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first (Old Covenant), that he may establish the second (new Covenant), by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. ….but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,sat down on the right hand of God,For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified… This is the (New) covenant that I will make with them…I will put my laws in their heart, I will also write them on their mind,I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more.”…Now where forgiveness of these is, there is no more offering for sin.“
Believers were “crucified with Christ” – it was done in the past when we first believed in Jesus.
Galatians 5:22-24 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.”
Galatians 2 ” 19 For I, through the law, died to the law, that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. That life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. 21 I don’t reject the grace of God. For if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nothing!”
Being dead to the law and alive to God, means we trust in Jesus for salvation by grace and not our efforts so that we bear fruit of Spirit because we are one with Christ, relying on Him.
Romans 7:4 “Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God.“
1st Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.”
This is by renewing our minds to our new identity and reality in Christ.
We are not sinners needing constant forgiveness.
We are not in the flesh (sinful nature) but we are in the Spirit as children of God (Romans 8:9,16, Galatians 4:6) because Christ lives in us.
We were dead in Adam but now we are alive in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:22, Romans 5:18-19).
We are holy, blameless, righteous, saints in Christ, forgiven and righteous by faith once and for all (Ephesians 1:1-14). This is why Paul constantly reminds us of what Jesus did for us in every epistle.
The Gospel is not just for salvation, but we feed on the Gospel also for spiritual growth.
It’s about changing our thinking – we died to sin with Christ once and for all, so that we are alive to righteousness. Therefore, we say no to sin, and yes to righteous living.
Romans 6 “5 For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we will also be part of his resurrection; 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 But if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him; 9 knowing that Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over him! 10 For the death that he died, he died to sin one time; but the life that he lives, he lives to God. 11 Thus consider yourselves also to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 Therefore don’t let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 Also, do not present your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.”
We do good works when we remind ourselves of God’s mercy/grace toward us in Christ:
Romans 12 “Therefore I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.”
We set our focus on who we are in Christ – seated in heaven, forgiven all sins. Then we walk in that reality of the new creation.
Colossians 3: “If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 For these things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 7 You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; 8 but now you also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and shameful speaking out of your mouth. 9 Don’t lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, 10 and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, 12 Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ FORGAVE you, so you also do.”
We don’t do good works to become righteous, but we do it because we are already righteous and perfect, and forgiven in Christ by faith.
Ephesians 4:22-24,32 “that you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth…. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God also in Christ FORGAVE you.”
This is God’s LOVE for us that Christ FORGAVE us – it’s past tense – the finished work that cannot be repeated or undone. Feeding on Christ’s love on the cross where He loved us by forgiving all our sins, helps us to love and forgive one another in the same way.
John 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you.”
This intimate personal knowledge of our Lord Jesus and His love & grace towards us, helps us grow in grace.
2 Peter 3 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.”
Ephesians 3:17-19 “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strengthened to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know Christ’s love which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
We are all growing in the Lord – His grace is the only thing that saved us and grows us in our walk.
1 Corinthians 15 “not I, but the grace of God which was with me”