Growing in Grace

KEY VERSE: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” —I Peter 1:3


THE ‘CALLING’ OF God is comprehended through an attainment of a knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus Christ. The second epistle written by the Apostle Peter opens with the salutation: “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” (vs. 2) It closes with the words, “Grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (II Pet. 3:18) We often use the expression, “Grow in grace and knowledge,” because one of these character attributes complements the other.

Peter stated his purpose for writing to the brethren as being to ‘stir them up’ by remembering the importance of Christian growth. (II Pet. 1:12,13) In verses 5 to 7, he outlined a pattern of growth which has been called, “The Christian Ladder.”

To climb this ‘ladder’ we must give all diligence in adding to our faith virtue. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) Virtue means strength of mind and character. To fortitude we must add knowledge—not just any knowledge, but knowledge concerning God’s plan and character. To knowledge we should add temperance or self-control. “He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty.”—Prov. 16:32

To temperance we must add patience, or cheerful endurance. “Ye have need of patience,” said Paul in Hebrews 10:36. To patience we should add godliness, or piety. To godliness we must add brotherly love. In the Greek language the word is philadelphia, which means love of, or emotion for our brethren. To brotherly love we will add love. This word love is agapao in the Greek language. It means, ‘love arising from the mind or reason’.

The climbing of the ‘Christian Ladder’ is essential if we are to become partakers of the divine nature. Such a grand reward is promised by God in his Word to the faithful! If we heed his Word we will attain the glory and virtue promised. (II Pet. 1:3) Thus we see that the knowledge of God, and his plan, and his character, are prerequisites for our success.

The Apostle Peter devoted a lifetime to reminding his brethren about these things. He was faithful, and not negligent, in doing so. There was a sense of urgency in his preaching. His words indicated that he was aware of the shortness of time he had left when he said, “Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.”—II Pet. 1:14,15

The brethren he was ‘reminding’ were already established in the present truth and understood what God required. But Peter knew that they had to have these things brought to their minds continually if they were to gain an abundant entrance into Christ’s kingdom and partake of the divine nature! (vs. 4) He wished to shock his readers into the realization that failure to grow in grace and knowledge was wrong, by saying, “He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”—II Pet. 1:9

God forbid that this should happen to us! Peter exhorted us against these results, saying: “Wherefore, the rather, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things [climb the ‘Christian Ladder’] ye shall never fall,” but you will be assured of an “abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—II Pet. 1:11

Dawn Bible Students Association
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