My hope is that this post and link will help many searching for growth as Christians.
J M, (is it ok to call you JM?) Sounds like it would be a very interesting subject, "how to grow in the knowledge of God" However I think it will be sorta difficult seeing there are those that are still trying to figure out what is sin, and or still under self condemnation, fearful, and living in torment, not knowing that their sin "sin nature" has been paid for by the Lord Jesus Christ, and the good News is, our sins and trespasses are not being imputed unto us anymore. I am still learning about the New Creation, and would love to discuss that subject with like minded Christians. Just to get into the meat of the Word of God. Pr.2, Deut.28 1-14.etc. Bible says in Heb. " Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat."
Of course you may call me JM. :-) We new creations are traveling on a pilgrimage because God selected us and we chose to follow him. I am certainly not who or what I used to be nor am I where I used to be. Does this mean I have stopped "learning who God is" certainly not. On the contrary I find that as my love for God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit grows my need to know them even more deeply grows. I find articles on Christian growth very helpful as they help me blow off the dust so to speak and strengthen me.
I'm content to know that I live for God's purpose for me. To give him praise and thanks continually for his glory and grace is why we were created. Yes, my sin nature gets in the way of my purpose. But, by God's grace and through scripture in fellowship I've learned that God never gives up on us. Fellowship, is integral to our learning. I need other believers in my life. We are like a rope of three strands. Stronger and better for our fellowship. Lifting each other up when sin tries to weaken us.
Many are still struggling questions about sin, self condemnation, fearfulness, and not understanding our sin nature. That is okay. We have a book written by God and his children to help us. Growth and answers to these questions are all found in his word. Food for life and oxygen, God's word is for living as a new creations. Each moment we spend with him is more precious than gold or diamonds. God has given us peace beyond all understanding. We need to be the "good Samaritans" helping out along the journey. I am a journeyman, one of lesser skill who works for his Master.
Your Brother in Christ,
I’m pleased to see and hear that there are others that have a sincere desire to learn more about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and who we are in Him, as new creatures. We hear people saying they are New Creatures in Christ, but from my observations, and studies, I just wonder if we really understand what it means to be a new creature, or “new creation”? In studying it I have learned so much more about it than I had ever thought. There are many that claim to be a new creation, but still walk and talk as carnal men, as in 1Cor.3:1-4, where he couldn’t talk to them as to spiritual, but as unto carnal even as unto babes in Christ. This same phrase is used in (Heb. 5:12-13, when we should be teachers we have need that someone teach us again, which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe.) and He goes on in Heb. 6:1, which really surprised me when I read it, and I believe heard it! “Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.” This to me was pretty heavy stuff, until I learned that when a person becomes born again, he is no longer what he used to be, when a gentile receives Christ as his savior, he stops being a gentile, the same with a Jew, when he turns to Christ for salvation, he instantly stops being a Jew, because he is a New Creation in Christ. Old things have passed away, behold all things have become new, and all things are of God who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
It has been very hard for man to wrap his mind around the fact that he is in the family of God. We are sons of God, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us.
But do we walk in that realm of authority? Do we still beg God for things that He says He has already given us in 2Pet.1, “according as His Divine power has given unto us, all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these we might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. He hath given ...” Notice that it is all past tense, a finished work?
1Cor.2 is, and has been a very fascinating chapter to me as well. Who has known the mind of the Lord, that we may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Christ is not the last name of Jesus, Christ is an epithet of Jesus. Jesus The Christ; the Anointed of God.
Another vary important thing I have learned during this study is, that there are two parts of this salvation, or redemption. That is, there is a legal side and a vital side, the legal side is what God has already done for us, sent His only begotten Son to redeem us, that is a finished work on His part for redemption, or salvation, and will never be required of Him again to redeem us, and the vital part is what God through the Holy Spirit is doing in us today. Actually, according to the bible, we died with Him, buried with Him, resurrected with Him, and now are seated in heavenly places with Him, so when we speak of ourselves, we are either speaking from the carnal, or natural side, or from the Spiritual side, as He has done throughout the bible. I marveled when I read in Jo.5:30 NIV, by Myself I can do nothing, I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I seek not to please myself, but to please Him that sent me. Jesus speaking, He was speaking of His natural self, He could do nothing on His own, He was completely relying on the Father for everything He did or said. As we, as new creatures should be doing.
I have a lot of growing to do...
I could go on with this but thought I had better stop for now.
Blessings to all that read,
A relevant topic. We are to 'spur one another on in love and good deeds' Personal growth is directly connected to that. Acts 14:22 teaches us to "strengthen the souls of the disciples, encouraging them mto continue in nthe faith, and saying that othrough many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." Colossians 2:2 says "that ztheir hearts may be encouraged, being aknit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of bGod’s mystery, which is Christ,..."
Personally, I think that to grow in the knowledge of God's mystery which is Christ, we must each have a depth of understanding in regards to the importance, significance and truth of Christ's resurrection. We must believe it. If anyone feels as though they are struggling or faltering in their faith, it's probably a good place to start. The Certainty of the resurrection can be found in 1 Corinthians 15.
Journeyman, it's a beautiful thing as you share your gift of encouragement with all of us here on AAG. You are such a blessing here.
We're all at different stages and all have different gifts. Thank you for sharing one of your gifts with us here on AAG.