Spiritually Grown Up: the Goal of the Christian Life

Available Nov. 8, 2020

About this Course

This course shows the larger purpose of the Christian life this side of heaven.  Using Scripture and other primary sources from the church's long tradition of teaching, we gain new understanding that brings about changes in behavior, practices, and then affections, attitudes, and dispositions.  These changes deepen our love for God and for neighbor. 

The 12-sesson course can be completed at your own pace.  Once registered, you will have continual access to the course and can return to it often.

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Purpose

This course will:

  1. Help you see clearly that the goal of the Christian life is spiritual maturity and help you recognize the connection between your hunger for God and that goal.
  2. Provide firm grounding in scripture and Christian teachings to sustain commitment to grow to maturity.
  3. Spur your commitments and behaviors toward alignment with this new scriptural understanding.  God works through your efforts to grow you stronger and more consistent in the expression of your faith.
  4. Help you recognize the deep connection between God's work in your heart and your thinking, doing, and feeling.  Changes in one domain influence changes in the others.  Practicing helps understanding.  Understanding strengthens practices and shapes feelings.  Your desires, goals, and motives have shifted in a scriptural direction.  (Don't settle for two out of three!  God doesn't work that way, nor does your mind.)  You recognize a deepening love for God and for neighbor; you feel righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).  

Outcomes

 By the end of the course, you will be able to: 

  • Describe the basic concept of spiritual maturity as the goal of the Christian life.
  • Connect a scriptural understanding (beyond one or two proof-texts) to that description.
  • Recognize how practices have become habits that put you in the position to grow.
  • Sustain the facility of recognizing the interplay between thoughts, feelings, and actions through notations or journaling.

 

Syllabus

Session 1.  The Heart Hungers to Know: Intellectual Hunger is Spiritual Hunger

Session 2.  Essential Doctrinal Framework: the Faith Once Delivered

Session 3.  What is Spiritual Maturity: A General Picture

Session 4.  Scriptural Teachings on Spiritual Maturity

Session 5.  Jesus Christ as the Exemplar and Pattern for Spiritual Maturity

Session 6.  Jesus as Master Teacher

Session 7.  Human Nature: Beautiful and Tragic

Session 8.  The Human Heart: Biblical, Theological, and Psychological Insights

Session 9.  Grace is Divine Action That Changes Us.

Session 10.  Spiritual Maturity is Always Social (We Need Each Other)

Session 11.  Spiritual Maturity and the Means of Grace (Disciplines)

Session 12.  Spiritual Maturity and Our Dispositions

In addition to lectures and readings, each session has a set of exercises to complete on your own.  

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