“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Pet 3:18)
· What does it mean to "grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ"?
· How can we be sure that we are growing in this "knowledge"?
· Peter has defined what is meant to grow in the knowledge of Christ, and his definition is found in 2 Pe 1:2-11
· Tonight we want to look at what is involved in "growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ"
· And we want to consider reasons why we should desire to grow in this "knowledge"
I. WHAT IT INVOLVES
A. IT INVOLVES THE DEVELOPMENT OF EIGHT "GRACES".
1. These "graces" are listed in vs 5-7.
2. Briefly defined...
a. FAITH is "conviction, strong assurance"
b. VIRTUE is "moral excellence, goodness"
c. KNOWLEDGE is "correct insight"
d. TEMPERANCE is "self-discipline"
e. PATIENCE is "bearing up under trials"
f. GODLINESS is "godly character out of devotion to God"
g. BROTHERLY KINDNESS is "love toward brethren" h. CHARITY is "active goodwill toward those in need"
3. Note vs 8, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
a. We must "abound" in these eight "graces".
b. Only then can it be said that we are "growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ"
4. Therefore we are discussing something more than simply increasing our "intellectual" knowledge of Jesus Christ!
a. Though such knowledge has a place, it is just one of the graces necessary.
b. Peter is talking about growing in a fuller and more personal knowledge of Jesus Christ!
1) Which comes by developing the "Christ-like" attributes defined above.
2) The more we grow in these "graces", the more we really "know" Jesus (for He is the perfect personification of these "graces")
5. The word used for knowledge in v2-3, and v8 means "to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know accurately, know well"
6. Such knowledge comes only as we DEMONSTRATE these "Christ-like graces" in our lives
B. SECOND, IT INVOLVES DEVELOPING THESE "GRACES" IN CONJUNCTION WITH EACH OTHER
1. Notice the word "add" v5.
a. Before each grace mentioned, the word is implied.
b. This word suggests the idea of "each grace working in harmony with the others to produce an overall effect"
c. Each grace is to temper and make perfect the grace that goes before it.
d. Note the illustration:
1) "to knowledge (add) temperance"- the grace of self-control enables one to apply properly the knowledge one has.
2) "to temperance (add) patience" - self-control in turn needs the quality of patience to be consistent day after day.
3) So each grace is necessary, it is not a list from which to choose!
4) They all need to be developed in conjunction with each other.
C. IT INVOLVES DILIGENT EFFORT
1. Notice the word "diligence" in vs 5 & 10
2. It means "earnestness and zeal"
3. To grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ requires much effort.
4. We do not "accidentally" or "naturally" develop these graces!
II. WHY WE SHOULD BE "GROWING IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF JESUS CHRIST"
A. GRACE AND PEACE ARE MULTIPLIED IN THIS KNOWLEDGE - 2 Pe 1:2
1. "Grace" and "peace" are common forms of greeting in the New Testament a. Grace - the greeting which requests God's unmerited favor upon the person addressed b. Peace - the greeting requesting the natural result of God's favor
2. Note that these two blessings are "multiplied" in the knowledge of Jesus Christ
a. All men experience God's favor and its result to some degree.
“....for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Mat 5:45b)
b. But only in Christ can one enjoy the "fulness" of God's favor and peace.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” (Eph 1:3)
“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:6-7)
B. ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE AND GODLINESS ARE GIVEN THROUGH THIS KNOWLEDGE - vs 3-4
1. Only as we grow in this knowledge do we enjoy the true, full life available by God's divine power!
2. Which includes "exceedingly great and precious promises"
3. Which enables us to be "partakers of the divine nature"
4. Which can free us from the "corruption that is in the world through lust"
C. FAILURE TO GROW IN THIS KNOWLEDGE RESULTS IN SPIRITUAL "MYOPIA" AND "AMNESIA" - 2 Pe 1:9
1. Our vision is "short-sighted" if we are not growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ!
a. For what is the ultimate objective of being a Christian?
b. To become like Christ! “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” (Rom 8:29)
c. As we have seen, this is what it really means to grow in the knowledge of Christ.
2. Failure to so grow is an indication that we forgot why we were redeemed by the blood of Christ in the first place!
a. To have our sins forgiven, yes...
b. But then, that we might present ourselves to God and become what He wants us to be - LIKE HIS SON!
D. WE WILL NEVER FALL - 2 Pe 1:10
1. This does not mean we will never sin - cf. 1 Jn 1:8,10 
2. The word "fall" means "to fall into misery, become wretched, lose our salvation".
3. We will never fall so as to lose our salvation!
E. AN ENTRANCE INTO THE EVERLAST- ING KINGDOM" WILL BE ABUNDANTLY SUPPLIED - 2 Pe 1:11
1. This "everlasting kingdom" is likely the "heavenly kingdom" referred to by Paul in 2 Ti 4:18
2. In other words, the ultimate destiny of the redeemed!
3. What is meant by the idea of an "abundant entrance"?
a. "You may be able to enter, not as having escaped from a shipwreck, or from fire, but as it were in triumph."
b. By possessing the eight graces, we will be able to live victoriously in this life and to joyously anticipate what lies ahead - cf. 2 Ti 4:6-8
Which of these "graces" do we think we have developed best? In which are we most lacking? Are we making progress in the "knowledge of Jesus Christ"? If not, why begin now to do what is necessary to start making progress?