Growing in Grace
2 Peter 3:18 NKJV: but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
Here, we are told to grow in grace and knowledge.
What is grace?
It is the favour of God that causes Him to impart eternal life into our spirits to enable us to do His will.
Before Christ came and died for our sins God could not impart eternal life to the spirits of men:
Hebrews 11:39; 1 John 2:25 NKJV: And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise?25 and this is the promise that He has promised us–eternal life.
So, the Old Testament law and its attendant ceremonies could not give life, they could only show man his need for a saviour:
Galatian 3:21-24 NKJV: Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
John 1:16-17 NKJV: for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
So, the grace of God causes God to give to our spirits a measure of His life:
1 Peter 3:7 NKJV: Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.
Psalms 30:5 KJV: For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life:
Ephesians 4:7; Rom 6:23 NKJV: But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift? the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Why does God give His life to us in measures? Why does He not just give it to us all at once without measure?
This is because the capacity of our spirits is limited as to the measure of life it can receive and release; however this capacity should grow and or be enlarged as we grow spiritually.
Psalms 119:32 NKJV: I will run the course of Your commandments, For You shall enlarge my heart.
Also it is as our character is developed that God can trust us with greater and greater measures of His life.
Luke 16:10 NIV: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much,
Matthew 25:21 KJV: His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things:
This is why we have to grow in grace: so the measure of the life of God given to us increases so we can do greater and greater things for God.
This is also necessary to overcome the abounding iniquity of the end-time: abounding grace will overcome abounding sin or iniquity.
Matthew 24:12; Romans 5:20 KJV, NKJV: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold? But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more
How then do we grow or abound in grace?
1. By growing in humility:
1 Peter 5:5 NKJV: Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
Humility is submitting to the will of God when you do not feel like it.
Practice doing this and you will grow in humility and so in grace.
2. By growing in knowledge of the written Word that reveals to you the living Word: the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:2-4 NKJV: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
3. By diligently confessing, meditating, praying in the spirit about and practicing the Word:
Proverbs 11:27 KJV: He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour:
2 Peter 1:5-10 NKJV: But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 for if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Observe that grace is not just added but rather it is multiplied to you: so as you grow in grace the measure of life of God given to you is continually being multiplied and after a while it will be given to you in fulness or without measure as it was with Jesus after He too had grown in grace!
Luke 2:52 NIV: And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
John 3:34 NIV, KJV: for the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit unto him.
John 1:16 NASU: For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
Ephesians 4:14-15 NKJV: but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ–