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Growing in Grace and Knowledge

Growing in Grace and Knowledge

Words of Faith 3-25-2020

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2020

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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2 Peter 3

    [17] Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. [18] But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

 

         It was time to wrap up this second letter.  Peter had made a little detour into issues related to the letters of Paul, so now he returned to his main line of teaching.  With affection, he prepared to conclude addressing his "dear friends" (agapetoi, "beloved").  This was his final exhortation.

         As believers who are aware-- amply warned about the danger of false teaching and ready to resist the perverse attractions of the false teachers' heresies-- we need to be on constant guard.  Otherwise, we run the risk of being "carried away by the error of lawless men.”  The danger of such wandering is that a believer may to "fall from" his or her "secure position.”  That is a pretty heavy goodbye, but the point is a powerful one!

        Conversion to Jesus Christ provides a solid foundation and security for spiritual vitality in this life and glory in the next. As believers, Christians can have confidence in this foundation. But Peter also warned about "falling from" that foundation.  It was a scary proposition, but one very much from the heart.

        Whatever position we may come to concerning eternal security, it is clear that Peter was concerned that believers not view their "security" in Christ as a license to condone a careless attitude toward the struggle with sin.  Confidence in our status with Christ should never lead to a presumption on God's grace that leads us to toy with the danger of false teachers, or that negates earnest striving after holiness.  

         Whenever we take the gift of grace lightly or for granted, we are left to wonder if we have somehow missed the real cost and value of what has been offered to us in Jesus.  It is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace.”  Whether expressed in a complacent attitude toward the lost or tolerance for sin in our own lives, cheap grace is really no grace at all. We run the risk of being carried away by the error of lawless men.

        So rather than fall into cheap grace, Peter offered a positive alternative!  He issued a final positive exhortation: "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."   Some have suggested that verse is the key for all of 2 Peter.  Peter's root concern was that his readers, resisting the heresy of the false teachers, continue to grow spiritually, becoming more and more like the Christ whom they confess. 

         If we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus, we will not find our foundation to be unsure.  We will not find ourselves swayed by false teaching.  We will recognize the twisting of the Word readily.

         There could hardly be a more timely exhortation for us today.  The questions that arise at this conclusion are worth time, prayer, and consideration.  Am I resisting the heresy of false teachers?  Am I continuing to grow spiritually?  Am I becoming more and more like Christ, who I confess?  Am I growing in the grace and knowledge of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?

 

         Father God, I want to be the person You dreamed that I could be.  Redeem me wholly and completely.  Fashion me by the power of Your Word and Your Spirit.  Keep me free from the heresies of the day.  Protect me from the twisting of Your Word.  Give me a heart for the lost.  Give me a passion for the Gospel.  Cause me to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus.  In Jesus' Name.

 

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail, and our website, and our church app, excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.  

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