One of the most important things that a human being can do is grow and mature and while this may sound simple, this is a problem that far too many people fail to do. For this piece, I will use myself as an example because while someone may get older in age, it does not mean that they grow as a person and mature as an individual.
This point is even more important as a Christian because Christ tells us that we must continue our walk with Him and during this walk, we must continue to become more. This is the sanctification process that each Christian must take seriously because our walk with Christ has to be at the forefront but there are many reasons why this is so hard for so many to do.
One of the main reasons why so many Christians find the sanctification process so hard is they do not understand what it truly means to grow in Christ. When we claim that we are growing in Christ, does it mean that we have a better relationship with Christ or simply mutter the words that “I believe in Christ?” While I it is important to do both, there is a significant difference in each action. That is, it is not simply enough to say that we believe in Christ but we must go out and live like we do and by doing so, we will grow in our relationship with Christ.
This is a simple statement but can it be that simple? Again, this is a simple statement but it’s not that easy when trying to apply the principle in our daily walk. Of course, the reason(s) cannot possible be the same for everyone as each individual is different but the idea that there are so many different denominations is just one example of the divide and separation in what scripture actually teaches. This is an issue that I have read about but it’s also something that I have observed and witnessed many times especially when we talk about our growth or our sanctification in Christ.
For example, many people think that sanctification is claiming faith and/or belief in Christ and continuing to do so daily and while belief is important, again, it’s simply not enough as sanctification is much more: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6). When we walk in the faith and continue to walk in the faith of Christ, it does not mean that we will not be tempted for Christ Himself was tempted.
It also does not mean that we will never sin because we fall short daily of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) but sanctification is our continual acceptance that we are fallen creatures but made new through the Holy Spirit/Ghost given by Jesus Christ and with this perspective, we will continue to grow in our relationship with Christ. There have been different times when I have had Christians tell me that there is no holy spirit or that the Holy Spirit is not a part of the Trinity of Christ. These people believe such ideas because their church/denomination teaches such a concept/doctrine and/or they do not accept any particular church doctrine but adheres to what they feel are right.
This is something that many people are guilty of because they are confused by church or what church is so they go a different route and Christ warns us about letting our emotions guide us: “[This] I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). The problem with being led by your emotions is that they often mislead us and we must separate ourselves from our emotions or we must use discernment over emotion: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
Some time ago, I wrote an article about how liberal Christianity is on the rise but it’s an evil and very dangerous for Christians because it does not stand for anything and welcomes in any idea or concept regardless if it stands up to scripture or contradicts it. Perhaps the best example of this is with the denying of the Holy Spirit as scripture is very clear that there is a Holy Spirit and God provides it to us: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).
Of the Holy Spirit, we understand that it is not only of God but it’s always with us as long as we are in the faith so we should never forget it: “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit was first given to Peter at Pentecost and many people were saved. God never changes and is always the same and the Holy Spirit is the same as it is still as significant today as it was then.
Scripture tells us that through our faith in Christ, we are made new: “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The important perspective here is that we are in Christ or that we see things from the perspective of Christ. Therefore, we must be weary of what someone preaches and/or the way they live their life because not everyone who calls themselves is of Christ and if we are not in Christ or do not adhere to the Bible then it’s obvious that we are not of Christ and this is not my opinion but that of Christ.
After all, Christ is the only way to heaven and eternal life and is the truth (John 14:6) and along our walk, we are to sanctify others in truth and truth is Jesus Christ: “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). To put an end to a very complex and confusing issue, we must continue our walk with Christ daily and strive to grow and mature in Christ. It will not be easy and there will be certain days when it seems impossible and while we will fail, we must remember that we are saved by grace. We can never forget the sacrifices of God on our behalf and while we will be unfairly persecuted because of our belief in Christ, we win as no weapon formed against us will succeed (Isaiah 54:17).
The most important decision that we will ever make is to serve God but serving God is not simply about belief but about what we do as this is our witness and testimony to the world but our belief and faith cannot be based on our emotion or feelings but the word of God—the word of truth! In other words, base all things on the biblical perspective.