The Process of Growth in Grace in the Believers Life: Five Mistakes and Three Signs of Growth in Grace
Holiness is an ongoing process of growth in grace that constitutes a condition of personal spiritual health.
Some common mistakes about spiritual growth.
1A Growth in Grace is Visible: The first mistake is to think that growth in grace is always clear to see.
Rather growth in grace is a process wrought by the Holy Spirit that centers on the human heart. The quality of a person’s responses to a crisis, a shock, or the demands of any new situation, may tell us all sorts of things about them that we did not know before, and one of those things may well be their spiritual stature.
2A Growth in Grace is Uniform: A second mistake is to think that growth in grace always is uniform process, either in itself throughout the stages of a believer’s life, or in comparison with what God is doing in the lives of others. Sanctifying grace works differently in all people Its always conditioned by their natural make-up.
God’s heath-giving, growth-producing, work of sanctification is differently shaped in detail, and appears to proceed at different speeds, in different lives.
But all Christians can testify that knowing God through Jesus Christ enables them now to live and act in ways that were simply beyond them before; and a professed Christian with no such testimony can hardly be genuine, and is certainty not growing in grace.
3A Growth in Grace is Automatic: A third mistake is to think that growth in grace automatic if you are a religious professional, be a minister or missionary, full time worker,.
All Christians need God’s help to know who they are, and to live with Him, and with their own human intimates in honest, integrity, and vulnerability.
4A Growth in Grace is Protection: A fourth mistake: to think that growth in grace shields one from strains, pains, and pressures in one’s Christian life. Christians have no exemptions from these then did Jesus or Paul. As a matter of fact, compassion generates more distress for growing Christians than other human beings ever know.
5A Growth in Grace is a Retreat: A fifth mistake is to think that growth in grace may be furthered by retreating from life’s hard places, heavy burdens, and hurtful relationships. Of course it might be a good idea for some good reason why some Christians should choose to live relatively withdrawn lives, but the belief that only so can they grow in grace.
Christians grow as they accept their destiny of self-denial and cross-bearing. Luke 9:23.
So when spiritual growth does take place and graces of Christian character, and in intimacy with God is taking place, one may at least expect to see a few signs of it:
1A Sign one is growth delight in praising God, with an increasing distaste for being praised oneself. Psalms 115:11
2A Sign two is a growing instinct for caring and giving, with a more pronounced dislike of the self-absorption that constantly takes without either caring or giving. Luke 23:24, 44
3A Sign three is a growing passion for personal righteousness, with more acute distress at the godlessness and immorality of the world around, and a keener discernment of Satan’s strategy of opposition, distraction land deception from ensuring that people neither believe nor live right. 2 Corinthians 2:11
4A Sign four is a growing zeal for God’s cause, with more willingness to take unpopular action to further it. Psalms 144:1
5A Sign five is a great patience and willingness to wait for God and bow to His will, with a deeper diastase of what masquerades as the bold faith, rather then trying to force God’s hand. Matthew 26;39