What is spiritual growth?
Question: "What is spiritual growth?"
Spiritual growth is the process of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. When we place our faith in Jesus, the Holy Spirit begins the process of making us more like Jesus, conforming us to His image. Spiritual growth is perhaps best described in 2 Peter 1:3-8, which tells us that by God's power He "has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
There are two lists in Galatians 5:19-23. Galatians 5:19-21 lists the “acts of the flesh.” These are the things that our lives were identified by before we trusted in Christ for salvation. The acts of the flesh are the activities that we are to confess, repent of, and with God’s help, overcome. As we experience spiritual growth, fewer and fewer of the “acts of the flesh” will be evident in our lives. The second list is the “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22-23). These are what our lives should be identified by now that we have experienced salvation in Jesus Christ. Spiritual growth is identified by the fruit of the Spirit becoming increasingly evident in a believer’s life.
When that transformation of salvation takes place, spiritual growth begins. The Holy Spirit indwells us (John 14:16-17). We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). The old nature is replaced with a new one (Romans chapters 6-7). Spiritual growth is a lifelong process that occurs as we study and apply God's Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and walk by the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). As we seek after spiritual growth, we can pray to God, asking Him for wisdom on what areas He desires for us to grow spiritually. We can ask God to help us increase our faith and knowledge of Him. God desires for us to grow spiritually. God has given us all we need to experience spiritual growth. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can overcome sin more and more, and steadily become more and more like our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Keys to Spiritual Growth by John MacArthur.
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