2 Peter 3:18a - Growing In Grace (continued updated).

2 Peter 3:18a - Growing In Grace (continued updated).

2 Pet 3:18a (KJV)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  

2 Peter 3:18a (AMP) But grow in grace (undeserved favor, 
spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our 
Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah).  

2 Pet 3:18a (TLB)  But grow in spiritual strength and become 
better acquainted with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  

  At Oxford, during the darkest days of World War II, I heard a 
sermon that aptly described my spiritual condition. I had been 
confirmed. I had studied C. S. Lewis. During secondary school I had even 
publicly defended the Christian creeds. But that night, in the middle of 
a wartime blackout, Reverend Earl Langston challenged me quite 
dramatically with the testimony of his own conversion. The elderly parson 
described how decades before, at a boys' camp, he had come to the 
realization that he was not a Christian and was thereby compelled to respond 
personally--yes or no--to Christ. There at St Aldates Church, God gave me a 
picture of someone looking through a window into a room where people 
were enjoying a party. The person outside knew the rules of all party 
games, but he was not part of the festivities. He was outside looking 
in. My mind focused on this single thought: I need to come in. 
  On October 22, 1944, I found salvation in a personal 
commitment to Christ, who, I felt, had come near to draw me to himself. 
  I say gratefully that that moment in time would mark a 
beginning and not an end to my journey. Growing in grace and in the 
knowledge of Christ became the dual focus of my life. Knowing God is not 
just a cognitive process--it is also relational and transformational. 
Truly experiencing God leads to adoration, worship, and service, and 
it must be the goal of all authentic believers. 
  J. I. Packer, theologian, professor, early-jazz aficionado, 
and author of Knowing God and Concise Theology, is the senior editor 
of Christianity Today magazine. [The One Year Bible Live Verse 
Devotional re 2Pe. 3:18] 

  Not many people can say that on the day they were saved, 
someone explained to them the steps to spiritual growth. Unfortunately, 
some believers never hear how to grow in grace. Since none of us 
grows as a Christian without taking action, Peter instructs believers 
to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus 
Christ" (2 Pet. 3:18). 
  Then how are we to grow? The Bible gives us some powerful 
  First, we are responsible for renewing our mind (Rom. 12:2). 
Though God saves us and gives us a new spirit, He does not give us a 
new brain. Disobedience and rebellion have dug or worn many ugly 
trenches in our minds. So we must meditate on the Bible, which expresses 
the thoughts of God. Meditation is more than reading--it involves 
thinking about what the words mean and then applying the truth we 
discover. When we meditate on His Word and depend upon the Spirit's power 
to help us put it into practice, our minds undergo the wonderful 
process of transformation. That is how we obtain "the mind of Christ" (1 
Cor. 2:16). 
  Second, we must be ready to admit our failures and assume 
responsibility for them. When we deny our sins, we delay our spiritual growth; 
but when we confess our failures, the opposite happens--growth 
becomes inevitable. James tells us, "Confess your trespasses to one 
another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed" (James 5:16). 
  The third step naturally follows the second: After confession 
should come repentance. This is more than acknowledging wrongdoing or 
promising to try harder. Repentance means that we commit to make an 
about-face and head in the opposite direction from our sin. Paul taught new 
converts "that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting 
repentance" (Acts 26:20). 
  God's ultimate goal is for all believers to become more 
Christlike. That happens only when, through faith, we tap into the power of 
God. With these steps, we will begin to move in that direction. And 
soon our relationship with God begins to deepen. [Life Principles SB 
By Charles Stanley re 2Pe. 3:18] 

  Growth is the goal of the Christian. Maturity is mandatory. If 
a child ceased to develop, the parent would be concerned, 
  When a Christian stops growing, help is needed. If you are the 
same Christian you were a few months ago, be careful. You might be 
wise to get a checkup. Not on your body, but on your heart. Not a 
physical, but a spiritual. 
  May I suggest one?...
  Why don't you check your habits? ... Make these four habits 
regular activities and see what happens. 
  First, the habit of prayer... Second, the habit of Bible 
study... Third, the habit of giving... And last of all, the habit of 
fellowship. [Grace For The Moment SB By Max Lucado re 2Pe. 3:18] 

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