August 10, 2014
Growing in Faith
Recently in one of my Sunday morning Bible study classes, signs that you are growing in faith and that the body of Christ as a whole is growing came up. Then at evening church service, something the minister said during the sermon he delivered struck another thought about how you know you are growing in faith. There are clear signs that show whether someone individually has grown and is continuing to grow in their faith and there is also an indicator that the body of Christ you belong to is growing as a whole.
As a whole, you know the body of Christ is growing when more people are showing up at your church than who had done so previously. Bringing more people to Christ is one of our jobs as Christians and when more people are coming to church, that is a sign of a job well done by those of you and your congregation who talked about God and the gospel to others. This is pleasing to the Lord and those who bring others to Christ will be blessed for it. We have been called by God to do this good work and the more people who are brought to Christ and add to the saved list the better, because then we can live a more peaceful life on earth and there will be more people added to the saved list who will make it to eternity with our Lord in Heaven.
Spreading the word of God to others is also a clear sign of our own growing faith as individuals. By talking about God and the good news to others, we are admitting that God exists and that we have faith in him and his promises and in his mighty power which raised Jesus from the dead so that we could have a right relationship with him. Another sign we are growing in our own individual faith is when we “bear fruit” or grow and prosper in life. When you are not growing, you are stuck in a bad place in an undesirable situation and something in your heart or attitude needs to change in order to move forward. Growing in your faith also means that when you repent, you do so completely with full sincerity. The way to do that is to stop committing the sin that you are asking God to forgive you for by changing your ways. If you need help in changing your ways so that you will stop committing a particular sin or any number of sins you are aware of committing against God, ask Jesus in prayer for help. His mighty power will give you all you need to break the power sin has over you. Sometimes, in order to break the chain off of the sin you commit, it might mean no longer hanging out with a friend who is a bad influence (cursing, smoking, or displaying any other sinful habits) or not watching certain types of movies or TV shows or any other related content on the internet or in any way. Putting Jesus first will make it easier for you to give up these necessary things and you will be better off without them when your life becomes free from sin and you are prospering in your works God called for you to do.
Are you growing in your faith in God? Are you able to truly repent and stop committing the sin you have repented for? Are you spreading the good news and talking to others about God and his amazing life-raising power? To answer these questions, do a simple check by reading John 15:1-4, Galatians 5:19-22 to see if you are letting sin rule your life or letting the Holy Spirit guide you, Colossians 3:12-17, and all of the book of James. These are starting points for what to read to see if you are growing in your faith. When you are able to follow Jesus’ new commandment to love each other as he has loved us, you are making a conscious effort to cut sin out of your life, and spreading the word of God to others and bringing other people to Christ, then you know that you are definitely bearing the fruit Jesus is talking about in John 15 and are growing in your faith in God.