There are 3 key elements of simple spiritual growth within the Christian life. Whether you are a new believer in Christ, estranged yourself from the Christian life, or are experiencing a drought in your spiritual journey – these simple principles will ignite fresh spiritual growth. The central point is to come to know the Holy Scriptures.
Writing to Timothy, Paul shares this insight:
… and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV)
We see great benefits when we read and meditate on the word of God. The Bible teaches us, corrects us when we are in error, trains us for righteousness in order for us to be complete, and equipped to engage in ministry through Christ.
1. We must study and know the Holy Scriptures
In the very first Psalm, we read how the Righteous man is blessed. He is first blessed because he meditates on the Law day and night. In the Jewish Study Bible, the commentary refers to this Psalm as a reference to the “Torah” or “Teachings”. It is also a prescription for an ideal righteous individual by the utilization of imagery: “Standard biblical imagery…is used to develop the picture of the ideal righteous individual.“
Studying the scriptures helps us understand two important things: First, it helps us draw closer to our Heavenly Father in understanding His will and desire for our lives. Secondly, it instructs us how to live out our lives in faithfulness as we minister to ourselves and others.
John 20:31 teaches us this:
…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31 ESV)
Thus, the scriptures not only teach us the manner in how to live out our lives, but it also teaches that we are to come to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God in order to have life through him.
In Deuteronomy 6:4-7:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deuteronomy 6:4-7 ESV)
This is the Shema of Jewish heritage. However, it continues with the fact that the words of God (including his commandments) are written on our hearts. Here, we are instructed to not only study and know the scriptures, but we are also instructed to teach them diligently to our children and our family. We are to converse about them. We are to keep them from the time we wake to the time we lay down to slumber. In this sense, my personal opinion is that we are to have a constant reminder of the scriptures in our thoughts, in our hearts, in our prayers, and in our day-to-day life. We are to meditate on them often.
2. We are to live the teachings of the scriptures
As we meditate upon the scriptures, study them, come to know and understand them, we are capable of applying the principle truths of scripture into our lives. We become living “testaments” of Christ’s ongoing mission and work. We become living “gospels” in our homes, in our workplace, and in the public square. Any intelligent human being is capable of memorizing scriptures, and even quoting them. However, a humble servant of Christ is not only capable of reciting scripture passages, but they are also able to live out those scripture passages in all areas of their lives.
It is essentially not enough to learn the scriptures, it requires a commitment of walking according to the Word of God with all diligence and faithfulness in relation to understanding and knowing God’s Word.
3. We are to do all things what Jesus would have us do
The greatest message of the scriptures is the mission and life of Jesus Christ. We are to strive to mirror the life of Christ. We are to live in a manner, that through the Holy Spirit, we are transformed into the image of Christ.
- Show compassion to one another through love and service
- Stand firm in our faith and conviction against false teachings and false teachers
- Pray for one another and provide for one another’s needs if we are capable and able
- Teach and lift one another up through wise Christian counsel
- Show forgiveness toward one another and even those who come against us
- Endure and suffer as Christ has endured and suffered
Jesus Christ is the vine, and we are the extension of that Holy Vine.
All of this requires an individual to immerse themselves into the Holy Word of God as a means to cultivate a healthy and authentic Christian life. As we do this, we begin to grow spiritually. We become mindful of how we live out our lives as Christians in today’s social climate. We fear the Lord because we have spent time meditating always on what the Holy Scriptures teach us. The Word of God serves to equip us in all ways and in all things to fulfill God’s will and desire.
Let us come to know the scriptures through our own personal study. Let us live out the teachings of the Word of God, instructing others to do the same. And, finally, let us live according to the example and teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ.