Salvation and the Church: Making the Effort to Grow in Christ

Today’s message summary of July 29, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:

Today there will be more and more challenges as to your belief in Jesus Christ.  Unless you are anchored in Jesus Christ, you will have a very difficult time.

God gives us, through His Word, things that are necessary for your personal growth.

LeBron James has told others that he always competes against himself. He is his number one competitor, because he always looking to improve.

(If you are satisfied with where you are, you will not get any better.)

You must come to the place where you are in your Christian life where you are not satisfied with where you are.  You should always desire to get better.

“If God drop not down his assistance, we write with a pen that hath no ink.”  –Charles Spurgeon


Matthew 22:37

He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.


Mark 12:30

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (also in Luke 10:27)

How do you build all of these things to be the best Christian that you can be?  You will need that strength to do this because you have an adversary that opposes these efforts.  Paul shared that every time he desired to do good that evil was also present (Romans 7:21).

What effort is being put forth that helps you to learn more about your faith?  How much time are you spending to learn more about Jesus?

Many people read the Word but few really study the Word and study Christianity.  Both should be a lifelong study.  You should desire to study your Christian faith because it fortifies you!


2 Timothy 1:11-12

For this gospel I was appointed a herald, apostle, and teacher, and that is why I suffer these things. But I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.

Do you really know who you are believing in? Let’s look at the effort a man puts into seeking after God.


Acts 8:26-39

The Conversion of the Ethiopian Official

26 An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip: Get up and go south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza. (This is the desert road.) 27 So he got up and went. There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch and high official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem 28 and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah aloud.

29 The Spirit told Philip, Go and join that chariot.

30 When Philip ran up to it, he heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, Do you understand what youre reading?

31 How can I, he said, unless someone guides me? So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. 32 Now the Scripture passage he was reading was this:

He was led like a sheep to the slaughter,

and as a lamb is silent before its shearer,

so he does not open his mouth.

33 In his humiliation justice was denied him.

Who will describe his generation?

For his life is taken from the earth.

34 The eunuch said to Philip, I ask you, who is the prophet saying this abouthimself or someone else? 35 Philip proceeded to tell him the good news about Jesus, beginning with that Scripture.

36 As they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, Look, theres water. What would keep me from being baptized? 38 So he ordered the chariot to stop, and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any longer but went on his way rejoicing.

8:36 Some mss include v. 37: Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart you may.” And he replied, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

The Ethiopian had a hunger of God.  He was not yet saved, but still wanted to learn more about Him.  (God has put it in every man to have a desire to learn, but you must seek after Him.)

  1. He was a eunuch
  2. He is an important official in charge of the treasury
  3. He is an educated man. He is reading the passage of Scripture. He knows math and he knows more than one language.  He is reading in Hebrew from most likely the Septuagint, which is Greek.

What we read in Scripture can inspire us, but we still need the Spirit to impart its wisdom.

In the movie Kingdom of Heaven, the people were digging for water in a hole.  They initially hit mud, but that meant that water had to be present.  In order to find water that was drinkable, they had to dig deeper into the hole to find it.

The more that you dig into God’s Word, the more that you will see its life saving effect in your life, and you will experience His living water.  The key is that you have to keep digging to get there.

The Ethiopian was digging.  He had gone to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 8:27-28).  He traveled over 1,500 miles to learn more about God.

Like the Ethiopian, you are to engage the Word.  It is to be an earnest effort to seek after truth and to travel outside of your comfort zone.

You are to involve yourself in discovering the meaning of God’s Word.

The Ethiopian engaged the Word after leaving the temple in Jerusalem.  He was going over what he had learned.


Acts 17:11

The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

There is much, much more to learn about God.


Job 42:1-6

1 Then Job replied to the Lord:

2  I know that you can do anything

and no plan of yours can be thwarted.

3 You asked, “Who is this who conceals my counsel with ignorance?”

Surely I spoke about things I did not understand,

things too wondrous for me to know.

4 You said, “Listen now, and I will speak.

When I question you, you will inform me.”

5 I had heard reports about you,

but now my eyes have seen you.

6 Therefore, I reject my words and am sorry for them;

I am dust and ashes.


The Ethiopian was smart enough to know that he didn’t know enough (Acts 8:31).

Don’t act in such a way where you stop learning because you think you don’t need to.

Many people today don’t know that they don’t know.  They just think they do, and that’s it.

You should always have the desire to be willing to learn (Acts 8:34).  Don’t be too proud to ask for help.


Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.

The Ethiopian was humble in his effort to learn.  Philip was able to show him about Jesus Christ.


Isaiah 53:7-8

He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet he did not open his mouth.

Like a lamb led to the slaughter

and like a sheep silent before her shearers,

he did not open his mouth.

He was taken away because of oppression and judgment;

and who considered his fate?

For he was cut off from the land of the living;

he was struck because of my peoples rebellion.


Philip and the Ethiopian traveled down the road together.  This reflects the time it takes for you to walk together with others who desire to learn more about Jesus Christ.  It will require that kind of effort.

You can tell when the teaching takes hold.  The Ethiopian understood what was being taught and was ready for baptism.

Is there anything keeping you from having a much greater and richer relationship with Jesus Christ?

You are the only one holding yourself back.

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