GROWING IN HIS GRACE

GROWING IN HIS GRACE

      Memory Verse: “But grow in grace, and inthe knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen

–  2Peter 3:18

Text:2 Timothy 2:1-4

A number of people begin the Christian race but soon turn aside from following the Lord. Rather than putting the devil to flight, the devil succeeds in his effort to defeat and destroy them (Proverbs 26:11; 2Peter 2:22). Many have turned aside from following the Lord because they do not know what it takes to be a victorious Christian. But God, in His infinite love and kindness has provided all that we need for our spiritual stability. Naturally, parents desire to see their children grow healthy and strong. Similarly, the Lord rejoices in seeing us live victoriously. For this reason, He has made every necessary provision available for our spiritual well-being. It is our responsibility to make use of all that God has provided for our stability and growth in faith (Galatians 5:1; Ephesians 6:10-18).

  1. PORTRAITS OF WEAK AND DYING CHRISTIANS: 2Timothy 2:1

Thou, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). Paul had experienced and survived divers and difficult trials of life encounters. Here he exhorts Timothy and all believers of today to make use of the means of grace God has made available for believer’s spiritual success. At the time of this writing, Paul was sitting in a Roman prison and awaiting his execution. Yet, he could still exhort all believers to remain strong in Christ in the midst of direst situations in life. Paul had learned how to draw upon God’s grace in whatever situation he found himself.

In the natural world, every child receives nourishment from his parents. These nourishments are meant to enable him grow strong and healthy. A child that refuses to eat begins to grow weaker and weaker each passing day until he withers and dies. The same principle applies to the spiritual life of a believer (1Peter 2:2; Psalm 19:7-8, 11; Proverbs 6:20-23). When the Christian refuses to receive essential spiritual nourishment, he loses inner vitality and consequently dies off spiritually (Proverbs 4:4). A lot of times, spiritual delinquency and death often occur from ignorance of God’s word and neglect of the means of grace made available by God. Most of the times, the following characteristics are clearly evident in the lives of such believers:

  1. Lack of understanding in spiritual matters (Hebrews 5:12-14; Matthew 13:19).
  2. Susceptible to deception by false prophets and love for enticing false doctrines (Ephesians 4:14; Galatians 1:6; Hebrews 13:9).
  3. Ease of compromise under persecution, trials and pressures (Matthew 13:20, 21).
  4. Love of world’s allurement and pleasures; eternal treasures are of no real significance to them (Matthew 13:22; James 4:4)
  5. Life of constant defeat through Satanic temptations; (Hosea 6:4).
  6. They succumb easily to discouragement and murmuring when confronted with diverse problems of life (Numbers 21:4-5; Exodus 16:2-3).
  7. They are lukewarm to spiritual matters and deficient in godly desires (Matthew 25:24, 25).REFLECT:Can you pinpoint peculiars traits commonly found in spiritually unsteady believers?

2. DIVINE PROVISIONS FOR BELIEVER’S SPIRITUAL STABILITY: 2Timothy 2:1-4; 1Kings 2:1-3; Ephesians 6:10-18.

Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:1). How can believers remain strong in grace and make spiritual progress? The only source of spiritual sustenance of the believer is God. Paul here admonishes the Christian to always draw divine strength and grace from our only Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (Hebrews 4:16). In order to receive this grace, we must live in close relationship with Him on a daily basis. This is done by maintaining a daily life of righteousness, constantly looking to obey whatever He says in His word (Psalm 119:9; John 15:10, 6). Also, by involvement in the spiritual work of soul-winning and evangelism, the spiritual growth of the believer is greatly enhanced. Furthermore, by maintaining a regular quiet time and studying of the Word of God on a daily basis offer a significant boost to the believer’s spiritual stability and success (Mark 1:35; Psalm 119:97). A prayerless Christian will always remain a powerless Christian (Ephesians 6:18). A believer that is void of God’s word will be saturated with the words of men. Besides these, regular church attendance provides spiritual nourishment that enriches believer’s knowledge and steadiness in his faith-life (Hebrews 10:25; Acts 2:42). Finally, purposeful resolve to persevere in faith in the midst of midst negative circumstances and depressing problems would of great value to the believer’s continuity in faith (2Timothy 2:3; Daniel 1:5, 8; Job 13:15; 23:10; Romans 8:35-39).

Grace, more grace, abundant grace, is what we need to live for Christ and make spiritual progress. We must constantly depend upon the Lord, knowing that His grace is able to keep us to the end (2Thessalonians 3:3; 2Timothy 1:12). “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it”(1Thessalonians 5:24).

 

REFLECT: What is the believer’s responsibility of ensuring his stability in the faith? Mention some of the means made available by God for the believer’s spiritual success.

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