Spiritual Growth Brings Practical Results
Written by Mike Sproul on Apr 25, 2018
“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8-11
So, how can believers be certain that they are growing spiritually? Peter gives us three evidences of true spiritual growth.
- Fruitfulness (verse 8)
- The more we become like Jesus Christ, the more the Spirit can use us in witness and spirit. The believer who is not growing is idle and unfruitful. His knowledge of Jesus Christ is producing nothing practical in his life.
- Think about some of the most effective Christians that you know in your life. They are probably people without any great talents or special abilities or even exciting personalities, yet God has used them in a marvelous way. Why? Because they are becoming more and more like Jesus. They have the kind of character and conduct that God can trust with blessing. They are fruitful because they are faithful; they are effective because they are growing in their Christian experience.
- These qualities of character do exist “within us” because we possess the diving nature. We must cultivate them so that they increase and produce fruit in and through our lives.
- Vision (verse 9)
- The unsaved person is in the dark because Satan has blinded his mind (2 Corinthians 4:3-4). A person has to be born again before his eyes are opened and he can see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). But after our eyes are opened, it is important that we increase our vision and see all that God wants us to see.
- If we forget what God has done for us, we will not be excited to share Jesus with other. Through the blood of Jesus Christ we have been purged and forgiven! God has opened our eyes! Let’s not forget what He has done for us. Life is too brief and the needs of the world too great for God’s people to be walking around with their eyes closed!
- Security (verses 10 and 11)
- If you walk around with your eyes closed, you will stumble.But the growing Christian walks with confidence because he knows he is secure in Jesus. It is not our profession OF faith that guarantees that we are saved; it is our progression IN the faith that gives us that assurance. The person who claims to be a child of God but whose character and conduct give no evidence of spiritual growth is deceiving himself and heading for judgment.
- We do not preach election to unsaved people, we preach the gospel. But God uses that gospel to call sinners to repentance, and then those sinners discover that they were chosen by God.
- The Christian who is sure of his election and calling will never “stumble” but will prove by a consistent life that he is truly a child of God.
- In fact, the growing Christian can look forward to “an abundant entrance” into the eternal kingdom!
Just think of the blessings that the growing Christian enjoys; fruitfulness, vision, security-and heaven’s best! All this and heaven too!
The Christian life begins with faith, but that faith must lead to spiritual growth-unless it is dead faith. But dead faith is not saving faith (James 2:14-26). Faith leads to growth, and growth leads to practical results in life and service. People who have this kind of Christian experience are not likely to fall prey to apostate teachers.