GROWING in the GRACE and KNOWLEDGE of JESUS CHRIST: "You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen." (2 Peter 3:17-18)
Apostle Peter, the chief Apostle and a close disciple of the Lord Jesus, wrote two general epistles (letters) to all the believers living during his time and beyond. While his first letter was a warning about trials from without (persecution), his second letter was a warning about trials from within (heresy). Peter warns everyone to be careful and avoid shortsightedness (1:2-11), guard against false teachers (2:1-22), and in general, be vigilant against personal complacency that would lead to a lazy faith.
As Peter was acutely aware of his impending death (1:14), he wrote some memorable words as he concluded his final letter. He counseled us that we should ‘grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’ (v. 18b). ‘Grace’ is the practical demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit. Growth in grace is not increased head knowledge or tireless activity; it is increasing likeness to the Lord Jesus. ‘Knowledge’ means getting to know God through His Word. Growth in knowledge means increasing study of and subjection to His words, works, and ways.
We need to grow in our actual, personal knowledge of Jesus Christ as such knowledge is our greatest protection against false teachings. This knowledge is the ever-deepening experience of Christ and understanding of His truth that should characterize the entire course of our lives as well.
Our spiritual growth will only happen when our faith is cultivated. We can only do that as we meditate on the word of God (Psalm 119:97-104) as the blessed Holy Spirit will remind us about our areas for personal growth and improvement. Along with that, small group studies and active involvement in a local church will help us to remember the vital truth required for our spiritual growth.
Let us remember that we have a responsibility to appropriate our spiritual resources and grow daily "till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph 4:13).