|by Henry T. Blackaby||Return to Articles|
The great apostle Peter learned, often the hard way, the necessity of “spiritual growth!” So in his wonderful short letter he urged other believers, “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 3:18)
It is important to notice what he did not say: grow in disciplines, in Bible memory, in prayer activities, in soul-winning, or Bible knowledge. Though these are all very important—they are a bi-product of what Peter urged. What growth he did encourage was first, “grace.” That means to grow in the experience and appropriation of all that God has already freely provided: the fruits of righteousness (Phil. 1:11); that their “love may abound still more and more” (Phil. 1:9); that they would grow in “discernment” (vs. 9); that they would “walk in the Spirit” (Gal. 5:15); that they would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man (Eph. 3:16).
Second, that they would grow in the “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Their growth was to be in their relationship with their Lord. He put it this way, “… that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19).
They were to learn, in ever-increasing measure, the practical and personal presence of their Living Lord in every area of their lives. This means in the home, in the workplace, in their recreation, and in the life of their church family. “Knowledge” of Christ meant “in personal, real experience.” Religious activity and personal relationship with Christ are very different and is very vital that you know the difference. Are you “growing in grace and the knowledge of [your] Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? Ask the Holy Spirit to enable you to have this kind of spiritual growth, which pleases God and brings glory to your Lord!