Seeking Spiritual Growth
by Mitchell Tan
June 17, 2020
THE PROBLEM OF FALSE DOCTRINES
One of the problems that can lead young Christians astray is false teachings. Such doctrines can be very dangerous; they hinder spiritual growth and can even cause severe damage to one’s faith. This was a problem that Paul raised up as he saw false teachings infiltrating the Church at Ephesus.
“Tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting”
These false teachers were using cunning methods to trick immature Christians into believing all kinds of spurious doctrines. These Christians were being greatly deceived by their crafty schemes. Paul specifically wrote to Timothy to deal with this problem. He was to remain in Ephesus that he may charge some not to teach another doctrine nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies (1 Timothy 1:3-4). They were teaching things that were contrary to the truth of God’s word. In order for the church to stand against such false doctrines, it needed to grow spiritually.
FINDING PURPOSE IN GROWING
The equipping of the saints is ultimately to help the church to grow (Ephesians 4:13).
1. GOING BEYOND SPIRITUAL IMMATURITY
“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro”
One purpose in seeking spiritual growth is to go beyond being spiritual babes. The Ephesians needed to be spiritually mature and strong in order to stand against false teachings.
2. GROWING IN CHRIST CENTREDNESS
“May grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ”
They also needed to grow spiritually in all things to be more Christ centred. Our Lord has been appointed to be the head of the Church. Not only should He dwell in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), we are to grow towards drawing closer to Him, being more like Him and to reflect His love. We are to grow in love for Him as individuals and collectively as a Church.
THE WAY TO HELPING EACH OTHER GROW – SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE
“But, speaking the truth in love”
In total contrast to spreading false ideas, we are to focus on speaking the truth.
1. SINCERELY SPEAKING THE TRUTH
The Greek word for “speaking” is “aletheuo”. It means simply to speak honestly. It is to speak the truth that is from our life with all sincerity It is more than just sharing a lesson from the Bible. In order to do this, we need to not only know the truth but also to live it out. The only way that we can help each other grow is when we speak truths that we ourselves have lived out and how these truths have helped us to grow spiritually. So before we speak the truth, we need to be instructed in the truth of His word, know it well, and live it out.
2. SPIRIT OF LOVE BEING EXPRESSED AT ALL TIMES
The manner in which we speak truth is through love. There should always be a strong love for the Lord and for each other. When speaking or defending the truth, it should not be done out of anger or negativity. Ministry should be infused with love. Let’s learn to have a sense of love for the Lord Jesus and for each other as we minister. Let’s deepen it. Let’s not lose this love.