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Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow

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People need to maintain a diet of nutritious foods if their bodies are to grow and thrive. But what do the people of God need in order to grow and thrive in the Christian faith? In this book, noted theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul identifies five of the crucial “nutrients” that promote spiritual growth: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. With biblical People need to maintain a diet of nutritious foods if their bodies are to grow and thrive. But what do the people of God need in order to grow and thrive in the Christian faith? In this book, noted theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul identifies five of the crucial “nutrients” that promote spiritual growth: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. With biblical insight and practical wisdom, Dr. Sproul teaches Christians how to maintain a balanced “diet” that will lead to growth and mature Christian living. This book is an important resource for new believers to learn these spiritual disciplines and become grounded in the Christian faith in a way that anyone can understand.


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People need to maintain a diet of nutritious foods if their bodies are to grow and thrive. But what do the people of God need in order to grow and thrive in the Christian faith? In this book, noted theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul identifies five of the crucial “nutrients” that promote spiritual growth: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. With biblical People need to maintain a diet of nutritious foods if their bodies are to grow and thrive. But what do the people of God need in order to grow and thrive in the Christian faith? In this book, noted theologian and pastor R.C. Sproul identifies five of the crucial “nutrients” that promote spiritual growth: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. With biblical insight and practical wisdom, Dr. Sproul teaches Christians how to maintain a balanced “diet” that will lead to growth and mature Christian living. This book is an important resource for new believers to learn these spiritual disciplines and become grounded in the Christian faith in a way that anyone can understand.

30 review for Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow

  1. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    Five stars! I love everything that R.C. Sproul has written.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    I love R.C. Sproul's books. They are quick reads, yet have so much to them. I liked how this one features 5 things to help you grow. I can see myself rereading certain chapters again, especially the one on studying the Bible. It was very good and I recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kofi Opoku

    Excellent. I particularly enjoyed the section on stewardship.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    My community group at church picked this book to read. Sproul is generally a good author, so I was really looking forward to it. What doctrines were we going to talk about? What difficult passages was he going to guide us through? None, as it turns out. It turns out that you're supposed to go to church, pray, read the Bible, tithe, and serve. REALLY? And is the Pope Catholic? I can see how this would be helpful for a brand new believer, perhaps as a baptism present, but otherwise, this is simpli My community group at church picked this book to read. Sproul is generally a good author, so I was really looking forward to it. What doctrines were we going to talk about? What difficult passages was he going to guide us through? None, as it turns out. It turns out that you're supposed to go to church, pray, read the Bible, tithe, and serve. REALLY? And is the Pope Catholic? I can see how this would be helpful for a brand new believer, perhaps as a baptism present, but otherwise, this is simplistic to the point of almost being embarrassing.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: It is a worldwide phenomenon. Every four years, the world pauses and holds its collective breath while the Olympic Games take place. Premise/plot: The Christian life is a disciplined life. Sproul writes, "like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God "our utmost for His highest." This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship." There is First sentence: It is a worldwide phenomenon. Every four years, the world pauses and holds its collective breath while the Olympic Games take place. Premise/plot: The Christian life is a disciplined life. Sproul writes, "like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God "our utmost for His highest." This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship." There is a chapter dedicated to each discipline or grace. Through the disciplines, grace flows and abounds. My thoughts: This is a solidly biblical book. I enjoy spending time with R.C. Sproul. It is good for my soul. I enjoy his stories. For example, "As a new Christian I was infatuated with Scripture. I wanted to spend almost every waking moment reading it. As a result, I made the dean's list in my first semester of college. It was not the list of academic achievement, however; it was the list of students placed on academic probation." OR "At seminars, I often ask for a show of hands indicating ing how many people have read the entire Bible. Rarely do even 50 percent of the people answer "yes." I ask, "How many of you have read the book of Genesis?" Almost everyone raises his hand. Then I say, "Keep your hand up if you've also read Exodus." Only a few hands are lowered. "Leviticus?" That's when hands start dropping quickly. With Numbers it's even worse." I enjoy his practical teaching. For example, "I suggest that you put a question mark in the margin beside every passage that you find unclear or hard to understand. Likewise, put an X beside every passage that offends you or makes you uncomfortable. Afterward, you can focus on the areas you struggle with, especially the texts marked with an X. This can be a guide to holiness, as the Xs show us quickly where our thinking is out of line with the mind of Christ." Further: "If I don't like something I read in Scripture, perhaps I simply don't understand it. If so, studying it again may help. If, in fact, I do understand the passage and still don't like it, this is not an indication there is something wrong with the Bible. It's an indication that something is wrong with me, something that needs to change. Often, before we can get something right, we need to first discover what we're doing wrong." I enjoy his honesty. "I don't think there is any area of the Christian life in which people are more weighed down by guilt than in the area of their prayer lives. Most Christians will readily confess that their prayer lives are not what they should be. And one major reason for this problem is that Christians don't really know how to pray effectively." Another favorite of mine is, "I hear people say, "Doctrine divides." Of course doctrine divides, but it also unites. It unites the ones who love God's truth and are willing to worship Him according to that truth. God wants people to worship Him from the heart and from a mind that is informed of who He is by His Word." His works are full of gems and insights. For example, "I think one of the reasons many Christians never get to the meat of the Word but remain at the milk level is because they never really learned how to drink the milk."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    A brief primer on discipleship that is worthwhile for all believers. Sproul is wise and winsome here and his five things are a good place to start the Christian journey.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Stieffel

    Good introduction to basic disciplines The information in this little book will be of great value to new believers. It may also benefit people who have been attending church a long time but feel their faith lacks depth. For mature Christians, this is mostly review, although it is a good refresher and a way to check our priorities.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Austin Mcgrath

    Read this quickly, it was a book that was just sitting on my shelf, its as basic as it sounds but still very useful. This would be an excellent book to give someone who is new to the faith.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laramie Gildon

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Simple truths on complex matters I highly recommend it for any believer that needs a fundamental review of the basics of our faith. I was blessed mightily by this book.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Wilkins

    This is a good book on spiritual disciplines in the Christian life. They are: reading Scripture, prayer, worship, service, stewardship. Sproul with his characteristic skill opens these up with clarity and simplicity, and shows the importance of each one. This book is "classic Sproul." It is very edifying. I could easily see this becoming a Sunday School series at my church. The material is solid through and through. There are a couple of points of critique though. At one point he says, "The five This is a good book on spiritual disciplines in the Christian life. They are: reading Scripture, prayer, worship, service, stewardship. Sproul with his characteristic skill opens these up with clarity and simplicity, and shows the importance of each one. This book is "classic Sproul." It is very edifying. I could easily see this becoming a Sunday School series at my church. The material is solid through and through. There are a couple of points of critique though. At one point he says, "The five practices we are exploring in this book are all means of grace." But as a matter of fact, they are not--at least not according to confessional Reformed theology. Several of these are what could be called "means of discipleship" (service, stewardship, worship). But the means of grace are those things that uniquely bring Christ down to us, and those are the word, prayer, and sacraments. (Also if this is, indeed, a study of the means of grace, why isn't there a chapter on the sacraments?) Also, the book ends with a chapter on Q&A related to the book. Some of the answers were good, others were fine, and others were not fine. Overall, though, this is a very helpful and very readable study of Christian habits and practices that all Christians should develop.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Bonser

    Great little primer and reminders on growing in Bible Reading, Prayer, Worship, Service, and Stewardship. I really enjoyed Sproul's explaination of prayer as communicating with our spouse. We desire to communicate to love, to learn, to grow in a relationship. It is not just a checklist item, or a Magic 8 ball we go to with requests only. Make time for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and finally supplication. I did disagree with Sproul on the last chapter (dangerous to do, I know). But I thi Great little primer and reminders on growing in Bible Reading, Prayer, Worship, Service, and Stewardship. I really enjoyed Sproul's explaination of prayer as communicating with our spouse. We desire to communicate to love, to learn, to grow in a relationship. It is not just a checklist item, or a Magic 8 ball we go to with requests only. Make time for adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and finally supplication. I did disagree with Sproul on the last chapter (dangerous to do, I know). But I think his view that tithing as 10% carries over from the OT to the NT is not correct. He views continuity in the covenants from his PCA lens, but I think there is discontinuity (Hebrews speaks of and Old and New covenant). I think one of the implications is that we are not tied to a legal "tithe" but we are called to joyfully give as Christ gave himself for us. I think this NT giving in many ways raises the bar for giving from the standard 10%. When you give someone a # to hit, they tend to hit that # without feeling joy, or feel guilty if they don't give that #. When you tell them to joyfully give out of love, as we grow in faith, it is our desire to give more and more as stewards of our possessions.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    The 5 things Sproul highlights in this book five areas Christian's should grow through: Prayer, Worship, Service, Study, and Stewardship. - "“Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God ‘our utmost for His highest.’ This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service and stewardship. Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspec The 5 things Sproul highlights in this book five areas Christian's should grow through: Prayer, Worship, Service, Study, and Stewardship. - "“Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God ‘our utmost for His highest.’ This book deals with five of those disciplines: Bible study, prayer, worship, service and stewardship. Just as Olympic athletes work hard to achieve their best performances, our diligence in attending to these aspects of the Christian life will help determine our effectiveness in serving our Lord.”" - “By immersing ourselves in the Word of God, we begin to gain the mind of Christ and learn what discipleship is.” Very practical advice clearly derived from scripture. Ideal book to hand out as a gift or to give to a new believer by allowing them to develop disciplines that are crucial to the Christian life.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Becky Fleming

    In this book, R.C. Sproul outlines 5 graces that should be a part of every Christian's daily life. He wonderfully provides Scripture, personal experiences, an illustrations to support each one. This is a great resource for new believers to start out with as a guide along with the very best source - the Word of God. But it is also beneficial to the believer who has been in the way for some time to help us reevaluate our walk with the Lord.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Timothy Skaggs

    This is a back to basics book. RC looks to the fundamentals of feeding the spirit of a believer. It's not a book that shames you into reading the Bible every day, he tells you how to study it. He doesn't tell you just to pray every day, he unfolds Jesus’ example how to pray. RC then looks at more than one not-so-evident ways that Christians grow, in serving and tithing. It's a great book to teach and remind us.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    This book provides a helpful perspective regarding five important things for Christians to grow. It includes the reasons for doing these (with Biblical support) as well as some ways they could be done. It would have been better if there was more attention to practical application. Additionally, at times the points were not clearly written, concise, or easy to follow. Overall, a good, quick, helpful read!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Bogus

    A good reminder Overall the book was a good reminder of what a Christian should do more accurately what we are required to do as a believer in Jesus. Reading the Bible, prayer, stewardship, service, and worship are all types of what it means to be a believer, and should be a part of a believer's life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Wesley Rea

    A great little introduction to practical Christian living and lifestyle. Sproul has a great way with words and communicates a lot very quickly, yet without sacrificing the substance of what he’s talking about.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    Great book! Quick read, very clear, biblically backed book on the basics of Christian disciplines. Would be a great gift for a new believer.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    A good overview of some spiritual disciplines.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Clemow

    A good overview for all Christians and a good reminder to come back over and over

  21. 5 out of 5

    Randall Hartman

    R. C. Sproul wrote this book for individuals who have entered into "a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith." For those who are experiencing that relationship, he asserts the Biblical truth that, "like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God 'our utmost for His highest.' " It's crit R. C. Sproul wrote this book for individuals who have entered into "a living, vital relationship with the God of the universe, a relationship that begins when a person becomes a new creation in Him and receives Jesus as Lord by faith." For those who are experiencing that relationship, he asserts the Biblical truth that, "like Olympic athletes, Christians are called upon to train, to make sacrifices, and to embrace certain disciplines in order to give God 'our utmost for His highest.' " It's critical not to miss the point of this book and not to lapse into the trap of crying "legalism" before looking at what God calls His children to do. "We see what God redeemed His people from, but we must not miss what God redeemed them to. He called His people out of Egypt, out of slavery, not to become autonomous or to do whatever they please. He called them to serve Him." Thus, "The five practices we are exploring in this book are all means of grace. A means of grace is a tool or instrument ment that God uses to strengthen and nurture us so that we grow in conformity to Christ." In five short, well-developed, and Biblically rich chapters, he introduces, defines, and provides practical guidance for us in Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. For example, beginning with Bible study, he counsels: "Just as the Word of God is used in conversion, so it is a critical instrument in our spiritual growth. By immersing ourselves in the Word of God, we begin to gain the mind of Christ and learn what discipleship is...Deception through distortion of the truth of God is a major problem that confronts every generation and every Christian community. For this reason, the apostle [Paul], following after Jesus, was profoundly concerned that Christian people be solidly rooted and grounded in the truth, so that they might not be deceived and led astray by false teaching." Similarly, "We should pray because prayer is a duty of every Christian; because prayer is a privilege; and because prayer is a powerful means of grace." Regarding worship, he strikingly points out one "grim episode in the history of ancient Israel [that] makes an unforgettable point: worship of the living God is serious business. It is not something to be trifled with or taken lightly. God is serious about how we worship Him, and we must be serious about it, too" because "every worship service we attend is an audience with the King of kings." The "motivation for Christian service is love for God. We serve not to earn salvation, but because Christ already has purchased chased salvation for us." Finally, discussing stewardship, Sproul reminds us that "we must always be aware that God has given us these and all things. Biblical giving, therefore, is done in the context text of stewardship, our management of the good things the Father showers upon us." This is a terrific foundational book for the new believer as well as the long-time Christian in which to be reminded of the fundamentals of growing in our relationship with the Lord through the words of life He has given us.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jeanie

    Growth is essential for a follow of Christ. With growth, we know the character of God and His will for our life. Our own faith is strengthen with growth just like an athlete who trains for his sport. As in sports, it is a number of disciplines that help the athlete become his best. Diet, sleep, and repetition, even the study of other athletes that have gone before him. RC Sproul is clear, concise and balanced in his teaching. Starting with Bible Study. The bible is the living word that is vital Growth is essential for a follow of Christ. With growth, we know the character of God and His will for our life. Our own faith is strengthen with growth just like an athlete who trains for his sport. As in sports, it is a number of disciplines that help the athlete become his best. Diet, sleep, and repetition, even the study of other athletes that have gone before him. RC Sproul is clear, concise and balanced in his teaching. Starting with Bible Study. The bible is the living word that is vital with our relationship with God. Studying the bible in context, helps us understand the character of God and His redemptive plan. As Sproul so well puts, if there is something that we feel is wrong with the word of God, it is not the word that is faulty, but our own hearts. With sin so prevelant, we are going to have problems with it. It will offend. However, the offense is with us, not God. Bible study helps the Christian get back to the fundamentals of the gospel and redemption. Prayer- Why do we pray? If God is all knowing, why should we pray. There is a duty and a privilege in prayer and is the means of grace for a Christian. Prayer is our communion with God. In prayer, we have union with God. Prayer is the means of redemption. Worship-We are to worship in Spirit and truth. In the study of the bible, we have examples of those who did not. God takes worship seriously. We are prone by idolatry which misdistricts worship to the true God. We make God in our image-(another reason for bible study). What draws you to worship God? What they win you with is what they win you too. Our worship must be grounded in the whole counsel of God. Our hearts must be engaged and delight in the presence of God. If we do not honour God according to his word, we will certainly tremble before Him later (kindle location 60%) Service-We are called out of service to our own selfishness into service of God. Our motivation for service is the love of God. Our love of God is encouraged by prayer, worship, and bible study. Our service can be preverted by the approval of men so great care and self-examination must always be fore front and center. Stewardship-Stewardship is a reflection of faith. Such a blessing to me to learn, be encouraged, and grow in the christian faith with a balanced teacher as RC Sproul.

  23. 5 out of 5

    KC McCauley

    In his short book, R.C. Sproul explains both the "why" and the "how" of growing in five spiritual disciplines: Bible reading, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. This is a good read as it encourages you to grow in these vital areas of spiritual growth. "Bible reading, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship--these are five key disciplines for a productive Christian life. All five are vital to our spiritual health and the health of Christ's church. If we are Christians will apply ourselve In his short book, R.C. Sproul explains both the "why" and the "how" of growing in five spiritual disciplines: Bible reading, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship. This is a good read as it encourages you to grow in these vital areas of spiritual growth. "Bible reading, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship--these are five key disciplines for a productive Christian life. All five are vital to our spiritual health and the health of Christ's church. If we are Christians will apply ourselves faithfully to them, we will be able one day to say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tim. 4:7).

  24. 4 out of 5

    Patricia C Robbins

    Never Forget Never Forget Before I began reading this book, I noticed that some previous reviewers criticized the author saying that the subject matter was too simplistic. I feel that it's an excellent guide for new Christians. It is also a valuable resource for mature Christians. It is a reminder of who we are and who God is. Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship are proofs of our love. Salvation is not a joint effort of God and man. This is a book calling us back to our God. We Never Forget Never Forget Before I began reading this book, I noticed that some previous reviewers criticized the author saying that the subject matter was too simplistic. I feel that it's an excellent guide for new Christians. It is also a valuable resource for mature Christians. It is a reminder of who we are and who God is. Bible study, prayer, worship, service, and stewardship are proofs of our love. Salvation is not a joint effort of God and man. This is a book calling us back to our God. We too easily forget to have no other God's before Him. This bok urges us to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Shelley

    Enjoyed it and learned a few things but I disagree with the author's focus on Sunday. Anytime we enter a church any church we must be in the mind set to worship not just on Sunday. Are the children at VBS not to be worshipping even though it is not Sunday? Are we not to worship during prayer meeting, ladies group, men's service, choir practice AWANA or any other youth or group event on any day that's not Sunday? And what about the Christian faiths that meet other than Sunday? And wasn't it a Pope Enjoyed it and learned a few things but I disagree with the author's focus on Sunday. Anytime we enter a church any church we must be in the mind set to worship not just on Sunday. Are the children at VBS not to be worshipping even though it is not Sunday? Are we not to worship during prayer meeting, ladies group, men's service, choir practice AWANA or any other youth or group event on any day that's not Sunday? And what about the Christian faiths that meet other than Sunday? And wasn't it a Pope that set Sunday as Sabbath? just take the word Sunday out and reference worship as the priority it is not a one day event like a super sale at JoeMcMart down the street.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cassie Kelley

    This novella by R.C. Sproul is a simple, direct look at different aspects of the Christian experience that are required for growth in Christ. Indeed, the book was easy to read, if hard to digest. He takes a subject which has been discussed and argued about and narrows it down to five points. And though the writing is simple, taking in the points is not so simple. Like any aspect of the Christian walk, it takes discipline to attend to any of these points, let alone all of them. I would recommend This novella by R.C. Sproul is a simple, direct look at different aspects of the Christian experience that are required for growth in Christ. Indeed, the book was easy to read, if hard to digest. He takes a subject which has been discussed and argued about and narrows it down to five points. And though the writing is simple, taking in the points is not so simple. Like any aspect of the Christian walk, it takes discipline to attend to any of these points, let alone all of them. I would recommend this book to those who need the milk of the scripture, but who want to begin the meat. Even mature Christians will find little things to improve upon. Excellent little book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Five Things Every Christian Needs To Grow This book was really good. R.C. Sproul takes parts of the bible and gives them a different view point that is really amazing. This book gets you into thinking about other things, and how you'd want to grow in your faith. In this book R.C. Sproul talks about five different ways to grow in your faith. They are Bible study, Prayer, Worship, Service, and Stewardship. I saw how I need to change in areas.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy Lee

    This is my least favorite book from Sproul. The first 3 chapters on Bible study, prayer, and worship are good. I don't understand how a Reformed writer can write a book about the means of grace without discussing the sacraments. In addition, when did tithing become a means of grace? Is tithing really one of the first five things a new Christian needs to know? Besides this, Sproul's argument for tithing is weak. I expected much better from Dr. Sproul.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vaughn

    A very short but well written book that gives a brief account of the importance of Bible Study, Worship, Prayer, Service, and Stewardship in the Christian life. Concerning prayer and service, R.C. Sproul makes reference to "A Simply Way to Pray" by Martin Luther and "Resources for Deacons" by Tim Keller (respectively) for additional reading.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Raul Caban

    What every christian usually forgets, but it's essential to our spiritual growth This is the second complete book I read from R.C Sproul, and it has taught me how many things I've been doing wrong over the years. I can guarantee you that if every christian focuses on just these 5 things, a long awaited spiritual revival will flourish. Highly recommended.

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