How do we grow as Christians? Discipleship is the process of growing in spiritual maturity, right? All followers of Christ are expected to be making progress in the Fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Or does God really care if we grow or not? Maybe he, as Billy Joel claims, simply “loves us just the way we are.”
This Sunday, and next week in our Daily Worship Devotions, we delve into the question of what I’m calling, “Easter Resurrection Growth.” As you prepare for Corporate Worship this Sunday, take some time to read through Galatians 3:1-14. As you do that, consider and reflect on the following powerful and insightful quote from Richard Lovelace’s book, The Dynamics of Spiritual Life:
Only a fraction of the present body of professing Christians are solidly appropriating the justifying work of Christ in their lives. Many have so light an apprehension of God’s holiness and of the extent and guilt of their sin that consciously they see little need for justification, although below the surface of their lives they are deeply guilt-ridden and insecure. Many others have a theoretical commitment to this doctrine, but in their day-to-day existence they rely on their sanctification for their justification . . . drawing their assurance of acceptance with God from their sincerity, their past experience of conversion, their recent religious performance or the relative infrequency of their conscious, willful disobedience. Few know enough to start each day with a thoroughgoing stand upon Luther’s platform: You are accepted, looking outward in faith and claiming the wholly alien righteousness of Christ as the only ground for acceptance, relaxing in that quality of trust which will produce increasing sanctification as faith is active in love and gratitude.
Yours in Christ,