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Scripture Reading:  Luke 8:4-15


Hindrances to Spiritual Growth



1.  Earlier lesson studied the process of spiritual growth (July 4, 2004).

2.  Emphasize the personal responsibility of spiritual growth – Heb. 5:12.

3.  Lk. 8:8, 18 – Bear responsibility…choice:  Will we hear the word of God?  How will we hear it?  This will either help or hinder our salvation & spiritual growth.



  A.  Dullness of Hearing – Lk. 8:10; Matt. 13:15.

    1.  Dull:  “to make thick, to make fat, fatten…callous.”

    2.  Hearing:  “to give audience to…to attend to, consider what is or has been said…to understand, perceive the sense of what is said.”

    3.  Closed mind Lk. 8:5, 12.

      a.  Unbelief will cause some to stop following Jesus, Jno. 6:60-66.

      b.  Closed mind result of/equivalent to a hard heart (Heb. 3:7-8).

    4.  When one will not listen (learn) God’s truth he/she will not grow!

       -Do you read your Bible?  Do you attend Bible class?  Sermons?

  B.  Lack of Endurance Lk. 8:13.

    1.  Enthusiastic beginning (“joy”), but shallow.

         -Emotional mind that doesn’t count the cost & unwilling to pay the price – Lk. 14:27-33.

    2.  Endure to the end to be saved – cf. Matt. 24:13 (Heb. 12:1).

  C.  Prevalence of Lawlessness Matt. 24:12.

    1.  Like cancer that grows/increases/destroys (2 Tim. 2:16-17; 3:13).

    2.  Association with the world will affect growth, 1 Cor. 15:33-34.

         -Some have contempt for God’s law:  Their influence hinders growth!

    3.  Sin’s deceptions will choke us, Lk. 8:14 (Mk. 4:18-19).

    4.  Wandering mind that does not deny self & focus on Christ.

    5.  We must escape temptations, not yield to them, 1 Cor. 10:13.

  D.  Commands & Doctrines of Men Col. 2:18-23.

    1.  Growth comes from holding fast to the Head (Christ), 2:19.

    2.  By yielding to men’s doctrines we replace:  Christ w/ man; imperishable w/ perishable things; Kingdom of heaven for world; Potent truth w/ impotent error; Nutrition w/ junk food! (Gal. 1:6-9)

    3.  No value against sin; no nutrition of the soul, 2:23.

  E.  Spiritual Fatigue Gal. 6:9; 2 Ths. 3:13.

    1.  Lose heart:  Faint, exhausted…despondent, unresponsive.

    2.  God promises that in “due season” we will reap (reward).

    3.  Our labor is not vain in Christ, 1 Cor. 15:58.

      a.  Continue to “do good”, Gal. 6:9-10 (Eph. 2:10).

      b.  Be patient & wait on the Lord, Jas. 5:7-9.

  F.  Forgetfulness.

    1.  Past blessings – 2 Pet. 1:9.

    2.  Present privileges & responsibilities – 2 Pet. 1:3-4 (Heb. 13:16).

    3.  Future reward – 2 Pet. 1:10-11.

  G.  Neglect1 Pet. 2:2.

    1.  Stop craving (eating, depending on) the word of God.

    2.  Stop learning God’s word; stop assembling with the saints to worship God; stop praying; stop obeying truth.

    3.  Abide in Christ (the true Vine) & bear fruit, Jno. 15:1-6.

       -Honest, renewed mind that holds fast the word of God, Lk. 8:15.

    4.  Apathy & neglect will cause many souls to be lost!  (Rom. 12:11)

  H.  Stumbling blocks Laid by Others – Matt. 18:6-10.

    1.  How we treat one another may well either encourage or discourage spiritual growth (Gal. 6:1-2).

    2.  By our words (Prov. 15:28); by our deeds (1 Cor. 9:22; cf. 8:9-13).

    3.  Regardless of what others do, we must remain faithful to Christ!  (Josh. 24:15)



1.  Eph. 3:14-19 – Spiritual strength is granted by God when we live by faith.

2.  Spiritual growth is not:  Miraculous, accidental or automatic.

3.  Accept personal responsibility to “Be strong in the Lord & in the power of His might” by refusing to be hindered in our spiritual growth (Eph. 6:10).