BORN AGAIN IN CHRIST BIBLE STUDY
Jesus Teaches The Meaning Of Spiritual Growth In Him
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If you’ve been born again in Christ, spiritual growth is a part of that process. So if you haven’t seen the changes in your life that you had expected, it could be because you are still a “baby in Christ” only able to partake in the “milk” of the word instead of the “adult spiritual food” for mature Christians.
The Born Again In Christ Foundation
Jesus spoke about what He called “the three kind of Christians” in Mark 4:13-20, using the analogy of sowing seeds. This was because most of the people he was addressing were farmers, therefore they could more easily relate to His message. However even in modern day, we can still relate to the idea of sowing and reaping, and for this particular parable, it is a brilliant means of teaching us what kind of Christians we need to be if we want to live our salvation successfully.
Once a Christian has been born again in Christ, they feel excited at first, but as time goes by and life appears to be no different than before salvation, many fall away from the Word and look to their experience or the wisdom of the world to live their lives. Doing this results in only one conclusion, they continue in the same lifestyle with the same results because no change has transpired in their lives–no Christian growth has taken place. A Christian without spiritual growth is a baby in Christ (1 Peter 2:2).
The question many Christians have when they begin studying the Word is how can they begin their Christian walk without feeling overwhelmed because there is so much to learn. Jesus answered that question when He said in Matthew 6:34 not to worry about tomorrow. We’re to live for today, following the Word so that it will work in our lives for a great tomorrow.
Matthew 6:34 (ASV) 34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow: for the morrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Jesus’ answer to that questions is a clear picture of why Christians are living far below their rights, their blessings, and their calling in life. So lets go right to where Jesus was teaching a large gathering of people and listen to His Words (Mark 4:10). Picture yourself by the lake where He was speaking with the cool air on your face, and the excitement of being in His presence flowing through the crowd…
THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER
Born Again In Christ Scripture: Mark 4:13-20
13. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable?
14. The farmer sows the word.
15. Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.
16. Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy.
17. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18. Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word;
19. but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
20. Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop of “thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown.”
The Sowing Of The Word Based Upon Mark 4:13-20
No. 1 The Word is sown within the Christian’s heart, but Satan steals it immediately before it can take root. In this experience the Word never reaches the heart. It goes into one ear and out the other.
No. 2 The Word is sown within the believer’s heart joyfully, but their foundation is rocky and shallow. It has no root.
When hard times come because of the Word to test them, they quickly reject God by rejecting His Word. These are the people shaking their heads in agreement with their pastor’s sermon on Sundays, but the rest of the week, they turn away from the very truth they heard. They are not bad people, they are just afraid to trust God or they don’t want to rely upon anyone but themselves. In this state, little or no spiritual growth from a Biblical standpoint can be achieved.
No. 3 The Word comes to this believer but it is unfruitful due to the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches and desire for things. Greed and pride caused by a severely insecure nature must be overcome to move forward here. If this doesn’t happen, there is little or no opportunity for spiritual growth in Christ.
Reason No. 3 is happening to many Christians because they are rooting themselves in programs which do not have a foundation of God’s Word. That double-mindedness will actually cause them failure with whatever they try to do because they are not committed fully to anything. They combine a little information here with a little information from somewhere else instead of sticking with the Word completely and trusting it. There is no “rock” or “foundation of Christ to give them victory.”
It’s like using a recipe for an amazing chicken dish, but only using part of the ingredients or combining it with another recipe. It’s not going to taste as it’s supposed to, and it will probably yield disappointing results. However, allowing the Word to transform the mind will cause each of these 3 types of Christians to experience growth in Christ to the degree of commitment of desire to live a Godly life.
No. 4 What more can be said about the fourth standard except that this is the standard and commitment of Christianity every Christian needs. Not much other than to proclaim it as the perfect instruction on how to accept God’s Word in a way that will produce a crop of fruit that is pleasing to God and that will provide the many blessings that belong to you as a result of being born again in Christ.
After this study, you may wish to read my two part study on the subject of living your salvation.
After The Word Has Been Sown
Jesus describes the fourth standard of Christianity in a manner so simple you can’t help but get the truth of it. It makes clear how to receive from God with an inner sincerity to abide by the Word no matter what we’re going through by trusting God. This is what brings spiritual growth.
As we act upon God’s Word with a deep determination to rest In Christ no matter what our circumstances, our hearts or spirits will grow. This growth determines our spiritual ability to rely upon God’s Word rather than backing down in fear and doubt that we will be delivered.
Here is a paraphrase of Mark 4:20:
- 1. hear the Word (most affective method: personal affirmations)
- 2. accept it (believe/trust God)
- 3. produce a crop (receive!)
That matches what Mark 11: 23-24 says. Speak what you want (hear it to build faith), believe you have it, and receive it. Our desires being met will actually bring us closer To God by having good soil (a mature spirit) for the Word of God to be sown.
Born Again In Christ Prayer
If you’ve gone astray from God’s Word, you can always begin again with a fresh start. Today you can begin to build a strong foundation of God’s Word within your heart to empower your life. Here is a prayer to help you begin.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in all sincerity. I commit to building my life upon a strong foundation of Jesus Christ. I haven’t always lived according to your Word, so I ask for your forgiveness. I thank you Heavenly Father, I receive your forgiveness now and I will now live by faith in your Word, allowing it to guide my steps in all that I do. In Jesus Name, AMEN.”
A great follow-up short study for Born Again In Christ is Growing Up Spiritually.
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