“Growing In Christ”
“Therefore, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and firm in your faith just as you were taught...”
I spent too many years thinking the gospel was in my past. I thought living for Christ today was based on spiritual principles disconnected from the gospel.
This was more than a simple mistake, it was disastrous. Things which previously dominated my life continued to plague me. Insecurity, anger, and discontentment seemed constantly in the background, ready to pounce at the first frustration or disappointment or disagreement. It was difficult to encourage other struggling believers because I didn’t know what to say other than “read your bible” or “pray” or “trust God.” Good advice, but it was too general for me and I wasn’t convinced it would help others. I couldn’t effectively disciple others. Missions trips, bible school or missions training didn’t equip me to face the constant conflict of my inner man – conflict that left me guilty and discouraged.
In my 30’s I and some other believers studied the gospel throughout the Old and New Testaments. I’ll never forget the process of incremental andsignificant change in my inner man as God’s graceand my new identity in Christ transformed my view of myself and others.
I still have much to learn. My flesh remainsincorrigible, but today “my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
“Growing in Christ to grow others” starts with inner transformation through the gospel of grace. “In Him” we have “every spiritual blessing,” “redemption through His blood,” “the forgiveness of our trespasses,” and “we have been claimed as God’s own possession.” (Ephesians 1)
Pastor Andy Kline