ARE YOU GROWING SPIRITUALLY?
“…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18 NIV).
Growth is very essential to any living being or organization. Nobody would want to remain stagnant where he/she was last year. Also, no one would want his/her child to refuse to grow. We all want to grow physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, materially and in other ramifications. This should be applicable also to our spiritual life. However, only believers grow spiritually. Just like any other growth or development, spiritual growth is not attained instantaneously. It is not dramatic experiences, climactic turning points, or instant solutions to spiritual problems that many people are looking for today. God’s design is that we be seasoned to maturity through a continual process of growth. This made Peter to tell his readers in 2 Peter 3:18 to grow spiritually.
Peter admonished believers to grow, not any other person. This is rather a command, not an advice, so you have to desire and determine to grow spiritually. The determination to grow must be consistent without any distraction (compare Hebrews 12:2). If you are to be prepared for spiritual growth, your focus must be right. The focus must not be on what you must do, but on who you must be!
Peter instructed us to grow spiritually in two things: grace and knowledge. Grace is important because it is the foundation of the spiritual life (compare Ephesians 2:8). The spiritual life is impossible without grace. You cannot know God apart from grace. You cannot grow apart from grace. You cannot deal with failure apart from grace. Moses knew this, and he asked for it (see Exodus 33:13). Grace also sustains you when you fail or when things are not going the way you want (see 2 Corinthians 12:7-10). To grow in one’s knowledge of Jesus Christ is not factual knowledge, but the experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ (see Philippians 3:10). The order of these items is important. Grace must precede knowledge. Therefore, keep things in order. Grace comes before knowledge. Without Jesus there is no understanding of grace. You cannot have knowledge without Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of grace and spiritual truth.
The last thing to note in this verse is the purpose of the growth: God’s glory. Everything we do or whoever we are must be to God’s glory (John 2:11; 1 Corinthians 10:31; 1 Peter 5:10-11; Jude 25; Revelation 1:6; 5:9-14).
The second part of this message next week will briefly discuss what spiritual growth is not.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
Prayer Point: Help me Lord to be growing in Your grace and knowledge.