Question: "What is spiritual growth?"
Answer: 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 Him, 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 we have “everything we need” to live lives of godliness, which is the goal of spiritual growth. Notice that what we need comes “through our knowledge of Him,” which is the key to obtaining everything we need. Our knowledge of Him comes from the Word, given to us for our edification and growth.
There are two lists in Galatians 5:19-23. Verses 19-21 list the “acts of the flesh.” These are the things that identified our lives before we came to Christ for salvation. The acts of the flesh are the activities 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” (verses 22-23). These are what should characterize our lives 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 the 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, sinful nature begins to give way to the new, Christlike nature (Romans 6-7). Spiritual growth is a lifelong process that depends on our study and application of God’s Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17) and our walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26). As we seek spiritual growth, we should pray to God and ask for wisdom concerning the areas He desires us to grow in. We can ask God to increase our faith and knowledge of Him. God desires for us to grow spiritually, and He has given us all we need to experience spiritual growth. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we can overcome sin and steadily become more like our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
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