“Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field… He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom” (Matt. For most of us it has been a long season of growth from the tiny green blade up to the “full corn in the ear.” So many seek to settle for this stage: saved, with heaven assured—plus a pacifying measure of Christian respectability, at least in church circles. Now is the time, right in these next few moments, to make sure, on the authority of His eternal Word, as to His purpose for your personal life. “When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come” (4:29). 6:11)—indeed unto sin.’ Some believe they are very weak. The beginning of the life of holiness is a faith in the crucified Saviour which sees more than His substitutionary work. So He simply allows our needs to continue their relentless pressure until we finally bend to His inevitable way of the cross. It is a personal battle … There the eternal emancipation proclamation was signed with the blood of the Lamb and sealed by the Spirit of God. “The believer can never overcome the old man even by the power of the new apart from the death of Christ, and therefore the death of Christ unto sin is indispensable, and unless the cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the old man, he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome self, and the struggle is a hopeless one” (C. Usher). /AIS false Until the Christian is absolutely and scripturally sure of his standing, he is not going to do much standing. Coates). ATTITIDUES - Essential Attitudes for Spiritual Growth 5 C. WE MUST HAVE ATTITUDES OF COURAGE WITHOUT FEAR. Acts 1:8; 2:2 The Sprout Principle Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I Corinthians, I Thessalonians, James "When there is life there has been development." It was a supply which was always available, but only appreciated and appropriated as and when the Apostle came to know his need. We beg the Holy Spirit to fill us while all the time we are preventing Him by our doubts.”, Dr. S. D. Gordon admonished: “When you are in the thick of the fight, when you are the object of attack, plead less and claim more, on the ground of the blood of the Lord Jesus. /SMask /None>> 7:18). ‘Lord, I am faced with a situation that I cannot possibly meet. This negative processing of His finally brings us into His positive promise of Philippians 1:6: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” His “good work” in us is begun through failure (and this includes our strongest points), which continues on into His success by His performance and not ours. 8 . He puts us through some exercise, through some experience, takes us by some way which means our spiritual expansion, and exercise of spirituality so we occupy the larger place spontaneously. It is highly possible for a man, after having found justifying rest in Christ, to enter upon a state of deep need as regards sanctifying rest. Alexander R. Hay: “The believer has been united with Christ in His death. What the Lord does is to enlarge us to possess. They have everything to make them saints, except … crucifixion, which would mold them into a supernatural tenderness and limitless charity for others. 12:2), and He leads us step by step. 11:6) Moreover, and this is all important, true faith must be based solely on scriptural facts, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. Now, as long as the believer does not know this dual aspect of his salvation, the best he can do is seek to handle his sins via confession (I John 1:9)—that is, after the damage has been done! Christian spiritual growth is movement into deeper and more comprehensive love. Therefore Scripture teaches us that the cross not only works out a disposition or desire to make such a sacrifice, but it really bestows the power to do so, and completes the work. Principles of spiritual growth miles stanford pdf Continue. And this acceptability to Him is my reward: ‘Wherefore we labour that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him’ (II Cor. God Himself will modify the pace. And from the very outset, until hard experience teaches him otherwise, the well-meaning believer thinks that since he has the will to obey God and to be what He intends for him, he should attempt to carry it out through personal consecrated effort with His help. 4:19). Our experience, upward, in the power of God, is just in proportion to our experience, downward, in ceasing from self. 8:28, 29), to bring out the worst in us, ultimately enabling us to see that the Christian life has to be “not I, but Christ” (Gal. And all the time they are resisting the main instrument in the Father’s hand for conforming us to the image of His Son! When shall we be convinced it is so utterly bad that it is beyond all recovery? “Nothing can set us apart for God, nothing can make us holy, except as the cross is working in us, because the cross alone can keep the hindrances to holiness in the place of death” (G. Watt). Now just what is God’s way of self-denial? I must realize that now my life is hid with Christ in God; that He is my life” (Ian Thomas). He has but one way, and it is on the basis of all His other ways: the principle of the finished work. Here is the “good” for which God is working all things together—His original purpose of making us in His image, which is centered and expressed in His Son, Christ who is our life. It treats the fallen creation (self-life) as capable of improvement, and the meaning of the cross bringing to death the old Adam race as fallen beyond repair, is thus nullified” (DeV. The PDF book is great for phones and the Ebooks are for Kindles and Nooks as well as tablets, laptops and desktops. Labor will be replaced by rest. /Type /XObject (pp. Since we are complete in our Lord Jesus, it will not do to try and add to that finished work. “Dr. There is a further stripping, right down to the germ of life, right on down until there is nothing left but Christ, who is our life. 10:38). 7:15), and, in consequence, he feels that the bottom has fallen out of his Christian life; and then perhaps the Devil whispers to him that it is just no good his going on, because he will never be able to make the grade. By faith I must reckon him to be in the place that God put him—crucified with Christ. So many dear Christians just keep plodding (or racing) through the deadening routine of their multitudinous church activities and duties, expecting that in time self will change for the better as they grow. There is the all-important area of identification truth in Romans 6,7 that cannot be skipped over. God is able to be at peace with us through our Lord Jesus Christ, “having made peace through the blood of his cross” (Col. 1:20). It was on the cross of Calvary that God, in Christ, dealt fully and finally with self, the nature from which all our sins flow. “In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength” (Isa. If we are looking for our needs to be met in the next interview, the next devotional book, the next series of special meetings, the next hoped for “revival,” then reality will never come. Read 7 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Yielding to Him on any different basis will simply amount to our trying to live for Him in the self-life. “Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily toward the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritual maturity. When the believer begins to really see the cross for what it is—a place of death—he is inclined to hesitate about choosing such fellowship. The germ of life is locked up within its shell and cannot get out. “For it pleased the Father that in him [Christ Jesus] should all fullness dwell” (Col. 1:19); “For we are made partakers of Christ” (Heb. He has put our old man—our original self—where He put our sins, namely, on the cross with Christ. We may be forgiven because He died in our stead; we may be delivered because we died with Him. We think we shall not go far wrong if we say that this has been the experience of almost every believer that has ever lived” (P. B. Each must be settled before the next can be rested on. In the parable of the sower the seed sown “on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience” (Luke 8:15). Yes, it is actually enjoy, continue to an interesting and amazing literature. 3:24); “We walk by faith” (II Cor. And the inevitable consequence is a fall, or a succession of falls, that gradually brings home to the consciences of believers their utter weakness and incapacity as in the flesh” (C.A. It is not that I abhor my sins; indeed I may have been walking very well; but it is ‘I abhor myself.’ This is how the Holy Spirit reasons; He shows us what we are, and that is one reason why He often seems to be very hard and does not give peace to the soul, as we are not relieved until we experientially, from our hearts, acknowledge what we are. There is nothing about us to commend us to God, our acceptance being in Christ, plus the fact that most of our true spiritual development comes through the dry and hard times. Here is a favorite that has been tried and found wanting down through the ages. By faith, the believer reckons (counts) himself ‘dead unto sin’ (Rom. God in His Word reveals to us the facts with which faith has to deal.” It is on this basis that J.B. Stoney can say, “Real faith is always increased by opposition, while false confidence is damaged and discouraged by it.” There can be no steadfastness apart from immovable facts. Paul was three years also, after his first testimony. In order for one to get beyond just knowing about the Lord Jesus and enter into a consistent and growing personal knowledge of, and fellowship with, Him, one must first come to know oneself. As you complete the assessment, avoid rushing. We learned not to add to a finished work in the matter of justification, and now we must learn not to add to the finished work of emancipation. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. “Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work” (II Thess. 11:28-30). I have go through and so i am confident that i will going to read through once again again in the future. Helpful. It has often been noticed that where there is the greatest exuberance of joy in young converts, there is often a levity which fails to take into account that the flesh is unchanged. Praise the Lord! There are laborers for sanctification—after personal holiness—after riddance of the power of the old Adam; and to such, as well as to those who are seeking after salvation, Christ promises, with this great ‘I will’ (Matt. “Stand therefore” (Eph. But we shall know that what is impossible with self is possible with God. … God has effected the reconciliation; He always remains true to it. The more you find Him in your sorrows or wants, the more you will be attached to Him and drawn away from this place where the sorrows are, to Him in the place where He is.” “Set your affection on things above” (Col. 3:2). A disciple is one who first maintains the fellowship of the cross, which results in fellowship with his Lord: discipleship. It might be good to stress several points just here. In some single months there is more growth than in all the year besides. Of all the needy classes of people, the neediest of this earth are not those who are having a heartbreaking, agonizing struggle for victory, but those who are having no struggle at all, and no victory, and who do not know it, and who are satisfied and jogging along in a pitiable absence of almost all the possessions that belong to them in Christ.”. J.B. Stoney agrees by saying, “It is a great thing to learn faith: that is, simple dependence upon God. Maturity has learned to take time to assess the facts. Or poor health; yes, and good health too! They may be present and they may be valuable, but the Spirit’s object is something far greater—to form Christ in us through the working of the cross. As a result he immediately became self-centered instead of God-centered; dead to God who is the source of all life, dead in trespasses and sins. This is simply a weapon of the enemy, easily parried by letting God be God in the scriptural knowledge that He is our Father. Our Father understands all this, and it is He who takes the initiative in the matter. growth principles will be applied to the task of developing a missional church. Our Lord Jesus understands this well, but there is no other way, since that is the manner in which He finished the work on our behalf. After reading the first few pages, I knew I had something in my hand that was extraordinary. 14:15, Amplified). God can accept absolutely nothing from the old—He sees and acknowledges only that which is centered in His Son, who is our life. 1. “We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body, [which is the instrument] of sin, might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin” (Rom. When you are not walking in the Spirit you are in the flesh: you have turned to the old man which was crucified on the cross (Rom. Therefore it produces nothing. From our personal experience Matthew 5:6 should mean much to every one of us: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” All too often believers are exhorted and even pressured to grow before there is an acute awareness of need, before there is true spiritual hunger. What sort of love is that? 19:19). 5:17). That night a friend said to him, ‘I must tell you how much I enjoyed your extemporaneous talk. Not our interest in Christian work; our energies, enthusiasm, ambitions, or abilities; not our academic qualification, or anything that we are in ourselves, but simply our spiritual life is the basis of the beginning and growth of our service to God. Actually, our Father has trained every one of us for clear-cut, explicit faith in this second aspect of Calvary: our individual identification with the Lord Jesus in His death to sin and rising onto resurrection ground. “A superficial acquaintance with God’s plan leads to the view that while justification is God’s work, by faith in Christ, sanctification (growth) is our work, to be performed under the influence of the gratitude we feel for the deliverance we have experienced, and by the aid of the Holy Spirit. B. Stoney). Lewis Sperry Chafer: “The theme under consideration is concerned with the death of Christ as that death is related to the divine judgments of the sin nature in the child of God. We are told to believe it, and so we dare to do so and declare so. 12:3-8, 1 Cor. “It is true that God does take up those who are not worthy and permits them to speak His words years before they fully understand their import; but He does not wish any of us to stop there. As we pursue church health, we'll most likely experience church growth … This applies to both growth and service. J. N. Darby was very clear on this: “When the Holy Spirit reasons with man, He does not reason from what man is for God, but from what God is to man. 8:28, 29). 6:6)” (His Side Versus Our Side, p. 40). ‘Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that we should no longer be in bondage to sin; for he that hath died is justified from sin. How varied these are! Our part is to yield our wills, and take God’s side against ourselves, whilst the Holy Spirit applies the death of the cross to all that is contrary to Him, that it may be really true that we who are of Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Gal. It is a truth of God which leads his church to spread his Good News, plant church after church, and increase his body”(1977, p.15). The believer’s cross is the cross of Calvary, the one on which he was crucified with Christ (see Gal. You are going to like how the blogger write this ebook. They are the birthright of every child of God, and no one can dispense with them without dishonoring our Lord” (Spiritual Secret, p. 116). You might find many different types of e-guide and other literatures from your documents database. During the rest of the year, however, there is solidification, without which the green timber would be useless. But most believers feel this is about as far as He went and are struggling to get on the best they can, with His help. And our identification with Him on Calvary took us into death, down into the tomb, up into newness of life. And this is the Galatian error, so prominent even now throughout born-again circles. They take us from the “help me” attitude to that of giving thanks; from begging to appropriation. 84:2 Spiritual Growth Plan Week 1 Benjamin Franklin said “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” How true that is. Much of His preparation in our lives consists of setting up this struggle—our seeing self for what it is and then attempting to get free from its evil power and influence. 2:11; I Pet. Hunger has to be created, and it can be created in others only by those who carry with them the impressions of God.”. The long devastating years of abject bondage make freedom in the Lord Jesus priceless—the cost becomes as nothing to us! Our spiritual life and growth … How often the individual believer is maneuvered down front to consecrate and reconsecrate, surrender and resurrender, commit and recommit himself to Christ! Worst of all, the coat begins to disintegrate and fall to pieces. Here is God’s motivation for discipleship: that filial heart-hunger for fruit bearing. This involves the vital source principle—“after his image” (Gen. 5:3). This is the condition of many Christians. God seeks to get leaders trained in the knowledge of His ways.”. The Lord of the harvest plants, or buries, Christians as seeds in a field, which is the world. 1:4). “It is a mistake to measure spiritual maturity merely by the presence of gifts. There are great days, days of decisive battles, days of crises in spiritual history, days of triumph in Christian service, days of the right hand of God upon us. Talk about your trust funds! George Mueller said, “Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. (2) Healthy progress is based on the apprehension, understanding and appropriation of the truths in Christ that make for real growth. Without that there can be no true faith. 1. The bludgeon most commonly used is: “The Lord Jesus gave His all for you, now the least you can do is give your all for Him!” The believer is exhorted and pressured to consecrate, surrender, commit his life to Christ on the basis of his love and gratitude for what has been done on his behalf at Calvary. Thou sayest, “Fit me, fashion me for Thee.”Stretch forth shine empty hands, and be thou still:O restless soul, thou cost but hinder MeBy valiant purpose and by steadfast will.Behold the summer flowers beneath the sun,In stillness his great glory they behold;And sweetly thus his mighty work is done,And resting in his gladness they unfold.So are the sweetness and the joy divineThine, O beloved, and the work is Mine. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. Thus we must learn, and then leaning on the Lord we can with more maturity, and more experientially, deal with souls.”, Since the Christian life matures and becomes fruitful by the principle of growth (see II Pet. reasonable service to our Master. Here is the ultimatum, so now to the “how.”. I have just finished reading 'Principles of Spiritual Growth' for the third time. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest” (Heb. The Blood procures our pardon; … the Cross procures our deliverance from what we are” (Watchman Nee). If you do not have Adobe Reader already installed on your computer, you can download the installer and instructions free from the Adobe Web … Miles J. Stanford (Author) 4.8 out of 5 stars 95 ratings. When he thinks that more prayer will supply it, he finds that, indispensable as prayer is, it is not enough. “For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (I Cor. 1:23) and fail to press on to know “Begotten … by the resurrection of Jesus Christ … to an inheritance” (vv. And as the Lord Jesus is allowed to express Himself through our personality, this poor, sin-sick world will see “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). It yields to nothing less than the death of the cross. And it is that same Word that tells you that you, as connected with Adam, died with Christ, that your old man was crucified, that since you are in Christ you shared His death unto sin, and are thus to reckon your present relation to sin in Christ—as one who is dead to it, and alive unto God” (Romans, Verse by Verse, p. 227). We are not to “ask amiss.” And now comes the critical phase, the key to it all. God’s means of delivering us from sin is not by making us stronger and stronger, but by making us weaker and weaker. He can honor no other. Power! 2:1); thoroughly corrupt before God (see Gal. x����_w��q����h���zΞ=u۪@/����t-�崮gw�=�����RK�Rl�¶Z����@�(� �E @�B.�����|�0�L� ��~>��>�L&C}��;3���lV�U���t:�V{ |�\R4)�P�����ݻw鋑�������: ���JeU��������F��8 �D��hR:YU)�v��&����) ��P:YU)�4Q��t�5�v�� `���RF)�4Qe�#a� 4:19), how can we beg for help? It needs the cross to crucify me … the sinner… Our sins are dealt with by the Blood, but we ourselves are dealt with by the Cross. Romans Six Reckoning 14 7. “The atonement of the cross and the fellowship of the cross must be equally preached as the condition of true discipleship.” “Christ is the answer, but the cross is needed to clear the way for Him.”. Before making concluding remarks, this paper will discuss ways to effectively share one‟s faith with postmodernists and outline a biblical approach to growing a particular church. Our personal, heart-breaking failure in every phase of our Christian life is our Father’s preparation for His success on our behalf. Sooner or later the Holy Spirit begins to make us aware of our basic problem as believers—the infinite difference between self and Christ. So far as its victory, its power, its glory, its potentialities are concerned nothing can be added to it. I can now appreciate the depth of Paul's spiritual insight. Notice what L. L. Letgers, co-founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, has to say about this, referring to Ephesians 1:3: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ”: “If you run over in your mind and find one single blessing with which God might bless us today, with which He has not already blessed us, then what He told Paul was not true at all, because he said, ‘God hash.’ It is all done. When, however, you and I are prepared, in simple humility, to make the fact of our death with Christ our daily basis of life and service, there is nothing that can prevent the uprising and outflow of new life, and meet the need of thirsty souls around us.”. He himself is what he preaches. We need to enter deeply into the truth that Christ the beloved Son of the Father could not enter to the glory of heaven until He had first given Himself over to death. The increasing revelation proves the surrender to the cross to be real, because the Holy Spirit takes us at our word and reveals all that He has seen lying underneath—reveals it that it may be dealt with at the cross. 4:11). 6:6, Amplified). Therefore, “the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it” (James 5:7). If we are attracted to this present evil world, we become increasingly worldly; if we pamper and live for self, we become more and more self-centered; but when we look to Jesus Christ, we become more and more like Him. Our hope for victory over sin is not ‘Christ plus my efforts,’ but ‘Christ plus my receiving.’ To receive victory from Him is to believe His Word that solely by His grace He is, this moment, freeing us from the dominion of sin. “Christianity concentrates the whole fulness of revelation in the one human personality of Jesus Christ as Mediator—that is, as the mediating central principle of the new Divine organism, in its fulness of Spirit and Life, in and for the human personal life. It seems that most believers have difficulty in realizing and facing up to the inexorable fact that God does not hurry in His development of our Christian life. Everything in this little book is essential to the Christian life. What shall I do? “So, in the spiritual labor of faith, the moment or period comes when we know. “The seed corn may be beautiful, but it is hard. The first thing for which He sets us here is to create in others a hunger for Himself… No true work will ever begin in a life without first of all a sense of need being created… We cannot inject spiritual appetite by force into others; we cannot compel people to be hungry. In loving response to this hunger the Holy Spirit silently and gently begins to loosen the grain from its comfortable bindings and supports in the ear. There seems to be comparatively few who do so, and the consequence is that the Lord is robbed of much of “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. “May we cease to confuse the words ‘my cross’ with ‘the cross.’ Sometimes believers in self-pity bemoan themselves, and say, ‘I have taken, or must take up my cross, and follow Jesus.’ Would that we would lose sight of our Cross in His cross, then His cross becomes our cross; His death, our death; His grave, our grave; His resurrection, our resurrection; His risen life, our newness of life.” No, taking up our cross does not mean the stoical bearing of some heavy burden, hardship, illness, distasteful situation or relationship. Principles of Spiritual Growth The first part of Stanford’s work is based on book The Green Letters. Charles Trumbull said, “The effortless life is not the will-less life. Here is the image of God back on earth, this time in the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s “last Adam” (I Cor. 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