“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
The apostle Peter wrote two letters, or epistles, to believers in Jesus. 1 Peter and 2 Peter are found near the end of the New Testament. In them, Peter discusses many subjects of importance to believers. At the end of 2 Peter, he told believers to grow in grace, as our verse says.
For the sake of clarity, God saves people by His grace: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). First, a person sees from God’s Word that he’s sinned against God and deserves eternity in hell. Then he sees from God’s Word that God the Son, Jesus Christ, died to pay for all his sins. Jesus was buried and rose again. The Holy Spirit uses God’s Word to convince the sinner to receive Jesus as Saviour, and he does. The Lord saves him, and the sinner is now saved and has eternal life. The sinner hasn’t worked or paid to be saved. He’s just come to Jesus in repentance and faith, and the Lord saved him by His grace.
God saves people by grace, but God wants to do much more in people’s lives. He also wants us to grow in grace. To grow in grace means to mature as a Christian and become more like Jesus. Romans 8:29 says, “[God] did predestinate [Christians] to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Growing in grace is—or should be—a continual process in a Christian’s life. We won’t be perfectly Christ-like in this life, but when we see Jesus, we will be: “we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2).
So how do you grow in grace? It is by growing in “the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” When people first hear about being saved, they may not know much about the Bible. When they see that they really can be sure of heaven, it’s an eye-opener. Once a person receives Jesus as Saviour, it’s great to be able to point to Scripture and say, “I know I’m saved because the Bible says so.” Yet God doesn’t want us to just go about saying, “I’m glad I’m saved.” Imagine a cop saying that he’s glad he’s a cop, but he never does much police work. Yes, it’s good that he’s glad to be on the job, but he’s on the job to serve. Likewise, God wants Christians as servants of Christ to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus.
When you’re saved and you read God’s Word, God speaks to your heart. He may deal with you about things that should be in your life, such as faithful church attendance, regular Bible reading and prayer, witnessing or service. He may also deal with you about things in your life that shouldn’t be in it, like wrong talk, bad habits, or ungodly entertainment. He speaks through “the voice of his word” (Psalm 103:20). He may also speak to your heart through other people or circumstances. When you respond obediently to His leading, you grow in grace and in the knowledge of your Saviour. Paul the apostle said, “That I may know him [Jesus]” (Philippians 3:10). Paul knew Jesus as Saviour, but he wanted to know Him better.
“More about Jesus would I know, More of His grace to others show,
More of His saving fullness see, More of His love who died for me.”
“More about Jesus” – Eliza E. Hewitt, John R. Sweney
As you read God’s Word, hear it preached and respond obediently, you grow in grace. First of all, though, you need to be born again by receiving Jesus as Saviour. If you haven’t been but want to know how, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown.
Brian Miller 3/4/2017
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822