Tuesday 12 April 2011

Coming Out of Darkness Part 21 by Gary Sigler

Facebook on Monday, 11 April 2011 at 16:44. Three Stages of Spiritual Growth Part 1 There are basically three stages of spiritual growth in the Christian life, as revealed by the Apostle John, "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known Him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one" (1 John 2:12-14). Little Children When we are first born again, we are newborn babies, and it takes some time for spiritual growth. We need the liberty to be babies and little children until we grow up. John says in 1 John 2:1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." The ideal is that once you come to know Jesus, "I would that you sin not." But if you do sin, remember you have an advocate with the Father. John is saying here that right from the very beginning we need to realize that God is our Savior. If you are saved, you have a heart for God. When you have a heart for God, deep inside you want to be conformed in His image. So John says, "Little children, I would that you sin not, but if you do, remember that you have an advocate, Jesus Christ the righteous." Little children do not know a whole lot. They need, more than anything, to be properly loved and fed. You do not teach a baby how to be a full-grown man. As parents, we do not expect a whole lot from our little children. One of the great problems in the system of Christianity that hinders spiritual growth is that after we are born again they will not allow us the time to be little children. They expect us to be born again and then start being a spiritual man. Religion condemns all the little children because they are not grown up. Little children are still worldly. They still do many things that a mature person wouldn’t do. The one thing a little child has is confidence in their Father. They never feel like they cannot go to their Father, regardless of what they do. A child always knows that they can go to their Father and receive love and forgiveness. We Christians have a hard time believing that God is good enough to receive us just the way we are. He knows our habits and sins, yet He loves and forgives us anyway. When God called you, you may have been a prostitute or a king. When He called you, He knew exactly what you were and what it would take to transform you. He looks way beyond where you are today and He sees you in eternity fully transformed and walking in the realm of the Kingdom. Romans chapter 8 says that we have been called, predestinated, justified and glorified, all in the past tense. God looks at the finished work. God’s Unlimited Forgiveness Little children you cannot sin more than God’s ability and willingness to forgive. In fact, He has already forgiven you. On the cross, every sin ever committed, past, present, and future, was forgiven. At the cross, sin, the world, the flesh and the devil were taken into death and did not come out of the grave. In God’s eyes, sin is no more. He fully dealt with the sin problem. This cannot be just a doctrine. We need the revelation to see the full redemption that was purchased at Calvary. When we have the light and revelation of God concerning redemption, we will never be condemned again for the areas in our lives that need transformation. There will come a day when the veils will be fully removed from our eyes and we will see that sin is no more and we will be free from it. The fear of sin is what keeps many in bondage to it. I am no longer afraid of sin. I know I still experience it in certain areas, but I no longer fear it. I know sin is a product of the carnal realm. As long as I am not fully transformed, the carnal man will affect me at times. However I no longer fear this, I just continue to seek God and know that as I seek Him, as I touch Him, He will flow into those areas and bring transformation. When you no longer fear sin, it loses power in your life. One of the greatest problems today is that we do not feel good enough to partake of the riches of Christ. We do not see the power of God operating in our lives because we feel that we are not worthy. We do not believe in the simplicity of the gospel. Jesus bore the penalty for our sin and we should not feel condemned, but rather forgiven. We are God’s children, born from above. We have a new nature, but we are still for the most part little children. Because we are still more natural than spiritual, we condemn ourselves for what we do in the flesh. We feel we deserve condemnation rather than God’s forgiveness. We feel, because of our sin and our carnal nature that from time to time rises up in us, that we are not worthy. It would be wonderful if, when we come to God, we could be born a fully mature Son of God, but that just does not happen. God wants to transform us into what He is, and that is a day by day process. The religious ones look at the little children and say, "Look at them, they call themselves Christians and they do all kinds of things that they shouldn’t. They must not be born again." To them, being a Christian is a matter of conduct, of being right and doing right. They do not realize that they need to feed the little children, not condemn them. So precious few ever realize that to change the outward conduct only makes them a better person in the natural. No matter how good you are, it does not give you an entrance into the Kingdom of God. I have witnessed, time and time again, that it is much harder for a good person to enter into the realm of the Kingdom than a bad person. A good person has a hard time recognizing their need for God. If you have followed these messages on Coming Out of Darkness from the beginning, you know it doesn’t matter how good or how bad you are, you still need God to be able to live the Kingdom life. God takes natural men both, good and bad, and transforms them into Sons of God. This is the good news of the gospel. Living in the Kingdom of God has absolutely nothing to do with the natural man. We are not fully transformed yet. There are times when our flesh will get the best of us. There are still times when we say no to the prompting of the Spirit. If you are 95% transformed in the spirit and still have 5% carnality, that 5% will rise up and get the best of you at times. If you do not understand that, you will always be condemned. If you think that because you have been a Christian for 20 years you should not have any carnality, you will always condemn yourself, rather than recognizing it as the flesh and looking away to the sin offering and accepting forgiveness. Again, the penalty for our sin was paid at Calvary. That is why Jesus died and that offering was for all of humanity. He died so that you could find your way back to God. This is according to God’s purpose, which is "every man in his own order". God will bring you into the fullness of His plan for your life. Even though God will bring you fully into His purpose for your life, you still have a part to play in it. That is why it is "every man in his own order". Our actions and responses to God affect our lives, whether for good or bad. The more that we hunger and seek after God, the quicker He can work His will in our lives. If we are not willing, we need to ask Him to make us willing. The choices that we make do play a part in God’s working in our lives. However, we must also understand that it is not a matter of the flesh. We know that the things we do in the flesh do not please God, but we cannot just lay back and do nothing, thinking that God will do it all. The key is that we must seek God. Don’t try to perfect yourself in the flesh, but every day of your life, seek after God. Learn to worship Him and fall in love with Him. There have been periods in my life when I would get so discouraged and downcast that I would lose hunger for God. I have gone for periods when I wouldn’t read the Bible and I wouldn’t pray much, but I never quit being honest with God. I used to drive to a place in my car or find a place in my home every day where I would just talk to God. I have said to God many times, "I do not have the hunger anymore, please help me." I believe that is how I found the strength to keep going on. Most Christians never get beyond the stage of a little child because of condemnation. It is OK to be a child, and you will always be a spiritual child until you realize that it is OK to be where you are today. It does not matter what your problems or hang-ups are. What matters is that you have your eyes unveiled to the fact that the price for your redemption was fully paid. You need to go to God and ask Him to reveal the depths of Calvary to you. You need your understanding opened to the fact that there will come a day when you will fully reveal and manifest His glory, because that is why you were created. You do have a part to play in this. Your choices can hinder your spiritual growth but they will not stop it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you are a puppet on a string. God does have it all worked out according to His purpose, but how long will you wait before going to Him and trusting Him to do in you what you cannot do in the flesh? I have been saying for years that Christians will do everything except take the time to sit quietly in His presence, because they are so busy. If you do not spend time with God, no matter how many good works you do, it does not matter. People may benefit from your good works, but you won’t. You must begin to spend time with God. That is when the veils and the darkness begin to lift off of you. Only God can reveal to you the depths of His love. His love is not a doctrine; it must be experienced. As Christians, we should not know one another according to the flesh, but according to the spirit. There are Christians who have been Christians for many years and are still babies because they have not known these truths. Let’s not condemn the babies, let’s feed them the riches of redemption to release them from condemnation so they can grow. Next "The Young Men"

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