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The First Essential Element for Spiritual Growth

But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
James 4:6

Every believer is challenged from God’s Word to “…go on unto perfection (maturity)” (Hebrews 6:1). The question that we must ask is how do we mature in the Lord? There are, I believe, some essential elements for spiritual growth, and we want to consider the first this week. The first essential element is humility. Humility is the antithesis to man’s greatest problem and hindrance to his spiritual growth, pride. Many today struggle to progress in their spiritual lives and growth for the Lord because of the sin of pride. We live in a culture that takes pride in their independence and their self sufficiency. This pride of man causes Christians to miss out on the blessings of spiritual growth. The Bible has much to say, however, about God’s view of man’s pride. In Proverbs 6:16-17, God calls the pride of man an abomination. The word abomination speaks of those things which are detestable and loathsome or that which causes one to be repulsed. Twice in the New Testament, we are warned that the pride of man causes us to be pushed away from the realm of fellowship with God (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5). James tells us that when we are lifted up in pride against God, He resists us. We do this when we refuse to hear from God whether in private or in public worship. Peter tells us that God resists those who are lifted up in pride against our brethren. We do this when we refuse to forgive or when we have to have things our way. There is nothing good in our flesh. Therefore, believer if we are going to grow in the Lord, we must eliminate our pride and seek to invest in the essential element of humility.

Pastor Jeffrey Bateman
First Baptist Church

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