Speaking the Truth in Love

Growing in Grace

Image result for 2 peter 3:18Peter concludes his second letter with a beautiful and rewarding challenge. He says, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 3:18). While most Christians realize that growth in the “knowledge of our Lord” results primarily from more committed Bible study, the exhortation to grow in grace may be somewhat puzzling. Is the mature believer somehow more saved than a newborn Christian? Of course not!

How, then, do we grow in what God has already done? “Grace” describes the saving work of God’s Son—his departure from heaven and assumption of human flesh, his perfect example, his suffering and death for our sins, his resurrection on the third day, and his subsequent exaltation at the Father’s right hand. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” Paul says, “that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich” (2 Cor. 8:9).

Image result for 2 corinthians 8:9So then, growing in grace is becoming more aware of the implications of God’s love. For instance, the anguish of the cross compels me to face my own sinfulness. If Jesus endured such agony in my place, then I’m truly wretched before God. Acknowledging this causes not despair but amazement. How could a Savior so holy, mighty and just love a sinful person like me?

I continue to grow in grace as this wonder transforms my relationships with neighbors, friends, and family. Truly understanding the love of Jesus is humbling. How can there be any room in my heart for contempt or bitterness? Like everyone else I am a spiritual beggar, dependent on the Lord for everything. How can I justify selfishness? Jesus completely emptied himself to serve and save me.

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