“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” (2 Peter 1:5).

Have you ever met a Christian who claim they have been in the Body of Christ for decades and often behave badly?  I have and it stands to reason that something is terribly wrong!  There are three things to consider: 1) What kind of spiritual food are they being fed at their church? 2) Are they reading the Word of God daily? 3) Have they been baptized with the Holy Spirit?  I know there are more areas to explore, but let’s consider these three areas of spiritual neglect. There is a reason why Christians are not GROWING IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The same way we must eat food for our physical body, we also must eat spiritual food to feed our spirit.  If we neglect to eat food for the nourishment of our body, we are going to be weak and our body parts will not function properly and eventually we will die.  The point is, we must eat the right kind of food in order to stay healthy.  The same principle applies when it comes to our spiritual growth.  The first thing a new Christian does is to read the Holy Bible to learn of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. “Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:29).  The first lesson of many, which I learned from the Holy Spirit, was to read the Holy Bible for myself. I was feed Word by Word daily from the Holy Bible, through the teaching power of the Holy Spirit. The first year of my conversion to Christianity, I spent studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit before I joined a local church. This may not be God’s development plan for every Christian, but it was for my spiritual development.  It important to know what written in the Holy Scriptures and God’s instructions for Christian spiritual development.

In the local churches, there are those who are called to teach and preach the Word of God to nurture the growing Christian.  But if the churches’ teaching and preaching ministries are not biblically accurate and led by the Holy Spirit. The chances are very great that the members are not being spiritual transformed from the fleshly life to the spiritual life. “And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may be prove what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).  Thereby, the members’ spiritual growth is under developed and their spiritual character is deformed.  Slowly, the of characteristic of integrity is flushed out with the weight of the flesh and sin.

If we are to grow in righteousness, we must read God’s Word.  We must know the Master of righteousness.  The Word of God is the spiritual food which every Christian must intake daily.  We cannot neglect the spiritual man.  Our spirit must be stronger than our flesh, which loves world and sin.  The flesh will overrule the spirit if the spirit is not nurtured with the Word of Truth.  The spiritual character of a Christian, when it is strong and well fed, will develop and grow in integrity. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8).  Don’t wait for anyone to feed you the Word of God, feed yourself! Make reading the Holy Bible daily one of your priorities, along with prayer. Displaying a godly characteristic and Growing in Integrity relies on being filled with the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

The final consideration of Growing in Righteousness is whether a person has been baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Baptism comes when one’s heart is truly sorrowful and repentive.  We can say many things with our mouth, but our heart can be far from God.  God knows every heart, whether it is true to him or not.  The Lord is not going to dwell in the heart of a sinner!!! He is not going to abide with sin! “But ye that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  Those who are in the church building each Sunday, and have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, have not surrendered their heart to Jesus! This is the reason why so many who are not “Growing in Righteousness” have bad behavior and a bad attitude.  They need to give their heart to Jesus and stop playing church! These people can play as if their character is good and honorable for a moment. But they return to their bad behavior before the Benediction! “Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Growing in Righteousness requires a commitment of love and honor to our Creator.  Christianity does not stop after water baptism, Christianity is an ongoing journey! We must strive every day in this earthen vessel to press toward the high calling of God.  “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”. (2 Peter 1:5).  We have to practice what we preach…”Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.” (2 Thess 4:1).  Keep Growing in Righteousness and stay pleasing in God sight!

For the record, this written for those who want to please God and grow in Christian Righteousness.  God bless you and Amen!

Written by Jessica L. Matthews, Missionary Pastor

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