This is LIFE: Living & Growing Spiritually

“This is LIFE.”
Aligning L.I.F.E. in order to reproduce other fully devoted followers of Christ.

I. Living spiritually

A. Everyone wants to be spiritual

Romans 8: 5 - Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace

B. Life is spiritual / it's one way or the other.
•    In our culture we have segregated our lives. We have work life, home life, secular life, our secret life and spiritual life.
•    But the bible has a different view. The scripture refers to it this way.

Psalm 111:10 - Fear of the LORD is the foundation of true wisdom. 

•    This is something every person has to wrestle with when they come to New life in Christ. 
•    So if God knows everything about us and every area of life is important to Him, then every area of life is spiritual. And the scripture says that the very foundation of wisdom is understanding that God is near he sees and he knows.
C. New life is the chance to live a completely new spirituality

2 Corinthians 5:17 - This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!

•    Instead of being dominated by your sinful nature you become controlled by the H.S.. Not because you are a puppet on a string or because you have a set of rules to follow but because you want to.

Romans 8: 14 - For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 

•    He uses the word led. There are no shackles with God.

15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” 16 For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

•    Living spiritually is simply submitting to the leadership of a spirit. That spirit can be our own selfish sinful nature or the spirit of God.

>>> So we believe that people who embrace their responsibility, who marry themselves to the idea of leading others to new life, their lives will begin to be led by the spirit of God. How will we know?  

Galatians 5:16-23 - So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. 22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

•    So when we are looking to measure whether we are embracing the responsibility for leading people to new life and new Possibilities we will see this fruit in your life.
•    If we see jealousy, hostility, quarreling, anger, selfish ambition, dissension and division, envy, we can conclude that you haven’t embraced it.

Proverbs 21:3 - The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

>>> I can honestly say that if you follow the spirit in your life. No matter how you have been hurt, no matter what situation and circumstances you have lived through. If you are emotionally stunted, if you’re full of fear and anxiety. If you will be led by the spirit you will have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s been proven over and over in the worst of circumstances. So living spiritually recognizing that God is with you every moment and being led by his spirit takes us to …

II. Growing spiritually

Living spiritually and growing spiritually is a little different. Though they cross over.

2 Peter 1:1-8 - Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

 •    God’s divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life.

4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 

•    When we think of growing and maturing we normally think of education and time. It’s part of our culture.
•    Interesting that here knowledge, which is important, is surrounded by virtues. The way to grow spiritually is to add virtue to your life. Goodness, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and then agape love.
•    So growing spiritually is not just about another breakthrough or reaching another level of knowledge it’s about how we choose to live. Who we choose to be.
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
•    To read this the fresh wind way would be that you will be effective. In leading everyday people to new life and new possibilities.

>>> Following the H.S. is going to take some effort. Not just study but a commitment to living out these virtues. It is not easy. It’s not for the weak. Being a Spirit led Christ follower is about responsibility.

III. How do I start  or what are the steps to live spiritually?

1.  Salvation, Has God saved you?

John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

2. Baptism
•    Have you followed the Lord in baptism?
•    The two ordinances that Jesus laid down for us. The Lords supper and baptism.

3. Intimacy / righteous Living.
•    Intimacy comes through prayer. Getting to know your savior.

>>> Intimacy and righteousness, doing what is right and just,   go hand in hand. If your intimacy is not growing neither will your righteousness.

4. Spiritual gifts
•    God has given each of us a spiritual gift to use to help his church achieve its mission to reproduce other fully devoted followers of Christ.

Summary: Living and growing spiritually are actually two sides of the same coin. 
When we accept Christ and start a life of obedience through Baptism. When we begin to increase our intimacy with Him through prayer, and bible study. Serving his church with my giftedness my life will reflect Christ. Understanding that he is right here with me in every situation and wants me to choose His way, to do right more than sacrifice. 
The other side of the coin. Placing in increasing measure the virtues he wants in us. Goodness, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. We will be effective in our mission of leading others to new life and new possibilities.
This is just one measure of embracing the responsibility. When you embrace it you will want to live a life that points to Christ. A life that is attractive. A life that others will praise God for.