2 Peter 3:18 (NKJV) tells us to …grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
What does it mean to grow in grace? First I want to clarify something. To grow in grace doesn’t mean gaining more grace from God like some people think! God’s grace doesn’t grow, it does not increase. It’s infinite. It stays the same. When He sent His son to die for us, He gave all He could give! He did not hold back! He gave His ONLY son for us! What more grace could he possibly bestow upon us sinners? How much more grace could there possibly be?
The simple definition of growing in grace means to mature as a Christian. To mature in your walk with the Lord. To mature in your faith.
It means progressing from milk to meat, the same way a baby starts off with milk and then transitions to solids at the appropriate time. The new Christian starts off with the basic foundational elements of the Christian faith but as he matures, he progresses onto the heavier things such as doctrine, apologetics, philosophy and so forth. He doesn’t stay drinking milk! That is called stunted growth or perpetual immaturity and you have to really question that person’s profession of faith.
In Ephesians 2:8-9 we are told that we are saved by grace through faith For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The grace of God should move us to love Him more! The more we learn about what He did for us on the Cross… the sacrifice he made for us wretched sinners, the more we should appreciate what He has done for each one of us.
Faith is like a plant, it must be watered, it must be nourished, it must be be tended carefully. If you don’t do that, then the plant wilts. So in the same way we need to nourish ourselves with Scripture.
We mustn’t take God’s grace for granted. Grace is not a license to sin. It’s His grace that enables us to break free from our sin nature, to fight our fleshly desires and follow after Him daily.
If you are a new Christian then you must be actively growing in your faith everyday. Growing to be more like Christ. Fighting fleshly desires. Living a sanctified life. Putting behind your past bad habits and carnality. There are only two ways to grow your faith. There are no shortcuts. 1) Read your Bible everyday seeking to find out what God requires of you as a “born again” follower of Christ. 2) Commune with the Lord in prayer. 3) Live out or practice your faith. Only through doing that will you grow. As AW Tozer rightly said “The man who would truly know God must give time to Him.” The grace of God will enable you to do all of that.
If you are an older Christian, my challenge to you is similar “are you growing?” Growth is a sign of life… a sign of your faith being alive as it were. That growth will be painful at times but growth is always good. If not, is there unrepentant sin in your life? Then repent and confess it before God. Is there a lack of desire? Is there zero growth? Examine yourself and pray.
The Apostle Peter’s prayer is that we will grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and my sincere prayer and heart’s desire for you is the same. Look to God and depend completely upon Him to bring you to the place of growing in His grace.