In a previous devotional, we saw that the word of God “multiplies” when men obey it and are added by the Lord to the number of the saved (Acts 2:38,41,47; 6:7; 12:24). It multiplies when it is preached. This process does not occur automatically. Christians must work in order for their number to grow (Acts 8:4; 11:19-21).
Physical and Spiritual Children
Genesis 1:27 tells us that man was created “in the image of God.” In a sense, all human beings are “children of God” because God is the Creator of all. It could be said, then, that all of us are His physical offspring because He created our first father and mother, Adam and Eve.
However, the Father of all mankind wants His children to have the same spiritual traits as He (i.e., His holiness, faithfulness, love, mercy, patience, etc.). This process begins with a new birth (John 3:1-5). One must be “born of water and the Spirit” (John 3:5). Upon obeying the word of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and being baptized for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38), one becomes a child of God in this spiritual sense (Galatians 3:26-27).
Furthermore, God wants the new spiritual life in us (that is, Christ, Colossians 1:27; Galatians 2:20) to be reproduced in others so that they also may be “conformed to the image of [Jesus]” (Romans 8:29). God wants us to bear fruit and multiply in a spiritual sense!
Just as there are certain impediments to physical reproduction, those who are not united with Jesus will not reproduce themselves spiritually (1 Corinthians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7; 21:2). Illness or sterility can also impede physical reproduction. Likewise, sin or bad influence in the life of the Christian will hinder him from reproducing spiritually. Lack of maturity is another impediment in both physical and spiritual of reproduction (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 2 Peter 3:18).
What are we doing so that the spiritual life that is in us may be reproduced in others?