This is a study to help you be a Disciple of Jesus Christ
The life of a disciples is one that has a passion and desire to learn and grow in God.
2 Pet 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
Eph 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do
Read Eph 2:10 AMP (if possible) it is God’s plan for you to grow!
Add to your faith
Growing in Christ involves both God’s activity and the believer’s co-operation. It is like a farmer who goes out and plants a crop there is so much that the farmer must do to get the ground ready, to fertilise it and water it, but then it is up to the seed to grow.
- Growth in God always has 2 components, God’s part and My part, the sad reality is that you could spiritually die if you don’t do your part! 2 Pet 1:5
- The Message bible says “Don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given”
Established but stuck
An old farmer frequently described his Christian experience by saying. “Well, I’m not making much progress, but I’m established!”
- One spring when he was hauling some logs, his wagon wheels sank down to the axles in mud. Try as he would, he couldn’t get the wagon out. Defeated, he sat on top the logs, viewing the dismal situation.
- Soon a neighbour who had always felt uncomfortable with the farmer’s worn-out testimony came along and greeted him, “Well, brother Jones, I see you’re not making much progress, but you must be content because you’re well established!”
- Yes, a Christian may be “established”. But if they are “stuck”, they will not be very productive. John 15:16
The pathway of Spiritual Growth
The bible is constantly encouraging us to grow. Like everything that has life, if we’re not growing, we will stagnate, if we stagnate, we will die. Growing in Christ involves both God’s activity and the believer’s co-operation. 1 Cor 3:6, Rom 12:2
- As Christians we should be continually growing, moving forward, changing from glory to glory. Our part is the renewing of our minds; it’s the work of the Holy Spirit to bring about a transformation in our lives.
- All Christians should have a desire to grow, to please God and make their lives count. But desire without discipline derails good intentions. A Christian must translate that desire into the discipline needed for preparation, to be equipped for the plans and purposes God has for their lives.
Christian Discipleship begins by understanding God’s Divine Purpose, 2 Peter 1:1-5
- God wants you to experience His grace and peace in abundance as you grow in the knowledge of Him and the Lord Jesus Christ.
- God has given you His divine power for everything you need for life and godliness.
- God wants us to participate in his divine nature through our knowledge of His great and precious promises.
- God enables you to apply these promises to your life so that you can do two things:
- Share in God’s Nature
- Escape the corruption of the world.
This is God’s part; but there is a part for us to play as Christians if we are going to see growth in our lives and victory in our Christian walk.
Make every effort
2 Peter 1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith
To Make every effort has the sense of making haste, in a hurry as a quality of genuine commitment zeal, diligence, eagerness as expression of active concern, devotion, care, good will.
- The problem is that growth and personal development comes dressed in overalls, It’s our responsibility.
Zig Ziglar states that every person is the product of what they have experienced. He says, “You are what you are, because of the people you associate with and the books you have read. You can change who you are, and you can change where you are by changing the people you associate with and the books you read. Change your input and you will change your life
- Once you have given your life to Jesus and you have been born again of the Holy Spirit, then the next step is for you to grow.
Add to your faith goodness 2 Pet 1:5-7
Goodness which is moral excellence, goodness of character, moral strength and moral courage
- It means to live in the most excellent way, to be the best we can be. In every situation and circumstances
Add to your goodness, knowledge
This means practical knowledge, practical wisdom, and practical insight that God has given us through the insights we learn in the bible.
- It means to learn how to act and react to the trails and temptations of life in a Godly way. James 1:1-3
- We are to live in the light of God’s great and precious promises. 2 Pet 1:2-3
- We are to learn and understand the plans and purposes of God. Ps 33:11
Add to your knowledge, self-control 1 Pet 1:6
To master and have self-control over the lusts of the flesh and craving of the flesh
- It means to have self-control over our passions and our desires 1 Cor 6:12, 2 Pet 2:19
Add to self-control, perseverance
Perseverance is not a passive word, it doesn’t mean to just sit back and wait or to sit back and puts up with the trials of life, taking whatever happens to come your way.
- Perseverance is a spirit that is willing stands up to and faces life’s trials head on and goes about seeking how to conqueror and overcome them. It’s a fighting spirit that will not allow one’s self to succumb to circumstances
- It takes every problem as a stepping stone to trust God and not a stumbling block that will bring defeat and our downfall James 1:3-4
Add to perseverance, godliness
Godliness is the God quality and standard for living, we are called to live and be imitators of God. Eph 5:1-2
- It means to live in awe of God, or to live being conscious of God in our lives
- Our goal is to reflect the characteristics and qualities of God like the fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22-23, Acts 17:28
Add to godliness, brotherly kindness 1 Pet 1:7
This is the special love a person would have for their brother, or sister or close family
- This is the type of love that should not only be found in our families but in the church family
- There is a saying when it comes to family that blood is thicker than water, there is a special connection and special bond
- They also say we can choose our friends but we can’t choose our relatives.
- We have all been born into the family of God which is a covenant community, therefore we should share that same special love and affection for one another John 13:35, 1 John 4:20
Add to brotherly kindness, love
This is the agape love of God, it is an unconditional love
- That loves regardless of our feelings
- That loves regardless if the person deserves to be loved
- A love that is willing to be put into action
- This is the love God has for us, it is the love that Christ has for us that was willing to give himself for us when we didn’t love him, and didn’t deserve his love
- This love is a gift from God, it is a fruit we can all possess and al can cultivate, 2Pe 1:8-9
These are the qualities that we need if we are going to be effective in the Christian life. Peter says that we need them in an ever-increasing measure.
- In other words don’t ever stop growing in these qualities if we want to be effective and productive in our knowledge of Jesus Christ
- Then he makes this incredible statement 2Pe 1:10-11
- We will talk more about this in the lessons to come
- The most exciting truth about the Christian life is that God has a plan and a destiny for your life. God has blessed everyone with specific gifts and talents that we can use to make a kingdom contribution.
- God has placed a divine calling upon your life and it is up to us to discover it, develop it and deploy it.