God has a plan for every believer, and salvation is just the first step. He wants His adopted children to develop a close family resemblance, and the Holy Spirit is in charge of transforming each one into the likeness of Jesus. “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:17-18)
The moment we trust Christ as our personal Savior, we are born again and become newborn babies in a spiritual sense. One characteristic of a newborn is a craving for milk, and the same is true spiritually. New believers need continuous nourishment from God’s Word for growth in godliness, grace, and the knowledge of Christ.
As we read and meditate on Scripture, the Holy Spirit replaces our former thoughts and desires with a God-centered mindset and new longings for holiness. Instead of living to please ourselves, our desire will be to glorify God through obedience.
Like any growing child, we will stumble now and then by giving into temptation. However, our heavenly Father has given us the privilege of cleansing through confession of sins (1 John 1:9). He also exercises loving discipline by revealing attitudes, behaviors, and practices that are displeasing to Him. His chastisement is always meant to train us and produce in us the “peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).
At no point are we abandoned or rejected by our heavenly Father. He watches over every step we take, hears our prayers, comforts us, and encourages us to love and obey His Word. He promises that we’ll become complete in our likeness to Christ on the day we see Him in heaven (1 John 3:1-3).