God really challenged me regarding the basics of Christian growth in my recent study of Romans 12. I have been preaching through Romans for some time now at our church, but I took some time to pause last year before jumping into Romans 12. As I have been contemplating and meditating on God’s Word. I was struck with how basic and simple growth in holiness is. We often yearn for supernatural and fantastic measures of grace to be dispensed to us in order to grow. We are often not satisfied with the ordinary dispensing of God’s grace through the simple means he has chosen in our walk of sanctification, but desire extraordinary demonstrations of God’s grace. Another way to think about it, we often live for emotionally and/or spiritually charging experiences hoping that the next big work of growth in our lives just might propel us into the outer stratospheres of Christ-likeness. But the profundity and beauty of God’s Word teaches us that He has ordained very ordinary means of goodness and grace to grow us as his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. This past Sunday, I shared this with God’s people by way of introduction before launching into Romans 12:3 which shows us the greatest detriment to growth unto holiness and godliness that Christ desires of his church. In the next few posts, I hope to expand on these four means that God has ordained for true saints to grow in grace and genuine holiness. As I read the Scripture I am challenged with these four “ordinary” means God has chosen to dispense sanctifying grace to his people. God has ordained the preaching of the Word, the observance of his ordinances, the grace of prayer, and the fellowship of assembled worship as the vessels to dispense grace to his people. All four of these are what the indwelling Spirit of God uses to grow us in grace and holiness through faith. May we walk in them.
By no means should we think that mere obedience to these duties is sufficient or even helpful in Christian growth. We must embrace a walk of faith in light of the Gospel as we grow, but these are the means God has used to build our faith so that might be sanctified by his great grace.
If you would like to listen to the full text of this Sunday’s sermon, I will post it shortly in mp3 format. But you can watch it now on youtube.