Christians begin their journey as spiritual babies. No one is born into the family of God as a full-fledged adult. We must all grow into maturity. What are the means of that growth and how does sanctification work in the life of the believer?
What is spiritual growth and what does it look like? It’s not simply doing the right thing, having the right experience, keeping the right rules, gaining the right knowledge, joining the right church, or avoiding the right pitfalls. As good as those things are, true sanctification is a slow, incremental, process of change in a person’s life.
Bad company has always corrupted good character. It should be no surprise to see this theme open the book of proverbs. Solomon paints a violent picture of peer pressure through wicked temptation (Proverbs 1:8-19) as a father prepares his son for the dangers and responsibilities of adulthood.
As Christ-followers who are being conformed more and more into the likeness of Christ (not our culture) how are we to conduct our lives in an increasingly godless society? Fortunately, the New Testament has much to say about our social responsibilities.
First Peter reminds us that, even in the worst circumstances, the Christian discovers comfort in who they are and what they are called to do. Whether we find ourselves suffering with a bad spouse, a bad boss, or even a bad government, we can and should live above the world in our attitude and our actions.
When governments fail us (and even persecute us) what is our Christian duty? What does honorable conduct among the unbelieving world look like? First Peter was written to comfort suffering Christians. It tells believers how to think and act in an evil society ran by an evil government.
Paul writes, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” We find it difficult to submit to our leaders when we disagree with their policies. How much harder would this command be to follow when the authorities were killing Christians? Both Paul and the Holy Spirit realize that we need more than a command, we need motivation.
Hebrews 10:19-25 is a wake-up call for professing Christians who might not live for Christ. It is a humbling reminder for those who have been saved by grace to act like it. Ultimately, it is a warning and exhortation to stop playing games with God and commit to the Lord Jesus Christ.
There are times in life when the anguish we feel is so great and so overwhelming we find it hard to pray. It’s not that we have forgotten our love for the Lord or don’t know where to turn when the waters rise. We just lack the strength and frame of mind to seek help when we need it the most. David is here to tell us how to pray when we can’t.
Psalm 42 describes a man of God who is severely depressed. When times are tough, we must cry out to the Lord in our distress. We cannot afford to remain silent. We must pray, but what else can we do? Psalm 42 and 43 tell us how to think and act while we wait for intervention.
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