Text: 2 Peter 3:14-18 (NKJV)
14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation--as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
“Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NKJV)
Intro: “On Mission by the Sea Sharing Christ Love!”
Like any organization there must be growth to survive. Understanding that it is just as important for those who are members to experience personal growth. From the moment we enter this world until we take are last breath we are always trying to understand what is going on with all the things we deal with! I believe most of us pray that God will give us understanding as we face different experiences of life. I believe the average church never experiences the real joy of church and the fellowship that God intended for the Christian to experience. The Second objective under Ocean View Baptist Church mission statement is: “To increase knowledge and understanding of God’s Word in church and community.”
Application: God’s Grace gives you growth & understanding.
Understanding God’s Grace allows you to Grow Spiritually
1. Grow in Grace:
“I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing. 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.” 2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT)
The word translated “beware” means “be constantly guarding yourself.” Peter’s readers knew the truth, but he warned them that knowledge alone was not sufficient protection. They had to be on their guard; they had to be alert. It is easy for people who have a knowledge of the Bible to grow overconfident and to forget the warning, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” 1 Corinthians 10:12 (KJV)
As a church that wants to be on Mission by the Sea Sharing Christ Love we must continue to finds ways to keep our own fed and experiencing God the way He wanted the church to, that requires growing in His Grace.
True Christians cannot fall from salvation and be lost, but they can fall from their own “steadfastness.” The stability of the Christian comes from his faith in the Word of God, his knowledge of that Word, and his ability to use that Word in the practical decisions of life.
One of the great tragedies of evangelism is bringing “spiritual babies” into the world and then failing to feed them, nurture them, and help them develop. New believers need to be taught the basic doctrines of the Word of God; otherwise, they will be in danger of being “led away with the error of the lawless.” We must grow “in grace.” This has to do with Christian character traits, We were saved by grace: Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.”
But grace does not end there! We must also be strengthened by grace. Our God is “the God of all grace”, who “giveth grace unto the humble”. As we study His Word, we learn about the various aspects of grace that are available to us as children of God. There is grace for every situation and every challenge of life.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 That should be our testimony as well.
Growing in grace often means experiencing trials and even suffering. We never really experience the grace of God until we are at the end of our own resources. The lessons learned in the “school of grace” are always costly lessons, but they are worth it. To grow in grace means to become more like the Lord Jesus Christ, from whom we receive all the grace that we need.
Understanding God’s Grace allows you to grow in Knowledge
2. Grow in Knowledge:
We must also grow in knowledge. How easy it is to grow in knowledge but not in grace! All of us know far more of the Bible than we really live. Knowledge without grace is a terrible weapon, and grace without knowledge can be very shallow. But when we combine grace and knowledge, we have a marvelous tool for building our lives and for building the church.
We are challenged to grow, not just in knowledge of the Bible, as good as that is, but “in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” It is one thing to “know the Bible,” and quite another thing to know the Son of God, the central theme of the Bible.
It is the Holy Spirit of God who empowers and enables us to keep things in balance. Before Peter was filled with the Spirit, he was repeatedly going to extremes. He would bear witness to Christ one minute and then try to argue with the Lord the next! He refused to allow Jesus to wash his feet, and then he wanted to be washed all over! He promised to defend the Lord and even die with Him, yet he did not have the courage to own the Lord before a little servant girl! But when he was filled with the Spirit, Peter began to live a balanced life that avoided impulsive extremes.
The better we know Christ through the Word, the more we grow in grace; the more we grow in grace, the better we understand the Word of God. So, the separated Christian must constantly be guarding himself, lest he be led away into error; he also must be constantly growing in grace and knowledge. This requires diligence! It demands discipline and priorities. Nobody automatically drifts into spiritual growth and stability, but anybody can drift out of dedication and growth.
“For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it” Hebrews 2:1 NASB
Just as the boat needs the anchor, so the Christian needs the Word of God.
In : Sermon
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