Monday, May 11, 2015

The Legacy of Spiritual Growth

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." -Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of the nations. He commanded baptism, and teaching with the goal that these new disciples would be able to observe everything that Jesus commanded. In the early church we see this in action. On the day of Pentecost Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, preaches the good news about Jesus Christ and three thousand people were added to the church. In subsequent days, weeks, and months many more were added to the number of believers. But it wasn't just numerical growth that occurred as a result of Peter's preaching and the ministry of the other apostles. We also see spiritual growth in these people. Consider that just a few short chapters later, we see believers all praying together, giving of their possessions to support each other, distributing to widows, more leaders are chosen, and believers--not just the apostles--go everywhere preaching the word of God. This is the result of believers growing into spiritual maturity.

Spiritual growth is never meant to be exclusive to one person. And it is not meant to be contained to the span of your life. It is meant to be spread to others and to be carried through many generations. Your spiritual life is designed to reach out to others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. As you grow into spiritual maturity, you are to pass the truths you have learned on to others. Paul commanded Timothy in this way: "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." -2 Timothy 2:2 Spiritual growth is passed on through the teaching of the doctrines of Scripture and the instilling within believers to teach others also.

This growth should span generations. Not only are we to find those faithful men that Paul said to Timothy, but also fathers and mothers are commanded in the Scriptures to teach their children the word of God and bring them up in "the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The family can and should be a powerful tool for promoting spiritual growth. Parents teach children to know and love the Lord, then children get married, have children, and teach their children to know and love the Lord. It is an ongoing process. Spiritual growth is as much a legacy that you can leave behind after you are gone as it is a process that you should see in your life. If we stop and think about it, all believers today are part of a spiritual legacy that has been left by those who have lived spiritual lives before us. The writer of Hebrews put it this way: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," -Hebrews 12:1

Believers, your spiritual growth can be passed on to others by faithfully proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and by teaching believers to observe all that He has commanded. May we all "..grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." -2 Peter 3:18

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