•SPIRITUAL GROWTH• ‘As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…’ COL. 2:6-7. The above scripture is most fitting to portray what spiritual growth is; that is, the nature of spiritual growth and the processes/steps required in attaining levels of spiritual growth. First of all, it is pertinent to point out one fact, which is that spiritual growth is achieved through a believer’s work and will. It is not something Christ has done, which we must receive; no, we must work to get it. Yes, Christ has laid down the foundation for spiritual growth, which in retrospect, would not have been possible to get without Him, because humans were still sinners under the law before He came to abolish the law (HEB. 7:25). So, it was impossible for sinners to start aiming for spiritual growth when they were carnal, unspiritual. Therefore, since Christ has now established the foundation for spirituality, giving us, through His sacrificial promise the Spirit of God (EPH. 1:13&14), we must be willing, as partakers of the divine nature, to improve ourselves in this spirituality. That was why in COL. 2:6-7, Apostle Paul mentioned being built up on the foundation Christ has set. In full, he wrote: ‘As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith…’. There is a system of processes outlined in those words. Firstly, Apostle Paul wrote that after we have received Christ Jesus as our Lord, we should live in Him. That is, after accepting the true, incontrovertible faith in Christ’s sacrifice for mankind, we must “consistently hold on to that (that is, live in Him)”. There must be consistence, as it shows our attitude towards the faith we have received, if we will stay at it or forsake it Secondly, Apostle Paul goes on to write that after holding on to our faith consistently, we will be rooted in it. That is, after some measure of holding on to faith by worshipping God, reading the Bible, praising Christ, etc., we will be considerably rooted and firm in what we believe in. No matter what, our true consistency in keeping our faith will make us stand on it, although, we might still be shaky in some areas, there is still some level of definition to our faith. So, Apostle Paul in simple words up to this point wrote that if one receives Christ as one’s Lord, if one then consistently keep on believing in Him and what He did, keeping on steadfastly to His ways, one will arrive at a point, where one can stand quite boldly in spirituality.
Remember Jesus’ Parable of the Sower, how some heard the Word and could not keep it, which eventually led to their falling away; some of them could not because they were not consistent in living in the Word (MAT. 13:1-9;18-23). Remember also, His Parable of the Wise and Foolish maidens, the foolish maidens missed the marriage feast because they were not consistent and steadfast with their lamps which represented their faith (MAT. 25:1-13). So, in light of the scripture, I boldly write that faith crumbles in the absence of consistency and steadfastness. That was why Apostle Paul always emphasized steadfastness in his letters to the churches. Brethren, as much as we are not called to receive the faith and be stagnant with it, unmoving and unprogressive, Apostle Paul wrote continuously that after receiving the faith and keeping consistently at it, we are sure to improve, via hearing the Word, meditating on it, worshipping the Lord..etc., all these and more being done regularly. Apostle Paul wrote: ‘As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in Him (consistently), rooted (standing considerably firmly) and “built up in Him” (improving in our spiritual life due to our consistency and steadfastness)…’
It is true brethren, consistency produces advancement. That is one of the laws of nature; the same with spirituality. If you keep at it, you will improve. Practically, imagine someone trying to climb to the top of a place with ladder, naturally, if the person keeps on climbing, he will surely reach the top; but when the person just stands on one of the steps of the ladder, there is no way he will reach the top by just standing there. So, without consistency in our faith, there will be no spiritual growth. But keeping at it, we cannot be at one point all year round; it is impossible.
In conclusion then, Apostle Paul pointed out the result of all these. He concluded by stating that with consistency, one will be established in the faith (even though he wrote in the present tense: ‘…rooted and built up in Him and “established in the faith”). By writing established in the faith, Apostle Paul meant getting a strong foot in the faith; the point where one gets fixated on the faith without ever, the prospect of being shaken; the point where the faith becomes unshakeable. That is the point of establishment, the result of keeping at the faith which makes the faith grow to the point of maturity
With a mature faith-a faith that can never be shaken either by deceits, or persuasion, or opposition, or cleverness…whatever-one can then be considered to have grown spiritually to the point where one becomes biased to the effect that anything in contrast to God’s Word is thrown away. Being established in the faith means strongholds that have been in existence in us, which are wrong mind-sets, imaginations, wrongly based arguments, etc would have been destroyed with no hope of ever rising again. Spiritual growth is the ultimate outcome of consistency in faith, without consistency (or steadfastness) it can never be attained. Spiritual growth is the point of no return in faith, which means that as one has gotten to it, one can never rethink one’s steps. Similar to Jesus’ illustration, with one’s hand on the plough, one can never look back.
Spiritual growth is the point where spiritual gifts and fruits are manifested in abundance for people to view the glory of God in one’s life. Borrowing Jesus’ illustrations, it is like a light that can never be hidden.
Spiritual growth is the point where one can never be carried away by any worldly thing. Spiritual growth is many things. But all these things are achieved in Christ by the making up of one’s mind to keep steadfastly in the faith He has brought to to the world. Brethren, the faith has been set for us like a race, and we must run the race to get the prize. Consider what Apostle wrote in 1COR. 9:24: ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it’. He also wrote: ‘…let us run with perseverance (otherwise known as steadfastness or consistency) the race set before us’ HEB. 12:1. Apostle Paul described attaining spiritual growth a race because it requires our time, strength, and most important of all, steadfastness. These same Apostle Paul, towards his death declared boldly that he has finished the race (2TIM. 4:7), leaving an example for you and me to follow.
Brethren, it should be our aim to be able to declare like Apostle Paul that we have finished the race toward the end of our journey in life. And how can we achieve this? It is by keeping consistently, and advancing in our spiritual life, and not by accepting the faith and then stagnating on it. Keep on with your faith! There are sure to be advancing steps and ultimately, the point of getting a strong foot on it. THE GRACE OF THE LORD IN CHRIST BE WITH YOU (AMEN).

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