(study – 6)
But grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
2 Peter 2:18
All believers are born to fellowship with God, and have a responsibility to grow.. a responsibility that is given as a command to all God’s children. All believers are to become like Jesus. We are to grow in grace, which means being transformed into His likeness, by means of the Spirit. We are to put off all sin, which hinders maturity, and we are to confess our sin to maintain fellowship God. We are to long for the milk and meat of the Word of God, by which we will grow.
We are commanded to grow in Scripture.. to grow in grace. But growth only takes place as we submit to the indwelling Spirit and He appeals to our God-given volition, to grow in grace and in a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18. We can willingly can obey God’s command, or we can ignore it.
Normal physical growth implies normal physical health, and normal spiritual growth implies normal spiritual health. The apostle John informs us in that fellowship with God is the healthy Christian life, while Peter reminds us that God’s Word is the food we need for healthy spiritual growth – and God desires that we mature in the faith.
Paul reminds us that in this church dispensation: you are not under the law, but under grace, Romans 6:14 and warns us:- do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God.. Romans 6:13. In very simple language we are, to lay aside all sin.. to put all sin away, which is achieved by living, walking and growing in grace – by becoming more like Jesus.
We are saved by God’s grace alone and not by human effort. His grace is diametrically opposite to much man-made religious teaching. And once saved by grace through faith, we are to live by grace, walk by grace and grow in grace – in spirit and truth.
How difficult to grow God’s way!! But it is our new baby life is Christ that is to grow and not the old sinful life from which we were saved. We want to earn our salvation but God requires us to accept His free gift of salvation and mature in the faith His way. He wants us to grow by means of His Spirit ministering to our new born-again spirit. All believers have a responsibility to grow in grace – as we are command in the Word.
We are to feed daily on the Word and like newborn babes, we are to desire the sincere milk of the Word. And as we mature, and grow in grace we will progress to the strong meat of the Word. We are to put off all sin, which hinders spiritual growth, and remain in fellowship with the Lord, by keeping a short reign on our sins – i.e. by quickly confessing any sin we commit, to our Father in heaven.
Hebrews chapter 5 clearly explains what happens to the believer that does not grow spiritually. It outlines the tragic consequences of arrested, stunted or regressive growth. It addresses mature believers, who have become dull of hearing. It displays a frustration with believers who regress in their spiritual growth. How important to hunger for the word of God so that we do not regress back to babyhood.
The metaphor of ‘babyhood’ is used in two ways. First: to encourage a positive, hunger for the word of God. Second: to discourage the negative, regression back to babyhood. Hebrews 5 is addressing mature believers who had become dull of hearing, and also displays a frustration with believers who regress in growth. Hebrews 5 warns us against spiritual sluggishness and backsliding in our Christian life.
How sad to consider the consequences of regressing from spiritual maturity to spiritual immaturity. May we who have ears to hear what the Spirit says in His Word, listen carefully to all that He says – and to apply it in our lives, as we grow in grace and in a knowledge of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
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