Often believers speak about the need to “grow in the Lord” or to ‘grow spiritually’ sometimes without much clarity on what it means or entails. God’s grace which came through our Lord Jesus (John 1:17) has the potential to teach us how to live righteously, without condemning us when we fail to meet the demands of the law. Paul took time to demonstrate through his letters the weakness of the law in trying to lead us to victorious living as opposed to simply being led by the Spirit and following His witness within our own spirit (Romans 8).
The law leads us to religious living whilst the Spirit leads us to a living relationship with God our Father. When we are led by the Spirit of God we grow in the knowledge of how much God loves us and what it means to members of His household of faith and therefore joint heirs together with Christ of His inheritance. The revelation of His Grace (unmerited or unearned favor) is a doorway to abundant living and freedom in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 (AMPC)
18 But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
In order for us to understand the need for a grace led life, we also need to understand the weaknesses of the law and why God had to send Jesus to bring grace and truth to lost and dying world.
Weaknesses of the Law
Titus 2:11-12 (NKJV Strong's,)
Trained by Saving Grace
11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
2 Peter 3:18 (NLT)
18 Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
All glory to him, both now and forever! Amen.
GRACE AND TRUTH ARE ONE AND THE SAME THING...
a study of this verse in its original Greek, reveals that “grace and truth” are actually referred to as a singular unit, since they are followed by the singular verb translated as “came.” In other words, in God’s eyes, grace and truth are synonymous—unmerited favor is truth and truth is unmerited favor.
John 1:14 (NKJV Strong's,)
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:17 (NKJV Strong's,)
17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
BE WILLING TO LOOSE YOUR OLD GAINS...MINDSETS
Philippians 3:6-10 (NKJV Strong's,)
6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NKJV Strong's,)
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
BECOME FREE FROM YOUR TUTOR...SCHOOL MASTER
Galatians 3:23-25 (NKJV Strong's,)
23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
RECEIVE THE PROMISE BY FAITH ONLY...NOT THE WORKS OF THE LAW
Romans 4:13-16 (NKJV Strong's,)
13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all
GOD’S GRACE GIVES YOU VICTORY OVER SIN
Living under race is not an excuse or ‘license’ to living in sin, it is instead an empowerment to living in God’s righteousness.
Romans 6:13-14 (NKJV Strong's,)
13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.
1 John 5:4 (NKJV Strong's,)
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
Romans 6:1-2 (NKJV Strong's,)
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (NKJV Strong's,)
56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:4-5 (NKJV Strong's,)
4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
Romans 5:17-21 (NKJV Strong's,)
17 For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GROWING IN GRACE MEANS - 10 Critical Areas of Growth