Grow in God's Grace

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"So be on guard; then you will not be carried away by the errors of…wicked people and lose your own secure footing. Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen." - 2 Peter 3:17b-18

Let's reflect upon some of the heavenly territory we have explored so far this week. Grace is not earned nor bought, but rather, is a gift from God. Grace is abundant, unfathomable, and has abolished the Law. And finally, Grace leads to spiritual growth. For as today’s text reminds us, "But grow in the grace…of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

At times, we can be apprehensive about such an emphasis upon God's grace. We become concerned that irresponsibility, ungodliness, laziness, or indulgence will result. We can rest assured on the promises and purposes of God that true grace does not produce such consequences. Ungodly living--always involves the flesh of man, which is inclined toward depravity and legalism.

Depravity hopes to turn grace into a means by which sinful indulgence is acceptable, while legalism aspires to add religious performance to grace, thereby appealing to the self-righteous hopes of man.

When a person truly lives by the grace of God, righteousness results, not ungodliness. As a person increasingly learns to draw upon God's grace for daily living, Christ-likeness develops, not worldliness. As grace becomes our resource for life, sin diminishes.

The temptation is to rely upon the law of God in order to generate godliness. The demand of the law to be holy, loving, and perfect becomes a false security to us. We think that by hearing, repeating, or striving to meet this demand, we can thereby accomplish it. Let us not forget that "the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope" (Hebrews 7:18-19). God's grace is the "better hope" that does not fail to bring forth what God desires.

God wants us to know His grace. He wants us to learn about it and then experience it at work in our lives. Grace has rightly been described as “God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense”. Grace is God freely providing for us (as we trust in the work of His Son) all that we will ever need, all that we will ever yearn for, all that we could ever produce on our own, could never earn and never deserve. Grace offers what every human desperately needs, but what God alone can provide. This grace is found only in Jesus the Christ. Thus it is accessible only through an ongoing relationship with Him.

The Lord has ordained for us a life-long involvement with His grace. He wants to work "grace upon grace" for the rest of our days. This is the "new and living way". Perhaps this could all be summarized in another acronym on grace: "Glorious Realities As Christ Empowers”.

What will you do today? Will you chose to leave behind the old and put on the new? Will you let your old sinful self, die off, that your new godly self can shine through for Christ? By grace we have been saved and by grace we can keep going. Praise be to God!

Gracious Father, how bountiful is Your provision for my spiritual growth. How foolish of me to think that I need more for developing in godliness than Your grace supplies. O Lord, I long to grow in the image of Christ. I beseech You, remind me and convince me that Your grace is the only sufficient hope. In Jesus' name, I pray, Amen.
Mar 16 2019