To become a better Christian is to grow in the knowledge of God, growing more and more into Him. This would mean living like Jesus did when He walked this earth in flesh and blood.
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. 2 Peter 3:18 KJV
Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). Ephesians 4:15 AMPC
We Have All We Need
God has given us all that pertains to life and godliness, but it is through the full and personal knowledge of Him. We have been given all that we need for life and godliness but to fully enjoy these gifts, we must make growing in our knowledge of God a lifelong pursuit.We must make growing in our knowledge of God a life ling pursuit. Click To Tweet
For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). 2 Peter 1:3 AMPC
If we are given the fullness of these promise while yet babes, we would certainly not be able to handle it.
How Do We Know We Are Growing?
One major way to know that we are growing is to check how we are evolving in the fruit of the spirit.
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,  Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. Galatians 5:22-23 AMPC
The day we got saved, God’s Spirit was given to us and His presence in us helps us to:
- Be joyful and glad
- Let peace rule your heart, pursue it
- Be patient/even tempered/forbearing
- Practice kindness
- Be good/benevolent
- Make faithfulness/loyalty your lifestyle
- Be gentle/meek/humble
- Exercise self control (control our thoughts, emotions, words and actions)
We have to work with God’s Spirit as He wants to help us manifest and grow in our Christian character. He does not just force us to become and/or grow in this fruit, we must want to.We cannot relax and do nothing to mature.
We Grow When We Live The Fruit.
And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], Philippians 1:9 AMPC
In fact, further in the scripture we saw from 2 Peter 1, in verses 6 and 7 we are asked to grow in some qualities that can encompass the fruit of the spirit we discussed earlier.
And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),  And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love. 2 Peter 1:6-7 AMPC
So you see, we have a part to play in our spiritual growth. The Holy Sprit is there to help us of course, but not to force us.
As we grow in these qualities we become more productive and useful in knowing Christ fully and personally. He is revealed more and more in us and through us.
For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
2 Peter 1:8 AMPC
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:8 NLT
So, How To Become a Better Christian?
1. Read, study, meditate on, and obey God’s word.
And now [brethren], I commit you to God [I deposit you in His charge, entrusting you to His protection and care]. And I commend you to the Word of His grace [to the commands and counsels and promises of His unmerited favor]. It is able to build you up and to give you [your rightful] inheritance among all God’s set-apart ones (those consecrated, purified, and transformed of soul). Acts 20:32 AMPC
The word of builds our spirits up. We were born again by the word of God.
And it was of His own [free] will that He gave us birth [as sons] by [His] Word of Truth, so that we should be a kind of first fruits of His creatures [a sample of what He created to be consecrated to Himself].
James 1:18 AMPC
Also see 1 Peter 1:23
- We are born by his word, and as babes we start our growth process by taking in the milk of His word
…as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, 1 Peter 2:2 NKJV
Also see Acts 10:32
- We must go on taking in His word and grow into receiving solid food.
For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:13-14 NKJV
The most important thing though is to START eating and getting the nourishment He has provided for us to grow. As you read, meditate, understand and do God’s word, growth begins to happen “naturally”.
You Must Obey To Grow
Notice that in order to grow, you must obey the God’s word. When we do the word we know, we are then ready to go to the next level in God’s word, we are ready for more revelation and insight.
Meditation Helps Obedience
Another note worthy truth is that many times you have to spend time thinking on (meditating on, speaking) God’s word in order to understand it and make it part of you. When it becomes part of you then you can do it without struggle, because you have ingested and digested it into your spirit. See Joshua 1:8
We lead such busy lives these days and excuses to starve our spirits are on a minute by minute increase. But we must fight!
We must MAKE time to sit and give attention to God’s word. We are born, nourished and sustained Hebrews 1:3 by God’s word. A neglect of our spiritual food will eventually lead to spiritual death. I once read from someone that a resolute mind will find a way. No matter the circumstance, we CAN give great attention to God’s word.
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Another way to grow and become a better Christian is by making communication with God a constant practice. That is what prayer is essentially; talking with God. When we spend time with God, talking with Him, listening for and to Him, we take on more of His grace.
It is true that we become like the people we spend our quantitative and qualitative times with. So it is with our spirits. The more we expose our spirits to God as we study His word and spend time with Him in prayer, talking with him, and listening for and to Him, His nature already within us increasingly overwhelms our flesh.
3. Fellowship with Other Believers
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 NKJV
Worshipping, praying, studying, and interacting with other believers is an element of our spiritual growth that we cannot ignore.
When we spend time with other believers we are uplifted, encouraged, challenged and urged into becoming better Christians.
By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 NKJV
I cannot end this without mentioning the importance of the love life of a believer. This is the truest test of a growing Christian.A believer's love for God is untrue if his/her fellow man is excluded in his love life. 1 John 4:20 Click To Tweet
I have come to see that all the other fruit of the spirit hinge on love. In 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 we see that the characteristics of God there mentioned incorporate all eight of them.
I have also seen that a believer’s love life is tried and tested in their relationship with those closest to them. I find that we often make excuse for other people but are not so generous to family or those close to us.
It is important for us to strive toward growing in love.
I submit to you that anyone who works to grow in their love life and walk, grows to become a better Christian.
We must make up our minds to practice love. God’s love is already shed abroad in our hearts Romans 5:5, but we need to start putting it to use in order for it to blossom and flourish.
Say “no” to your flesh and practice loving the people in your life and the people you meet, one day at a time, and as you lean on The Holy Spirit, a time comes when you love almost without trying.
“Growth is the only evidence of life”. ~ John Henry Newman
I have a lot of growing up to do.!
Will you join me in the passion and pursuit to grow?
Will you give it all it takes to live more and more like Christ?
Copyright©️ Ugochi Oritsejolomisan 2020
Photo Credit: Geralt