GROWING

Stained Glass Side Bar.jpg

"Growing" - This speaks of our desire to grow as a disciple of Jesus; becoming like Him.  We are not just striving to avoid doing "the wrong things" to do "the right things."  We believe that the Christian life is about becoming like Jesus, and that becoming like Him is a process.  We believe that God has given us a very clear formula for how to grow to be like Jesus in 2 Peter 1:3-11.  We call them the Big 8.

#1 Faith-  The Christian life begins and is sustained by faith; being humble enough to believe in God and accept His truth, transferring our trust to Him for salvation and what we need for life and godliness, and then submitting to His will for our lives by faith.

#2 Goodness- In James 1:17 we read that "faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead."  We seek to grow in the application of our faith by doing those things which are in accordance with God's will.  Goodness also speaks to our character, therefore we desire to grow in character that is in accord with the "good" character of Christ.

#3 Knowledge- The Bible teaches that the knowledge of God leads to "eternal life" (John 17:3), and provides us "with everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3).  The knowledge we are seeking to grow in is intellectual (knowing about God), but it goes beyond that to an intimate and intuitive knowledge of God that can only come through a continual and personal relationship with Him. 

#4 Self-Control- As we grow in knowledge, we grow in our ability to stand firm in faith, goodness, and the knowledge that we have obtained, and not be "tossed back and forth by every wind of teaching and the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming" (Ephesians 4:13-14).  Instead of being victims of our environment or our circumstances, we desire to grow in our ability to "take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."

#5 Perseverance- The Christian life is not without it's challenges, and those who would seek to discourage us from it.  This requires perseverance.  But the Christian life is also impossible, and even at times painful, to try to live in our own strength.  Many try to persevere in their own strength, but we believe that through these things, God leads us to the place where we find we can only persevere by surrendering fully to Him and being filled with His Holy Spirit.  We desire to grow in perseverance, by growing in our surrender and trust in Him.

#6 Godliness- This, again, includes character but also includes a more holistic submission to the sovereignty of God in our lives.  We have more fully surrendered the control of our lives to Christ, and the working and filling of the Holy Spirit, and we are more and more being brought into conformity with Christ.  The natural result of growing in godliness and in conformity with Christ are the next two items on the list.  We believe that the Christian life is not really the Christian life without them.

#7 Brotherly Kindness- Brotherly kindness is being beneficial to those who are like us.  The Christian life was not meant to be lived in isolation, or for the benefit of one's own self.  That is why God instituted the Church (all those around the world who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and are born again of the Spirit).  These individuals are called to assemble together for the purpose of building each other up, encouraging each other, completing Christ's mission together, and worshipping and glorifying God together.  Every member of the Church is unique, and as such has been gifted uniquely to be a blessing first within the Church, and then within the world.  We desire to grow as individuals who are not seeking our own good, but who are intentional about serving each other and helping each other to grow in conformity to Christ.

#8 Love-  Jesus says in Matthew 5:43-48 that if we are to be like Him, it is not enough to just love those who are like us, but we must demonstrate His grace to everyone; including our enemies.  We are not to be stingy with the truth and grace of God, but we are to share it freely.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8a gives an excellent definition of love, and Jesus says that the greatest demonstration of love is that a person would be willing to lay down their own life (i.e. sacrifice themselves) for another person (John 15:13).  We desire to grow in love that will be evident in our willingness to share the truth of God's Word (good and bad) with people to the ends of the earth, that we will be willing to demonstrate God's grace to them, that we will be willing to lay down our agendas to do what it takes to see them come to know and experience the grace of God, through Christ Jesus, for themselves.

 

Atlanta Road Alliance Church
22625 Atlanta Road  |  P.O. Box 756  |  Seaford, Delaware