The first stage of spiritual development
The first stage of spiritual development is the is the new birth, new life – eternal life from above.
John 1:12: But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name
You became a Child of God by the new birth, God is now the Father of your spirits. You n ow have a relationship with God. The relationship of a father and a son. Salvation is not just a destination change. It is the beginning stage of the development of a new life. We were the slaves of Satan, but now we are children of God, joint-heirs with Jesus. Accordingly, we are to resist the residual evil tendencies of the old life by submitting the natural life to the spiritual life on a continuous basis until we “become like little children” ( Matt. 18:3 ). Takes a moment to be born-again from above, but a lifetime to work out being conformed to the image of Our Lord.
We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. ( 1 John 2:3-6 ) To obey is to really hear, to really listen, to see, and to understand what I listened to, and to act upon what I heard. If we are obeying, we will walk as Jesus walked. ( 1 Cor. 3:16 ) Obedience builds the temple. Doing the word are the bricks of the temple making it suitable for God to dwell in it.
The second stage of Spiritual development
The second stage of Spiritual development is the stage of knowing the fullness of the Holy Spirit, being fully empowered to live the Christian life.
To receive the second stage, simply ask ( Luke 11:13 b ) And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?” Simply ask and receive.
You have seen these prophecies come true. And now I will send the Holy Spirit upon you, just as my Father promised. Don’t begin telling others yet-stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.” ( Luke 24:48-49 ) Receive power from on high. ( Acts 1:8 ) When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will receive power to be His witnesses. ( 1 Cor. 6:17 ) One spirit with Him. You are a co-worker. ( Rom. 5:5 ) Love is poured out into our hearts, act by faith upon this truth. Love is ready to flow out as a river of living waters. Faith, hope and love flows from obedience.
The third stage of spiritual development
The third stage is the Pathway of the cross. The pathway of the cross stage is a daily exercise of getting down into the death of Christ, to allow Christ to live out His life through us.
( Rom. 6:3-6 ) Old nature buried, no longer slaves of sin. As we put-off daily sins, we arise immediately in the newness of life in Christ and able to respond biblically to all of life’s encounters.
( Eph. 4:22-24 ) We must do the doing: putting-off corruptions – renewing ourselves in the spirit of our minds – and putting-on truth in all areas of living. Daily, we have our calvary, our resurrection, and our ascension.
( Luke 9:23-24 ) No longer defend or protect self, but practice death to private aims, selfish passions and prejudices, to worldly reputation and honor.
( Phil. 2:3-5 ) As with Jesus, now I am to seek the interests and betterment of others. I am no longer central but to use self to be a blessing to others.
The fourth stage of spiritual development
The fourth stage is the stage of Ascension/overcomer/spiritual warfare. This stage is where the believer realizes and knows he is in union with Christ.
( Eph. 1:17-23 ) We are seated with Him, “Far above all authority…”
( Luke 10:19 ) Given all authority over the power of the enemy.
( Rom. 8:29 ; 1 John 3:8 ) God created us to be conformed to the image of His Son, and as such, to do as He did: to destroy the works of the devil.
( Col. 2:13-15 ) Our problem is not with Satan, he has been defeated. The issue is our relationship with God, knowing who and what we are in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we are to keep the enemy from having any footholds in our lives by being free in the following areas: ( James 4:6-8 )
- Genealogy : ( 3:13-14 ) Realize and know that the Blood of Jesus has freed me from all generation curses ( Exodus 18:20 ).
- Circumstances of life : ( 16:24-25 ; Col. 1:10-11 ) No longer react to or controlled by the externals of life, by personal attacks, by pressures of the world, by trials and tribulations, but respond by and according to the promptings and power of the Holy Spirit ( James 1:2-4 ).
- Environment : ( 1 John 2:15 ; 2 Pet. 1:4 ) Partaker of the divine life and nature, and have escaped from the world’s system of lusts. The devil has nothing on me. I am now in the position to overcome him in all areas of life in the name of Jesus Christ. To the extent I grow in virtues, to that extent Christ inhabits my life.
The Characteristics of an Overcomer
- ( 3:9-10 ) Proclaims God’s wisdom to the enemy: for this is a battle of wisdom.
- ( 1:11 ) Do all to the honor and praise of God that His glory may be both manifested and recognized.
- ( 24:10 ) Nothing can ever limit or defeat us in Christ. We proceed until victory prevails.
- ( 21:22 ) No compromises: we ascend, we assault, and cast down all opposition.
- ( Luke 11:20-23 ; 1 John 4:4 ; 9:6 ) We move from strength to strength for there is no end to God’s kingdom. We are commissioned to establish His Kingdom of peace and joy on earth.
Being an overcomer, we accomplish God’s purposes for our lives by being conformed to the image of His Son. We do as He did, walk as He did: do all to destroy the works of the devil in ourselves and in others. Work Out Your Salvation (Phil. 2:12-13)