Growing In Christ :: By Grant Phillips

Is it possible to be a legitimate child of God, in other words, a true Christian, and feel as though you don’t seem to be maturing spiritually? We could add … is it even possible to sometimes be unsure about your salvation? If Jesus returns in the rapture today, would you leave with Him? If you were to die today, would His face be the next face you see in eternity? Unfortunately, too many Christians have these doubts, but they do not need to be in that rut.

I would like to present a few areas to consider that may be giving some believers uncertainty in their spiritual lives: broken fellowship, spiritual malnutrition, His Word, His creation, and His Word. Yes, I know I said “His Word” twice, but I have a reason for it.


Some Christians (true believers) never doubt their salvation, and then some do. Those who doubt could be allowing sin in their life to hinder the fellowship between them and the Lord.

When we became a child of God, we trusted Him to forgive us of all our sins and save us, so why not trust Him when we fail Him each day? To the child of God, the Lord says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

When we were saved, we were given a “relationship” with God, just as we have a relationship with our earthly family. Our relationship with our spouse is husband/wife. For our children, it is parent/child. We also have what is called “fellowship” with our family, but if there is discord between family members, the fellowship is broken until the discord is removed. Keep in mind, the relationship is always there, even when the fellowship is broken. This is the reason for 1 John 1:9 above.

So, the question is … when we sin against God, are we going to Him and asking forgiveness? It is important also that we mean what we say. God can always spot insincerity.


Some Christians are starving themselves of the spiritual food they need to grow as a child of God. Then they wonder why they are spiritually anemic.

Common sense should tell us that if we refuse to eat, our bodies will die. Even a child knows that. So why do we think we can grow spiritually without the food God provides, i.e., His holy Word? What is it we’re depending on other than getting in God’s Word (the Bible)?

I heard a preacher say the other day that we don’t need to spend a lot of time in the Bible in order to grow as a believer. He said that we just need to witness. He based that on what is called “the great commission” found in Matthew 28:16-20. How can you tell anything to anyone unless you know what you’re talking about? In other words, how can I teach someone Spanish if I speak only English and do not know Spanish? This gentleman does not need to be a minister. He would do better at selling pencils on a street corner.

Maybe you’re depending on religious music to pump up your emotions. Religious music is great! I personally love the old hymns, but they cannot replace the Bible. As I said, this music is great, but it’s somewhat like eating only dessert instead of having a daily well-balanced meal. Desserts are great! Who doesn’t like desserts, but we can’t live on them. We need nourishing food to grow.

I mentioned “emotions.” Emotions are also a great thing to have, but they are not dependable and can be destructive if not in line with God’s Word. They are much like “opinions.” Opinions are nice to have, but only if they are firmly grounded … again … on God’s Word.


The apostle John said, “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31).

He also said, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God” (1 John 5:13).

The apostle Peter said, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (2 Peter 1:16).

The Holy Spirit, writing through these apostles, wants all of God’s children to be confident about their relationship in His Heavenly family. In other words, God wants us to be sure about our salvation in Jesus.

The apostle Paul said, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified” (2 Corinthians 13:5).

How do we examine ourselves? There are no shortcuts. There is only one place to go and one thing to do, and that is be a serious student of God’s Word. That is the only place to be certain that you will get the truth. And get this … the more you spend your time in prayer and His Word, the more you grow.

Jesus said, “… It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God'” (Matthew 4:4).

Any Christian who thinks they can substitute anything else for God’s Word, the Bible, and still grow spiritually is only fooling themselves. This is exactly why so many Christians are so spiritually immature and overtaken with false doctrine and doubts.

Also, do not rely on others to spoon-feed you. Get into the Scriptures yourself. The Lord wants us to get in His Word, and He, the Holy Spirit, will teach us. By the way, He is the best teacher there is.

An unbeliever cannot understand the Bible because it is foolishness to him, but God will guide His own through every page and enlighten their hearts and minds.

“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16).


“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

All anyone needs to do is look around. All of God’s creation screams, I AM MADE BY THE VERY HAND OF GOD!

Those who cannot see that are spiritually blind and eternally lost.


There is so much more that could be said, but I want to close out by considering the seriousness of our Bible study.

“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:27)

When studying the Bible or just casually reading it, never lose track of Luke 24:27 above. All of God’s Word is about the Lord Jesus Christ. All of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament are about Him. When you read and study His Word with that in mind, you are on the right path. Look for Jesus in the Scriptures. To do otherwise is like trying to ride a bicycle with a broken chain. You will do a lot of pedaling, but you won’t move forward.

Grant Phillips

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