Today I taught the first lesson in a new series called “Christians Growing Christians: Practical Lessons in Christian Living and Discipleship” at one of Lynn Haven Church’s adult SS classes at 9:30. It is designed to equip Christians to engage in conversations about faith, its role in our lives and culture, and knowing basics of faith development from a biblical worldview. Our discussion today included:
Growth is God’s Design for humankind.
The human condition- What it is, how it impedes our growth.
Growth is a clear expectation of Scripture. Ways of thinking about growth scripturally.
– Many OT references- growth of elements of creation “good”- trees, crops, herds, people, families, Israel- in
numbers and strength. Samuel grew in stature & favor with God & people
– Proverbs 13:11- honest growth of wealth little by little
– Matthew 13- flowers of the field, mustard seed- God’s plan
– Ephesians 4:12-16- maturity of the Body of Christ
– 1 Corinthians 3:1-3- spiritual maturity as individuals – Hebrews 5:12-14- growth in gifts & abilities-student to teacher
– 1 John 2:13-14- mature in knowledge from child to youth to adult
– 2 Peter 3:18- grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
How Jesus grew. Luke 2:52- holistically and under the direction of the Holy Spirit from the womb, “perfectly”, yet identifying with us in our human condition.
Prevailing models in the culture Abraham Maslow, Erik Erikson and their impact on assumptions about growth
Chart- A comprehensive view- https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/…/development-through-the-life stages
Why Christ Came
-To provide a pattern for holy and abundant living to mankind- 1 Peter 2:21, Matt.1:29, John 10:10
-To seek the lost, bear our sins and save us- Matt.18:11, Luke 19:10, 1 Peter 2:24, 1 Timothy 1:15
-To destroy the works of the devil- 1 John 3:8
-To be our faithful high priest- Hebrews 2:17
-To bring “fire” – Holy Spirit and sanctification- Luke 12:49, Matt. 3:11-12
-To reveal the Kingdom and the Father- Luke 4:43, Matt. 11:27, John 14:9
-To do the will of God, fulfill law and prophecy, and witness to the truth- Hebrews 10:9, Matt. 5:17, Romans 15:8, John 18:37
-To serve and give his life as a ransom- Mark 10:45, Matt. 20:28, Heb.9:26
-To bring judgment against evil- John 9:39, Luke 12:14, John 3:17, John 8:15, John 12:31, Matt. 10:34:36
Our Christian Lives- Why are we here? How do we fulfill God’s plan for growth in our lives?
-To reflect image of God and rule over creation- Genesis 1:26, 28, Rev.4:11, Colossians 1:16, Gen. 1:31- “good”
-To enjoy relationship with God- to know, love, worship, serve, and fellowship with him- John 15:14-15, Deut. 6:5, Matthew 22:37, Mark12:30, Luke 10:27 (love him with heart “love”, soul “worship”, mind “know”, and strength “serve”)- Fulfill the Great Commandment.
-To reveal the “new person” through living “in Christ” and be his bride as the church- Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:15-16, 4:24, 5:32, 6:10-20, Col. 2;10
-To live as individuals and families under authority of Christ- Ephesians 5:22-23
-To produce godly offspring- through relationships in families and through evangelism to all the people of the world- Deut. 11:19 “Teach your children”, “Go and make disciples of all nations” Matthew 28:18-20 – Engage in The Great Commission.
-To promote peace with God, self, and others & bring reconciling peace to the world through Christ- Matthew 5:23-24 “… go and be reconciled to your brother”, John 16:33 “…so that in me you may have peace.”, Rom. 14:19 “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.”
Next week we will look more specifically and moral and ethical development and how it informs and forms us in faith.