How do we grow as a Christian?

Our Father knows we have sin dwelling in us, and that it remains in us even after we are born again. He also knows we begin as babes in Christ and feeds us with the milk of the word. We start growing and He begins to feed us the meat of the word. He does not abandon us. But we abandon Him if we don’t submit to His discipline.

During this process, He tries to teach us obedience. That is why He disciplines us, that we might learn to obey Him. If we follow the example of Jesus and humble ourselves, and learn to obey the Father, we will grow to maturity in Christ, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ, holy and without blemish.

Adam was created as an adult and put in a garden where there was no suffering, and therefore had no opportunity to learn obedience, for obedience is learned through suffering, Hebrews 5:8.

So God sent Jesus in the form of an infant and trained Him up in the way He should go, and Jesus learned obedience from the things which He suffered, Hebrews 5:8, leaving us an example to follow in His steps.

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth*; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross,* so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness*; for by His wounds you were healed*,” 1 Peter 2:21-24 NASB1995.

And, “Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose*, because* he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, so as to live the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men, but for the will of God*,”* 1 Peter 4:1-2 NASB.

If we ignore the Father’s admonitions to learn obedience and refuse to suffer through temptation, but instead give in to it, His word tells us we are illegitimate children, and not sons, Hebrews 12:8.

We are specifically called to live worthy of the gospel of Christ, “Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel…” Philippians 1:27.

“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin*; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”* It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons*,*” Hebrews 12:4-8 NASB.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous*; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked,” 1 John 2:1-2, 4-6 NASB.

Jon David Banks, God’s most unworthy servant

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.