Just as milk nourishes a baby in ways it does not understand, so the Scriptures nourish us in ways we often do not understand. No matter how deep our understanding of Scripture may be, we should still say as the Psalmist, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1). Growth in the grace of the gospel is growth in the truth of the Scriptures. The goal of spiritual growth is to bring our minds under the influence of God’s Word. We have to ask ourselves, “Do I really want to grow spiritually?”
The Scriptures are necessary for spiritual growth. We are saved by the grace of the gospel and then we are to grow in that same grace. How? In 2Timothy 3:16-17 we see two ways that the Scriptures are necessary for our spiritual growth.
The Scriptures transform us into mature Believers. According to the apostle Paul, the Scriptures are profitable for right belief and right behavior. The Scriptures teach us the truth. The Scripture rebuke us with the truth. The Scriptures correct by the truth once we know what the truth is and where we are in error. The Scriptures train us by the truth and prepare us for living life according to God’s truth.
A conviction is a determinative belief … something you believe so strongly that it affects the way you live. Convictions can be good or bad. Our convictions will come from either society around us or they will come as our minds are renewed by the Bible. God’s people need convictions and values that are rooted in the truth of the Bible. Convictions can be good or bad. The truth is, we as Believers are probably being influenced by both society and the Word. We can think of these two opposing influences as two ends of a continuum. All of us who are Christians are somewhere on the continuum. What determines whether we are moving toward society or toward God is our attitude toward the Scriptures. The psalmist wrote, “I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.” It is necessary that we give thought to how we are living in light of the truth of the Bible.
The Scriptures equip us to be servants. The apostle Paul wrote that the Scriptures are able to make us “adequate” and “thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The only way to be adequately prepared for life is through the Scriptures. The Bible gives us God’s viewpoint on life. As the Giver of life, we need to know what God’s viewpoint is on the things we think, actions we take, the places we go and the decisions we make.
If the Scriptures are the primary instrument of growth in our lives, how do we interact with them in such a way that they will be used by God to help us grow? First,a consistent Bible reading gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to impress your mind with truths from the Bible that are applicable in your life. Second, the teaching of others such as your pastor or small group leader expose you to God’s truths. Third, Bible study groups create accountability for learning and applying the truths of the Bible. Fourth, Scripture memorization stores God’s truth up in our minds so it is available when we need it.
God has provided all that we need to grow spiritually through the grace of the gospel. Let’s start growing and keep growing for the glory of God!
Here is a visual of how we are trying to develop disciples at Centennial Baptist Church. We asked, “How are we going to help people grow from where they are to where God created them to be?” The church has a responsibility at each step and there is a desired goal or outcome in the person’s life. We use small groups (aka, Sunday School), grow groups (aka closed groups) and D-groups (see Robby Gallaty’s book Growing Up) as reach, teach and develop strategy. [Click HERE to watch a video explanation of our discipleship pathway.]