Let’s get practical—don’t you want to grow and develop as a person? Since we only have one life to live, why not look to what can exceed our earthly limits? If you are a Christian, it turns out being formed as a follower of Christ doesn’t just happen. It takes effort. Our new sermon series, which launches June 16, is designed to help us understand and realize this.
The final series of our 2018–2019 ministry year flows directly out of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and empowered the followers of Christ. It asks the practical question: How do we harness that spiritual power to help us grow?
The Apostle Peter gave us a prescription for spiritual growth in 2 Peter 1:2–11. He envisioned it emerging from an experiential “knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2). This is what we’ve been considering since last fall—our overarching theme of knowing and being known. Growth is centered in knowing God. It is grounded in his grace, peace, and power and accessed through his “very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). With these framing our life in Christ, we are to “make every effort” to grow spiritually. There it is—effort! While growth is energized exclusively by God’s grace, we’re active and responsible participants.
What does that maturing faith look like? Peter lists seven characteristics of it that will form an outline for our series. We’ll consider each of these elements of spiritual formation through Old Testament character case studies. It won’t surprise you that all of these individuals are complicated figures, just like you and me, with substantial potential for both good and evil. In each of them, we will come to appreciate God’s grace at work in us as we give ourselves to these dynamics of growth. We will avoid being “ineffective and unproductive in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8).
I’m personally very excited about this summer series. I think it will be a spiritually enlightening and refreshing season. Please join us and invite others as well.