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Lesson 9

Growing Up Into Christ!

It is a physical law that healthy, growth and development are produced by nourishing food, fresh air, exercise, and a loving relationship with
others. If one of these is missing, impaired growth and development and possible death will result.

It is a spiritual law that spiritual growth and development are produced by systematic Bible study, a regular prayer life, and sharing Christ
with others. If one of these is missing, impaired spiritual growth and development and possible death will result. Let's take God's Word and
find out how we can grow up to the stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. There are certain essentials to the healthy growth and
development of our spiritual life.

1. What did Jesus say was necessary to sustain spiritual life? Matthew 4:4

"He who with sincere and teachable spirit studies God's Word, seeking to comprehend its truths, will be brought in touch with its Author;
and except by his own choice, there is no limit to the possibilities of his development" (Education, pp. 124, 125).

2. Why did God allow the children of Israel to become hungry in the wilderness? Deuteronomy 8:3

The Word is indispensable to spiritual growth. It is "spiritual bread." We must eat in order to grow. Paul said, "And now,
brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up" (Acts 20:32). And Jeremiah declared, "Thy
words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart" (Jeremiah 15:16).

3. What diet is recommended to those who have been recently converted to               Christ? 1 Peter 2:2

"Fill the whole heart with the words of God. They are the living water, quenching your burning thirst. They are the living bread from heaven. . . .        Our bodies are built up from what we eat and drink; and as in the natural, so it is in the spiritual: It is what we meditate upon that will give
tone and strength to our spiritual nature. . . . there is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures.                No other book is so potent to elevate the thoughts, to give vigor to the faculties, as the broad, ennobling truths of the Bible"                               (Steps to Christ, pp. 88-90)

4. What advice did Paul give the young trainee Timothy? 2 Timothy 2:15

Many new converts to Christ never grow up but remain spiritual babies or spiritual dwarfs simply because they do not feed upon the Word
of God.

5. How much did David value God's Word? Psalm 119:103-105

6. We are told that "the just shall live by his faith" (Habakkuk 2:4). How are we to receive this faith? Romans 10:17

7. What effort on our part is necessary to understand divine things? Proverbs 2:3-6

"We cannot obtain wisdom without earnest attention and prayerful study. Some portions of Scripture are indeed too plain to be
misunderstood, but there are others whose meaning does not lie on the surface to be seen at a glance. Scripture must be compared with
Scripture. There must be careful research and prayerful reflection. And such study will be richly repaid" (Ibid., p. 90).

8. What power does the Word have when hidden in the heart? Psalm 119:11

9. What is required beyond a mere hearing of the Word? James 1:22

10. What is the result of doing God's will? 1 John 2:17

11. What do Isaiah and Jeremiah advise us to do? Isaiah 55:6 & Jeremiah 33:3

We can talk with God! He tells us to call upon Him. It isn't all talking on man's part or on God's part. It's a little of both, and more! It's                sharing our joys and sorrows, our likes and dislikes, our gratitude and praise. It is opening our heart to God as to a friend, and much more.               Much more! Prayer brings us up to God, linking our mind with His so that we can begin to understand His will and way.

Prayer is not bribing God to help us. He wants to help us! Sometimes He says, "Yes." Sometimes He says, "No." Sometimes He says,
"Wait." Sometimes He says, "I'll give you something better." But He always answers a sincere prayer. Always!

12. In whose name should we make our requests? John 14:13, 14

13. How often should we pray? Colossians 4:2 & 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"No other life was ever so crowded with labor and responsibility as was that of Jesus; yet how often He was found in prayer! How constant
was His communion with God! Again and again in the history of His earthly life are found records such as these: 'Rising up a great while
before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.' . . . 'And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.'
'And it came to pass in those days that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.' Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16;
6:12" (The Desire of Ages, p. 362).

14. What times did David set aside for prayer? Psalm 55:17

15. What assurance do we have that God will hear and answer our                    prayers? Matthew 7:7

They studied daily to see if what they were hearing was right or wrong. What a revolution would take place today in the religious world if those who attend the various churches of the land would begin to study the Bible to see if what is taught in their church is according to the Scriptures. Not everyone is interested in following the good example set by the Bereans. Let us make a covenant with God that we will use the same method to determine what is truth!

16. What conditions are necessary in order for our prayers to be answered?

a. Persistence. Ephesians 6:18: "Praying . . . with all perserverance."

b. Faith. James 1:6: "But let him ask in faith."

c. "According to His will."1 John 5:14 "If we ask any thing according to his will,         he heareth us."

d. Forgiving. Mark 11:25, 26: "Forgive, if ye have ought against any."

e. Can't cherish sin. Psalm 66:18: "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will           not hear me."

f. Keep God's law. Proverbs 28:9:

17. In what way does the Bible indicate that man is a social creature? Romans 14:7

18. How do we know that Christ was sociable and enjoyed fellowship?                  John 2:1-11 -- John 12:12 & Luke 4:16

"Jesus reproved self-indulgence in all its forms, yet He was social in His nature. He accepted the hospitality of all classes, visiting the
homes of the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, and seeking to elevate their thoughts from questions of commonplace life                  to those things that are spiritual and eternal. He gave no license to dissipation, and no shadow of worldly levity marred His conduct; yet                   He found pleasure in scenes of innocent happiness, and by His presence sanctioned the social gathering" (The Desire of Ages, pp. 150, 151).

19. What did Paul urge the early Christians not to forsake? Hebrews 10:24, 25

Down through the centuries the beautiful custom of going into the Lord's house has been followed by millions. David said, "I was glad
when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord" (Psalm 122:1). Jesus Himself regularly observed the Sabbath and met in
Christian fellowship with the believers. Luke 4:16 says, "He came to . . . .the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read;"
What fellowship! What blessings come to us when we meet together to worship God with others who also love Him.

20. Where did Jesus promise He would be? Matthew 18:20

21. What advice did Paul give concerning our relationship with others?                      Romans 12:10

22. What golden rule did Jesus give? Matthew 7:12

23. What was Christ's mission here on earth? Luke 19:10

"The Saviour's life on earth was not a life of ease and devotion to Himself, but He toiled with persistent, earnest, untiring effort for the
salvation of lost mankind. From the manger to Calvary He followed the path of self-denial and sought not to be released from arduous
tasks, painful travels, and exhausting care and labor. He said, 'The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give
His life a ransom for many' (Matthew 20:28). This was the one great object of His life. Everything else was secondary and subservient. It
was His meat and drink to do the will of God and to finish His work. Self and self - interest had no part in His labor" (Steps to Christ, p. 78).

24. What does Jesus say the Spirit - filled Christian will become? Acts 1:8

Every born - again Christian is an ambassador for Jesus Christ. He is witness of what Christ has done in his life. When a person has been
born anew by the Spirit of God, he does not live to himself or for himself any longer. He lives to glorify God by sharing his knowledge of
God's love and salvation with his fellowmen. Jesus said, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19).

25. What does a witness for Christ witness about? Romans 10:2, 9

In court a witness tells only what he has heard, seen, or experienced -- first hand. It is the same with the Christian witness. Our personal
testimony -- telling what Christ has done in our lives -- becomes a tool for winning souls to Christ. A woman of Samaria led a city to Christ
because of her testimony (John 4:39).

26. In what way did Jesus describe the Christian witness? Matthew 5:14, 16

We are to reflect Him in character and works. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world" (John 8:12). As the moon reflects the rays of the sun,
so we are to reflect the light of God.

27. What were Jesus' parting instructions to His followers? Matthew 28:19, 20

28. Is it your desire to grow up into Christ by studying His Word, communing with Him and sharing His love to others?

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