Holding to Truth

holding to truth in love for the building up of the Body of Christ

4 Simple Ways to Grow in Christ

“How can I grow in Christ?”

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

4 Simple Ways to Grow in Christ

Whether you have been a Christian for many years or just recently received the Lord Jesus, it’s very important to know how to grow in Christ.

Unfortunately, improving behavior, increasing Bible knowledge, or developing spiritual gifts may become distractions from real growth in Christ.

The real growth in Christ is the increase of God’s life in you.

For example, the believers in Corinth were very much for knowledge and gifts, but the Apostle Paul told them that they were “infants in Christ”—short of the real growth in God’s life (1 Cor. 3:1-2).

So if you’re longing for growth in Christ, I hope you’ll keep reading…

1. The first way to grow in Christ is to love Him.

Loving the Lord Jesus is the first step we need to take in order to grow in our Christian life.  

That’s because the divine life we receive when we believe the gospel is actually this living Christ in us. There is now such a wonderful Person in us! And there is no other way deal with a person but by love.

The Gospel of John is the gospel of life (John 1:4; 3:16; 10:10; 14:6; 20:31) showing the way to receive Christ, to be reborn as a child of God (1:12-13). It also stresses that after we believe in the Lord to receive God’s life, we need to  love the Lord Jesus.

In John 21:15-17,  the Lord Jesus, in His resurrection,  came to Peter and asked him three times:

 “Simon, do you love me?…”

Today, the Lord may be calling us by name and saying the same thing—“Do you love Me?”

 The Song of Songs, a poetic portrayal of the Christian life in four progressive stages, begins with love.

The king’s lover begins by saying,

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine” (S.S. 1:2)

Our Christian life is actually a romantic love story and we need to build up a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus. We simply need to come to Him  saying,

“Lord Jesus, kiss me with the kisses of Your mouth. Show me Your love that I may love You. Lord be merciful to me and grant me an affectionate love for you.”

Each day, we need to tell the Lord Jesus that we love Him—at least in the morning and at night. Start and end each day by telling the Lord that you love Him. It’s also very helpful to sing out our love for Christ with hymns or spiritual songs.

2. The second way to grow in Christ is by confession and clearance.

As we’re enjoying an intimate love for the Lord, we’ll often sense the need to confess and clear up things that separate us from Him.

In Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life, Witness Lee  points out that,

“The more we love the Lord, the more we sense our failures, shortcomings, weaknesses, and wrongdoings.” (p. 203)

This isn’t some kind of introspection. It’s simply the issue of loving the Lord.  We have an increased consciousness of  our need to confess to Him anything that darkens our conscience.

Lee goes on to say,

“We need to pray that the Lord would grant us love for Him. Then we must be faithful to make a thorough dealing with the Lord.”

You may want to pray,

“Lord Jesus, I love you and I want to have nothing negative between me and You. Lord, I like to confess all my sins, failures, and trespasses so that You can grow freely in me.”

You may also want to read my previous post on how to pray confessing prayers.

 3.  The third way to grow in Christ is to know and exercise your spirit.

After we begin to love the Lord and confess those things that separate us from Him, there is a further step.  We need to know and exercise our spirit.

Sadly, many diligent, devoted believers have missed this matter. We may love the Lord very much and even do our best to deal with negative things that separate us from Him.

However, if we don’t know the difference between our soul and our spirit, we may know a lot of Bible doctrines but with little or no growth in the Lord’s life.  So we need to know our spirit and exercise our spirit.

To have the real  exercise of our spirit  depends on our love for the Lord and our pure conscience. Lee says further in this chapter,

“If we do not have a love for the Lord, we cannot exercise our spirit. Likewise, if we constantly have something accusing us in our conscience, we are finished with the exercise of the spirit. To exercise the spirit requires a love for the Lord and a pure conscience. After we have love and a pure conscience, we must learn the lesson of always exercising our spirit.”  (p. 205)

Build up a habit to exercise your spirit starting first thing each morning. Call on the name of the Lord, pray,  pray-read His Word, and sing to Him. Practicing in this way will help you to exercise your spirit to grow in Christ more each day.

4. The fourth way to grow in Christ is to always stay in contact with the Lord.

We need to be so simple to  love the Lord Jesus, deal thoroughly with Him,  and exercise our spirit. In this way we’ll be able to stay in contact with Him–living by Him, living in Him, and living with Him in everything.

A further quote from this chapter says,

“Only one thing avails: learn to love the Lord, deal with Him thoroughly, exercise your spirit, and contact Him. Then you will grow.” (p. 209)

It may be good to turn this word into your personal prayer saying,

“Lord Jesus, make me so simple to experience You as my life every day. Draw me to love You. Enlighten me to deal thoroughly with any obstacles to Your life in me. Show me how to exercise my spirit all the time to contact You so that You can grow freely in me.”

If you enjoyed this post I hope you’ll take a moment leave a comment. You can also continue the conversation by stopping by the Holding to Truth Facebook page. 

References and Further reading:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

58 Replies

  1. Hallelujah for such an encouraging word! Sometimes this seems too”simple” and I get distracted feeling like I need to DO something, but I appreciate the reminder even to ask the Lord, “Lord, make me a lover of You. Kiss me. Woo me.”

    1. Tom Smith

      May the Lord bring us all back to the simplicity of loving the Lord Jesus. Satan uses every trick to quench our love for the Lord so that our Christian life becomes routine.

      But I’m so glad to see that the divine life is a real, living, loving Person. We just need to deal with Him in love…Talk to Him about everything in a genuine way. Just keep contacting Him and don’t forget to tell Him that you love Him…every day.

      Yes…”Lord, make us Your lovers…woo us more each day.”

  2. Juan

    Amen! Lord cause us to be simple and love You! Enlighten us of anything that causes Your life to not flow freally! Oh Lord Jesus i love You!

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. May the Lord enlighten us in the atmosphere of loving Him concerning anything that frustrates His purpose in life in us. “Lord, we love You.”

    2. SETH NANA ADU

      am really short of words ,pls i want to b a true well grown in christ hmmm tnx alot of ur concern pls help me?

      1. Tom Smith

        Seth, To grow more deeply in Christ, we need to know Christ as the living Person who dwells in our spirit. This is why I point readers of this blog to the difference between their soul and spirit. Since our spirit is the organ with which we contact the Lord Jesus we need to use our spirit to pray and fellowship with Him. Here are some short morning prayers to help you touch the Lord in your spirit every day. Along with prayer we really need to feed on the Lord in His word that is why I also encourage readers to pray-read the word every day to be spiritually nourished. To aid you in your deeper seeking of the Lord, I would also recommend downloading a series of books that you can read at your own pace. You can find these books on the mass.ministrybooks.org website. The authors, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, were both very mature servants of God and knew the deeper life with the Lord. Please let me know if you have further questions, especially after reading some of the publications I recommended.

  3. Beatriz

    In my daily life and in a practical way, which is the evidence that I am growing in life?
    Thank you for your response.In my daily life and in a practical way, which is the evidence that I am growing in life?
    Thank you for your response.

    1. Tom Smith

      Sometimes its hard to tell whether we’re growing in His life. But we can check, Do I love You more now than I did a week, month or year ago? Is my sky with the Lord clearer today? or do I need to confess? Is my spirit more exercised and blended with the spirit’s of the saints? And am I more dependent on the Lord today than I was before? Is my contact with Him more constant? We should never become introspective, but we can inquire of the Lord and then ask Him to bring us on in each of these four ways of growth. I believe the more we grow, the more simple we will be in these 4 practical ways of growing.

      1. That was a great question Beatriz! And thank you Tom for such a practical answer.

  4. Beatriz

    And in what way my growth in life affects the building?
    The little measure of Christ I already have in my heart makes me part of the reality of the Body of Christ?
    I love the Lord, love His purpose, love to meet, function according to what I have received, but so many things are not that clear yet.
    For instance, how do I recognize if my love is the Lord’s? 
    If I’m His channel or is just my natural life? 
    If my speaking is a blessing because others can touch Christ, or is just a performance?
    How to discern what is real or just knowledge?
    How do I know if my spirit is mingled with others?
    What is the feeling or attitude of those whose spirits are mingled together?
    Thanks again,

    1. Tom Smith

      Genuine growth in life is the building up of the Body of Christ. Eph. 2:21-22 says”In whom all the building, being fitted together is growing into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit.” These two verses speaks of “all the building” universally “growing.” Simultaneously, it speaks of “you also” locally being “built together.” Taken together, these verses show us that the growing and the building are one. Without the believers growth in the divine life there is no building of Christ’s Body.

      Concerning some of the subjective questions you’ve asked,it’s best to be simple. The more you enjoy the Lord, the more you grow. And the more you grow in Christ, the more consciousness of God’s life you’ll possess. Such a consciousness becomes finer as you grow. The sense of life indicates whether you are on the line of life. If you sense life and peace, you can know that your expressions are in Christ. If there is the sense of death, you need to stop, pray, repent and confess. All these matters become more clear as you grow and your sense becomes finer.

  5. I’m especially touched by this first point relating to loving the Lord. As we appreciate and love the Lord, we open to Him, and this opening allows the Lord more freedom to grow in us. It’s wonderful that the growth in life is in the context of our romance with the Lord. As Christ becomes increasingly precious to us, we will spontaneously give Him more room in our hearts – this affords Him the way to grow in us.

    Thanks for sharing these helpful points with us. May God cause the growth in us day by day.

    1. Tom Smith

      May we see more of the preciousness of the Lord’s Person, love Him more deeply, and open to Him more fully that He may have the freedom grow in us and be expressed through us both personally and corporately as the Body, the fullness of Christ. Thanks for the confirming comment.

  6. Elise

    Thank you for this encouraging post! It was exactly what I needed today.
    These four points seem so simple, but are so helpful to our growth in the Lord’s life.
    “Lord increase our love for you! Give us a clear sky with You and shine in us to expose all obstacles to Your spread in us, help us to exercise our spirit to touch You more, and keep us in contact with You! Lord we want to be so uncomfortable being out of our spirit! Help us to cling to You!”

    1. Tom Smith

      I believe that as believers in Christ, we all need a continual reminder of these 4 simple, yet most important, ways to grow in Christ. All of these ways our based on our realization that the divine life that we received at our regeneration is actually the most precious Person, the Lord Jesus Himself.

      Only by cultivating our love for Him, confessing and clearing up the sins and hindrances, and exercising our spirit to maintain continual contact with Him that we can remain continuously on the pathway of life.

      Amen to your prayer–“Lord increase our love for You! Give us a clear sky with You and expose all our obstacles. Help us to exercise our spirit to touch You more and more, and keep us in contact with You…Help us to cling to You.” This is an excellent prayer to pray each day in our time of fellowship with the Lord!

      Thanks for this confirming comment.

  7. Segun Okunade

    Hello, Mr Tom Smith

    I am really happy about how God’s used you in my life, thank you and please continue to do this more and more don’t stop. I would love it if you had anything on Temptations of women and Humility

    1. Tom Smith

      Segun, Thanks for the encouraging comment. I’m glad the posts have been a help to you. I also appreciate your mentioning possible post topics. I’m always eager to hear what are the concerns of readers. I’ll consider the topics you mentioned, and if the Lord gives me some burden or leading, I’ll try to let you know.

  8. Brenda Benedetto

    O Lord Jesus, we love You! Do grow in us! I am so thankful to even realize tat God Himself can be added to my being! Lord, make my heart good ground!

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. The Lord has given us such a practical way to grow in Christ! We need to: 1) love Him, 2) deal with Him by confessing, 3) know and exercise our spirit, and 4) contact Him all the time. It’s good to have such a reminder. Thanks for your encouraging response.

  9. TAM I AM

    Thanks for posting this! God loves his people! Be blessed.

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. Glad you enjoyed it. May the Lord bless you with more of Himself.

  10. Nathan Warner

    Wonderful words of encouragement and wisdom. God is always there for me and I am His child.

  11. Amen. God is with us
    Hello Mr. Tom Smith I have a question
    If you feel that you are very far away from God and you dont know how to Back as a minister or worker of God. What is the best way to do in that situation? Please answer me I need your advice :'(

    1. Tom Smith

      When you feel far away from God, it’s good to call on the name of the Lord from deep within. Lamentations 3:55-57 says “I called upon Your name, O Jehovah, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice; do not hide You ear at my breathing, at my cry. You drew near in the day that I called upon You.” You can begin by crying out to the Lord, “Lord Jesus! O Lord, I need You! Lord Jesus, I turn my heart to You!”

      Then privately confess to the Lord any sins that you feel are separating you from Him. 1 John 1:9 says, If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

      Third, gradually read through the New Testament praying with a few verses each time. When something touches you, you can turn the words into your personal prayer. Another post on praying with the word could help you with this practice.

  12. Carl

    God has intervened in my life and brought me happiness, love and a healthy relationship once again when I thought it was never going to be possible. Suffering and struggling from several different addictions over the years it has become clear over and over again that in order for me to live a healthy life and go where I need to go in life I must submit to the power of God and let his will work in me. It is not easy and is a struggle at many times in life, but I know when I call on the name of the lord, read the bible and pray with all my heart and soul that he will guide me to where I need to be in all things. Thank you for this article and God bless you!

    -Carl

    1. Tom Smith

      Carl, glad the article was a help. Calling on the Lord’s name, reading His word and praying to fellowship with the Lord invites God’s operation in our life. His word is “living and operative.” By such a loving contact with the Lord in His living Word, we are nourished and supplied to live the Christian life. May the Lord continue to grow in you and lead you in His way for His purpose. Much grace to you.

      1. Morris Boye, Jr

        Thanks God for you. Hope u continue. I admire reading it. God bless us all in Jesus Name Amen.

        1. Tom Smith

          Morris, thank you for sharing your enjoyment in reading the blog. May the Lord richly nourish you with His word that you may grow in Christ to a mature son of God.

  13. Hi. Tom good night I was reading your word and I find it a blessing I finally get to know how to get close to god thank the lord thank you please pray me up thanks

  14. manjunath

    thank you sir i searched this with tears
    i love you jesus

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad the post was helpful. We need to realize that the Christian life is a person and the only way to call with a person is by love. If we want to grow in the Christian life it helps to tell the Lord Jesus we love Him every day, even many times a day. We need to keep our “romance” with the Lord Jesus so fresh. Talk to Him about everything in prayer and inquire of Him to sense His feeling. Sing love songs to Jesus to incline your heart to Him. For example, here is one that I like Jesus Lord I’m captured by Thy beauty Give yourself to love the Lord.

  15. Ana Lara

    Hi Bro Tom. Really enjoy reading your posts. Miss your Cass!:)

  16. Edgar

    Amen! The surest way!

  17. Tamrat

    Oh, what a wonderful life we have with Jesus Christ! God bless and see you all in the “NEW JERUSALEM”

    1. Tom Smith

      Amen. May we grow more in this divine life every day so that we may be “living in the reality of the New Jerusalem” today. Much grace to you.

  18. danny bonilla

    Thanks Pastor Tom. Yes I BELIEVE that God is asking us very simple thing and no other than to love HIM with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. This is the basic thing that He wanted us to start when we want to be near Him, live with Him and be like Him.

    1. Tom Smith

      Danny,

      That’s right. We need to exercise our heart to love the Lord. To spend time with this wonderful One. If we love the Lord in such a way, He’ll show us much more of what’s in His heart. 1 Cor. 2:9-10 says,

      But as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which have not come up in man’s heart; things which God has prepared for those who love Him.
      But to us God has revealed them through the Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

      So when we’re loving the Lord, we enter into His heart and He reveals to us more of His hidden depths. I encourage you to read footnote 3 on verse 9 in the Recovery Version Study Bible.

      For more on loving the Lord Jesus, here is a ministry excerpt on Loving Jesus from Life and Building in the Song of Songs by Witness Lee.

      1. SETH NANA ADU

        pls help me to grow deep in christ

  19. Jacob

    Hey nice article it was helpful, anyways im 15 yrs old and i am dealing with alot of things right like peer pressure lust and pornography i feel so embarrased right now confessing this but its true how can i be set free from this i feel like pornography and lust is holding me back so much. By the way i am apart of a awesome church just wanted to confess this because dont want to tell some one at my church anyways hope you reply cheers.(feel so embarresed right now)

    1. Tom Smith

      The age today is very dark and every evil thing is just a click away. But how can we be delivered from such age and swim up stream or against the tide? First, there is power in the word of God. John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth. Your word is truth.” A note on this verse in the Recovery Version points out that the word separates us from the world and its usurpation unto God and His purpose. Then in 2 Peter 1:4 it says, “Through which He has granted to us precious and exceedingly great promises that through these you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption which is in the world by lust.” Partaking of the precious promises in God’s word enables us to escape the corruption in the world by lust. Then in 2 Tim. 2:22, Paul says, “But flee youthful lusts, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” As to the lusts we must flee them, but positively we need to pursue the Lord as so many wonderful items by calling on the name of the Lord, not only alone but even with other pursuers of Christ. Don’t allow yourself to be idle. This will leave you vulnerable to temptation. Flee youthful lusts. Call on the Lord. Call with pure-hearted spiritual companions. (Even ask the Lord to give you some proper spiritual companions.) Then dive into the word to get sanctified to the Lord.

  20. paul

    I love it . great inspiration. God bless you

    1. Tom Smith

      Paul, glad you found the post helpful. I am impressed with Ephesians 4:15 which says, “Holding to truth in love we may grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, Christ.” May we be drawn more to love the Lord Jesus for who He is such that, in all the matters of our life, we let Him have His way so that in each matter we may grow up into Him. Thanks for sharing your appreciation.

  21. Vincent

    Thank you so much for this wonderful post teaching me how to grow as Christian. I’m definitely going to share it with other believers: 1) loving the Lord at all times, 2) to know and exercise my spirit, 3) reading and sharing the word of God, and 4) confessing and clearance of my past failures and sins.

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. We need to be continually reminded of our need to grow in Christ and then take the simply way of life by loving the Lord, contacting Him with our spirit, reading and sharing His word, and clearing our past and confessing our sins often.
      This kind of daily practice starting first thing each morning will allow the Lord to grow in us without hindrance. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  22. Sony

    Thanks you Jesus for this wonderful and inspired message.God bless you brother.

  23. Jeremiah Palomar

    Thanks for sharing this brother Tom. I read it along with brother Lee’s message on Practical Lessons on the Experience of Life…I’ve just noticed the verse on the cover has some typographical error..instead of Ephesians 1:15b, it must be 4:15b. Praise the Lord!

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. I went ahead and switched out the image to fix the typo in the reference. Thank you for bringing it to my attention.

      1. Pastor Chimezie

        Great teaching more grace Sir.

        1. Tom Smith

          Glad you enjoyed the post. The Body of Christ, the church, is built up by our growth in Christ (Eph. 2:21-22). But our growth in Christ requires that each believer be brought into a personal, affection, private and spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus (SS. 1:2-4) . We can cultivate such a relationship with the Lord by spending time with Him each morning (Lam. 3:22-23). In our time it is good to tell the Lord we love Him, confess an clear up anything that hinders our fellowship with Him (1 John 1:9, 7). Then we need to exercise our spirit to enjoy Him in His word (Psa. 119:147; 1 Tim. 4:6-7). Then we need to learn to live and walk according to the sense of His Spirit in our spirit (Rom. 8:4-6). Our experience of enjoying Christ in Romans 8 will usher us into the experience of the Body in Romans 12. Thanks for your comment.

  24. Extremely Blessed and encouraged studying confession Prayers. There has been a teaching lately since our Past, Present and future sins are forgiven, we have no business confessing. Thanks for the clarity. I minister in a number of small Churches in the villages of Kenya and Jesus is my friend for He loved me First. Thank you, Bishop Julius Kamau

    1. Tom Smith

      Dear brother,

      Yes, we are eternally forgiven of all our sins (Eph. 1:7) for Christ’s work of redemption is perfect. However, this does not mean that we cease to sin after believing in the Lord (1 John 1:8). The sins that we commit after believing in the Lord can interrupt our fellowship with the Lord (vv. 3, 7). Hence, we need to confess them immediately, whenever we sense in our conscience that we have offended God or man (v. 9). Then we apply that eternal effectiveness of the Lord’s blood (Heb. 9:14; 10:22) so that we can come boldly into the Lord’s presence, that is, into the Holy of Holies to contact Him.

  25. hello. what are the things to avoid in growing with Christ? thank you

    1. Tom Smith

      Growing in Christ is a great topic and covers the span of our entire Christian life. Since Christ comes into us to be our life (Col. 3:4) after we are saved, to grow in Christ is to grow in the divine life. This is to have the divine life, which is Christ Himself, spreading into all our inward parts to renew, sanctify, transform, and conform us to the image of Christ until we reach the full stature of Christ (Eph. 4:13). To help you through the many steps of growing in Christ, that is, in His divine life, I highly recommend the book, The Experience of Life by Witness Lee. You can read it online for free at ministrybooks.org. If you have specific questions, please feel free to reach out on the contact page. Thanks for the comment.

  26. Rita O Price

    I enjoyed reading these steps to growing in Christ. May God bless you richly!!!

    1. Tom Smith

      These steps are very practical. Every day it is good to tell the Lord Jesus we love Him. Then deal with anything that He touches that frustrates your fellowship with Him by confessing to Him. Exercise to live in one spirit with Him by breathing prayers, “O Lord!” and speaking to Him in whatever you are doing. In this constant contact the Lord can touch us on many things and gain more ground in our heart. Thanks for the comment.

  27. Boaz Koech

    Thanks for sharing these helpful points with us. May God cause the growth in us daily

    1. Tom Smith

      So glad you found the post helpful. “Yes, Lord cause us to grow in You daily.” … Tell the Lord you love Him often. Confess anything that offends Him. Feed on His Word every day. Keep your conversation constantly. Thanks for the comment.

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