“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
The Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and invite Him into our hearts, several things happen concerning the relationship between us and God.
First, the Bible tells us that we are saved.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Rom. 10:9)
We are saved from sin. The Bible tells us that sin shall not have dominion over us any longer. (Rom. 6:14)
We are saved from the enemy of our soul, the devil. Jesus says that He gives us power over all the power of the enemy. (Luke 10:19)
We are saved from eternal damnation and punishment:
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2)
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)
The Bible also tells us that we have become “born again”. One translation translates it as being “born from above”.
“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
Nicodemus, the man Jesus was speaking to, couldn’t understand how a person could be born a second time. Jesus explained that it is a spiritual birth.
“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (John 3:5)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
In the same way that the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and miraculously conceived in her a physical seed that was to become the only begotten Son of God, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell inside of us and He conceives the spiritual seed of our new nature so that we become an adopted son of God.
“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” (1Peter 1:23)
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15)
However, as it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual. We are not “born again” as a mature spiritual son of God, but we are born as an infant. And although this is the place from which we must begin if we are to enter the kingdom of God, this is not the condition to remain in if we are to inherit the kingdom of God.
“And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:” (Eph. 4:15)
In this series we are going to do an in-depth examination of spiritual growth: what it is and how to achieve it. We are going to see what God determines to be the signs of spiritual maturity and the signs of spiritual childishness.
Unlike physical growth which is inevitable, it is our choice whether we decide to grow spiritually or not. However, if we determine to do whatever is necessary to become a mature child of God:
“His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matt. 25:21)