The Stages of Our Christian Life (2 Peter 3:14-18)

   The Christian life is not an event. It is a process—a journey with a purpose. Because God desires that all of His children be conformed to the likeness of His Son, we should be growing, maturing and becoming more like Christ every day of our lives.

The stages of our spiritual lives, progress from unbelief to salvation, to service. Prior to conversion, no one knows the Lord. Whether they are reared in a Christian home or not, every individual must make a decision within his or her own heart to accept or deny Christ.

Once we turn our heart toward God, cry out to Him for forgiveness of our sin, and acknowledge Him as our sovereign Lord, we are adopted into the family of God. We become joint heirs with Christ.

Now, instead of living in our own strength, we navigate by the Word of God, depending upon His power to endure life's trials. But the life of a believer is not only difficulty. God sent His son that we might have life abundantly. Being a joint heir means that those who belong to Jehovah posses something that others do not—an inner blessing that yields fortitude, wisdom, and clarity.

If you are a Christian, you should be using this inner blessing to bless those around you. Service to others is a fundamental principle of the Christian life. “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love” (Gal. 5:13). We are saved to serve, and if we truly children of God, our inadequacy will aunt us in compromising our calling.

God does not want you falling back or losing ground in your walk with Him. His best is never behind you, but rather is always ahead. Even the apostle Paul pressed forward to attain what he called “the prize” (Philippines 3:14).

Have you ever felt frustrated by the inadequacy of your Christian walk in serving? You strive in vain to become mature and Christ-like, only to find yourself doing things that don’t honor Him. Believe it or not, you can benefit from your frustration. Awareness is a big step toward victory. If you are displeased with your Christian character, you are not alone. You are going through a natural phase in the Christian-life.

Reading the Scriptures can be incredibly convicting, particularly when we read about saints like Paul and John. Your spiritual character may pale in comparison. If you allow your frustration to do a work in your life, it will lead you to greater dependency on God.

When you acknowledge that you cannot live in your own strength, you will begin to depend upon the Lord for your every need. You will seek His wisdom to chart your way through life, relying on Him to guide you. From this point, you will make your way toward godly servitude.

“Servitude” is a word that can have negative connotations. But when we become “doorkeepers in the house of God,” it means that we have relinquished to Him control over our lives and that we are but one step from becoming truly Christ-like.

When we completely surrender our lives to God, we enter a phase of spiritual growth where our life is literally exchanged for His. God takes our offering off the altar, refashions it, and gives it back to us full of glory and grace.

 

 

 

Grace Baptist Church