PROGRESS IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE
By Curtis Pugh
By Curtis Pugh
By our title, Progress in the Christian Life, we refer to growth toward spiritual maturity. This is sometimes called sanctification or growth in holiness. It is perseverance or continuing in faith and in walking with the Lord. This perseverance is the experience of all those who have been regenerated or born from above. Job said, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger,” (Job 17:9). In those whom God justifies (declares to be righteous) He continues His work.
God uses the means of the Word of God to cause His children to progress toward maturity. Jesus prayed to His Father saying, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” (John 17:17). This verse makes it clear: progress in the Christian life is accomplished by means of the Word of God. The Word of God, i.e. the Bible, is important! The reading of it, the studying of it, the hearing of it preached – in these things God teaches and leads His people into fruitful lives: useful lives.
Many Christians remain babies. They never make much progress in their spiritual journeys. Paul wrote to one church that had remained in their spiritual babyhood. He said, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able,” (1 Corinthians 3:1-2). He makes it clear by the context of these two verses that the continuing babyhood of these Christians caused divisions in their congregation and that they were living like lost people. Is this not the case with many churches today: and is not the cause the absence of real preaching of the Word of God?
One prophet wrote: “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts,” (Jeremiah 15:16). Joy for the true Christian, which is far greater than mere happiness, comes from “eating” the Word of God. And such true joy as this is the power needed by the child of God to face life with its hard places. The Bible says, “...the joy of the LORD is your strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10). Of his first letter John said, “And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full,” (1 John 1:4). Spiritual joy is spiritual strength and comes through knowing the truths of the Word of God.
The Bible contains many truths. The Christian needs to experience joy through knowing these things. The Bible contains truth about man's condition and God's remedy for it as well as about a host of other things which are vitally important. Absence of knowledge of the Word of God means absence of joy! Read and relish God's Word and experience His joy!
Grace Bible Baptist Church
26080 Wax Road
Denham Springs, LA 70726