This summer as we focus on spiritual growth as individuals within the body of Christ we must be reminded of some simple truths of the Christian life. The first is that without Christ we are dead in sin. Ephesians 2 makes it very clear that before we believed in Jesus we were living as active enemies of God and were completely dead in sin. That means we had no ability to believe in Jesus and had no ability to even desire God. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses and sins, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved… (Eph. 2:4-5)” God was the one that planned and executed the work of salvation in our lives. We are completely dependent on God’s grace and not our own work (Eph. 2:8). Now as a result of God saving us we can live a life that is pleasing to him that he planned for us to live (Eph. 2:10). Just as our salvation was completely the work of God, so is our spiritual growth. God began the work of salvation in us and he is the one that brings it to completion (Phil. 1:6). Our spiritual growth is completely dependent on the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (2 Thess. 2:13). Any good work that we do, any desire we have to read God’s word, and any time we genuinely go to the Lord in prayer it is the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts to grow us. This summer as we seek to grow in the Lord let us always remember that we desperately need the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts to make us more like Jesus.