I have learned that I never stop the process of spiritual maturity. The process of spiritual growth is an ascension toward the goal of knowing God. The process of sanctification goes on all our life long and it will never be completed until the day we die. Progressing in our sanctification and our spiritual growth and it only happens as we live in the environment of the truth and respond to that truth.
Growing up in a Christian family, I have learned that I possessed an intellectual understanding and knowledge of the truth and yet not be saved. I was able to live "morally" right but still a sinner and was unable to acknowledge God. Until later once I understand with the help from God. I have learned through many denominations that confused me about salvation. I have learned that through them, they took credit for salvation which includes "membership" (born in church), infant baptism, and other means. Church's Tradition and doctrines often gets in the way of the doctrine of salvation. I cannot say a particular Church/denomination's theology is truth because the Bible is truth while doctrines are taught by man.
We all can claim to be a Christian, and we all believe that the root of the matter is in us and the seed of God is in our hearts. Doctrines are not God: they are only a kind of map. But that map is based on the experience of hundreds of people who really were in touch with God. To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. -- Proverbs 3:5-6
I am still learning to be careful how I read and need to look from doctrinal perspective rather than my own flesh-desire satisfaction. In the Christian life, thinking is crucial, emotions are crucial and doctrines are crucial. Our flesh search for pleasure, pride, passions and selfish motives. The heart is the source of our emotions, thoughts and motives.
One of the greatest and most essential attributes of God is His sovereignty; God rules over all things and controls all things. 'Providence" means God’s faithful, moment-by-moment control over everything He has made to ensure that everything He has created are going according to His will. He is active in every detail of it. He’s active at every moment. He doesn’t stand back and let things happen because He decides to intervene if something or someone is not going according to His will. He governs the world moment-by-moment through providence, so that everything that happens, every detail of our life occurs by God's divine providence or by God’s express permission. He is in control of everything. Even the bad things that happen to us are circumscribed by a loving providence and God promises to use them all for our ultimate good. There is a verse in the Bible that God promises that there won’t be anything so bad happen to us that we’re not able to bear it. God does everything--He governs everything.” God doesn’t just sit back and wait until He wants to act and then do it through a miracle.” God constantly intervenes in our lives through providence.
One day soon, I will find a NEW HOME CHURCH in or near Upper Arlington, Ohio.