While preparing for our church retreat I found this writing regarding “5 Biblical Convictions regarding Spiritual Growth.” I thought they were good and would work alongside our Sunday Worship for the last couple of months.
What happens in the heart and life of a person who becomes a fully devoted follower of Christ? Though each Christian looks a little different, some common themes run through our lives. First each Christian has come face to face with the truth of his own sinfulness and personal bankruptcy before God. At the same time, each comes to understand the depth of God’s love for them and the forgiveness that He offers only through the death of Jesus on the cross. Then each says yes to Jesus.
A second affirmation that someone is a Christian is the witness of the Holy Spirit. This is a deep inner sense that God is with you and in you. Sometimes the Spirit challenges and convicts, at other times He in-spires and encourages. More and more, as time goes by, we feel the work of the Spirit within us.
Along with the subjective inner work of the Spirit comes the objective outer work of the Spirit, our third element. When you become a fully devoted follower of Christ your behavior begins to change. You see the change and so do the people around you.
A fourth evidence of being a Christian is that a person’s view of sin changes. Things that use to seem harmless and benign now stand out as offensive to God. Instead of being hard-hearted about your sin, you face the reality of guilt and remorse. Your heart breaks when you realize that your sin put Jesus on the cross.
And fifth, when your conviction grows, you discover that you have a whole new set of goals, you establish God-centered goals. Instead of saying, “My will be done” you say “Thy will be done.”(Essential Christianity, Hybels p.24)
At the retreat, during worship, and in our Small Groups it is my hope that we will be engaging in deepening our life with Christ and that will be reflected in the ministry we engage in at FPC.
Love in Christ,