Are we growing in grace?
2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
Peter knew a lot about this; having denied the Lord three times, once even before a maid.
Yet he was restored, and became the first preacher of the gospel after Pentecost. Three thousand were saved that first day.(Acts 2:41)
He had grown some since he had bragged about his loyalty; and then failed Jesus so terribly.
But he knew he was not done growing; he had a lot more to learn. And so when he was old, he warned others about this very thing:
2 Peter 1:10, 12-13 “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things ye shall never fall:
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.
Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle (body), to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:”
God’s way of revealing His will, is called Light. If we will face the truth about what we are, and how we are, grace (the unmerited favor of power) will be applied.
John 1:17 “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
For He came to save His people from their sin. (Not just the guilt, although that is marvelous; but the power of that sin in our lives.)
As Christians, this is an act of our will: we confess our sin, and turn from it.
As we get obedient to the light we have, more light is given.
And with the light, is the means of obeying Him.
Hebrew 5:12 “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, not of strong meat.”
Here are the Hebrew Christians; they had been Christians first, so they should have grown in grace the most.
But instead of growing; they had stayed babes in Christ. Taking only the milk of the Word, and could not as yet understand the weightier things of His Will.
Hebrews 5:13 “For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.”
“Unskillful” here, means inexperienced. After all these years, and all that they had gone through (persecution, others joining them in belief, and even ministering to their needs when the days of famine came); yet they remained inexperienced.
Simply, they failed to use the Word given them as they should. They failed to meet the demands of that Word.
That Word says: believe, and obey.
Believe they did; but obey they only did partially. They trusted God would do; but expected that He would do without their cooperation. (And if you are going to get experience; doing nothing will not work.)
Every true Christian stands in need of nourishment. We must “eat” the Bread of Life which is Christ.
That involves fellowship in finding His Will, and obeying it.
We must “drink” the water of Life freely which is His Holy Spirit.
That involves yielding ourselves to His guidance and convictions.
If we are to become strong Christians, and not babes, we need to grow.
We need to use what He gives us and gain experience with Him.
(If Jesus were here on earth, and came and invited you to follow Him, would you?But, though He is not here on earth; He is still inviting us to: Come and Follow Me into the everyday experiences of today, tomorrow, and onward. That is experience worth having.)
Hebrews 5:14 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
We have spiritual senses, as well as natural ones.
We are to have “hearing ears” to hear what the Lord says to us. There is no audible voice; but the internal Voice which guides us.
We are to have “seeing eyes” by are eyes of faith.
We are to have the sense of “smell”. This Spiritual sense tells us if a thing is good or rotten, just like our nose does. It is discernment.
And we have “taste”. We are called to taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalms 34:8)
That means, we are to experience His sweetness in the comfort, help, and word He gives.
It is of the Holy Spirit, as all of these are: but we are to use His enabling, and learn by the experience. This is how we grow in grace.
If we sit on the sidelines; we certainly may be Christians, but we will not grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and become strong, mature adults.
That is why Jesus Christ is still calling us to, “Come, and Follow Me.”
Because as we do, we learn and grow.