Summary: We are called to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ. But how many of us do not do that because it requires us to read, study, pray, and even live our lives according to His principals, and not our own.
Man’s law says that to be ignorant of the law is no excuse for not following it. And we are held accountable for being lawful citizens. But in reality, you cannot be expected to know more than that which you are taught.
For example, I have never been taught how to use a jackhammer. And since I have not been taught, I cannot be held accountable for not having that information. I could probably figure it out myself over time, but then I would still end up being taught, even if it were being self-taught.
The Apostle Peter says for us to be on guard against false teachers and preachers, and to concentrate on our spiritual growth.
2 PETER 3:18 says,
‘Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’
These are the words of an old man, written down as his legacy for us. It took a lifetime for Simon, the brash and outspoken young man to grow into the Apostle Peter, the bold and focused man of Almighty God. And the very faults of his younger character became his strengths as he grew to maturity in Christ Jesus.
I think we can take these words, as the starting point to correct what I feel is a very neglected duty of American Christians. A neglect to see the importance of growing in Christ. A neglect in realizing that the only way to grow in Christ is to read the Bible every day; and to even to study it to learn more about Christ and His will for us.
Let me start by talking about how;
1. CHRISTIANS NEED TO GROW IN CHRIST JESUS
We are to grow in the grace AND knowledge of Jesus. Both of these things are directly connected to Jesus. He is the Author of our Grace, and He is the Object of the knowledge that allows us to grow in Him.
Now, we should all know what ‘knowledge’ is. Miriam-Webster’s dictionary defines ‘knowledge’ as;
‘Having awareness of something gained through experience or association.’
In other words, if you don’t read it, if you don’t study it, you will not have any knowledge of it. And if you do not have knowledge of it, you will not have it. And that is exactly where many churchgoers are today: They don’t read the Word, yet they want to know it. So they depend on somebody else to read it for them, (pastors and teachers), and then they only make themselves available to hear it for one hour a week.
Now, let’s talk about God’s ‘Grace’. Grace is the undeserved love in which we have been favored by God through Jesus. And Grace manifests itself in the growing Christian as Godly integrity. Your main focus in life should be to rest closer to His heart with each passing day.
And if your love for Him is real, you should be reading more of His Word with each passing day; to receive His knowledge and revelation so that you can lead a productive Christian life, and not languish in a watered down and lukewarm version of Christianity.
Many people consider themselves as being good Christians when all they do is go to church for one hour a week. These people spend 40-60 hours a week on their jobs, but are not willing to spend more than 8 hours a week in the house of the Lord. These people do not give a full tithe, but think nothing of spending more than a full tithe when they go out to a restaurant once or twice a week.
These people complain about having to go to church more than once a week because of the distance they must drive, or because gas costs so much nowadays. But they will be quick to drive twice that far without any complaints to go somewhere they want to go.
And these people try and read many books ‘about’ the Bible, but will not pick up the Bible and study it daily. Many of these books are absolute fiction, but since they claim to be about the Lord, people read them and are mislead. I think these are the people Jesus refers to as ones who literally make Him sick.
In REVELATION 3:16, Jesus gets very blunt.
‘So, because you are neither hot nor cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.’
Jesus wants us to be excited and on fire for His glory. He does not want us to sit by, idly doing nothing. He wants us to learn how to be better Christians. The key word here is ‘learn.’ We cannot learn unless we read, and yes – even study His Words.
Many people never get any more intimate with Christ than they were the first day they accepted Him as Savior. And that leads me to ask: