THROUGH and by the Word of God we are born again as believers. The presentation or proclamation of the Grace of God and the resultant acceptance of it brought (brings) us to salvation. In other words salvation comes by hearing and believing the Gospel of Christ. Continuing in the Word and partaking of it produces growth and maturity.
It is natural for human beings to desire development, advancement and a better life. We grow by continuous partaking of what begot us, i.e. the Gospel of Christ or the Grace of God. The one who begot us, that is, God the Father in Christ Jesus, sees to it that we grow. As Scripture says, He watches over His Word to perform it and He is His Word. We, therefore, don’t shun what He dishes out in and through His Word, the Bible. Our growth is not by human effort. It is not self effort. Since we are saved by grace through faith, we grow by grace through faith. We shall explain this as we open up our subject. I emphasise here that our salvation is not based on our good deeds, so called works of righteousness or human self-effort, but it is the free gift of God. This gift is unearned, undeserved, unmerited and humanly unattainable.
When an unbeliever hears the Word from the Scriptures or the Bible or the Message of Christ, the Gospel of Christ, the Grace of God, the Good News of Jesus Christ or His Glad Tidings, that is the doctrine of Christ, faith is generated and by acceptance, they are born again in the faith of Christ Jesus or the Christian Faith. When believers continue to hear this message, knowledge increases. Please notice the difference. Romans 10:17 (New King James) details: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
The deposit of this faith is the hope of eternal salvation. The Word remains or abides forever. 1 Peter 1:23 confirms: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” The nurturing of this Seed (Word) produces growth. For this reason, we keep repeating the importance of reading and studying the Bible and meditating thereupon as well as praying accordingly. We, therefore, don’t skip church services or gatherings of saints for the sharing of the Word.
Spiritual growth is the development of the believer in Christ. It is not an option, even though it is determined by the believer’s attitude towards God’s Word.
As we have seen, the Word is key to spiritual growth. Please, remember that by Word, we mean the finished work of Christ. We don’t get saved by grace then live, mature and grow by works or by the Mosaic law. The Gospel of Christ, which is the Grace of God, is a promissory note in the Law, prophecy in the prophets and the fulfilment is in the new covenant found in the Epistles.
As we feed on the Word, we are feeding on Christ. We are taught in Colossians 2:6-7, “(6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: (7) Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” The issue here is how were we saved? We were saved by grace through faith. We are answered in Ephesians 2:8-9, “(80 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast.” It’s important to note that we were not saved by aids like wristbands, water, salt, oil or stones.
It is grace through and through. Grace is the foundation, building bricks, roof, ceiling, colour paintings and window frames of the Christian Faith. We are rooted, built and established in the Faith by grace. For emphasis, grace is not for salvation only and then efforts and self-help concluding all others. We grow in grace. Apostle Peter gives us the instruction for growth in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”
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Grace is the Word of God that is responsible for our growth. John reveals in John 1:1,14, “(1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (14) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth.” We are Bible or Word-based. We behold the Word, which is our mirror.
We hunger and thirst for the Word. Apostle Peter instructs in 1 Peter 2:2-3, “(2) As new born babies, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (3) If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.” Dear believer, choose to be patient and allow the Word to be fully developed in you. As you do so, you will notice the manifestation. Apostle Paul paints the picture in Galatians 4:19, Amplified, “My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (moulded) within you.” Please, give the Word an opportunity and enough space to influence your whole being and nature.
Apostle Paul’s closing remarks to the elders at Ephesus is equally instructive. Acts 20:32, Amplified records, “And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care].
And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favour]
It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul).”
Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. Grace and peace be multiplied to you through knowledge.