Become An Active Learner
How To Mature in Christ
1st Stage Spiritual Infancy – Babes
Lesson 1: Learning To Grow In Christ
Two Attitudes toward God’s Word – Closed Minded vs. Open Minded, Acts 17
The Theme Of The Bible
The focus of the Old Testament is upon the Messiah (Christ), who was prophesized to come.
How To Read The Bible:
The suggested reading order is:
- Mark: describes the WORKS of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Life.
- John: describes the WORDS of our Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings.
- Acts: early history of the CHURCH of Christ.
- Romans: describes the meaning of our great SALVATION in Christ and His accomplishments for us.
- Matthew through Revelation: the whole New Testament.
- Genesis through Revelation: the whole Bible
Stages of Development
1. Spiritual Infancy or Babes:
NKJV: 1 Peter 2:2, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby,”
NKJV: Hebrews 5:12-13, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of
milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.”
NKJV: 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able”
2. Children or Spiritual Childhood:
NKJV: 1 John 2:12-13, “I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father.”
NKJV: 1 Corinthians 14:20, “Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature.
3. Young Men or Spiritual Youth:
NKJV: 1 John 2:13-14, “I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, little children, because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one”
4. Full Age or Fathers:
NKJV: Hebrews 5:14, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
NKJV: 1 John2:13-14, <see above>
NKJV: Ephesians 4:13, “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”
4 Commands Of Jesus Christ
Most Christians are familiar with the 10 Commandments God gave Moses in the Old Testament, Exodus 20:1-17. In the New Testament, Christ gave us 4 Commands that He expects of us:
1. NKJV: John 15:12, “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
2. NKJV: Luke 9:23, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
3. NKJV: Luke 22:19, “And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
4. NKJV: Matthew 28:19, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
In being a disciple and making disciples, it’s important to be assured of who we are following. That assurance comes from Jesus Christ.
NKJV: Hebrews 13:5b, “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Your Assurance of Salvation
Assurance of Salvation is available to all who come to Christ for the Gift of Eternal Life by fulfilling the conditions according to the Will of God which are emphasized in the New Testament.
Salvation and Eternal Life is freely available to all who respond to God’s Love in God’s way. However, there are certain steps or actions that must be taken. Together these steps are the means of appropriating Salvation and reflect the reality of possessing Salvation in Christ as well as an appreciation of the work the Lord Jesus Christ finished for us on Calvary and His Resurrection.
Five Steps To Assurance of Salvation:
1. The First Step that one must take before he or she can be born again is to confess or admit that one is a sinner.
NKJV: 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
NKJV: Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
NKJV: Romans 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned”
NKJV: John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
NKJV: Romans 1:18,“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness”
NKJV: 1Timothy 1:15, “this is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.”
2. The Second Step – Repent. Once there is recognition of sinfulness and confession of it to God, there must be a change of direction.
NKJV: Luke13:3-5, “I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
3. The Third Step toward eternal life is to believe with your heart or commit your life, your all to the Lord Jesus Christ.
NKJV: Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
4. The Fourth Step is to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior.
NKJV: John1:12-13, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
NKJV: Revelation3: 20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
NKJV: Mark 8:37, “Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
5. The Fifth Step is to confess the Lord Jesus Christ,
NKJV: Romans 10:9-10, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation.”
NKJV: Matthew 10: 32-33, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.”
Areas of Spiritual Growth
There are seven areas of Spiritual Growth in the life in Christ to which every true believer must give attention if he/she is going to fully mature. Each of these seven areas are vitally important to your growth in Christ and to the full enjoyment of the more abundant life (John 10:10) which the Lord Jesus Christ wants you to live.
1. Flourishing: How to Grow and How to know the will of God
NKJV: Psalm 92:12-14, “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,”
NKJV: Ephesians 5:17, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.“
2. Filling: How to be Spiritual and Holy
NKJV: Ephesians 5:17–20, “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
NKJV: Ephesians 3:19, “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
NKJV: 1 Peter 1:14-16, “as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”
NKJV: Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord”
3. Fellowship: How to Pray and How to Worship
NKJV: 1 Corinthians1:9, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord”
NKJV: 1 John 1:3-7, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
NKJV: Philippians 2:1, “Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy”
4. Fighting: How to War and How to Win
NKJV: 1 Timothy 1:18, “This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare”
NKJV: Ephesians 6:10 – 18, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”
5. Financing: How To Give And How To Buy
NKJV: 2 Corinthians 9:6-13, “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanks giving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanks givings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,”
NKJV: 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
6. Following: How to live and How to Walk
NKJV: Luke 9:23, “Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
NKJV: John 21:22, “Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”
7. Faithfulness: How to Serve and How to Build
NKJV: Revelation 2:10, “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
NKJV: Nehemiah 4:6, “ So we built the wall, and the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had a mind to work.”
NKJV: 1 Corinthians 15:58, “ Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
Why And How You Should Study for Your Spiritual Growth in Christ
The Reason Why…
NKJV: 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
How To Do It…
Look up each reference in the Bible. Along with your Bible, a journal with a pen or pencil is helpful. We have provided blank pages to record your thoughts, or areas of your life you may want to change.
Think! PRAY! Before your study in order to gain insight. Pray again after recording your thoughts, answering the questions or how to put into practice what you have learned.
NKJV: Acts 17:11, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”