Stages of Growing as a Christian

Stages of Growing as a Christian2018-11-27T11:21:29+00:00
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Introduction

As our relationship with Jesus progresses, we grow in Christ-likeness. As we get to know God, our desires change, our needs change, and our responsibilities increase. These things create transformations in us and change how we deal with the world around us. However, before long we realize no matter how much we’ve grown there is still more to learn—more areas of our lives that need to grow. What is our responsibility regarding this cyclical nature of maturing in our faith?

Scripture references

Study the following biblical references and consider how they address the questions listed below. If using this outline with a Small Group, consider assigning different Scriptures to different individuals and relating them to one or more of the questions. Then scroll down the page to review our recommended resources for the topic of Stages of Growing as a Christian and consider how the various articles or podcasts provide further insights relating to this topic.

Colossians 1:9-10 (live a life worthy); 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 (when I was a child…); Luke 12:48 (to him who has been given much, much will be required), Hebrews 5:11-14 (solid food is for the mature); 2 Peter 1:5-7 (progression of virtues); Luke 8:14-15 (good seed); Ephesians 4:13-16 and 20-24 (growth in love); Romans 5:2-6 (progression of virtues).

Questions

  1. What is the goal of maturing in Christ?
  2. As we mature in our faith, how is the change in our behavior like that of the change experienced from childhood to adulthood?
  3. What is meant by seeing dimly? Knowing in part? What about knowing the Lord fully?
  4. What do you suppose is required of us in the passage referenced in Luke as maturing believers?
  5. Are we guilty of the same criticism as the Hebrews regarding our spiritual maturity?
  6. What is meant by solid food and how does it help us mature as Christians?
  7. For everything given to us in the opening verses of 2 Peter, why must we “add to our faith?”
  8. How do the virtues listed in the 2 Peter passage build upon one another?
  9. Luke 8:15 says the key to an honest and good heart producing fruit is perseverance. What does “perseverance” look like in your life right now?

Recommended Resources

Following are a series of carefully selected resources that provide perspectives and experiences of various authors, most having military experience. These articles and podcasts are intended to stimulate further thinking and reflective application for individuals or to act as the basis of discussion in small groups.

Thriving in the Unbalance | Episode 005

When it comes to the various parts of your life—family, military profession, friends, relationships with others, and your relationship with God—should you be striving to find a balance among all those things? Or should you learn to thrive in the unbalance?

The Ultimate Freedom of an Uncaged Eagle

Victory over adversity. It's something Dick Toliver knows well, this great-grandson of a slave, who grew up in dark days of the pre-civil-rights-era South. Despite the shackles of poverty, racism, injustice, he fought to become a highly decorated and accomplished Air Force pilot.

Allow God to heal the hidden wounds

We leaders often cope with stress by trying to survive our wounding rather than allow God to heal and refresh us to fully live. God doesn’t want us to simply survive. God’s mission field, after all, is your heart and mine.

Additional Resources

OCF offers many extra resources as you continue digging into the subdomain of Stages of Growing as a Christian.

Worrying or waiting?

Life in general is complicated. Life in the military is extremely difficult and challenging and carries with it an increasing amount of angst with the operations tempo, separations, threats to life and limb, and the increasing challenges from within our own nation.

Will you embrace the Christ of Christmas?

 

Soon, Christmas nativity scenes and all the Christmas season trappings will be packed away into storage for another year. But the unopened package-the Christ of Christmas-remains for the taking, offering lasting hope and future beyond our often dreary, heart-breaking world.

 

What’s Your Altitude

Did you know that your altitude determines your attitude? Jesus, the highest being there ever was and ever will be, voluntarily lowered Himself.

What Fuels Your Engine? | Episode 022

In this episode, we chat with Dr. David Kim, a physician, founder, and current CEO of Beacon Christian Community Health Center in New York, and discuss the emotion-fueled train vs. the truth-fueled train; the effects of social media on both of these trains; 3 questions every Christian should able to answer, as well as learning more about how Dr. Kim’s ministry model at Beacon Health relates to integrating faith in all areas of your life as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

  • Man holding smartphone that displays the title text of this Crosspoint podcast episode: Theological Implications of Addiction.

The Theological Implications of Addiction | Episode 23

What does scripture say about addiction? Can a Christian have an addiction? What does a biblical approach to recovery look like? Isn't Jesus enough? Our guest is Dr. John Thorington—a licensed professional counselor and is also certified as a Sexual Recovery Therapist by the American Association of Sex Addiction Therapy.

The Challenge of Distress

Life is full of disappointments, difficulties, and distress. It comes in many ways: relational conflicts, job issues, financial concerns, illness, injury, tragedy and a host of other predicaments. It is challenging, even as a Christian, to respond positively to these trials.

Strong Tower

Proverbs 18:10 is a marvelous verse. It describes both protection and direction. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe."

Striving

There are no guarantees that any of us will be promoted. But we do have the assurance that we can rest in Him.

Implicit Trust

Simple faith and trust in the Word brings eternal salvation, forgiveness of sins, and life everlasting.

How does the Lord see you?

Not many of us give much thought to that question on a daily basis. And truthfully, some days I may not really want to know the answer. But knowing how the Lord sees us is something we must consider because the answer dramatically affects our calling. 

Hope does not disappoint us

When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1999, Mike says he worked through the usual questions and doubt—why me? what did I do?—but it was the continued struggle through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, and surgeries that caused him to take a deeper look at the testimony God was preparing him for.

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