Associate Pastor, Joey Stevens
Associate Pastor, Joey Stevens

Three stages of spiritual growth

In the epistle of First John, we find a unique section.  John uses poetic language to get a point across about the three stages of spiritual growth. The three stages are little children, young men, and fathers.  He mentions these points each twice as a point of emphases of progressive growth in a family. The three stages are little children, young men and fathers.

It’s difficult to understand John’s thought process when reading it in English, because John is using perfect tense verbs. A perfect tense verb is something that happened in your past that has an ongoing impact that still matters now, and continues to affect your entire future.

The point of a perfect tense verb is to show that someone did something to or for you that you yourselves cannot do. Therefore, Christ died for your sins, only in a way that you yourself could not do. The utter hopelessness of our lostness before Christ is a weight that we ourselves cannot lift. This is the heart of the Gospel, and what makes it a treasure. See, Jesus isn’t just one of many ways to have right standing with God or a path to heaven, and it’d be easier to go His route because He only asks for faith… no! The Gospel is a treasure because it is the only way, only God Himself can fulfil all the requirements and righteous that He set forth. Our hearts are drawn to Him in thanksgiving because He did for us what we could not do! Faith in Christ, and the resulting Salvation is an event that has an ongoing impact on the everyday life in the present.

Regardless of which stage you are in, the place to invest in this journey is in the life of the local church. This is God’s design and desire. He has people of all walks of life, all in different stages of spiritual growth together in one body. Children and young men need their fathers; therefore, God has designed the local church to be the avenue of connection for this spiritual family.

If you are in the Defiance-Ayersville-Continental area and need a church home, we’d love to have you come be a part of our fellowship and family.

Grace and Peace.

Joey Stevens

Associate Pastor

October 3, 2018

Senior Pastor,
Rev L. Brent Gibson
Senior Pastor, Rev L. Brent Gibson

I would like to make an observation about the process of nominating Judge Brett Kavanaugh as a Justice to the Supreme Court. If you are like me, you have grown weary of the whole situation. It struck me when he was accused of sexual assault when he was 17 that what is required is a perfect life without any mistakes. Now I am not trying to diminish a supposed act of sexual assault, but would like to point out that the teenage years are times of making mistakes. We all have our share that we would rather not have made public. Our judicial system tries to protect teenage offenders by sealing their juvenile records so that their mistakes and crimes do not follow them into their adult life. Had Brett Kavanaugh been arrested for sexual assault as a 17 year old his juvenile records would have been sealed, and not up to public scrutiny. The world holds people to an impossible standard of never having made a mistake, committed a crime or had an offense. Which many, if not all our public officials cannot live up to, even Judge Kavanaugh’s accusers. Many an American has risen above the failures of their teenage years.

What struck me is how different the church is supposed to be from the world. Forgiveness in Christ covers all the mistakes and sins of the past. They no longer are counted against us. Paul writes in I Corinthians 6

9 ¶  Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10  nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, 11  And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

As a Christian in our life prior to our conversion to faith in Christ, we may have committed some terrible awful sins as Paul catalogs here for us. But coming to faith in Christ has caused us to be washed, sanctified, and justified, the past is dealt with.

When investigating a Christians life, one must begin at the point of conversion to faith. The past is forgiven and what matters is how well they have lived since becoming a follower of Christ.

How thankful I am that my past is forgiven and washed away. As I have received the grace of forgiveness I should extend that same grace to others.

In His name,

Brent Gibson

Senior Pastor

October 4, 2018