top of page

What is Spiritual Growth?

Updated: 6 days ago

As a seed grows when it’s planted and watered, so do followers of Christ grow in spiritual maturity when they are planted and nourished in good soil.

In the Bible, Jesus tells a parable about a sower who sows seeds. Some seeds fall on the path, some on rocky ground, some among thorns, and some on good soil (Matthew 13:3-8). Only the seeds that fall on good soil grow into healthy plants. Jesus explains that the one who hears the Word of God and understands it is like the seed sown on good soil, growing in their faith (Matthew 13:23).

The Christian life is a relationship with God that develops over time. To grow in spiritual maturity is to become more like the person God designed you to be—more like Jesus. But what does it mean to grow spiritually? Let's explore this journey together.

What Is Spiritual Growth?

Spiritual growth is the process of growing in faith, learning more about God, and becoming the person He created you to be. Peter, one of Jesus's closest followers, encourages us to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18, ESV). Paul, a leader in the early church, describes this growth as being “filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10, ESV).

The Nature of Spiritual Growth

God desires us to develop qualities that reflect His nature: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV). Spiritual growth involves embodying these traits and becoming more effective in our service to God.

What Does the Bible Say About Spiritual Growth?

The Bible offers extensive guidance on spiritual growth. Here are some key scriptures:

1. God Begins and Completes the Work in Believers “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6, ESV).

2. A Hunger for Righteousness “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6, ESV).

3. Equipped by God's Word “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, ESV).

4. Meditating on God's Word “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3, ESV).

5. Fruits of the Spirit “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23, ESV).

6. Effective and Productive Faith “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8, ESV).

7. Progressing to Maturity “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:12-14, ESV).

8. Built Up in Community “So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:1-5, ESV).

9. Growing Together in Love “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:15-16, ESV).

10. Following Mature Examples “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV).

11. Finding Joy in Trials “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4, ESV).

How Will You Grow Spiritually?

Three essential elements contribute to spiritual growth: grace, truth, and time. Truth is found in God’s Word, which corrects, trains, and challenges us. Grace is experienced when we recognize our mistakes and encounter God’s patient forgiveness. Time is crucial because maturity is a process, not an overnight transformation. Experiencing Christ with others can have significant benefits. Relationships with other believers provide encouragement and support.

How Does Spiritual Growth Happen?

Spiritual growth occurs as you persevere through life’s trials and challenges, following God’s plan (James 1:2-18), and living a Spirit-filled life—being aware of and listening to God’s Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Romans 6:11-14). Community plays a vital role in character growth, making God’s Word come alive, enhancing the impact of prayer, and aiding in sharing Christ with others

For more resources on growing spiritually, visit

How Do You Know You Are Growing Spiritually?

Active spiritual growth is usually visible through:

  • A desire to spend time with God to learn more about Him (2 Peter 3:18).

  • A deepening interest in the truths of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:2).

  • Teaching others the truths of the Bible (2 Peter 3:18).

  • Growing in grace and forgiveness (Titus 2:11-14).

  • A strong desire to obey God (John 14:15; James 1:19-25).

  • Prayer and Fasting

  • Fellowship with other believers

  • Praise and worship

Spiritual maturity looks different for each person. Compare your growth to what the Bible says rather than how others are progressing. True faith in God will be evident in how you live your life (James 1:26).

Where Will You Go From Here?

  • Read the Bible; start with the book of John.

  • Make prayer an important part of your life

  • Journal your spiritual journey and reflect.

  • Understand and experience living in the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Get together with a friend to pray, read the Bible, and discuss your spiritual growth.

  • Mentor someone else to help them—and yourself—grow spiritually.

This journey of spiritual growth lasts a lifetime so don't take it step by step. Let’s embark on this journey together.

Recent posts

776 views2 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page