God’s Spiritual Maturity in us

 

 

 

 

          The bible says that all people, not just believers, possess part of the image of God; that is why murder and abortion are wrong. But the image has been damage and distorted by sin. So God sent Jesus on a mission to restore the image that we have lost.

 

          What does the “image and likeness” of God look like? It looks like Jesus Christ! The bible says Jesus is “the exact likeness of God”, “the visible image of the invisible God”, “the exact representation of his being”. People often use the phrase “like father, like son” to refer to family resemblance. God wants his children to bear his image and likeness, too. Ephesians 4:24Ephesians 4:24
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

24 y vestíos del nuevo hombre, creado según Diosr en la justicia y santidad de la verdad.

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says, “You were…. Created to be like God, truly righteous and holy”. Let me be absolutely clear, you will never become God, or even a god.

 

           This desire to be a god shows up every time we try to control our circumstances, our future, and people around us. But as creatures, we will never be the Creator. God doesn’t want you to become a god, he want you to become godly, taking on his values, attitudes, and character. Ephesians 4:22-24Ephesians 4:22-24
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

22 En cuanto a la pasada manera de vivir, despojaos del viejo hombre,p que está corrompido por los deseos engañosos, 23 renovaos en el espíritu de vuestra mente,q 24 y vestíos del nuevo hombre, creado según Diosr en la justicia y santidad de la verdad.

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says, “take on an entirely new way of life, a God fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct and God accurately reproduces his character in you”. God’s ultimate goal for your life on earth is not comfort, but character development. He wants you to grow up spiritually and become like Christ. Every time you forget that character is one of God’s purposes for your life, you will become frustrated by your circumstances. You’ll wonder, “Why is this happening to me? Why am I having such a difficult time? One answer is that life is supposed to be difficult! It’s what enables us to grow.

 

            It is the Holy Spirit’s job to produce Christlike character in us. “As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like Him and reflect His glory even more.” 2 Corinthians 3:182 Corinthians 3:18
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

18 Por tanto, nosotros todos, mirando con el rostro descubierto y reflejando como en un espejo la gloria del Señor,o somos transformados de gloria en gloria en su misma imagen,p por la acción del Espíritu del Señor.q

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this process of changing us to be more like Jesus is called sanctification. You cannot reproduce the character of Jesus on your own strength. New Year resolutions, willpower, and best intentions are not enough. Only the Holy Spirit has the power to make the changes God wants to make in our lives. Philippians 2:13Philippians 2:13
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

13 porque Dios es el que en vosotros produce así el querer como el hacer, por su buena voluntad.

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says, “God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases Him”.

 

           Are we allow Christ to live through us? “For this the secret: Christ lives in you.” Colossians 1:27Colossians 1:27
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

27 A ellos, Dios quiso dar a conocer las riquezas de la gloria de este misterio entre los gentiles, que es Cristo en vosotros,k esperanza de gloria.l

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. How does this happen in real life? Through the choices we make. We choose to do the right thing in situations and then trust God’s Spirit to give us in His power, love, faith, and wisdom to do it. Since God’s Spirit lives inside of us, these things are always available for the asking. God waits for you to act first. Don’t wait to feel powerful or confident. Move ahead in your weakness, doing the right thing in spite of your fears and feeling and you will see God’s Spirit working thru you and maturing.

 

          The Bible compares spiritual growth to a seed, a building, and a child growing up. Each metaphor requires active participation; Seeds must be planted and cultivated, building must be built, they don’t just appear, and children must eat and exercise to grow.

 

            Spiritual growth is detailed in  2 Peter 1:3-82 Peter 1:3-8
Spanish: Biblia Reina Valera - revisión de 1995 - RVR95

Partícipes de la naturaleza divina 3 Todas las cosas que pertenecen a la vida y a la piedad nos han sido dadas por su divino poder, mediante el conocimiento de aquel que nos llamó por su gloria y excelencia; 4 por medio de estas cosas nos ha dado preciosas y grandísimas promesas, para que por ellas lleguéis a ser participantes de la naturaleza divina,e habiendo huido de la corrupción que hay en el mundo a causa de las pasiones. 5 Por esto mismo, poned toda diligencia en añadir a vuestra fe virtud; a la virtud, conocimiento; 6 al conocimiento, dominio propio; al dominio propio, paciencia; a la paciencia, piedad; 7 a la piedad, afecto fraternal; y al afecto fraternal, amor.f 8 Si tenéis estas cosas y abundan en vosotros, no os dejarán estar ociosos ni sin fruto en cuanto al conocimiento de nuestro Señor Jesucristo.

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 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
         

 

           So, spiritual growth includes, increasing in your knowledge and understanding of God’s Word, decreasing in your frequency and severity of sin,  increasing in your practice of Christ-like qualities, and  increasing in your faith and trust in God. Perhaps the best summary of spiritual growth is becoming more like Jesus Christ. In 1 Corinthians 11:1 Paul says, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” Jesus Christ is the ultimate example of what it truly means to be spiritual.