“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” 2 Peter 3:18
Have you ever watched a mature Christian remain steady in the face of an overwhelming challenge? You may have even thought, “I could never handle that the way she did.” Well, that believer is living out the truth of growing in grace. Sadly, Christians often live as if their salvation is the sole reason for God’s grace. But grace continues in the life of a believer, providing what we need to speak and respond in a godly way.
Many of us have become quite good at the second part of today’s verse; growing in knowledge. We listen to sermons and attend Bible studies, filling our heads with information about God and His Word. But if growing in the knowledge of Christ isn’t balanced with growing in grace, then a prideful and judgmental attitude can develop.
Growing in the grace of Jesus Christ is allowing God to continually mold us into the image of His Son. How does this happen? Well 2 Peter 1:3 promises that God’s “divine power” has provided everything needed for our sanctification. This power isn’t an outward influence forcing us into His image. As believers, we “participate in the divine nature…” by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4).
Spiritual growth, however, is not automatic—it requires effort. The nature that we nurture becomes our natural response. We grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ as we diligently increase in qualities such as moral excellence, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-8). Responding as Jesus would respond becomes our natural reflex rather than a forced motion. That’s because we’re allowing His divine nature to respond in and through us. The result is a gracious and godly life.
It’s wonderful to grow in our knowledge of the Lord, but don’t forget to continually grow in His grace as well. How are you relying on the Holy Spirit daily; allowing Him to mold you into the image of Christ? God has already provided everything you need to speak and respond in a gracious and godly way. So, will you respond in your old nature or in the divine nature dwelling within you? Remember, the nature that you nurture will become your natural response.