Basic Guides to Spiritual Growth
HOW CAN I EXPERIENCE GOD'S LOVE AND
So now you're a Christian, but there are
times when you still blow it. Like the day when youre angry at a classmate who is
getting straight As without even studying when you barely make Bs. After
school that day, you went outside to play with your dog. While throwing a stick for him to
fetch, you were so angry that you threw too hard ... right into your neighbors front
glass window! Now you have to pay for your anger and bad attitude. Suddenly, you think to
yourself, "Im a Christian now. I shouldnt be so angry and upset about
others successes." Lets take a look at what to do and how you can
experience Gods love and forgiveness, especially when you mess up.
1. THE NEED FOR FORGIVENESS
Its helpful to understand why you need to be forgiven. Lets take a look at
what Gods Word says.
Read Romans 3:23 and Isaiah 53:6.
According to these verses, how many people have sinned? ___________________
Define sin: ________________________________________________________
What is the result of sin? ______________________________________________
Read Hebrews 9:22. What is the requirement for forgiveness? _________________
2. DIFFERENT BIBLICAL SACRIFICES
The Bible often talks of sacrifices. In the Old Testament, various animals were sacrificed
by priests to forgive or atone for peoples sins. But the New Testament describes
Gods perfect solution, Jesus sacrifice on the cross, to forgive people of
sins. Lets look at the differences.
a. Differences in Priests
Read Hebrews 7:23-28.
List the differences between the Old Testament priests and Jesus. Old Testament
Priests Jesus, our High Priest
1. ________________________________ 1.
2. ________________________________ 2.
3. ________________________________ 3.
b. Differences in Sacrifices
Read Hebrews 10:3-4,11.
How often did priests perform duties and offer sacrifices? _____________________
Could this take away sins? ____________________________________________
Read Hebrews 10:12-14.
The priest described in these verses is Jesus Christ, our High Priest. How many
times did He
need to offer sacrifices? _______________________________________________
What was the result of Jesus sacrifice of dying on the cross (verse 14)?
What else has Jesus done since His sacrifice (verse 12)? _____________________
3. THE EXTENT OF CHRIST'S FORGIVENESS
Read Colossians 2:13-14 and
Psalm 103:12. How many of your sins did Christ die for when He died on the cross?
Does this mean all sins committed in the past? ___________ All in the future? _____
How many of your sins were future when Christ died on the cross? _______________
If all future sins are forgiven, can you just go out and sin all you want and take
advantage of your forgiveness? ____
Why or why not? _____________________________________________________________
The Bible is clear that if you really understand and accept Gods love and
forgiveness, you wont want to continue to sin. Do you agree with the following
statement: "A God who is willing to send His Son to die for me must care deeply for
me. If He did all this for me, He must want the best for me. I want to do what He wants
4. HOW TO EXPERIENCE GOD'S LOVE AND
Christ died for all your sins past, present and future. Thus as a Christian,
youre totally forgiven by the God of the universe. Even though this is true, you may
not always feel or experience this love and forgiveness. Lets look at how you can.
a. Relationship vs. Fellowship with Others
What is the difference between a relationship and fellowship (say with you and your
Suppose you have an argument with your father, where you are wrong. What do you
need to do in order to experience your fathers forgiveness?
Even if your fellowship changes, will your
relationship (the fact of being your fathers child) ever change?
b. Relationship vs. Fellowship with God
Similarly, you have both a relationship and fellowship with God. Sometimes you may take
the control for your life (control that belongs to God) and do what you want to do. As a
Christian, your relationship is not affected because you will always belong to Him, but
your disobedience and selfishness will affect your fellowship with God. Also, even though
you are forgiven for your sins, your rebellion may keep you from experiencing Gods
love and forgiveness. Its times like these you may feel far away from God.
c. Restoring Fellowship with God
Since your relationship with God doesnt change, you must take steps to restore your
fellowship with God when it is broken or strained. That involves confession and turning
away from what God says is wrong and doing whats right. Remember, the reason for
confession is not to satisfy God but rather to benefit you and restore your relationship
You can follow these steps:
1. Confess or agree with God that what youve done is sin.
(Confession in the New Testament means to "agree with
about your sin." Its like saying, "God, I admit I
2. Thank God that He has already forgiven you.
3. Turn from your sin.
Knowing how important it is to confess
your sins, realize that God does not intend for you to spend all your time digging for
your sins to confess. Rather, you are to confess those sins you know and are aware of,
then you are to trust the Holy Spirit to give you the power to live as He wants you to
5. TRUSTING GOD'S PROMISES
As you continue to grow in your relationship with God, its important to know and
remember the promises He has given. Lets look at His promise to forgive.
Write out 1 John 1:9 - ______________________________________________
Read Proverbs 28:13, and Psalm 32:5. What does God promise in these verses?
On your own, take some time to read
Gods Word and discover more of His precious promises.