SUCCESSFUL SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Intro.

1.  Every Christian should desire spiritual growth! (Heb. 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18)

  a.  We are to make definite progress in the Christian life (steady moral & spiritual advancement).

  b.  But, how do we achieve spiritual growth in our lives?!

2.  2 Pet. 1:5-7 - By adding these attributes to our lives we become more like Christ!

3.  We must see the inter-linking nature of these attributes.  They do & cannot stand alone, but form a chain of spiritual strength & a stairway to heaven!

 

I.  GIVE ALL DILIGENCE TO GROW - 1:5, 10.

  A.  Earnest Zeal, Exertion, To Endeavor.

    1.  Christians are not called & elected to a lifestyle of lethargy!  (Eph. 4:1; Rom. 12:11)

    2.  Growth requires work Time & patience! Cf. Rev. 3:2

    3.  v. 5 - Without diligence we will not grow.

    4.  v. 10 - With diligence we secure our salvation.

  B.  We Must Choose To Make Our Calling Sure (firm) - v. 10; cf. Phil. 2:12.

 

II.  INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL QUALITIES IS SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:5-7.

  A.  Faith Is The Foundation Of All Other Spiritual Qualities - Heb. 11:6.

    1.  Firm persuasion, absolute trust - Heb. 11:1.

    2.  Without faith the other qualities of spiritual maturity are unattainable! (2 Cor. 5:7).

    3.  Faith can only be anchored in word of God (Rom. 10:17).

  B.  Add (Supply) To Your Faith:

    1.  Virtue: "Moral goodness," excellence. Courage (manliness, 1 Cor. 16:13) of faith.

      a.  The moral courage to live your faith, to do what is right!

      b.  Positive area of growth to combat the pressures of sin! - cf. Jno. 12:42-43

    2.  Knowledge: Understanding of truth.

      a.  Hosea 4:6 - Lack of knowledge destroys (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18).

      b.  Knowledge required to know when/how to exert moral courage! - Eph. 5:15-17

    3.  Self-control: Temperance, self-government or regulation.

      Needed to do what we know is right (1 Cor. 9:25-27) & to avoid what we know is wrong (Jas. 1:13-15)

    4.  Perseverance: Patient, endurance, steadfastness, (Jas. 1:3-4; 5:7-8; Heb. 12:1, 3; cf. Mk. 4:16-17).

      -To continue self-control, knowledge & virtue!

    5.  Godliness: Piety, reverence, devotion.

      a.  Implementing a lifestyle of respect for God’s will - Tit. 2:11-12 (2 Tim. 3:4-5).

      b.  Through previous "steps," we increase in our reverence for God, seeking to please God in everything!

    6.  Brotherly kindness: Brotherly affection, love.

      a.  Brotherly respect & concern (Rom. 12:10; Eph. 4:31-32; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8).

      b.  As we grow inwardly (1:5-6) we must grow outwardly, too!

    7.  Love: Active goodwill, charity toward others.

      a.  "Unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill" (Barclay).

      b.  A deliberate desire (w/ corresponding action) for the greatest good of its object (Matt. 5:43-48). Cf. 1 Jno. 4:7-11; 3:17-18

      c.  1 Cor. 13:1-8a, 13 - Love must motivate our actions, define our character & permanently abide in our lives!

      d.  Capstone of all other spiritual qualities, love is found in all of them! - Matt. 22:37-38

 

III. THE BENEFITS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:8-11.

  A.  Christianity Will Be The Enthusiasm Of Our Lives! - v. 8 (Rom. 7:4).   -Active & fruitful-

  B.  Greater Awareness Of Our Spiritual Blessings - v. 9.

  C.  Protection From Falling (security) - v. 10.

  D.  Abundant Entrance Into Heaven - v. 11.

 

Conclusion

If we will supply (fully add, v. 5) these attributes to our lives, God will supply heaven to us (v. 11)!