Summary: There are three Biblical processes that must be continually applied in order for a child of God to die to self, ignore the world’s influences and dispute the lies of the devil?

Turn Your Bibles to 2 Peter 3:18

Title: Walking Differently

Theme: Growing in the Grace of God

Series: Living in the Aroma of God’s Grace

Listen as I read 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever!” Pray!

Introduction: The Word of God says much about what the Lord would like to see in His children. The Holy Spirit moved through the Apostle Paul to write about living as children of Light, “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts…

You, however, did not come to know Christ that way… You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)

Men of this world are captivated by how other people live their lives, they observe what governs their lives and are intrigued by what motivates them.

Proposition: I would propose to you that God’s heartfelt desire is to have an intimate relationship with us and see us be transformed into the image of Christ. Christ-like character is a growing process, much like the raising of a child to adulthood.

Interrogative Sentence: Just what are three Biblical processes that must be continually applied in order for a child of God to die to self, ignore the world’s influences and dispute the lies of the devil?

The Holy Spirit moved through the Apostle Peter to write about a truth that must be grasped in order for Christians to live Spirit-filled lives. Grasping this truth enables the children of God to enjoy God’s growing grace peacefully. He writes, “His Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of [Christ] who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the Divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Just as a baby cannot grow to manhood on his own, a born again Christian must have God’s grace to grow to maturity. The Lord through His Divine power gives us what we need to become mature Christians.

Transitional Sentence: Christians are to be strengthened by God’s grace not through obeying rules through their own attempts. Hebrews 13:9 says, “Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by ceremonial foods, which are of no value to those who eat them.” (Hebrews 13:9) Romans 14:17-18 says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.” (Romans 14:17-18) It is important to note that it is difficult to determine the exact meaning of Hebrews 13:9 with regard to what false teaching were being presented. I believe the Lord did it this way for a reason.

This passage of Scripture is generic so it can stand against teachings or religious observances of any kind that would take people from worshiping in spirit and truth in any generation. There is so much that comes up in the church that Satan uses to cause Christians to lose their focus upon Christ and on what He has done. There has always been that danger of the ideas of man bringing false teaching into the church of Christ. It must be understood the issues of what someone was eating or how it was being eaten in Hebrews and in Romans was only an outward reflection of the serious heart problem of man trying to reach God or please God by his own efforts. This same heart problem is very much alive today, but has different manifestations.

There is nothing more destructive to true Christianity than placing it in modes, and forms, and circumstances. All forms of spiritual cancers that are bringing spiritual death began from healthy teachings, man just got in the way. We do not have a major problem with people trying to get right with God or seeking His favors through some kind of ritual meals right now. However, many have taken that which once brought focus on Christ’s works, and reducing it to rituals that show outward religiosity or visibility in order to gain favor from God.

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Larry Jeffries

commented on Oct 11, 2006

I agree with the contributor that the basics of god's grace must be always put up front. I also think it's time for the church to unite to tell the world of the saving, changing grace of God through the Blood of Jesus Christ, dwelling on what we have in common and not what we see differntly.

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