To accept Christ as Lord and Savior at your regeneration takes faith.
To believe His sacrifice and resurrection allows for our glorification at His return takes faith.
There is no talent, intellect, barter, payment, skill or anything that earned or deserved them. No control on my part. Now I chose (as you did) to confess my regeneration out loud to a group of others before my baptism and new church membership.
But in between my regeneration and my future glorification, there is sanctification, this time that is my life when I have a lot of choices to make. These choices do not change the regeneration or the glorification, but they surely do say a lot about what I believe God wants of me on this side of glorification.
Maturity is a progression of growth. During the progression there may be some dips and flat lines. But over time we want to see a consistent rise in this line that marks our sanctification. Everyone that goes to the Olympics is starting as a champion in their own country, but once you enter the Olympic competition you work for an even more elevated position by medaling. A medal one time doesn’t guarantee another one. Each event takes effort, work and persistence.
Freedom is an event. Freedom events have to happen over and over and over at such a consistent rate that you get the maturity level raises. Pastor always says to start with what you know. If all you know right now is Psalm 23 or Matthew 6:9-13 (The Lord’s Prayer), then each decision, every action should reflect that.
Can I be mature and not free?
Can I be free and yet immature?
To be free takes faith. It isn’t instinct or being in control.
Nothing is out of our control but out of our obedience.
Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness[a] combined with our faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance
• Our focus is forward therefore of faith
• The victory is Christ’s and Christ is in us
• Anything that shakes that joy is a trial
• We know it is affirming
Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways
• Be controlled by the Spirit…be willing to obey the Word of God in every situation
He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you.
• Gloried=to show, to manifest, to give faith
Evidence of Maturing in Christ
• In character progress – Galatians 5:16-22
• I say be guided by the Spirit and you won’t carry out your selfish desires. 17 A person’s selfish desires are set against the Spirit, and the Spirit is set against one’s selfish desires. They are opposed to each other, so you shouldn’t do whatever you want to do. 18 But if you are being led by the Spirit, you aren’t under the Law. 19 The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, 20 idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, 21 jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
o The way you should go (:17)
o You don’t have to look at a set of rules (:18)
o The bible gives indicators (:19)
• Bearing fruit of the Spirit is the product of walking with Christ; it is a measurement of maturing in Christ
• Review backslide – Galatians 5:19
The measurement standard – the fruit of the Spirit – Character of Christ
• Conduct should imitate Christ and ALL be filtered through the Word of God
o Attitudes, desires, motivation
o Perspectives (the way you see things)
o Perception (how you understand things)
• Christ showed compassion
o Matthew 9:36 – Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
o Matthew 14:14 – When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick.
o Luke 7:13 – When he saw her, the Lord had compassion for her and said, “Don’t cry.”
• Christ showed love
o Mark 10:21 – Jesus looked at him carefully and loved him. He said, “You are lacking one thing. Go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor. Then you will have treasure in heaven. And come, follow me.”
o Luke 19:41 – As Jesus came to the city and observed it, he wept over it.
Review Romans 8
Set free by the Spirit
8 So now there isn’t any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 God has done what was impossible for the Law, since it was weak because of selfishness. God condemned sin in the body by sending his own Son to deal with sin in the same body as humans, who are controlled by sin. 4 He did this so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us. Now the way we live is based on the Spirit, not based on selfishness. 5 People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. 6 The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. 7 So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. 8 People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.
9 But you aren’t self-centered. Instead you are in the Spirit, if in fact God’s Spirit lives in you. If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, they don’t belong to him. 10 If Christ is in you, the Spirit is your life because of God’s righteousness, but the body is dead because of sin. 11 If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your human bodies also, through his Spirit that lives in you.
12 So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness. 13 If you live on the basis of selfishness, you are going to die. But if you put to death the actions of the body with the Spirit, you will live. 14 All who are led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons and daughters. 15 You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The same Spirit agrees with our spirit, that we are God’s children. 17 But if we are children, we are also heirs. We are God’s heirs and fellow heirs with Christ, if we really suffer with him so that we can also be glorified with him.
Our suffering and our hope
18 I believe that the present suffering is nothing compared to the coming glory that is going to be revealed to us. 19 The whole creation waits breathless with anticipation for the revelation of God’s sons and daughters. 20 Creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice—it was the choice of the one who subjected it—but in the hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from slavery to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22 We know that the whole creation is groaning together and suffering labor pains up until now. 23 And it’s not only the creation. We ourselves who have the Spirit as the first crop of the harvest also groan inside as we wait to be adopted and for our bodies to be set free. 24 We were saved in hope. If we see what we hope for, that isn’t hope. Who hopes for what they already see? 25 But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.
26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. 27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will. 28 We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 We know this because God knew them in advance, and he decided in advance that they would be conformed to the image of his Son. That way his Son would be the first of many brothers and sisters. 30 Those who God decided in advance would be conformed to his Son, he also called. Those whom he called, he also made righteous. Those whom he made righteous, he also glorified.
31 So what are we going to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He didn’t spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. Won’t he also freely give us all things with him?
33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect people? It is God who acquits them. 34 Who is going to convict them? It is Christ Jesus who died, even more, who was raised, and who also is at God’s right side. It is Christ Jesus who also pleads our case for us.
35 Who will separate us from Christ’s love? Will we be separated by trouble, or distress, or harassment, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,
We are being put to death all day long for your sake.
We are treated like sheep for slaughter.[a]
37 But in all these things we win a sweeping victory through the one who loved us. 38 I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers 39 or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.