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Gateways Into Spiritual Growth
Stats: 4,951 words / Reading Time: 24.76 mins

Published: Tuesday, 11th May 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

Gateways Into Spiritual Growth is read 738 times on CentreNDL.org 738
  

GATEWAYS INTO SPIRITUAL GROWTH

How to Leverage on Revelation, Knowledge, Prophecy and Instruction to Grow Spiritually


Listen To Podcast: Examining The GATEWAYS Into Spiritual Growth

 There are four gateways into spiritual growth that apostle Paul spoke about in 1 Corinthians 14:6. Often times, when we read that place, we quickly want to move on to the next verse not paying so much attention to what he said. But I found that verse to be very important to our spiritual growth and maturity and we are going to take our time to examine each one of them and see how they are relevant to us as we take our spiritual growth mandate with utmost importance. The Bible says in that verse:

 

“But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching?”

 

Earlier in the chapter, apostle Paul began by talking to them about the need to pursue love and desire spiritual gifts. In 1 Corinthians 12:31, he admonished them to earnestly desire the best gifts. What then are Spiritual gifts? The Bible does not explicitly give a definition; however, we can use Biblical references and texts to define what a spiritual gift is. 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 shows us: There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries…” In this context, it is not talking about “Frank Abah Ministries, or John Ojoagbene ministries”, what that place was talking about was the apostolic ministry, the prophetic ministry, the evangelistic ministry, the pastoral ministry and the teaching ministry as documented in Ephesians 4.

 

“…but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all…” So, from this passage, we can clearly infer that every believer has at least one gift or the other. There is no such thing as I don’t have any gift.

 

So, from this passage, we can come up with the definition of a spiritual gift as follows: a spiritual gift is a divine enablement given to every believer by the holy spirit for the purpose of doing the work of God on earth.

 

But I want us to go back to that Scripture 1 Corinthians 14:6 and this time, I want to read in the amplified version of the Bible. It says: “Now, believers, if I come to you speaking in unknown tongues, how will I benefit you unless I also speak to you [clearly] either by revelation [revealing God’s mystery], or by knowledge [teaching about God], or by prophecy [foretelling the future, speaking a new message from God to the people], or by instruction [teaching precepts that develop spiritual maturity]?”

 

There are four gateways into spiritual growth that Paul mentioned in that passage and they are:

(i) Revelation or revelation knowledge

(ii) Knowledge of God

(iii) Prophecy (1 Corinthians 12:3)

(iv) Instruction (doctrine: KJV)

 

The First Gateway: Revelation Knowledge

 

What is Revelation Knowledge?

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

1 Corinthians 2:12-14

 

There are two kinds of knowledge that are operational in the world. There is the sense knowledge or the natural knowledge (which is external to us in nature). The sense knowledge, as the name implies, is gained through our five physical senses. So, this knowledge comes from: what you could smell, what you could taste, what you could feel, what you could see, and what you could touch. Sense knowledge also comes as a result of our education or life experiences. The best that this sense knowledge does to anybody is that it puffs them up. It makes them pompous and proud. In 1 Corinthians 8:1b, it says: Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.”

 

There is the second knowledge which is called the revealed knowledge or revelation knowledge. Revelation knowledge is that which is revealed to your heart by the Holy Spirit. This kind of knowledge is not produced by our natural senses, but by the Holy Spirit. An example is written in Matthew 16:13-18. It says:

 

When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” 14 So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” AS AT THIS POINT, NOBODY KNEW HIM AS CHRIST, THE SAVIOR YET. THEY ONLY KNEW HIM AS JESUS THE SON OF A CARPENTER BY THE NAME JOSEPH.

 

 17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

 

How Do You Receive Revelation Knowledge?

 

There are two broad categorizations of the word of God. There is the spoken word of God, and there is the written word of God. An example of God’s spoken word is documented in Genesis 1:1-3 and Isaiah 54:10-11 which says:

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

 

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,
And do not return there,
But water the earth,
And make it bring forth and bud,
That it may give seed to the sower
And bread to the eater,
11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

 

The Bible is the example of the written word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

 

So, you receive revelation knowledge both by the spoken word of God and by the written word of God. You actually need the two to grow spiritually. As you meditate on the written word of God, the Holy Spirit speaks to your spirit the counsel of God for your edification.

 

What Do You Do with Revelation Knowledge?

You simply grow by it. 1 Peter 2:2 says: as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word (both spoken word and documented word), that you may grow thereby…”

 

The Second Gateway: Knowledge of God

 

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10 that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Colossians 1:9-10

 

What Is the Knowledge of God?

The knowledge of God talks about knowing God intimately. And the truth is this: there is no way we can know God intimately outside of faith. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” God dwells in an unseen realm, but even at that, we can know Him intimately through faith. In verse 6 of Hebrews 11, it says: But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. So, it means that we can know God intimately through faith.

 

How Do You Grow in The Knowledge of God?

 

1. Personal Relationship with God Through Faith

“…that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

 Ephesians 3:17-19

 

It takes having a personal relationship with someone for you to know them intimately. For example, I cannot claim I know President Buhari intimately for instance because I do not have a relationship with him. But I know my wife intimately because there is a relationship between us. So, growing in the knowledge of God cannot be done outside of an intimate relationship with God, and this is done through faith and His Holy Spirit.

 

2. Study the Word of God

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 2:15

 

There is the place of diligence in growing in the knowledge of God. Spiritual growth takes place via diligence and through studying the word of God. You cannot know God outside of the boundaries of what His word says. So, you must therefore be married to God’s word if you want to grow in the knowledge of Him and this you also do in the place of patience and diligence.

 

 

3. Practice the word of God

“Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

James 1:21-25

 

The Third Gateway: Prophecy!

 

Prophetic utterances can bring about spiritual growth. In 1 Corinthians 14:3, the Bible says: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” Let me read it to us in the amplified version for a clearer understanding. It says: “But [on the other hand] the one who prophesies speaks to people for edification [to promote their spiritual growth] and [speaks words of] encouragement [to uphold and advise them concerning the matters of God] and [speaks words of] consolation [to compassionately comfort them].”

 

If you examine the ministry of prophets viz-a-viz the work of the ministry gifts in the body of Christ, then you cannot expunge the role of prophecy in the scheme of things in the body. Because most of the times, we tend to want to neglect the roles that these people in these offices (apostles, prophets, evangelists) plays and focus only on the pastors and teachers. Everyone is doing one thing or the other when it comes to the spiritual growth and maturity of the saints of God.

 

The Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:28: And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracle, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”

 

 

What Do You Do with Prophecy?

18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck, 20 of whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I delivered to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 1:18-20

 

The answer is simple: we are to wage the good warfare of faith with it. Prophecies are not to be despised or discarded, prophecies are to be used for our spiritual edification and growth. 1 Thessalonians 5:20 (AMP) says: “do not scorn or reject gifts of prophecy or prophecies [spoken revelations, words of instructions or exhortation or warning].” The best way to know a genuine prophecy is to subject to the word of God. Once you can find its basis in the Scripture, then you must war a good warfare with it. But prophetic words are not to be scorned or rejected.

 

The Fourth Gateway: Instructions (Doctrine: KJV)

There is a strong link between doctrines and spiritual growth. A well-balanced doctrinal teaching would no doubt lead a believer into spiritual growth. What is a doctrine? A doctrine is a biblical truth and set of instructions upon which the believers’ faith rest. The amplified version we read calls it: [precepts that develop spiritual maturity].

 

“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. 15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.”

1 Timothy 4:12-16

 

In summary, we have examined four gateways into spiritual maturity and these gateways are:

 

(i) Revelation or revelation knowledge

(ii) Knowledge of God

(iii) Prophecy

(iv) Instruction

 

I believe you have learnt something! 


Thanks for the gift of your time, We are Obayomi Abiola Benjamin and Gboyega ADEDEJI!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.



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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


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