• About growth & its types
• Where are we heading?
• Which Spirit is in you?
• Test your stand
• Spiritual growth & its
• Difference between
immature & mature
• Steps to spiritual maturity
• Facts about spiritual
• How can I become a
• Poem - I‟m a common clay
• Growth Formula
In general, growth is important in every area of life.
It is a continuous process till our life ends on this earth.
There are various kinds of growth that take place
in our life:
• Physical Growth
• Mental Growth
• Social Growth
• Career Growth
• Spiritual Growth
Is growth automatic?
No – It is not automatic. It depends on what you do for growing. E.g.
physical & mental growth of child; If a mother feeds her baby with
nutritious food, the baby will grow. But if the baby is not getting proper
the baby will suffer from malnourishment & could even die.
Similarly, are you growing
Are you heading towards
Find out currently in which category you are
The Categories are –
1. Before knowing or accepting Christ 2. True believers in Christ
3. Defeated Christians 4. The living dead
The ideal state of course, is being Christ like.
Christ Like – the ideal state.
According to 1 John 4 there are 4 spirits, we could have in our heart.
1. Spirit of God 2. Spirit of Truth
3. Spirit of Anti-Christ 4. Spirit of Falsehood
Spirit of God : God’s seed living in the believer
Spirit of Truth : Obedience to the word and teachings of the apostles
Spirit of Antichrist: Satan in control of the spirit
Spirit of Falsehood: Follow worldly principles
Spirit of Truth
Spirit of Truth
The living dead
(resist spirit of
Why do we need to check our stand?
Acc to Matthew 15: 8,9
8 “„These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
9 They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.
Questions which arrived in front of me after reading this verse.
Am I really following him & his ways?
Am I really a believer and heading towards the Christ like
category ? Or am I heading towards being a defeated Christian?
Am I worshipping in vain?
Is it that I have really overcome temptation? And many more ..
Examine your hearts and evaluate your real position with respect to
• What is spiritual growth?
Growth is development or improvement
towards a goal called "maturity" i.e acc. to
the Bible, "perfection”.
Why growth is important?
1. When one is "born again" as a child of God,
he is spiritually immature.
2. As time passes, she/he should develop the
qualities or abilities which the Bible says
characterize the mature.
3. A congregation matures as individual
Biblical Scriptures on Growth.
Ephesians 4:14,15 - Be no longer
but grow up in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 - but grow in the grace
knowledge of our Lord and Savior
2 Thessalonians 1:3 - The
exceedingly in faith.
Philippians 1:9 - Paul prayed for
to abound more and more.
ORAre you climbing up in LIGHT Are you moving down in darkness
The Immature Believer Verse The Mature Believer
Dull of Hearing Heb5:11 Paying close attention to what God says
Not able to teach others. Needs to
Able to teach others
Still learning the ABC's of God's
Has learned the ABC's of God's truth and
moved on to the deeper things of
Needs milk - Not ready for meat. Hebs 5:12 Feeding on strong meat
A spiritual baby Hebrews
Spiritually advanced and discerning
Great difficulty in discerning
between good and evil, & often makes
wrong moral choices.
Able to discern between good and evil
(compare 1 Cor. 2:15), guided by God's
Word (compare 1 Thess. 5:21)
Ignorant of God's will and ways due
to neglect of the Bible
Knowing God and living in His Word
(compare 2 Pet. 3:18)
"Do as I say but not as I do" Philippian
"Follow me as I follow Christ." Able to be
a model for others (compare 1 Cor. 11:1)
Carnal (fleshly) 1Corinthians
Still feeding on the baby bottle
(milk) & not able to handle solid food
Feeding on milk and solid food
Carnality, walking in flesh, works of
flesh (envy, strife, divisions, etc.)
Walking in the Spirit (compare Galatians
Following men 1 Corinthians
Following Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)
In need of personal help with faults Galatians 6:1 Able to help a brother/ sister who is
overcome by a fault
Children tossed to and fro with
every wind of doctrine
Rooted and grounded in the knowledge of
Vulnerable to the enemy Ephesians
Protected by God's armour
Self absorbed, proud Philippians
Absorbed with Christ and with the needs
of others, humble
Satisfied and, content with sub-par
spiritual state. [Remember, when
swimming upstream, to do nothing is
to actually go backwards].
Regardless of the level of maturity
reached, presses on to higher ground,
never content with present level of
attainment or spiritual accomplishment.
Steps to Spiritual Maturity
I. A DESIRE TO GROW
A) We Will Never Grow Unless We Want to Grow.
B) We Must Maintain This Desire to Grow.
A) We Need Spiritual Food from God's Word.
B) To Get This, We Must Study the Bible in depth & meditate on word.
III. EXERCISE AND PRACTICE
A. Exercise and Practice Are Essential to Physical Development.
B. Exercise and Practice Are Essential to Spiritual Development.
IV. TIME AND PATIENCE
A. Don't Expect to Reach Your Goal Overnight.
B. Don't Become Discouraged by Mistakes and Rebukes.
I. A DESIRE TO GROW
A) We will Never Grow unless We Want to
• Parents and kids become so excited when kids learn something new - the first
step, first word, draw picture, etc. Everyone wants them to develop new
abilities. Some seem to like being spiritual babies. They don't want to grow. But
being a baby is not the goal of life. We are born babies so we can grow up and
be productive and useful.
• E.g In our education, we complete 10th std then move towards 12th std. then
desire to pursue degree.
• Likewise, in spiritual matters, WE must WANT to grow.
- We need to have desire to grow.
- We need to have spiritual appetite.
- We need to have passion for it.
- We need to have hunger & thirst for God.
- We need to seek him first.
The Lord Jesus Christ invites us to come:
• “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me
and drink. He who believes in Me,
as the scripture has said, out of his heart
will flow rivers of living waters.” (John 7:37-38)
-There is no other way to quench your thirst but
to come to the Lord Jesus and drink.
• Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for
righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
• “1 Peter 2:2 - Desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow
Spiritual appetite gives a believer the staying power in the LORD, the
power to pursue His righteousness.
Condition - Repentance
- One of the conditions for becoming
a child of God is REPENTANCE.
- One must determine to turn from
sin and GO TO WORK in God's
vineyard. Then one must bring
forth the FRUITS of repentance.
- This will lead us to grow and
improve in God's work. Otherwise,
we have not accomplished our
purpose for becoming children of
We should ask ourselves,
"Don't I want to grow up to be
spiritually strong like Jesus?”
B. We Must Maintain This Desire to
• Some members who once wanted to grow, may lose
that desire. They may start off on fire for the Lord, but
lose their zeal. They develop a spirit of indifference or
negligence. Others develop a level of maturity and
stagnate. They are satisfied, thinking no more growth
• The Scriptures teach that growth is always needed.
Philippians 3:12-14 - Even Paul, as mature as he
was, did not consider himself to have achieved
perfection (maturity) such that he could cease striving
to improve. He forgot past achievements (and
failures) and pressed on to greater accomplishments.
Matthew 26:31-35 - Peter thought he had reached a
level where he would never deny Jesus. But that very
night he denied Him three times.
1 Corinthians 10:12 - Therefore let him who thinks he
stands take heed lest he fall.
Main reasons Christians do not grow:
1. They do not see the NEED for growing.
2. They think they are mature enough not to fall.
3. They have no desire to serve to the full
extent of their ability.
4. They do not have that burning desire to accomplish more for the
5. They take God‟s love for granted.
How to overcome these –
1. People should develop a burning hunger and thirst to work for the
Lord, then only they will develop the other steps they need to
2. You need to set specific goals of work you want to accomplish
for God, improvements to make, new levels to reach.
3. Don‟t Stop keep planning.
A. We Need Spiritual Food from God's
A child cannot grow physically without proper food. Good parents
are concerned about proper nutrition. They want children to eat
what is good, not bad for them. We are touched by pictures
of children starving due to poverty.
Most children WANT nourishment. We want it every day, regularly,
several times a day.
Likewise spiritually we cannot grow without feeding on God's Word.
Matthew 4:4 - Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word
that proceeds from the mouth of God. & [Eph. 4:15; Matt. 5:6]
1 Peter 2:2 - As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word,
that you may grow thereby.
2 Peter 3:18 - Grow in the grace and KNOWLEDGE of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.
Scriptures show the need for regular
Hebrews 5:11-14 - Christians were rebuked
for not growing as they should have,
because they had not studied. Time and
again members fall away or are spiritual
midgets because they do not eat properly.
Acts 17:11 - Bereans were able to
determine whether truth was taught
because they searched the Scriptures
Psalm 1:1,2 - Meditate on God's word day
B. Study and Meditation on the Bible
Children and adults need physical food regularly, and get very upset without
But are we content to go for days at a time without feeding on God's word
[119:47,95-99; Josh 1:8]
Do we make use of the opportunities the church provides for nourishment?
How often do we miss the regular meals provided for our bellies?
Take this Test to check your spiritual
1. How much time did you spend this week
2. How much time watching sports or
entertainment, or reading the paper,
3. How much time did you spend on some
hobby or outside interest, that may not be
immoral but is not necessary?
4. How many hours did you spend studying your
5. How many services of the church did you
6. How many did you miss that you could have
III. EXERCISE AND PRACTICE
A. Essentials to Physical Development.
• Athletes & musicians know they must
exercise and practice to improve.
Developing skills requires continual
repetition: playing a song, throwing
pitches, shooting baskets. Athletes run,
lift weights, and practice hour after hour
in order to grow strong and develop
• Parents encourage children to repeat
what they must learn: drill, math, facts,
spelling, reading, piano. They get tired,
but we encourage them because that's
how they learn. "Practice makes perfect"
- or at least it promotes improvement.
B. Exercise and Practice Are Essential to
Hebrews 5:14 - Those who
are of full age, by reason of
use have their senses
exercised to discern both
good and evil. Growth
requires exercise as well as
1 Timothy 4:7 - Exercise
yourself toward godliness.
Like children, athletes, and
musicians, we must work
again and again at applying
Bible principles to become
effective in the Lord's work.
1. To learn to TEACH, we must do it repeatedly: teach your children,
home studies, Bible classes, preach sermons, again and again.
2. To learn to LEAD SINGING, practice songs at home, sing with your
family, lead during church meetings over and over.
3. To understand the BIBLE, study it again and again, talk to others,
drill yourself, memorize. Get in and dig.
4. To learn to PRAY, do it over and over. Kids may not be good at
activities at first, but parents encourage them to do it over and over.
Likewise, older members must encourage the newer ones to use their
talents. They may not be skilled at first, but they learn by doing. We
need to encourage teachers, preachers, song leaders and every
believer, They need the practice!
IV. TIME AND PATIENCE
A. Don't Expect to Reach Your Goal
• By definition, growth requires
TIME. It is progress and
development as time passes.
Several important lessons follow:
A. Don't Expect to Reach Your
• Children do not become full-
At birth they are so small you can
hold them in a little basket. Soon
they are outgrowing new clothes
every month. Eventually they can
wear their parents' clothes or
• But it takes time.
Likewise spiritually, do not expect maturity
James 1:4 - To become perfect and mature(entire), lacking nothing, we must
• Some new-born Christians want to know everything and do everything right
away. They may not be willing to take the TIME to STUDY and DEVELOP
ability. Yet they want to be just like the mature members - and want other
members to treat them with the same respect that they do mature members
- before they have taken time to grow.
• Sometimes older members are impatient with new members. We don't
understand why new believers have trouble with basic concepts.
• Remember that people who may be mature today did not get that way
overnight. It took years of study and practice.
• And new believers will not become mature overnight. It will take time. New
members should not get discouraged and give up.
• Older members should not be impatient or overly demanding.
• Remember how our children took time to grow, and how we had to show
patience with their immature ways as they grew.
• But growth will come as long as people are trying and we give them time.
B. Don't Become Discouraged by Mistakes
- Children make many mistakes and
must often be told they are wrong.
- How often does a child fall while
learning to walk? They fall again
and again, gathering bumps and
- They spill their milk, don't hold their
spoon properly, fall off their bikes.
- Growing up is tough! If kids are
going to become mature, they
have to keep going in spite of
mistakes and rebukes.
Likewise, new believers will make many mistakes and must
often be told they are wrong. Some of the greatest Bible
characters committed terrible errors and had to be rebuked.
* Moses made excuses when God called him to lead
Israel out of bondage.
* David committed adultery with Bathsheba and was
rebuked by Nathan.
* Peter denied Jesus three times.
* Paul persecuted Christians before his conversion.
* Thomas doubted Jesus' resurrection.
* Even the disciples forsook Jesus when He was
arrested and crucified.
• Matthew 16:21-23 - Shortly after he had confessed Jesus and been
highly praised (v15-18), Peter contradicted Jesus and was severely
rebuked. Yet all of these are remembered as some of God's greatest
• Great servants are not people who live without ever sinning,
but people who learn from their mistakes and go on to serve
• Judas betrayed Jesus and is remembered as a traitor. Peter denied
Jesus three times and is remembered as a great apostle. What is
the difference? Judas, after betraying Jesus, hung himself. Peter,
after denying Jesus, repented and went to work preaching the
• Proverbs 29:1 - A person is destroyed, not simply because he errs,
but because he becomes stubborn when he is rebuked and will not
What is needed is repentance and patience to learn to do right.
It is no shame to be a baby, if you were born a few
months ago. But if a person has been a child of God for
several years and has not grown, there is a problem.
Everyone needs to grow as a Christian, and everyone
can grow, if he/she simply applies the Bible principles of
FACTS ABOUT SPIRITUAL MATURITY
1. IT'S NOT AUTOMATIC
“you have been Christians for a long time now, and you ought to be
teaching others, but instead ... you need someone to teach you ...
When a person is still living on milk, it shows he isn't very far along
in the Christian life ... He's still a baby Christian!" Heb. 5:12-13
2. IT IS A PROCESS
"Learn to be mature." Prov. 8:5
"Continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our savior Jesus
Christ.“ 2 Peter 3:18
3. IT TAKES DISCIPLINE
"Take the time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit." 1Tim.
"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”
HOW CAN I BECOME A DISCIPLE?
"... You have put off the old self with its HABITS, and have put on the new
self ... which God is continually renewing in his own image, to bring you to a
full knowledge of himself." Col. 3:9-10
1. TIME WITH GOD'S WORD - "If you continue in my Word, then you are
my disciples indeed. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you
2. PRAYER -"If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, then you will
ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it ... in this way you
become my disciples.“ John 15:7-8
3. TITHING -"The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in
your lives."Deut. 14:23
4. FELLOWSHIP -"Love each other just as much as I love you. Your strong
love for each other will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John
Education wise we climb
the ladder from 1st std
till Graduation and more.
Climb the ladder from
Spiritually immature to
I‟m a common clay pot
I‟m a common clay pot and perfect I am not
But the Lord is moulding me.
In his perfect plan and under his mighty hand
He is changing me constantly
I used to tell the potter how to mold the clay
Now I‟m resting on the wheel just to TRUST & OBEY.
In this earthen vessel there‟s a treasure better than gold,
It‟s perfectly free for you & me & can‟t be bought nor sold
It is time to foster spiritual maturity.
G – Go to God in prayer daily with/without petitions.
R – Read God‟s Word Daily. Acts 17:11
O – Obey God every moment. John 14:21
W – Witness for Christ by your life and words.
T – Trust God for every detail of your life. 1Peter 5:7.
H – Holy Spirit, allow him to control & empower your
daily life and witness. Gal 5: 16-17, Acts 1:8.