II Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
Growth is natural. You plant a garden, you expect it to grow. Churches grow. A healthy church will and it’s not about numbers. There’s more to it than that. Peter said to grow in grace–our understanding of the Word and in our relationship with God.
People grow. Babies are expected to and if you don’t see growth they are taken to the doctor. It should be natural for a baby Christian to grow. First Corinthians 3:1 states And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. There are babes in Christ mentioned. There are also spiritual Christians and carnal Christians mentioned. A baby shouldn’t stay that way very long. He/she should grow. The Bible speaks of those who haven’t grown like this in Hebrews 5: For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. The Lord expects Christians to work in the vineyard. To be the right kind of Christian, some things are needed.
Eat right. A baby needs to eat right so it will grow. So does a Christian baby. How? The milk of the Word. Paul said I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. When a person first gets saved they shouldn’t start reading the book of Revelation. The milk of the Word is the more simple books like John or Acts. Even after all these years I don’t understand all of Revelation. Don’t go there as a baby. Ignorance of the Bible is alarming. We need to know it. From Genesis to Revelation we get to know God. Genesis is a book of beginnings–creation, nations, prophecy, and judgement can be found there. The Exodus is the exit out of Egypt to the Promised Land. And each book goes on and on with more to learn. Eat of the Bible to grow.
Breathe properly. We don’t even think about breathing. It comes naturally. The way to breathe properly spiritually is in prayer. If we breathed like we pray, many of us would die. Breathing is essential; if you don’t do it, you die. Breathing in prayer is essential to growth as a Christian. If you leave out prayer you will suffer. It’s an honor to pray. We have a big God who can answer our prayers. If I didn’t believe that I’d stop now. But it works wonders. It’s needed daily. Pray for the health of the family–your neighbors, your church. Pray for physical needs. Call the unsaved by name. Pray for missionaries. Pray for our country. I use a list to help me remember. Try that route.
Exercise is important physically and spiritually. You exercise spiritually when you tell others about Jesus. Do good deeds for others. Be a faithful Christian.
What kind of Christian will you become? Will you be a baby, or spiritual or carnal? A baby is beautiful but not if it doesn’t grow. Baby Christians who don’t grow are sad. Every church needs babies–those new converts. If they stay babies there will be problems because of carnal thinking. Lot lost his testimony by reckless living in Sodom. It could be a failure to develop. It could be backsliding. Jealously. All these cause problems. A spiritual Christian is not necessarily the most outgoing person emotionally. It is not necessarily a person who has been saved for a long time. A spiritual Christian shows definite growth. Some grow enough to teach or sit on a board. The main thing to look for is the fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5 gives us those characteristics: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
What kind of Christian do you want to be?