ESSENTIALS: Salvation motivates growth

January reminds us of a fresh start. The New Year is full of new resolve, new commitments and new ideas. It feels like a new chapter and it seems like anything is possible.

When we follow Jesus, we are given that same fresh start. 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us that anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.

But more often than not, the resolve and ideas of January fade quickly into February and we find ourselves living out the same old habits of the year prior. Nothing changes.

But as followers of Jesus, should we allow ourselves to do the same? Perhaps you haven’t strapped back on your old life, but have you done anything with the new? After putting your faith in Jesus as your Savior did you just hit “autopilot” — or have you dug into what that faith truly means and requires of you as you make Jesus Lord?

Colossians 2:6-7 gives us instructions as followers of God. It reminds us that new creations have a job to do — they must intentionally keep growing! It says-

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

This January, let’s resolve to grow roots deep into the Essential of God’s Word. As we dig into these Essentials, or non-negotiable truths as God’s followers, don’t just “know about them.” Build your life on them.

This week, we’ll see why digging into the Essentials is important and then stick with us for each week after as we investigate each doctrine one by one.

SCRIPTURES
Colossians 2:6-7 
| And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

2 Peter 1:3-11 | By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


DISCUSSION
  1. When did you accept Jesus as Lord?
  2. Since you put your faith in Jesus, what have you been doing to help your faith grow?
  3. 2 Peter tells us that the more we grow, the more productive and useful we are. What does God want to use us for?
  4. Have you grown enough since believing in Jesus to be used by God? How have you been used by Him already?
  5. Are you continuing to grow so you can be used more and more? In what ways?
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