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7 Características del Crecimiento Espiritual

13 ABRIL, 2017  |  LUIS MÉNDEZ

Uno de los mayores obstáculos para nuestro crecimiento espiritual es que solemos intentar cambiar lo que hacemos en vez de lo que somos. Estamos tan empeñados en hacer ajustes en lo que las personas ven, que olvidamos lo más importante: lo que solo Dios puede ver.

Dios está en el negocio de transformarnos a la imagen de su Hijo (Efesios 4:13). Él quiere que crezcamos espiritualmente, y necesitamos su ayuda para esa clase de transformación que no es superficial, sino que ocurre dentro de nosotros.

Déjame compartir contigo siete características del verdadero crecimiento espiritual. Obviamente, en la Palabra de Dios encontramos mucho más sobre este tema. Pero aquí ordené siete aspectos que reflejan muy bien cuando estamos en crecimiento espiritual:

1. El crecimiento espiritual se basa en el nuevo nacimiento.

En otras palabras, el crecimiento espiritual está basado en una salvación real. No podemos hablar de crecimiento espiritual si no tenemos vida espiritual —si no hemos nacido de nuevo y hemos recibido el perdón de Dios.

En Juan 1:12-13 podemos leer sobre la importancia de esto: “Pero a todos los que lo recibieron, les dio el derecho (el poder) de llegar a ser hijos de Dios, es decir, a los que creen en Su nombre, que no nacieron de sangre, ni de la voluntad de la carne, ni de la voluntad del hombre, sino de Dios”.

Tu crecimiento espiritual no tiene que ver principalmente con que tus padres, amigos o familiares sean creyentes. Se trata primero de un asunto individual, para aquellos que han sido adoptados por Dios.

2. El crecimiento espiritual se basa en la obra del Espíritu Santo.

El apóstol Pablo nos enseña que necesitamos vivir bajo la influencia del Espíritu Santo para crecer espiritualmente:

“Por tanto, tengan cuidado cómo andan; no como insensatos sino como sabios, aprovechando bien el tiempo, porque los días son malos. Así pues, no sean necios, sino entiendan cuál es la voluntad del Señor. Y no se embriaguen con vino, en lo cual hay disolución, sino sean llenos del Espíritu” (Efesios 5:5-18).

La Biblia enseña mucho sobre la obra del Espíritu Santo. Por ejemplo, nos enseña que Él nos guiará a toda verdad y nos consuela (Juan 16:1314:26). No hay crecimiento espiritual en nuestras vidas si el Espíritu no está trabajando estas cosas que solo Él puede hacer.

3. El crecimiento espiritual se basa en un conocimiento experiencial de la gracia de Dios.

Es muy diferente saber cosas sobre que Dios que conocer a Dios.

Tenemos mucha información sobre Dios. Conocemos sus atributos, podemos citar la Palabra, hablar sobre lo que Él ha revelado, pero ¿tienes una relación con Dios? ¿Lo conoces en lo privado?

Pedro escribió: “Antes bien, crezcan en la gracia y el conocimiento de nuestro Señor y Salvador Jesucristo. A El sea la gloria ahora y hasta el día de la eternidad. Amén”. (2 Pedro 3:18, énfasis añadido.)

El apóstol habla del crecimiento en conocimiento y gracia. Esta gracia incluye el aspecto experimental de haber sentido el perdón de nuestros pecados, y el profundo amor de Dios. Si no conocemos de una manera profunda la gracia de Dios, no podremos compartirla con otras personas ni crecer.

4. El crecimiento espiritual genera una actitud de humildad.

Es contradictorio decir que estamos creciendo espiritualmente mientras somos orgullosos. Si lo que sabes de Dios es correcto, ese conocimiento debe llevarte a reflejar lo que Dios es.

Dios exalta al humilde y tiene una pasión singular por él. Sin embargo, la misma Biblia enseña que Él resiste a los orgullosos (Santiago 4:6).

Necesitamos seguir el ejemplo de Jesús: “Haya, pues, en ustedes esta actitud (esta manera de pensar) que hubo también en Cristo Jesús, el cual, aunque existía en forma de Dios, no consideró el ser igual a Dios como algo a qué aferrarse, sino que Se despojó a sí mismo tomando forma de siervo, haciéndose semejante a los hombres. Y hallándose en forma de hombre, se humilló El mismo, haciéndose obediente hasta la muerte, y muerte de cruz” (Filipenses 2:5-8).

Teniendo todas las facultades para haber nacido en un palacio, nuestro Señor vino a nacer en un pesebre y a morir por pecadores, eligiendo la peor de las muertes. Así nos modeló una actitud de humildad.

5. El crecimiento espiritual viene como efecto de una transformación real.

Dios nos recibe tal y como somos, pero nos ama demasiado como para dejarnos así.

Por eso, en Romanos 12:1-2, leemos: “Por tanto, hermanos, les ruego por las misericordias de Dios que presenten sus cuerpos como sacrificio vivo y santo, aceptable (agradable) a Dios, que es el culto racional de ustedes. Y no se adapten (no se conformen) a este mundo, sino transfórmense mediante la renovación de su mente, para que verifiquen cuál es la voluntad de Dios: lo que es bueno y aceptable (agradable) y perfecto”.

En respuesta al evangelio, debemos vivir con mentes transformadas para crecer espiritualmente.

6. El crecimiento espiritual inspira una actitud de avance.

Cuando Dios trabaja en nuestras vidas, nos reta a seguir creciendo.

El apóstol Pablo escribió al respecto: “Hermanos, yo mismo no considero haberlo ya alcanzado. Pero una cosa hago: olvidando lo que queda atrás y extendiéndome a lo que está delante, prosigo hacia la meta para obtener el premio del supremo llamamiento de Dios en Cristo Jesús” (Filipenses 3:13-14).

Pablo no estaba pendiente de sus retrovisores mientras avanzaba en el crecimiento espiritual. Necesitamos dejar de vivir en el ayer. Hay veces en que estamos estancados, y por eso debemos pasar la página.

Hay cosas que Dios tiene para nosotros, que no podemos recibir mientras carguemos con nuestro pasado. Debemos avanzar hacia la meta de conocer más a Cristo y ser semejante a Él.

7. El crecimiento espiritual promueve una actitud de servicio.

Nuestro Señor Jesucristo enseñó: “y el que entre ustedes quiera ser el primero, será su siervo; así como el Hijo del Hombre no vino para ser servido, sino para servir y para dar Su vida en rescate por muchos” (Mateo 20:27-28).

Reflejamos a Cristo cuando renunciamos a una vida centrada en nosotros, y decidimos auxiliar a los demás.

¿Estamos sirviendo a los demás como Jesús espera que lo hagamos? Esa es una evidencia poderosa de que estamos creciendo espiritualmente en lo interior.

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PLAN OF SALVATION​

God’s love

The love of God makes possible the salvation of mankind.

 

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

 

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ

Christ’s blood paid a debt we could never pay.

 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 1 John 1:7

 

“…and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

 

Free to all and not dependent upon works

The good news is that the gift is free to all who will believe and it cannot be earned by turning over a new leaf, denying ourselves or by any good works we might perform.

 

“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:14

 

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,… being justified by his grace…” Titus 3:5-7 

 

Evidence of a new life in Christ

Salvation through Christ leads to creation of a new person who loves the Lord and desires to serve and obey Him with all his heart.

 

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” Matthew 22:37

 

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” 1 John 5:3

Principles of Salvation

Recognition of sin

Admit that you are a sinner.

 

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

 

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8

 

The wages of sin is death

Unless you recognize your sinful state and make a change, your soul will be eternally lost.

 

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

 

Believe God and receive Him by grace through faith

You cannot save yourself. You need the Saviour. Believe God and His Word.

 

“…Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31

 

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

 

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

 

Repent

Feel regret for sin, change your mind, and turn from sin to God. Demonstrate the change in your heart by your actions.

 

“I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3

 

“Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.” Matthew 3:8

 

“…repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21

 

Confession of sin and forgiveness

Confession of sin is a fruit of repentance and it brings to light those deeds that keep you in bondage.

 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

 

“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16

 

Be converted. . . and born again

This is what God does for you. This is the new birth – a miracle of spiritual life performed by the Holy Spirit through faith in the sacrificial, atoning blood of Jesus Christ.

 

“...Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

 

“...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3

 

“Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19

 

Restore peace with others

Restoring peace with others means going back to someone we have offended to acknowledge our wrong doing, ask for forgiveness and if appropriate repay for the loss. Because you recognize Christ has paid the price for your sin you will desire to be at peace with man as well as with God, which includes forgiveness of others.

 

“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

 

“Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace…” Romans 14:19

 

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 

 

Be baptized with water

Baptism is an outward testimony of an inward transformation and a symbol of the burial of the old nature.

 

“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16

 

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him...” Colossians 2:12

Living a Christian Life

Attend church regularly

Associate often with God’s people. Become an active member of a like-minded, Bible believing church. In the church find fellow believers who read and live the truth that can provide accountability to your commitment to surrender totally to the will of God. Don’t try to make it on your own.

 

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25

 

Read and obey God’s Word

God’s Word is the source of faith and hope. Read it often, believe it and obey it.

 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17

 

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” John 15:10

 

Speak with God in prayer

Prayer is conversation and communion with God.

 

“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” I John 5:14-15

 

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6

 

Resist the devil

Temptation is not sin but yielding to temptation is sin. We are called to be overcomers of sin.

 

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

 

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God and he shall be my son.” Revelation 21:7

 

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

 

Be separated from the sin of the world

As he instructed his chosen people, Israel, to remain apart from the world, He also instructed His church in the New Testament to “come out from among them, and be ye separate.” (2 Corinthians 6:17) The Bible knows nothing of salvation apart from obedience. A superficial decision to “accept the Lord” while retaining a love for the pleasures of the sin of the world will not yield the power that transforms the soul and consistently overcomes sin.

 

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

 

Be transformed (fundamentally changed) within

A born again believer considers self-denial and self-discipline a privilege.

 

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1-2

 

Come out from among sinful men

Christ loved the sinners but not the sin. He was sinless as we should strive to be. How can we be ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20) if we participate in sinful activities?

 

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? …Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14, 17, 18

 

Practice holiness in your life

By the power of Christ through the Holy Spirit, seek to live an overcoming, pure life in all your thoughts, motives, conversation and actions.

 

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15-16

 

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

 

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

 

Come boldly and with confidence in God, looking forward to the eternal reward

The Bible is the word of truth. If we read it, believe it, and live it we have a promise of heaven forever. We must never give up in this race. As Christ was resurrected from the grave so shall we be resurrected and live with him forever in heaven if we have repented, been redeemed by the blood of Christ, and remain faithful to death.

 

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

 

“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.” Hebrews 3:14

 

“And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17