There are a lot of Christians out there, who live defeated lives. They have no joy or peace and are living pretty miserable lives. I know this all to well, I was one of them. I still struggle to this day. When a person gets saved, they are expected to grow in the Lord. Which means they are expected to become more spiritual and Christ like. God does not save people and leave them here, just to do whatever they feel like. God expects Christians to grow and serve him. This is not a suggestion, it is a command of God. Christians today, are no different than the Jews of the Old Testament. Both are expected to obey Gods commands or face his wrath. God does not want to unleash his wrath on anyone, he does however want us to grow. He wants us to grow spiritually and doctrinally, and become mature believers. That is what this article will be about, becoming a mature believer, a Christ-like believer.
When a person first gets saved they are a spiritual baby. Let me first clarify that salvation is by grace and not by good works. A person gets saved by believing that Christ died for ALL their sins, past, present, and future. No amount of good works or turning from sin can ever get someone saved. Now, once someone is saved they are a babe in Christ. The bible calls it born again. Like your first birth from your mother, you are once again a baby, spiritually speaking. You have very little knowledge of the things of God. As soon as a person gets saved, they should start learning about God by studying his word. Putting this off is a bad idea, God will be patient, but he expects you to grow eventually. If a person does not start the growth process, God will step in and correct their behavior, to turn them toward him. This correction is not fun, the bible refers to it as Chastening. Chastening is also used when a believer gets to deep into sin. God will do what he needs too, in order to steer a believer toward the path a spiritual maturity. Weather we like it or not Christians must grow in their knowledge of the Lord and serve him. I believe this is the aspect of Christianity that turns most lost people off. They are having fun and they don't want anyone or anything getting in the way of that. Believers are not immune to this kind of thinking. Despite what some may tell you, a person does not become a sinless spiritual saint the moment they get saved. Certain unsaved devils say that a changed life is the evidence that a person got saved. I am here to tell you, that is not the case. Christian maturity is a process, it takes time. The more you put into it, the more you will grow.
What does the growth process look like? It is different for everyone. All people must have a desire to develop an understanding of who God is and what he expects of his people. Some people may seek after these things upon getting saved, while others may wait decades and undergo painful chastisement (like me). Getting started, a person should set aside time for God everyday. At first it may only be 10-15 minutes a day, people have busy lives after all. As long as you are moving towards God it is ok. Over time however more time should be set aside. We all have to take stock of our lives to see what is important. Do we put Tv time ahead of God, or the internet, or sports, or friends. Eventually we all have to start putting God first and say this stuff can wait, I need to spend time with you Lord. Hopefully in time you will spend 10-20% of your day growing in the Lord and spending time with him. Growing is done through studying God's word. A certain part of your day should be spent reading the Bible. Make sure it is the King James Bible, the other ones are Satan's trash. You should also listen to preaching and attend church. Joining a bible study could also be good, just make sure that the teacher is saved and uses the King James Bible. Online bible studies are also great, YouTube has many bible studies that you can follow along with. The most important thing is that you read your bible everyday. Ask God to open your heart to his word and come into your life and teach you. You should also spend time in prayer everyday. You can pray wherever you like. You can pray while driving your car, or at work, where ever you feel like. You don't have to pray out loud, you can pray in your head. It is also a good idea to spend some time alone with God in prayer, the bible calls this your prayer closet. It does not have to be an actual closet, it can be any where that you can get alone with God. Make the effort everyday to learn and grow and spend time with God. Like I said, it may be just a few minutes at first, but over time it may be hours.
What are the benefits of spiritual growth? Becoming a mature Christian makes life in this world much easier. Where temptation once abounded, now these things no longer affect you. Sin will lose it's strangle hold on your life and living pure and clean will seem like the only way to live. People work hard a spend big money to quit bad habits. They have their work cut out for them. With God however all things are possible. With spiritual growth and time, God can remove bad habits from your life. Your habits will no longer control you. Most people live under the yoke of sin and it is normal. This is not so for the mature believer. They look at sin with disdain, the same way God does. We are not saved by our good works, we are save to do good works. This is not mandatory, but it will make life whole lot easier. When a person is set free from the bonds of perpetual sin, a sense of joy and peace will come over them. This is what the world is looking for. Satan has them looking everywhere except the one true source, God. Ultimately we should learn to love God more than this world. If we can love God and serve him there are blessings both in this life and the next. Having God on your side is the best feeling. The world can not beat you down when he has your back. God will also test his children, you will suffer at times, but part of spiritual growth comes from trusting God. The mature Christian knows that whatever is going on in their life, God has it under control. This is extremely hard for most Christians to accept. Some go through painful trials and get angry with God. I know I have many times. Mature Christians accept whatever comes into their lives as Gods will. The more they trust God the greater the blessing they will receive.
God saves us to keep us out of hell, but what he really wants is for all of us to become like Jesus Christ. We as Christians are expected to grow and mature into Christ like people. I believe that dedicating your life to Christ is the smartest thing you could ever do. You will reap both earthly blessings and eternal rewards.
I hope you enjoyed this article. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to get saved now. Tomorrow may be to late. To get saved all you have to do, is admit that you are a sinner and that Jesus Christ died for your sins. The only way to take away sins is with the pure shed blood of Jesus Christ. Good works can not take away sins. If they could, then Jesus Christ died in vain. Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead as payment for all sins. Once you believe that, you are saved forever. You did nothing to earn it and you can do nothing to lose it.
I Corinthians 15
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,