What are eight principles of spiritual growth?


  1. Gods role  must always be central in our lives. He is the one that is responsible for growth (the increase).
  2. We must be diligent, applying discipline in our efforts to grow and mature in Christ.
  3. Don’t undermine or under estimate what God can do through us.
  4. We must develop an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus and it must be ongoing.
    1. What are five benefits of  staying closely connected to Jesus throughout our lives ?  (John 15:1-18)

                                                              i.      Fruitfulness

                                                            ii.      Remain in me, and I in You.

                                                          iii.      Answered Prayer

                                                          iv.      Joy

                                                            v.      Friendship

  1. Spiritual growth starts/begins in side us and moves to an outward expression of growth.
  2. Spiritual growth begins inside us and eventually touches every aspect of life, family, friends, etc. It’s multidimensional.
  3. Diversity: Growth within the multigenerational family of God. It happens naturally within a close  social contest.
  4. Spiritual Growth through suffering, frustration, or challenge. We grow through difficult times.




First time Jesus is recorded using the term “my Disciple” is in Luke 14:25-33


     What Are The Three Principles  Jesus Identified to follow to become Disciple?    


  1. Love Christ above everything (v 26).
  2. Follow Christ, even if it means suffering or Death (v 27).
  3. Give everything to Christ (v 33).


What is A Disciple?


A learner, follower, apprentice, or pupil.


What are eight terms used in the scripture in describing a disciple?

1.      Followers of a leader (John 1:35,37.

2.      Various types of followers of Jesus [(Luke6:13-general followers), (serious believers - John 9:27,  Matt. 27:57, Acts 9:10,36, Luke6:17].

3.      The Apostles (Luke 6:13).

4.      Shallow, superficial, or curious followers  John 6:60,64,66,71.

5.      Traitors (John 12:4.

6.      Sincere Followers who made serious mistakes (Luke 22:31,32,57,60-62.

7.      Jesus use of “My Disciple”, True disciples  (John 8:31,32) (John 13:34,35, 15:8) .

8.      Disciples now called Christians  (Acts 11:26, 1 peter 4:16.



What are at least four stages of the process of spiritual growth?


  1. Pre-Natal Birth. [ Example 2 Tim 1:5 2 Tim 3:14,15 ]
  2. New Birth. [ Born again- John 3:3, like a child-Matt 18:3, Wealth-Mark10:21, Neighbor –Mark 12:30-31]
  3. Becoming more like Christ [Renewing our mind-Romans 12:1-2, Philippians 3:12-17]. Our help 2 Peter 1:3 (chapter)
  4. Becoming a perfect Refection of Christ.(Likeness -1 John 3:2, Likeness of his son-Romans 8:29)




What is the Great Commission and the Church?

The Great commission of the church is to “make disciples”

Of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20)


How did Jesus instruct the church to make disciples?

  1. Go and Teach All nations
  2. Baptize Them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost.
  3. Teach them to observe all things that He, Jesus, Commanded (them).


The commission was given until the 11 apostles, but activated on the Day of Pentecost.


How is the Church described? (Ephesians 1:22-23)


The Church is described as the “body of Christ” (also called the Bride of Christ)


Christ nurtured his disciples while he was on earth. So the church must nurture its’ believers to growth toward spiritual maturity. The church is key in fulfilling the Great Commission.



What is the Holy Spirit’s role through the church?

The Holy Spirit role is to provide the church with the needed resources promised by Jesus.


Name three resources?

  1. The Power of the Holy Spirit (Acts2:41-47,Ephesians 1:15-23, Ephesians 3:).        

The power of the Holy Spirit was given to the church to empower its members (Acts 2:1), both individually and collectively, to be witnesses (Acts 1:8). The church is Gods means of impacting the world with the Gospel, and the Holy spirit empowers the church for this task.


  1. The Presence of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-20).

Christ sent His presence in the person of the Holy Spirit to the church collectively and to each believer individually. Thus so, the church collectively(as a community) is uniquely able to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

  1. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:7-16)

Gifts of the Holy Spirit enables every believer to play a significant role in fulfilling the task of building disciples for Jesus Christ.


Why does Unity in the Midst of Diversity Fosters Maturity?


In order to grow and be challenged we need people who are different than us. It is in the laboratory of the local church that disciples learn to love the way Christ loved. (John 15:17, Acts 10:45, Acts 1:8). There is no better place than the local church fellowship to learn how to relate to people.


Why should we Develop Relationships within the Church?


Growth within the church (local and universal) is dependent on the quality of the relationships between the believers.  The church must follow biblical principles for interpersonal relationships. This allows the local body of Christ to fulfill it commission as a  greenhouse that nurtures disciples.


What are some of the major biblical principles that guide and challenges believer interpersonal relationships in the church?


Edify One Another (Ephesians 4:16, Romans 14:19, 1 Thessalonians 5:11)

Confess Faults to One Another (James 5:11, 1 John 1: 8-10)

Forbear with One Another  (Ephesians 4:2-3)

Empathize with One Another (Philemon 2:3-4, Galatians 6:2, Romans 12:15)

Submit to One Another (Ephesians 5:21,18

Accept One Another (Romans 14 and 15)

Forgive One Another  (Matthews 6:14-15, Matthews 18:22, Luke 23:34, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32)

Admonish One Another (Colossians 3:16,1 Thessalonians 5:12)





The Bible as God’s Word


What three sections of the Hebrew Scriptures did Jesus endorse during his early ministries? (Luke 24:44, Mark 7:7,8)    Law, the Prophets, and the Writings.


How did the Old Testament authors identify their message as “the Word of God”? 

Many times they used some form of the expression “The Lord Says” to begin statements.


How does the New Testament claim to be “the Word of God”? 

  1. Jesus spoke with authority as the Father taught him. (Matthews 7:28-29, St John 7:46, St John 8:28-29).
  2. Believers accepted the Word of God  (1 Thessalonians 2:13)
  3. Paul’s writings given equal scriptural status (2 Peter 3:15-16)


How is the claim that the Bible is the Word of God verified?  It is verified through the life, demonstration, fulfillment, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.



The Authority of God’s Word


What is meant by biblical revelation?  Biblical revelation refers to the fact that God discloses information about His Nature, external purposes, and provision for salvation in the words of Scripture.  This information was not available apart from God’s communication of it (1 Corinthians 2:6-12).


What are the three I’s that we must recognized about the Bible?


1.      Biblical Inspiration

2.      Biblical Infallibility

3.      Biblical Inerrancy


What is meant by Biblical Inspiration? It means that the Holy Spirit controlled and guided the authors of the biblical books. They wrote exactly what God wanted said. (2 Peter 1:21, 1 Timothy 3:16)


What is meant by Biblical Infallibility? It refers to effectiveness of God’s Word in achieving God’s intended purpose (Isaiah 55:11).


What is meant by Biblical Inerrancy?

1.      It is a technical phrase for the accuracy of Biblical message.

2.      It affirms that what the Bible teaches on any subject it addresses is true.

3.      Properly understood, the message of the bible gives correct information (Hebrew 2:1-4).


The Unity of God’s Word


The 66 different books of the Bible was written over approximately how many years? 1500 years.

OLD  Testament written 1500BC – 425BC

NEW Testament written     45AD –   95AD


What does the Old Testament primarily focus on? God dealing with his people Israel.


What does the New Testament focus on?

It continues the story with the founding of the church.

With a group composed of believers in Jesus from every nation.


How are the New and Old Testaments linked together? They are linked through a continuity of promise and fulfillment (Matthews 5:17).


Are believers in Jesus only New Testament Christians?  No, they are both biblical Christians and New Testament Christians (Romans 15:4, 1 Corinthians 10:6-12).


The Clarity of God’s Word


Why was scripture written?  It was written to clearly communicate God’s message and to set forth the truth plainly (2 Corinthians 4:2). Except for a few obvious exceptions, biblical authors wrote to be understood.


The Bible as a Catalyst for Growth


Why is God’s Word, as a seed, the source for Christian growth?  God’s Word is our spiritual food and provides nourishment for our Christian growth (Matthews 13:1-26).


Why should we use the Bible as a mirror?  Using the Bible as a mirror enables us to evaluate the consistency of our Christian living (James 1:22-25)


What is the offensive weapon we use to defeat the enemy?  God’s Word serves as the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6:17) .


How does reflective study of God’s word benefit the Christian? It softens our heart. It keeps our heart moldable and responsive to God’s voice (Hebrews 4:12).


The Bible as a Ministry Training Manual


Can we and should we use other resources to aid in our process of growing and ministering?  Yes, but they should be tested against the foundational principles of scripture. The Bible is our Foundation (2 Timothy 3:16-17).


Principles for Studying the Bible


What Is the ultimate purpose of studying the Bible? It is to relate biblical truth to daily living (James 1:22).


What must be done before trying to directly apply a passage of scripture to our lives today?   We must accurately study what the passage meant within its original historical and cultural context.


What three steps should be followed when studying the Bible and why?

  1. Observation
  2. Interpretation
  3. Application

      This will allows to accurately handle God’s word with confidence (2 Timothy 2:15).


Step one: What does observation focus on? What the passage says ~ the facts.

                What can be done to discover the most important information? 

Look for the five “W”s and a “H”.

What are the “W”s and a “H”?

Who? What? When? Where? Why? And  How?

Why should we organize  the main points of the text and/or story into a logical outline? This will help us to identify the pattern of the thought processes of the author  and the big ideal of the text.


Step two: What does Interpretation ask about the passage?

It wants to know what the passage means. 

How does this step relate to step1?

The previously observed main points (details) are analyzed to discover  the point which the author was trying to make.

What must be studied? Important words, grammatical relationships, relevant background information by using bible dictionaries and commentaries to find precise meanings.

What must be done if some of the information does not fit naturally with the explanation of the passage?  The interpretation needs revision.


What is Hermeneutics? It is the science of determining the correct rules to follow when interpreting the Bible.

Why should we use Hermeneutics?  Correctly followed, we will not distort or twist the scriptures to support our biases.  It will help us to overcome barriers in our understanding.



Hermeneutics Rules to Follow:

1.      Reading for the main Ideal of the paragraph.

2.      Identify the author’s literary style

3.      Consider the flow of the biblical content

4.      Understanding the meaning of key words

5.      Follow the force of grammar

6.      View from historical perspective

7.      Integrate with other biblical teaching on the subject


Reading for the main Ideal of the paragraph:


What does the main ideal of a paragraph provide?  The main ideal of the paragraph is the central theme that holds the verses together.

What is the focus of good reading, the paragraphs or the verses?  The paragraph should be the focus seeking to discover the main ideal (point).

Why is the modern verse divisions added in 1560A.D. both a blessing and a curse?

The verse division is a blessing because it makes it easy to find passages

The verse division is a curse because people treat each verse as an independent unit of thought.

What is the problem with treating each verse as an independent unit of thought?

Trying to understand the verse apart from its paragraph makes it easy to insert one’s own ideas in error.  What the author meant by a verse is clear only when it is explained consistently with the main ideal of its paragraph.


Identify the author’s literary style:



Consider the flow of the biblical content:


Understanding the meaning of key words:


Follow the force of grammar:


View from historical perspective:


Integrate with other biblical teaching on the subject:


Step three: What does application determines?


What are four specific guidelines that help us determine what is valid for today?


  1. Determine if the biblical statements are universal in scope, timeless.
  2. Determine if the promises made are conditional, is so it only applies when the condition is met.
  3.  Determine if guidelines where changed by a later revelation, if so it no longer applies.
  4. Determine if  biblical examples relevant and approved or censured by the biblical authors.