Spiritual Growth and Transformation
- Biblical Literacy – Knowing, understanding, and applying God’s word individually and corporately. (Psalm 119:10-16; Col. 3:16; 2 Tim. 2:15, 3:16
- Spiritual Formation and Growth – Learning the value of humility, thankfulness, love, personal holiness, study, stewardship, and giving. Developing authenticity and a healthy balanced life. (Deu. 6:6-9; Rom. 12:1-2; Gal. 5:22-26.
- Spiritual Vitality – Knowing the value of walking in the fullness of the Holy Spirit, being filled and consumed by His energy, power, and presence. (Is. 44:3-5; Eph. 5:15-21)
- Gift-Based – Discovering and exercising your unique spiritual gifts and offering sacrificial contributions in ministry. (Ps. 139:13-16, Rom. 12:3-8; 1Cor.12).
- Missions – Relational evangelism, church multiplication, international missions, and God-inspired ministry. Matt. 9:10-13; Acts 1:8; Rom. 1:16.
- Justice – Upholding Christian worldview in all issues of life. Defending the cause of the weak, maintaining the rights of the poor and the oppressed. (Is. 1:17; Ps. 82:3; Luke 4:18-19).
Personal Spiritual Growth
When people begin to see that their lives should be invested in eternal rather than temporal things, they first need Personal Spiritual Management. The first lesson in this subject area trains the student from God’s Word in how to manage the resource of time. Here, they learn that God has given them all the time they need to accomplish the tasks God has assigned them. When they have learned to live by this principle, it will give them time to invest in the matters of His Kingdom. Following that, we teach students how to organize their time using.
**Credits to Dave Dawson, Equipping The Saints, Book One – A, pp.3-24
“Personal and Spiritual Management Aid” (PSMA). It is divided into three parts. One-part deals with the students’ devotions—Day by Day, spending time with God, preparing their hearts to walk with Him, and receiving direction for what God wants them to do during the day. The next part focuses on the basics of the Christian life: Bible reading, Bible study, prayer, Scripture memory, witnessing, follow-up, and caring for God’s temple, the Body of Christ.
The final part is a time management aid on which the students make out a “do list,” rearranging their activities in keeping with their newly- formed Biblical priorities, arranged around the eternal. If people cannot manage their time, they will never correctly manage anything else!
The basic principle: God has provided us with time to invest in the eternal things of God; this is the heartbeat of spiritual formation.
Evangelism – The first lesson in this section is devoted to teaching students another principle from God’s Word: “If you follow me, I will make you fishers of men.” That is a worthy vocation, one that demands obedient application. Unfortunately, research reveals that only five percent of people in the Church ever share their faith with another person.
Basic Christian Living:
The lessons involving basic Christian living deal with the fundamental business of living out one’s Christianity, including such matters as having the assurance of one’s salvation, learning how to have a quiet time, the importance of prayer, walking in victory, understanding the importance of the Word of God and obedience, and coming to grips with the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The imperative of the Great Commission in Matthew 28 is “Go and make disciples.” At this moment, the whole world is talking about discipleship. If you’re not into discipleship, you’re missing it! There may be a difference between the discipleship Jesus talked about and the discipleship the Church talked about in the twentieth century.
The Importance of Scripture Memory:
Scripture memory is one of the most critical aspects of Basic Christian Living. If people know the Word of God and can quote it (“Thy Word have I hid in mine heart…”), they are more apt to apply it to their lives and share it with others. God’s original intention is outlined in Paul’s letter to Ephesians.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ..”. Ephesians 4:11,12
In this passage, God gave the “full-time Christian workers” (the apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers) to the Church for a particular purpose. That purpose was NOT to do the work of the ministry themselves, but “… to get His holy people ready to serve as workers and build the body of Christ” (Beck translation). These special agents were to be coaches to train the disciples to be the players in the Great Commission. The ordinary saints of the Church were to be on the front lines—witnessing, leading their friends to Christ, and disciplining the nations. Scripture is so clear—the ministry and the edifying of the Body of Christ belong to the saints. These gifted leaders are responsible for equipping the saints so they can engage in the work of ministry.
Two Great Realities of Life:
- Cross-of-Christ/White Throne Judgment and
- Judgment Seat of Christ (Beama Seat)
Issues Person’s sin Person’s work
Decisions. Where I will spend eternity What eternity will be like
Results. Heaven or Hell. Reward or loss of reward
The First Reality: is the cross of Christ, from where He died for the sins of humankind over 2000 years ago. Each reality involves an issue. At the cross, the issue is our personal sin, those thoughts, and deeds that separate us from God. Each issue requires a decision. Our decision about sin in light of the cross will decide where we will spend eternity. God’s plan for each of us is that we spend eternity with Him in Heaven. However, if a person refuses to deal with the issue of sin in light of the cross, God has no recourse but to send him to hell. He refused to let Jesus’ blood from the cross cover his sin. All of this someday will culminate at the Great White Throne Judgment, where unbelievers will be judged at the end of the millennium. If there is no work of repentance for sin, their names will not be recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, and this judgment is recorded in Revelation 20:11-15. They will be cast into the lake of fire because of their unwillingness to deal with this first reality.
The Second Reality – Judgment Seat of Christ: This is often called the Beama or reward seat. From here, the believers, or the Obeyers of Christ, will someday be rewarded for their faithful stewardship to the building of God’s Kingdom here on earth. The issue in this second reality is the believer’s works. It is not our sin since it was covered by Jesus’ substitutionary death upon the cross for our sin (the first reality).
Study on Rewards:
The Bible warns us many times that we are to be careful to both strive for and protect spiritual rewards. “Behold, I come quickly! Hold fast to what you have, that no one may take your crown”. – Revelation 3:11. It is possible that someone could take another’s crown away, or Jesus would not have warned us about it. Stay Alert and let no one defraud you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind – Colossians 2:18.
It is possible that someone could deceive another of his reward, or Paul would not have warned us about it. “Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully” – 2 John 1:8 NIV. One could receive less than a full reward, or John would not have warned us.
Next Sunday, I will write about Spiritual Rewards and Works.