HomeBible StudyThe Stages of Spiritual Growth: Spiritual Young Men

The Stages of Spiritual Growth: Spiritual Young Men

The circle above provides a general overview of growing to spiritual maturity. Every person starts at the top, as a spiritual baby. We need others to feed us the milk of God’s word, and teach us how to walk with Christ. In our new faith we do all we do because we want to grow. Our focus is still our own desires.

As we proceed from infancy to childhood, we learn more about the solid food of God’s word, and begin learning how to care for our own spiritual needs.

Spiritual young men and women have reached the stage where they have a measure of strength in their faith. They are able to resist many temptations, and recognize the deceptions of the Evil One (Satan). Their focus begins to shift from an immature emphasis on self to more of an emphasis on Christ.

The final stage is becoming a spiritual father or mother. These are people who have grown to the point where Jesus and others constitute the focus of life. They help to multiply themselves, birthing new children in the faith. God’s design is that all Christians engage in the process of spiritual growth, becoming spiritual fathers and mothers.


Read: John 14:23, 15:10; I 3:24, James 1:22 

Becoming a spiritual young man begins by “Abiding” in God’s Word. We abide by:

Knowing God’s Word

(I John 2:14-17)

Knowing God’s word is the first step to performing its requirements. 

By spending time reading and studying the Bible, we can begin to know what God thinks about certain things, and how he desires us to react to our world. In the passage above the writer moves from knowing God, to knowing God’s word, to knowing God’s will. How do you think these are related? Give examples.

Keeping God’s Word

(I John 3:24)

To “abide” means to “live in the midst of.” John equates keeping God’s word with living in the midst of God’s word. The word, “keep” in Greek means to hold onto as if something is dear to you. With this in mind, re-read the verse. Is it possible to truly “keep” God’s word without having a heartfelt desire to know it? Why or why not?

Doing God’s Word

(James 1:22) 

The passage in James is often interpreted as “doing” or “performing” God’s word. But its real meaning is much deeper. It means to “produce,” or “make” something, like an author who writes a play. Look at the verse again. How can you “produce” God’s word in your life? What does God’s word “make” in you?

Practicing God’s Word

(I John 3:7)

You may have heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect.” By practicing God’s word, we are growing in righteousness, becoming more like Jesus Christ. How can you practice the passages you’ve read so far?


Read: I John 2:14-17

As we practice abiding in God’s Word, we will become strong in the:

Knowledge of God’s Word

Knowing the truth is the first step to recognizing deception, or avoiding temptation. Give an example of a truth from God’s word that has helped you in your walk with God.

Love of God and His Word 

(John 14:21-24)

Notice the order of events in verse 21. We demonstrate that we already love God when we keep His commandments. Verse 23 reverses the order, signifying that love for God and obedience to His word go together. We cannot have one without the other. 

How can you express your love for God through His word?


(Romans 5:3-5, Galatians 5:22-25)

Good character is equated with perseverance, and holding onto the love of God, which God has already expressed for us. 

What kinds of character traits can abiding in God’s word build in us? 

Practice of God’s Word

(Philippians 4:8-9, I John 2:14)

Applying a steady, consistent practice of biblical principles in everyday life will strengthen us to face any challenge.

Since you have come to know Christ, how have you grown strong in God’s word? Can you provide examples?


Growing Strong in God’s Word enables us to overcome the:

The World

(John 16:33, I John 2:16-17)

Every person who has received Jesus Christ has already overcome the world (the operation of sin in the world). Jesus overcame the world through His death and resurrection. Embracing Jesus gives us the same victory. The world will pass away, but we will live forever. What kinds of things will pass away with the world?

The Evil One

(I John 2:13)

Young men overcome the Evil One (Satan) by abiding in God’s word – performing its commands from the heart. The Evil One has no power over the Christian who is abiding in God’s word. Why does God’s word help the Christian overcome Satan?

The Flesh (our sin nature)

(Galatians 5:19-25)

No one overcomes the flesh until death. This is a sad reality. God has saved our spirits, he is renewing our minds with His word, but our flesh is still corrupt and will not be saved until the resurrection. Only then will we fully, and finally, overcome our fleshly desires. However, God has made it possible for us to deny our sinful desires. In this sense, we overcome the flesh moment by moment, each time we say yes to Jesus and no to sin. What area of sin do you struggle with the most? How might you deal with it?


Thinking on God’s Word changes the MIND

(Philippians 4:8)

Dwelling on God’s Word changes the HEART

(Luke 6:45, Luke 8:15, Colossian 3:16)

Expressing God’s Word changes LIVES

(Hebrews 4:12)

Tom Terry is head of Global Broadcast Strategy for JESUS Film Project and serves as General Manager of The Better FM, an online radio station for Asia. Tom is also the author of several books, including Bible studies and "Like An Eagle," his biography about living in Mongolia for ten years.
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