"Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you" (Jas 4:8). The next most important issue after regeneration (being saved) is spiritual growth in the Lord Jesus (Eph 4:15), so that we will be most used of God to encourage the saved and draw the lost. In our rebirth, God saves our life; in our walk, God "conforms" our lifestyle! Believers are united with God in redemption, and are brought closer all the time in their fellowship with Him. All who have been reborn continue to draw closer to God, and this is seen in their walk!

Union with God has to do with being saved, and fellowship has to do with growth from that union; and according to Scripture all who have been saved are unceasingly receiving from God enablement to "will and to do of His good pleasure" (Phl 2:13). Thankfully, everything God does in His Son for those who are and will be His, is permanent; a truth without which no adequate growth in Christ (not related to just being in Christ) can suffice for lasting encouragement, especially in the trials!

Granted, there are often scriptural passages that appear to present opposing doctrine to this truth, but this is just part of the difficult-to-understand portions of the Word of God (which are usually growth-related) for the purpose of encouraging continued and increased study and research where most of the Christian growth truths are contained within the Pauline Epistles.

A believer can and should desire a growing fellowship with God, but the nearness of it will accord with the level of application in learning to know, understand and apply the Christian growth truths within the NT. It also stands to reason that the closer the fellowship, the greater is our patience when enduring trials, and the more God is glorified.

The most significant position a believer can maintain for growing in Christ is fellowship with the saints in the Word and worship, which could never be overstated!

May the Father of spirits ever give us to be in subjection to Him (Heb 12:9)!

Blessed be God!

The Christian life is not our living a life like Christ, or our trying to be Christ-like, nor is it Christ giving us the power to live a life like His; but it is Christ Himself living His own life through us; 'no longer I, but Christ.’” -MJS