“The dominant biblical pattern is neither ‘let go and let God’ nor ‘God has done His bit, and now it’s all up to you,’ but rather, ‘since God is powerfully at work in you, you yourself must make every effort.”
–  D. A. Carson

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18

Four Truths about Growing in Christ:

  1. Spiritual Growth is by God.

“His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.”
2 Peter 1:3-4

  1. Spiritual Growth is not automatic.

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
2 Peter 1:5-7

  1. Spiritual Growth will be .

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.”
2 Peter 1:8-9

  1. Spiritual Growth focuses on now and later.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.”
2 Peter 1:10-11

Sound doctrine is accurate scriptural teaching on theological truths that lead to the spiritual health and transformed lives of individuals and the church. 

“But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine.”
Titus 2:1

Seven Benefits of Sound Bible Teaching:

  1. Promotes a of the Word of God.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,So that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16-17                                                  

  1. Encourages to the Word of God.

If anyone teaches false doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited and understands nothing, but has an unhealthy interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.”
1 Timothy 6:3-5

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.”
John 17:17

  1. Presents about the character of God.

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in him.”
1 John 1:5

  1. Provides a of God’s holiness.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age.”
Titus 2:11-12

  1. Enables of the individual and health of the church.

And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.”
Ephesians 4:11-14

  1. Guards against .

Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons.”
1 Timothy 4:1

“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”
2 Timothy 4:3

  1. Creates a for the gospel and glory of God.

And for whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which was entrusted to me.”
1 Timothy 1:10b-11

Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

“We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope.” vs. 13

Four Important Resurrections to All of Us:

1. The resurrection of .

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, . . .” vs. 14a

2. The resurrection of the .

“. . . in the same way, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.” vs. 14b

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” vs. 16

3. The resurrection of the .

“Then we who are still alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” vs. 18

4. The resurrection to today!

“Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.” 1 Thessalonians 4:1

Truth to take home:

Because of , death does not need to have the final word in your life.

Verse to take in:

“For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:40

Change to take on:

on living your new life in Christ!


When you think about suffering, what comes to mind? Do you envision bedraggled children with distended stomachs, a hospital patient hooked up to life-sustaining medical equipment, or a courageous veteran dealing with the aftermath of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Adversity seems to be a common denominator to human existence, but what does the Bible have to say about suffering?

Jesus spoke to His disciples about suffering. One of the most well-known verses reads, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 ESV). The Greek word for cross in this verse is staurós. It refers to the crossbeam which the lowest criminals carried as they trudged toward their execution. The cross symbolized degradation and indescribable pain as well as sacrifice.

While the invitation to eternal life is free, it comes at a price–certain suffering.

John 7:37-39

“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 The one who believes in me,  as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” 39 He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

1. The invitation is .

“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” vs. 37

2. All that is in Jesus .

“He said this about the Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus were going to receive the Spirit, for the Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.” vs. 39

3. Whatever me will from me.

“The one who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” vs. 38

Truth to take home:
To be far from the Fountain is to .

Verse to take in:
“Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” John 4:13-14

Change to take on:
Draw near to Jesus and be .