Volume. XXII, No. 37
Sunday, 09 March 2008

Spiritual Growth

            In today’s modern world, where everything seems to boil down to money, power and influence, and where many people live for the “quick fix”, it is not easy to grow spiritually.


            Influenced heavily by our society, the media, television, magazines and the World Wide Web, we have learned to chase frivolous rewards instead of seeking a balance between the material and spiritual aspects of our lives. We have allowed ourselves to be distracted by the various images of success that society offers us. We constantly compare ourselves to others and live according to someone else’s idea of what life should be.


            What is spiritual growth? It is a process that begins when a person receives Jesus Christ as his/her Saviour. He/She is born again of the Holy Spirit and then chooses to live “in Christ”. Once we receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour, we open the door for the Holy Spirit to begin changing our hearts to conform us to Christ. For each of us, following Jesus is a lifelong learning process. We are not spiritually mature the day we are saved. We grow in faith as we allow God through His Word and the Holy Spirit to empower us to serve Him. The key to spiritual growth is that we must become more Christ-like. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Your old nature, which is dominated by sin, is replaced with a new nature that is under the influence of God’s Spirit.


            To experience spiritual maturity, we must also understand that growth comes by grace and it is God alone who is our resource. 2 Peter 1:3-9 reminds us that God is the source. “…his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”


            Spiritual maturity is learning how to walk in obedience to God. It is making the choice to live by God’s standard rather than our human viewpoint. Galatians 5:16 gives the key, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Walking in the Spirit is allowing Him to fill us, control us, and guide us. This is brought about by consciously choosing, by faith, to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us in thought, word and deed.


            As we read and apply God’s Word to our lives, we will grow and mature spiritually. The most important thing is that we learn from God’s Word, allow God to renew our minds and then be obedient to what we’ve learnt. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 teaches us, “All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” In order for spiritual growth to occur, we must be taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained by God’s Word. As we walk step-by-step, applying God’s Word to our lives, we will grow spiritually. The more teachable we are, the more mature we will become.


            God works in different ways in different people. Some people grow rapidly, while others grow slowly, but steadily. Our focus should not be on comparing ourselves with others, but with comparing ourselves to God’s Word. Like a mirror, the Scriptures show us our spiritual condition. It shines light on the areas that are in need of improvement thus we experience and learn spiritual growth. James 1:23-25 declares, “For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”


            The mark of spiritual maturity is called “fruit of the Spirit”. Apostle Paul said in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” If we become more loving, more joyful, kinder, more self-controlled etc., then we are assured that spiritual growth is genuinely occurring in our lives.


            God is constantly calling to us, but often we don’t recognize His voice or we confuse our own desires with His will for our lives. When we are familiar with His voice through Scripture, we will find that our communication with God vastly improves. The transformation process is not always comfortable. We may be called by God to change our lives in ways we would never have envisioned. Some changes may alienate non-Christians friends and even family members. But we can pray continually that they, too, will come to know Christ and follow the same path.


            Let us learn more about spiritual growth! Let us grow more!

                        Deacon Yaw Chiew Tan





More Lively Hope






1. Sunday School Teachers required. Please see Dn Edwin D’Mello.

2. Church Directory Update: Please provide your contact details to Sis Josephine Wong.

3. Holy Matrimony of Dn Edwin D’Mello & Sis Annie D’Silva in Mumbai, India, on Sat, 15 Mar, at 7:30 pm (12:30 am Sunday, Adel Time).

4. Bible Camp forms available on literature table, please return by Sunday, 06 April.




1. Journey mercies: Bro Winston & Sis Christabelle Selvanayagam (Syd), Bro Richard Tee (Melb) & Sis Connie Mak (Adl).

2. Church activities: Wed Prayer Meeting & Bible Study, & YAF Seminar & Bible Study.

3. God’s daily mercies & guidance.






1. Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Chua, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros S Dhamarlingam, Makoto Kobayashi, Raphael Ng’s father, Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam; Grandpa Ki; Sisters Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson, Aranka Rejtoe, Susan Veradi, Sylvia White & Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law; Auntie Oei & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & ministry (Phnom Penh & Kandal Province); Rev Chivan & family (Sihanoukville).

3. Laos Missions - Bro S Dhamarlingam & family.

4. India/Pakistan Missions - Pastors & Believers.

5. Kuching Missions - Teo family.

6. Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Bro H S Lim.

7. Baptism: Bro Cong Pham.

8. Transfer of membership: Bro Chris & Sis Jenni Budiman.

9. Salvation: family members, relatives & friends.

10. Journey Mercies - Dn Edwin D’Mello (Mumbai) & Bro Yick Ho Lam (medical placement -Maitland).

11. Jobs - Bros Cong Pham & Daniel Volvricht.

12. God’s Blessings on the wedding of Dn Edwin D’Mello & Sis Annie D’Silva.

13. The Lord’s provision for a new church van and new floor coverings.

14. God’s guidance in their careers and provision of accommodation - Bros Jonathan Liao & Richard Tee, Sisters Gillian Ong & Min Yen Chia in Melb.

15. Uni students - new academic year.




© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041