Summary: How does grace help you grow?
One of the gifts of God is this progression of life…We all know that there is this progression of life…there is an expectation that when young you are going to grow up…
Baby in the womb…infant wanting to walk…child wanting to be a teenager, a teenager wanting to be an adult…
Do you remember…Did you ever wish they could just grow up? Maybe you yearned for the day you would get your driver’s licenses. Or job. Or graduate from high school. Or go away to college. ***Growing up (sucking thumb)
Infants are expected to grow to childhood, children are expected to go through puberty to youth, and youth are expected to become adults. In fact…you usually spend a lot of energy as an infant, child and youth looking forward to the freedoms of adulthood.
You really didn’t want to be a kid anymore. You wanted to be seen as an adult. You wanted to feel like…you have grown up, grown up. But then you get older…and want to be a kid. You want to go back
We understand the concept of growth from the physical development of humans…this is the same in the Scripture. We all know how that happens physically, but what about spiritually? Salvation is only the entry point of Christian living…not the ending point…The universal metaphor used in Scripture to describe spiritual growth. Infancy (babies), childhood, youth, and adulthood
What is the basis of our spiritual growth?
So what is Spiritual growth…it has everything to do with grace…It is not only the gift of God to salvation but also the gift of growth in Christ…
auxanó – to cause to grow, to increase, to raise position
Growth is a necessity, not an option.
The Christian life is like riding a bike: if you aren’t moving forward, you’ll fall off. To maintain your steadfastness, you must be growing.
Peter is connecting our spiritual growth with our understanding of grace… Grace is growth… Grace is the key to a relationship with God because He both saves us by His grace and sustains us by grace… God’s grace is not static; it is dynamic. It brings real change in our lives and compels us to increased growth.
***Remember who this is writing this…Peter, the one who denied Christ…he had a unique personal perspective of grace..Grace will meet you anywhere, but it will not leave you there.
This changes everything…it tells us why it is that so many people feel that their growth is stagnate, stuck…and that is where the struggle lies for many of us… But grace is opposed to every human way of approaching God
BIG IDEA: GRACE BECOMES AN IDOL WHEN IT CRIPPLES INSTEAD OF COMPELS OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN CHRIST
One of the greatest problems that the church faces today is such a huge lack of spiritual maturity. Too many people are immature and unable to handle the work that God desires them to do because they haven’t grown up in Him.
Warren Wiersbe – “After over forty years of ministry, I am convinced that spiritual immaturity is the number one problem in our churches.”
Immature grace…It is one of the most used resources mentioned in the Scripture…If it is an under-utilized resource in…it will become the most immature resource in our lives…
Well before we answer that question…let me tell you what spiritual growth is not…If you settle for immature grace it will leave you thinking these things…
- Spiritual growth is based merely upon my knowledge of God and the Bible
- Spiritual growth naturally happens over time
- Spiritual growth is accomplished through activity
- Spiritual growth is experienced in temporary successes
So what does spiritual life look like?
3 commands, imperatives – Read 2 Peter 3:14-17
1. SEE GRACE AS YOUR INSPIRATION TO GROW AND NOT YOUR INHIBITION FROM GROWTH
Vs. 14 - Make every effort – since you are waiting…then be diligent
spoudazó – to exert oneself, endeavor
Grace calls us into an active spiritual journey not a passive one…
What am I making an effort too? What is the goal of grace? Have to know where you are going
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
According to this verse, you can define spiritual maturity in one phrase. Spiritual maturity is being like Christ.
Conformity to … Christ is the goal of human development.”
Thus…Grace is not an excuse; it’s a persuasion.
Am I making every effort to make progress in Christian living?