GROW Part 2 – Lesson 3 of 4



Audio: 3A & 3B


GROW Part 2 / Lesson 3A & 3B – SAINTS

The New Covenant gospel transforms sinners into what the Bible calls “saints.” This process is often called “sanctification.” Webster’s 1888 Dictionary defines sanctification as follows:

SANCTIFICA’TION, n. [See Sanctify.]

  1. The act of making holy. In an evangelical sense, the act of God’s grace by which the affections of men are purified or alienated from sin and the world, and exalted to a supreme love to God.
    God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. 2 Th 2. 1 Pet 1.
  1. The act of consecrating or of setting apart for a sacred purpose; consecration.

So, this process transforms what was unholy into something that is holy. In this sense, this spiritual development is purposed to grow a Child of God into matured saints who is able to unify with other matured saints into one body that obeys the commands of to one head – Jesus Christ. This process is what Paul spoke of in the following verse:

1 Corinthians 1:2
2  Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

1 Corinthians 1:2 (NLT)
2  I am writing to God’s church in Corinth, to you who have been called by God to be His own holy people. He made you holy by means of Christ Jesus, just as He did for all people everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours.

The Great Commission speaks of this transformation from sinner to saint. There, Jesus said to “teach all people” (share with them the gospel) and then to “baptize in them in the name” (convert them in Jesus’ name). He then instructs the Church Elders to “teach” the new converts “to observe all things I have commanded you” (See Matthew 28:19-20). This last part of Jesus’ Great Commission is directly tied to the overall goal of the five-fold ministry’s involvement in the Church, which is to teach every saint of God to perfect them (mature them) for the purpose of working their own ministry (see Ephesians 4:11-12).

Furthermore, the Great Commission’s command “to teach all things” speaks of the need for every Born Again Christian to mature beyond the initial foundation of their salvation. Once such teaching is facilitated, a saint of God will better understand how they are called to serve in the Body of Christ (more on how Saints serve in GROW 3).



The body of Christ is called to biblical perfection. Jesus came both save men and women from their sins and to transform them into saints that exhibit Christlike perfection. Without such transformation how could they say they truly are a “new creature in Christ” (see 2 Corinthians 5:17)? This type perfection is found in the next command:

Matthew 5:48

The word “perfect” biblically means to be finished, complete, of full age, or matured (See Thayer’s G5046). Just as a baby that is born a male must mature to become a man, so also a Born Again believer must grow beyond their “babe in Christ” beginnings to become a spiritually matured man or woman of God.

The command to be “perfect like your Father” is located in an area of Scripture known as the “Beatitudes.” Jesus’ teaching there challenges His Church to react and interact to life in a way quite opposite of man’s natural tendencies. Fundamentally, the Beatitudes call the Church to not only walk in a way that pleases Jesus, but, more importantly, to walk in a way that embodies Jesus to the world. This is easily seen when Matthew 5:48 is read in context with a few of its preceding verses.

Matthew 5:43-48
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. [This is what the natural and carnal man would say.]
44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; [This is what the spiritual man would believe and do.]
45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. [A believer faithfully doing what they should makes them appear as the Body of Christ.]
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? [This is what the natural and carnal man would say.]
47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? [This is what the natural and carnal man would say.]
48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. [A believer faithfully doing what they should makes them appear as the Body of Christ.]

Living Jesus’ Beatitudes necessitate a growing process that moves a believer from spiritual immaturity into spiritual perfection. This process is the same way in which the Church grows into their calling to be Saints in Jesus Christ’s kingdom.



Through His prophets, God promised when Messiah came He would mature His people to a closer union with their God. This intimacy was prophesied to come through the New Covenant and its accompanying indwelling of God’s Spirit in man. Such a union was to be the apex of God and man’s earthly relationship, and first started being available to all men at the Holy Ghost outpouring in the Acts 2.

During the time of the New Covenant, Peter said:

1 Peter 4:10
10  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

The “gift” to which Peter is referring is that of the Spirit of God or the Holy Ghost. When this gift came, the Bible records it was evidenced by a supernatural “tongue” (language). The Holy Ghost is God’s infilling presence. He brings to a believer supernatural gifts that include: The Word of Wisdom; Word of Knowledge; Discerning of Spirits; Gift of Faith; Working of Miracles; Gifts of Healing; Gift of Prophecy; Gift of Diverse Tongues; Gift of Interpretation of Tongues.

These supernatural gifts are to be used to edify the Church. And because “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal” (see 1 Corinthians 12:7), as long as ministers are being perfected for the edifying of others, these supernatural gifts will be needed and available in the Church (see 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:7-10).

Paul spoke of maturity during his 1 Corinthian 13 statements about a believer’s state of perfection in biblical love. Paul starts this famous chapter by stating that even though a person would display all kinds of miraculous supernatural signs, he still would not mature in Christ unless his Christianity also manifested “charity” or “love” (see verses 1-3).

To properly understand the remainder of this chapter, we must follow the established context found in Paul’s opening statements. He continues on with this focus by explaining what biblically mature love is (see verses 4-7). Then Paul states:

1 Corinthians 13:8-10
8  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10  But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

Paul is not stating that the outpouring of the Holy Ghost or its manifested signs were to end; he was simply showing that signs from a believer unaccompanied by change in a believer is not what God desires in His people.

The Bible in Basic English translation words these same verses this way:

1 Corinthians 13:8-10 (BBE)
8 Though the prophet’s word may come to an end, tongues come to nothing, and knowledge have no more value, love has no end.
9 For our knowledge is only in part, and the prophet’s word gives only a part of what is true:
10 But when that which is complete is come, then that which is in part will be no longer necessary.

Straightforwardly this translation shows Paul is saying that while we are in our immature state things can fail and be incomplete, but when one matures to that perfect state of biblical love, then that which we do will never fail. What is that type of perfect love? Jesus already told us in Mark 12:30-31:

Mark 12:30-31
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”
(also see Deuteronomy 6:5, Deuteronomy 10:12,Deuteronomy 30:6; Matthew 22:37-40; Luke 10:27-28)

This type of love agrees with Jesus’ other statement about perfect love as found in John 15:12-14:

John 15:12-14
12   This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13   Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14   Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

What Peter, Paul, and Jesus are showing is that though salvation happens immediately when a believer obeys the Gospel of Jesus Christ, their maturity or perfection takes a lifetime. This is what is meant here:

Hebrews 6:1-2
1  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The writer of Hebrews is not saying these salvation elements are unimportant because he describes them as the “principles” of Christ’s doctrine. Paul is only saying let’s not stay at this starting place; let’s move on to perfection. If perfection arrives when one obeys the gospel, Paul would not have told believers to move on toward what they had already received.

Again, Saint’s maturing to perfection is also a key element found in Jesus’ Great Commission (see Matthew 28:19-20). Peter also dealt with a saint’s need to grow into perfection when he wrote:

2 Peter 1:4-11
4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. [This is salvation] 
5  And BESIDE THIS, giving all diligence, ADD TO your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge
6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness
7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. [This is going on to perfection through sanctification
8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Maturity of a believer] 
9  But he that lacketh these things is blind [Spiritual Darkness], and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. [Immaturity of a believer] 
10  Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 
11  For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This maturity and immaturity is found in the following verses on the fruit (or lack thereof) of the Spirit from the Apostle Paul:

Galatians 5:18-23
18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest [this speaks of spiritual Immaturity], which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22  But the fruit of the Spirit [this speaks of spiritual maturity] is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Peter and Paul both equated the maturity process of a saint with their salvation because the Apostles taught there is more to salvation than just receiving a ticket to someday escape death, for it also involves the salvation that can grow a person beyond their former sinful-self. This type salvation allows a believer to live saved right now! This was why Paul yearned only for this:

Philippians 3:10-15
10  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11  If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
13  Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
15  Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Paul’s yearning wasn’t for salvation to enter eternity, since he already received that by being born again of the water and Spirit in Jesus Name; what Paul longed for was salvation from those things within him that kept him from maturing further into the image of One he so deeply loved—Jesus Christ! This goal is a lifelong process, which Paul said he was pressing toward even during his Apostleship.

Through these biblical examples we see that unless a saved person honestly can say they love God and man with ALL their heart, soul, mind, and strength, they are still lacking spiritual maturity. If all were honest, they would say they still have room to grow in these areas, so, “that which is perfect” has not “come,” but is still in the process of coming. This means Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 13 should in no way be used to prove the manifestations of God’s supernatural miracles, signs, and wonders are now done away.

Doing Jesus’ WILL rather than YOUR OWN WILL makes you LIKE CHRIST! THIS IS NOT MEN BEING GODS, BUT MEN BEING GOD’S! (Notice the punctuation) Or said another way, THIS IS NOT MAN BECOMING DEITY, BUT RATHER MAN BEING LED BY DEITY. Look at what is said in Romans concerning this: 

Romans 8:9-16
9  But YE ARE NOT IN THE FLESH, BUT IN THE SPIRIT, IF SO BE THAT THE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELL IN YOU. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10  And IF CHRIST BE IN YOU, THE BODY IS DEAD because of sin; BUT THE SPIRIT IS LIFE because of righteousness.
11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
15  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

If we make ourselves “gods,” we would be in idolatry and error. Latter in this same chapter in Romans, Paul stated that it pleases God that we be …conformed to the image of His son… (Romans 8:29). Because so, wouldn’t it be true that if one forfeits his will to Jesus’ will, they would thereby not be in error but in obedience to God? Isn’t obedience to God’s Word and Spirit a goal to which all believers are called to? Overwhelmingly the Bible shows that this is a believer’s goal. Because so, why do some still see this to be an error to say that a man should strive to become perfect/mature like Jesus?



Jesus does have a flesh and bone body today. It is the same body that He’s had since the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2. The identity of this Body was then, is now, and will forever be, His Church. Many recoil at the idea that the Church is the body of Jesus Christ. Yet the Bible unmistakably identifies His body as such.

(Concerning this study, please note that Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible, unless otherwise noted. Also, the bolds, underlines, UPPERCASES, and [bracketed comments] found in scriptures were added for emphasis.)

2 Corinthians 13:5
5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. KNOW YE NOT YOUR OWN SELVES, HOW THAT JESUS CHRIST IS IN YOU, except ye be reprobates?

Galatians 4:6
6  And because ye are sons, GOD HATH SENT FORTH THE SPIRIT OF HIS SON INTO YOUR HEARTS, crying, Abba, Father.

Colossians 1:27
27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, THE HOPE OF GLORY:

1 John 4:4
4  Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU, than he that is in the world.

1 Corinthians 12:12-13
12  For as THE BODY IS ONE, AND HATH MANY MEMBERS, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: SO ALSO IS CHRIST.
13  For BY ONE SPIRIT ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED INTO ONE BODY, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:27
27  NOW YE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST, and members in particular.

Ephesians 4:12-13
12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 5:22-33
22  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23  For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28  So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. HE THAT LOVETH HIS WIFE LOVETH HIMSELF.
29  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
31  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and THEY TWO SHALL BE ONE FLESH.
32  This is a great mystery: but I SPEAK CONCERNING CHRIST AND THE CHURCH.
33  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Colossians 1:24
24  Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for HIS BODY’S SAKE, WHICH IS THE CHURCH:

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
17  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, WHICH TEMPLE YE ARE.

1 Corinthians 6:19

2 Corinthians 6:16
16  And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? FOR YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LIVING GOD; as God hath said, I WILL DWELL IN THEM, and WALK IN THEM; and I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE.

John 14:16-20
16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever;
17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and SHALL BE IN YOU.
18  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20  At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I IN YOU.

The Church is to consist of matured saints unified into one body – Christ’s body. These many members are to think as one mind, with thoughts that originate from the body’s one head – Jesus.



 This statement may seem hard to believe, but it is exactly what Jesus said would happen. Here is where Jesus made this boast:

John 14:11-20
11  Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, THE WORKS THAT I DO SHALL HE DO ALSO; and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL HE DO; because I go unto my Father.
13  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15  If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that HE MAY ABIDE WITH YOU FOR EVER;
17  Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for HE DWELLETH WITH YOU, AND SHALL BE IN YOU.
18  I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU.
19  Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20  At that day ye shall know that I AM IN MY FATHER, AND YE IN ME, AND I IN YOU.

This area of scripture is loaded with meaning. Notice that Jesus said for them to believe Him for the works He was doing. He told the disciples of John the Baptist to tell John to do the same and He listed what some of these were:

Luke 7:22
22  Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.

We already discussed how the Bible says the following:

Luke 6:40
40  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

So, Jesus was not saying that His believers would be greater than Him, but rather that they would do magnified more than He did. Such action does not magnify the man, but rather it magnifies the God that is in the man, for it speaks not of One God in one man, but instead of One God doing His work through many men and women. Such action not only shows other men and women that the Spirit of God is in these believers, but these actions also embolden these believers to this indwelling reality. Now look at how the Message Bible translates some of the earlier verses in John 14.

John 14:19-20 MSG
19  In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but YOU’RE GOING TO SEE ME BECAUSE I AM ALIVE AND YOU’RE ABOUT TO COME ALIVE.

How would the believers do greater things than Jesus himself did? To understand simply answer the question of how one man can make more than he himself can produce? By duplicating his efforts through others.

Jesus was showing that instead of one Jesus walking around touching, teaching and changing those around Him, through His body, He would be able to do these same things to an even greater degree. He would do this through the Gifts and the Fruits of His Spirit. Both of these necessitate a believer to grow into the maturity of Jesus Christ to be fully operational in their life. Again, this is God operating through man, not man becoming a god. As a disciple functions in this capacity through the Spirit of Jesus, he is not growing greater than his master, but through the headship of Jesus leading and empowering him, he is acting “as his master.” Since ministry is touching people’s needs in Jesus name, when the Church reaches out in this manner, they are reaching out with Jesus’ touch.

Ephesians 4:11-16
11  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and TEACHERS;
13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST:
14  That we henceforth BE NO MORE CHILDREN, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15  But speaking the truth in love, may GROW UP INTO HIM IN ALL THINGS, which is the head, even Christ:
16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, MAKETH INCREASE OF THE BODY UNTO THE EDIFYING OF ITSELF IN LOVE.

A stumbling block with this type teaching comes from an invisible perimeter some place between the pulpit and the pew. Where in the Bible does it place such a restriction? Does the Bible say that there is only a “Five-fold ministry”? No, it does not. Nowhere does the Bible limit “ministry” to only apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. What it does speak of is those in these offices are to PERFECT all the SAINTS for the WORK of THEIR MINISTRY. This shows that there is no gap between the pulpit and the pew in God’s work. There are differing callings and offices, true – but to say that only a select group in the body may minister is an unbiblical teaching that will both stunt the growth of a believer and will limit what a body of believers is called to do in a given community. 

Saints maturing and functioning in their ministry is part of the perfection to which Jesus Christ calls all His believers. T.Z. Koo said:

“The Kingdom of God does not exist because of your effort or mine. It exists because God reigns. Our part is to enter this Kingdom and bring our life under His sovereign Will.

In the beginning man was created with a spiritual closeness with his Creator, God. When man fell, this spiritual life died. Since that time man is birthed into this life with the sin identity of his natural mother, which is the mother of the bondage of the flesh. For this to change and for man to be made alive again, he must die to this flesh identity and be rebirthed into a new identity that comes from a spiritual mother, the New Jerusalem.

The apostle Paul said that all the saints have the same ministry of reconciliation, as did Jesus Christ, and with this call they are to act as ambassadors for Christ in this earth. To function accordingly, they must die to their old self and grow into the new image of the one God created them in. That image is Jesus Christ. Though the Spirit of God, this new creation can rise above its chaotic and immature beginnings and stand alive and mature as Jesus’ body in the earth. The devil fears this understanding of perfection in Christ. He would prefer the saints to remain in a place of void and waste. But the Spirit of the Living God beckons His people to go past that beginning place of darkness and to be transformed into God’s marvelous Kingdom of light. This change takes an immature saint to a place of maturity where they receive the power. They do not need power to leave this world, but rather power to change their individual life and to affect those with whom they serve. This power is available to every Born Again member of Jesus Christ’s Body. Maybe this is why Isaiah wrote:

Isaiah 52:7
7  How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

The men and women who make up Christ’s Body are those that walk this earth and broadcast the message of Jesus Christ. Thus, by growing in Christ, Jesus can use you and me to do His wonderful works!


Next Class: Part 2/Lesson 4 – Saints and Sin

Copyright © 2016 TK Burk. All Rights Reserved.