What does growing as a Christian look like?

Having shared some thoughts on joy last week. I want to explore the theme of maturing as a disciple this week. What does it look like to grow as a Christian?  How does it happen?  What does it involve?  I wonder how you’d answer that?

That’s the question Paul wants the Colossian believers to be able to answer.  Paul is really encourage by them as a church, by their growing faith and love and the way the gospel is bearing fruit in their lives(1v6).  And that’s what he longs for them as he prays in chapter 1v9-13, that they would continue to grow in their knowledge of God’s will and put it into practice in the way they live.  That they would know God and love God and that would be seen in their day to day lives.

As chapter 2 starts we see Paul’s burden for the churches, he’s working hard, praying hard, struggling, because (2)he wants their hearts to be encouraged and united in love and growing to fully understand all the treasures that are theirs in Jesus Christ and in the application of that to their lives together.  Because in doing that, in growing in their discipleship, their understanding and following of Jesus they will stand strong and not be deceived.

So what does growing as a Christian look like? Well lets look at what it isn’t first, then tomorrow we’ll explore what it is. There are a number of wrong ways we can think about growing as disciples.  Let me give you 3 quickly:

God then me – The thinking here goes like this; God saves us through Jesus at the cross.  But then it’s up to us to work.  Faith gets me in, but our efforts keep us going and growing. Jesus is the entry ticket then I have to work hard once I’m in to grow.

God not me – this is a let go and let God approach.  God saves us by grace through faith and then God makes us holy and we just sit back and wait.  It’s the Holy Spirit, God as taser approach, where we simply wait to get zapped by God and made holy and mature in our faith.

God plus me – This final one is so close to the truth but is all the more dangerous for that.  Satan’s most subtle lies always have a ring of truth about them, that’s in part why we fall for them.  God works in me and I work too.  It’s 50:50, or 60:40, or 70:30. Whichever one you go for it is God plus me, even if you’d only say your part is only 0.5%.

Which of those is the way you think of growing as a Christian?  Or maybe more pertinently which of those is the truth you live out? And what’s the outworking of that?   How does that mean you feel about God and Jesus?  They can lead to activism, burn out and guilt or to passivity and a lastly changelessness.

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