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7 Ways We Grow (Part 2)

There are many misunderstandings and misconceptions that keep people from growing in spiritual maturity of Jesus Christ. Here are seven ways you may not have considered that can grow you spiritually.








There are many things that we can grow in. We all exert ourselves in one way or another to become better at something: careers, parenting, marriages, sports, music, instruments, video games, fitness, dieting, theology, bible study, friendships, bank accounts, and more!


The question we must ask ourselves is, "What am I growing in?" We want to be sure we're growing in what matters most - into the likeness and image of Jesus Christ by our character and nature.


If becoming like Jesus Christ is our bullseye to growing, then we need to now "HOW" we can grow.

Here is the second of seven ways we can grow to become more like Jesus that you may or may not have considered . . . .




Way 2 - SWIMMING THE GOSPEL


RESIDE, REST, & REHEARSE


Growing starts with the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we don’t know what the gospel is and is not, then we have zero chance at growing spiritually. The gospel is the beginning, center, middle, end, top, bottom, and everything to growing in Christlikeness. The gospel is the ocean the Christian resides, rests, rehearses, and exercises in to grow. It’s the means upon which all growth is built upon. In fact, it’s the very air the Christian breaths to draw any strength for exertion in perseverance to become more like Christ. The gospel is everything.


So how do we reside, rest, and rehearse in the gospel? How do we swim in the ocean of the gospel in our everyday lives? Here are some ways we can do this using the illustration below:



Like a fish on dry land, without the gospel, we have death. The gospel is the ocean we swim in that gives us new life. Being on dryland without swimming in the ocean of the gospel, we have no ability to please God. It is only by receiving the Holy Spirit through belief in Jesus that we have new life.


“For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”


- Romans 8:7-8


Earlier it was stated:


“The gospel is the beginning, center, middle, end, top, bottom, and everything to growing in Christlikeness.”


The meaning of this is that just like a fish in its natural state – the water. A disciple of Jesus cannot live, thrive, and grow unless it is in gospel waters. On dry land, the fish dies. A disciple without the gospel is no disciple of Jesus at all but dead in their sins.

Therefore, a fish (Christ follower) in the ocean (gospel) is given the necessities required to give it life.

However, that isn’t all the ocean provides for the fish. It gives the fish everything it needs to thrive and grow. Similarly, the gospel provides a disciple new life, and everything required to help them grow into the full stature of Christ.


With this picture in mind, it’s time to answer, how do we reside, rest, and rehearse in the gospel? How do we swim in the ocean of the gospel in our everyday lives?



We swim in gospel waters by . . . .


1 Reminding ourselves daily of what Christ sacrificed for us by dying on the cross and rising from the dead to conquer sin, death, and Satan.

2 Resting in the gospel. When we’re not enough, feel like a failure, and that we’ve come up short, we can rest in knowing that Jesus was and is enough.

3 Rehearsing the gospel with the regular gathering of the local church for corporate worship in prayer, singing, and preaching to emotionally and reverently engage ourselves in the gospel together.

As disciples strive to learn and walk in obedience to Christ, we are only able to do this by believing the gospel and receiving new life. It’s impossible without the gospel. In addition, the gospel sustains and fuels us to continue. As we fall into the pit of sin, the gospel propels us out of it into the progression of Christlikeness.



[1] Galatians 2:20


 



AVAILABLE ON 2/20/22!


Want more? Purchase "How We Grow: What is a Disciple?" by Adam Erlichman for more ways to grow in your spiritual maturity to become more like Christ day in and day out. A series of short reads for Everyday Christians answering common questions for the Christian life.







 

AUTHOR


Adam Erlichman

Executive Director of Build Groups in North Dallas, TX. Former Life Groups/Discipleship Pastor at Midway Church. Author of the newly released short reads series for Everyday Christians How We Grow. Available soon for purchase on Amazon.




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