We are continuing our Friday messages with Experiencing the Great Salvation of God” this series will enlarge or concepts of what God has provided for us in and through Jesus.
He came to do something more than just give us a ticket to heaven.
This week we are talking about.
Hindrances to Spiritual Growth.
1 Peter 2:2 (ESV)
2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation
1 Peter 2:1-3, 11-12 (ESV)
A Christian life starts with. Spiritual birth experience.
You cannot begin a spiritual life merely by making some good resolutions or joining a congregation of believers.
Spiritual salvation is much more that developing excellence of character or being a member of a church.
Until you experience a birth from above, you dwell in spiritual death.
You do not have the life of God within your innermost being.
Until you are born of the spirit, you are like an unfertilised egg with the potential for spiritual birth.
God uses His divine Word to welcome you into His family.
Some refuse to receive God’s Word in faith, consequently, they deprive themselves of this spiritual birth.
Many hindrances and obstacles must be overcome if we are to grow physically from infancy to maturity.
The same is true on the spiritual level.
We would be wise to recognise some opponents that stand in our way on the pathway to spiritual maturity.
- We have a fallen human nature that makes spiritual growth difficult.
Have you ever known someone who had a congenital defect that prevented them from growing to maturity?
Most of us would know at least one child that had a birth defect that prevented growth to normal maturity.
In a very real sense, all of us have a spiritual defect that deters us from being who God wants us to be.
We are all sinners.
By using the term sinners, we are describing a condition of our being rather than merely describing our conduct.
Each of us has within our innermost being a fatal flaw.
Because we are sinners, we find it much easier to choose the path that leads downward rather than the path that leads upward.
Our natural state encourages us to drift along and to drift downward.
Paul described this in Romans 7:15-18 (ESV)
15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.
16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.
17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
If we fail to recognise the precedes of our sinful nature, we may have an overly idealistic concept of self.
This oversight can contribute to a negligent, drifting life that does not rise to its spiritual potential.
2. Poor listening habits prevent spiritual growth.
In the parable of the sower in Matthew 13:1-9, Jesus illustrated how the farmer sows his seed on various kinds of soil.
The condition of the soil in which the seed is sown largely determines the end product.
Jesus closed this parable with the command “He who has ears, let him hear.”
Jesus later explained this parable as describing how different people hear and respond to the truth of God in Matthew 13:18-23.
Only the person who really gears and responds will have an abundant harvest.
- Are you a wayside hearer of God’s Word?
Do you refuse to let God’s Word penetrate your heart and produce the desired effect?
B. Are you a rocky ground hearer?
Do you let God’s Word to enter your heart only in a superficial way?
C. Do you let the cares of the world choke out the Word of God?
Does your desire to get ahead in the world cause you to be unfruitful?
D. Do you hear and respond to God’s Word like good soil being planted with seed?
Do you let His Word germinate and grow and produce a harvest?
3. The evil world around us is a foe to spiritual growth.
John, the beloved apostle, warned his spiritual children about caring too much for the perishables of human existence in 1 John 2:15-17 (ESV)
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
By “the world” he was referring to society as it ignores God and rebels against Him.
John was pointing out the perishable nature of many material objects that the unbelieving world considers to be of extreme value.
He urged believers to think about and to live for things that will abide forever.
In the parable of the sower, Jesus warned about letting the desire for riches and the cares of the world choke out the Word, which brings growth.
4. The devil is the enemy of our spiritual growth.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) says
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
Those who ignore or joke about the devil are deceiving themselves and depriving themselves of the resources that God has made available for living a victorious Christian life.
Satan would like to see to it that all of us remain in spiritual infancy.
5. Our human tendency to procrastinate hinders growth.
Each believer is responsible for overcoming the obstacle to spiritual growth.
We will remain in spiritual infancy if we neglect the means of individual spiritual growth and postpone responding to opportunities for growth provided by the church.
6. The poor example of others can impede our spiritual growth.
We must be constantly alert so that other’s faults and mistakes will not cause us to stumble on our journey to spiritual maturity.
We cannot be held responsible for the actions of others, but we are responsible to God for our own growth.
No one can do your eating for you.
No one can do your sleeping for you.
No one can do your learning for you.
And no one can do your growing for you.
Therefore let each of us determine that with the Holy Spirit’s help, we will nourish ourselves from God’s Word.
We will avoid all factors that could prevent us from becoming the competent, mature people God wants us to be.
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2020 IS A YEAR OF CLARITY
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