|Go and grow. These two actions are vital in the
life of each Christian in order for faith to mature. In fact, one action
cannot be achieved without the other. These two actions are inseparable
as part of one's faith. There are several scriptures which, when studied
together, teach this lesson. But perhaps the passage which "sums it up"
best is found in Paul's second letter to the Corinthian church:
|Our hope is that, as your faith
continues to grow, our area of activity among you will greatly expand,
so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. --2
Corinthians 10:15b-16a NIV
From this, we see that evangelism, or the spread
of the gospel, is dependent upon the growth of individual faith. Jesus
also teaches that those who stand firm in their faith are essential to
the gospel being preached to all nations:
|Because of the increase of wickedness,
the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will
be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole
world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. --Matthew
Other scriptures addressing Christian growth can
be found at Ephesians
Peter 2:2, and
Ask just about anyone who professes to be a Christian,
and he or she will readily admit that they want to grow in faith. The problem
is that many will claim they haven't yet grown enough to be able to "go,"
which is the second action we will examine, along with its relationship
to one's faith.
A quick review of scriptures in which individuals
were divinely commanded to go is in order. In Acts
5:20 the apostles were commanded to go and proclaim the
message in the temple courts. In
8:26, 29 Philip twice followed the command to "go." As a
result, the Ethiopian eunuch became a Christian. In Acts
9:6, 22:10, & 22:21 we see Paul was commanded to "go"
three times. This led to his conversion and subsequent ministry. In Acts
9:11, 15 we see that Ananias was twice commanded to "go"
in connection with Paul's conversion. In
10:19-20 Peter was instructed to "go." This led to the kingdom
being opened to all gentiles. In
11:8 we can see it was by faith that Abraham obeyed the
command to go. In each of these cases, faith was required on the part of
the individual commanded to go. However, when each one obeyed, not only
was he rewarded with a greater faith but others benefitted as well.
Most important today is the command to "go" which
Jesus Christ gave to all of his followers:
|Then Jesus came to them and said,
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go
and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end
of the age." --Matthew
- - -
He said to them, "Go into all the
world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is
baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Evangelism is dependent upon the growing faith of
individuals just like you and me. It is impossible for one's faith to grow
to maturity if he or she does not also follow the command to go. The question
is...what is your response to
Jesus' command for you to go?
Do you want to grow in faith? Will you go and grow?
Copyright © 1999 Kimberly B. Southall.
All rights reserved.