The Word of God contains eternal truths; in this life we will never learn everything God has to teach us. However, as children of God, we are to learn and grow and change.
- 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
- Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
- Colossians 3:9-10 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
But Christians don’t just grow from immaturity to maturity, they are also transformed into something new. At the moment of our salvation there is an instantaneous, miraculous change that only God can do: we were transformed from death to life, from enemies of God to friends of God, from darkness to light. We are made right with God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Then we begin to evolve. We are gradually changed through a process called sanctification. Sanctification takes us from being in right legal standing with God to living a life that truly honors and glorifies Him (becoming in practice who we are in position). We are gradually changed from spiritual babies into mature Christians. We go through a process of evolution to become more and more like Jesus Christ.
Below is a high-level overview of this evolutionary process. But to be clear, this is not intended to represent some strict chronological sequence of events. God individualizes each Christian’s evolutionary process to align with His plan and their needs. There are overlaps and restarts. There is no strict order. This is a general representation of the miraculous process of transformation each Christian should experience as they ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’.
You hear or read a new doctrinal truth from scripture. You don’t really understand it or live it out (it doesn’t define who you are). You can repeat it, but you can’t explain it.
- Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
Then, by the grace of God, the Holy Spirit reveals to you the truth of His teaching. In a personal encounter with the Holy Spirit, you begin to understand. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you figured out God’s eternal truths on your own, that is very arrogant.
- 1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Once you understand something, you must apply it to your life. It is important that we live out what we believe. Faith and knowledge are wonderful, but if we are not applying what God has taught us, we are being disobedient.
- James 1:22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
When you understand and do, you change. Your metamorphosis is a testimony to the world of God’s desire to see all things reconciled to Himself. The more you change, the more God’s love shines through you.
- Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God has ordained that each believer should become like His Son Jesus. As we humble ourselves, He lifts us up.
- Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
As we grow we spend more and more time in God’s Word. We hide His Word in our hearts through meditation on it and memorization of it. Our thoughts, desires and attitudes become centered on God’s Word.
- Psalm 119:11 Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.
- Read how Jesus used to Word of God to combat the temptations of Satan in Matthew 4:1-11
The more we grow the more we look to God’s Word and rely on the leading of His Holy Spirit to identify our next opportunity for growth. The more we understand and become, the more we desire to understand and be. This takes us right back to the beginning of the process.
- James 1:25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
Our Heavenly Father loves us so very much. He doesn’t just change us and then leave us alone. He is actively engaged in our lives and all the events of the world (whether we understand this or not). He lovingly molds us and gradually transforms us. This is one example of evolution that is true.
God’s love is revealed
in the evolution of His saints.
Thank You Lord for the process of sanctification. You never abandon us. You are always faithful to Your people, Your promises and Your plans. May we be submissive and obedient to the process of change that will continually make us more like Jesus. Your love is amazing. I praise You and pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.