Dear Southside Family,
Continued spiritual growth after we come to faith in Christ is a key emphasis in the Christian faith. We call it sanctification. That’s simply a fancy word that means growing in godliness or holiness. In other words, as followers of Christ, we are called to progressively become more like Christ throughout our lives. Becoming a Christian by repenting of our sin and placing our trust in Christ alone for our salvation is only the beginning. The rest of our lives are to be spent pursuing Christlikeness, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit.
The whole Bible points to this truth, but here are a few sample-verses to make the point…
John 17:17 – Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
Romans 12:1-2 – Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
2 Corinthians 13:5 – Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?
2 Corinthians 5:9 – So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
Ephesians 4:1 – As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
Ephesians 5:1 – Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children
Ephesians 5:10 – and find out what pleases the Lord.
Hebrews 6:1 – Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying
again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.
This is a common theme found throughout Christian history, especially in the life and ministry of our own John Wesley. Throughout his life and ministry, Wesley exhorted followers of Christ to “go on to perfection” (i.e., spiritual maturity). His General Rules and Covenant Service (see Appendices A and B) are representative of how important this was to him.
The following Spiritual Life Checkup is composed of questions for self-examination as well as articles of encouragement and direction. Completing this will not magically or instantaneously make you like Christ. It will, however, give you some indication of how you’re doing on your spiritual journey with Christ and point you to some areas in which you may want to pursue greater growth and depth.
This is completely voluntary, and thus, there is no requirement to share your findings with anyone else. However, if you think it would be helpful to talk about what you learned, I would be happy to meet with you to pray, talk about what you discovered, offer appropriate guidance, and perhaps share resources to equip you on your journey.
If you belong to a small accountability group, you may also consider sharing your results with your brothers and/or sisters in that setting. Perhaps together you can pray for and encourage one another as you seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
One Last Caveat: Please take your time with this. Prayerfully proceed, asking God’s Spirit to guide you as you reflect on your walk with Christ, answer the questions, read the articles, etc. You won’t get extra credit for completing this quickly. Instead, I deeply desire for you to learn more about yourself so you can better know and love God as well as see and hear the ways in which God may be leading and calling you.
PS – a good article to read on this subject is, Your Regular Checkup by Gordon MacDonald
PSS - I've read through many great spiritual inventories over the years and indebted to them all. Among the authors of those inventories are Donald Whitney, The C.S. Lewis Institute, and Wallace Benn. Please forgive any duplications of their questions.
Please do not hesitate to let me know how I may serve you.
Your Brother in Christ,