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Bridge Church, Sunday, January 10, 2009 That’s a myth.

Growth in Christ
Ephesians 4:11-12, Connected, part 2 A few other myths about Spiritual
Growth:
(adapted from Rick Warren’s book Purpose Driven
Church)
In CHRIST, On MISSION, For OTHERS
Myth #1: Spiritual Growth is AUTOMATIC.

2ND Leg of the journey to connecting to life IN Christ is To grow spiritually you have to be intentional. It
making the necessary commitments for spiritual requires effort & commitment.
growth.
Philippians 2:12-13
Oh no, another sermon on commitment. We’re going
to get beat up today.
Myth #2: Spiritual Growth is for a SELECT FEW.
Like it or not commitment is an important part of
Spiritual Growth. If you can’t commit, you’ll never “I can’t grow spiritually, that’s the Pastor’s job.”
grow closer to God or become more like Christ or
grow INTO CHRIST. 2 Peter 3:18 – “Grow in the grace & knowledge of our
Lord Jesus Christ.” This is a command for everyone
who is a believer.

In Christ, now what? Ephesians 4:11-16


Myth #3: Spiritual Growth is MEASURED BY
KNOWLEDGE.
 God wants me to be EQUIPPED & BUILT UP. verses
11-12 Spiritual maturity is measured more by behavior than
beliefs.

“I believe the Bible, so I’m a growing Christian.”


 God wants me to MATURE & GROW UP. verses 13-16 - Did believing your text books make you an A
student? No, you had to learn it.

Most people think, “As long as I believe in God & go to Myth #4: Spiritual Growth is PRIVATE &
church, I’m OK spiritually.” That is unless you want to PERSONAL.
be close to God.
Are you growing? “That’s my business.”
Acts 4:20 (NIV)
If you’re going to grow, you must be connected with 20
For we cannot help speaking about what we
other Christians. have seen and heard."

100’s of commands in scripture that you can’t obey


unless you’re connected.
1) I will PLACE A HIGH VALUE ON MY FAITH.
Philippians 3:7-9, Matthew 6:19-21

Necessary Commitments for Spiritual Value is determined by investment. By what you are
willing to invest in something.
Growth:
I’ve never known a growing Christian that didn’t
1) I will GO PUBLIC WITH MY FAITH. invest greatly in their faith & in God’s kingdom. And
Matthew 10:32-33 when you begin to grow, that investment which
seems great, gets smaller & smaller.
A growing faith is a faith that is not a secret. Close
relationships are hard to keep a secret. If You care I’m not growing? Well, what have you invested?
deeply about someone, others will know & you’ll want
others know. Philippians 3:7-9

What does it mean to go public with my faith? Matthew 6:19-21

 IDENTIFYING with other Christians. Where you invest is where your heart is going to be.
You want to grow spiritually. Invest yourself.

Where you invest or place value, there is a rope that


 PARTNERING with other Christians. will pull your heart right along behind.

Actively cooperating with other Christians


through church membership. Two Investments, or test of how much you
Others need you and you need others.
value your faith:

 Investing my TIME WITH GOD. The Calendar


test.
 SHARING MY STORY WITH OTHERS. ○ Do you spend daily time with God in
Prayer & Bible reading?
You will begin to grow when you see how God ○ Do you live every minute for God’s glory?
can use your story to influence other people. Giving your all at work, to the glory of
God?
○ Do you spend time doing what God is
doing in the community? Joining God in
His work?
 Defending the rights of the poor and
oppressed.
 Reconciling the world to Himself.

 Investing my TREASURE FOR GOD. The


Checkbook test. Where am I?
Tithing? That’s a good start. I have begun the journey. When? _____________________.
○ Regular, consistent, sacrificial gift to the
God’s kingdom. I have gone public with my faith.
○ Proverbs 3:9-10, Malachi 3:10, Luke 6:38  Baptized ___________________
 Identified with _______________ Church
I’ve pinpointed the greatest growth in my life:  Shared my story with ________________.
– When I’ve spent time in God’s Word I am placing value on my faith.
– When I’ve built relationships with God’s people.  My personal time with God - __________________.
– When I’ve given of myself to help othes.
– When I’ve obeyed God’s Word about giving.  My weekly time with God’s people -
___________________.
 My investment in God’s kingdom - __________________.
When I do these things? My heart follows my
investment & I catch myself growing & impacting
others.

Remember: God placed a high value on you.

Romans 12:1 (ESV) - I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the


mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy
and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.