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Growth in Grace.

Growth in Grace.

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"Bnt grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ" — 2 Peteb, iii. 18.

"Bnt grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ" — 2 Peteb, iii. 18.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 26, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GROWTH I GRACE.BY CHARLES H. SPURGEO"Bnt grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ" — 2 Peteb, iii. 18.If you will remark, this passage follows immediately the seven-teenth verse, where the Apostle says, " Beloved, seeing ye knowthese things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with theerror of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness ; but growin grace." He puts the one after the other, as if the one mustbe the means of the other. There had been some in the Apostle'sdays who had wrested certain hard expressions in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul, and had wrested them to their own destruc-tion ; and, therefore, the Apostle warns Christian men — ^he warnsthe beloved sons and daughters of God — to take heed, lest they" be led away by the error of the wicked," and so " fall from "their " steadfastness." An4 in order that they may know how tostand, and to be preserved from falling, he gives them this direc-tion : " Grow in grace ;" for the way to stand is to grow ; theway to be steadfast is to go forward. There is no standing exceptby progression. If you see a simple thing rolling along yourfloor at home, it will always stand upright as long as it rolls ;but when it stops, down it goes. So with the Christian, Asong as he is in motion, so long he stands ; but if it were pos-ible for the heavenly motion to cease, then the Christian wouldfall from his steadfastness. Glory be to God ; he will be kept,and shall be presented faultless before the throne of God. Theway to stand, then, is to go forward ; the way to be steadfast is toprogress ; the way still to be alive, according to the Apostle, isto ^^ grow in grace, and iu the knowledge of our Lord and SaviourJeaus CbrisU"820 OROWTH I QBACS.We will offer, first of all, two or three remarks upon growthin " grace " in general ; and, secondly, a few remarks upon growthin grace being intimately connected with the growth "in theknowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."I. First, then, we shall offer some remarks upon growth " ingrace" in general. What shall we say about it ?
The first remark we make is, that there is a sense in whichhere is no such thing at all as growth in grace. If you underfitand the word grace as signifying free favor, and the love of God towards his people, there is not, and there cannot be, anygrowth in that at all. The moment a sinner believes, and trustsin his crucified God, he is, in the grace of God, then justified andcomplete in Jesus. And if he lives till his hair is gray, he willnever be more justified, and never be more beloved, than he isthe very first moment in which he believes in God. As soon asever I have a vital communion with the Lamb, I am in grace.Let me live on, let my grace grow, let my faith increase, let myzeal become warmer, let my love be more ardent, yet I shall notbe more in grace than I was before. God will not love me more ;he will not have a deeper and purer affection in his heart to methen than he has the very first moment when I turn to him ; norwill his grace the less justify me, or less accept me, the first mo-ment when I come to him with all my sins about me, then it shalldo when I stand before the throne. We never grow in the grace of election. We are always elect according to the foreknowledgeof God the Father ; and in that sense of grace there is neithergrowth nor retrograde. So also in the matter of justification."In union with the Lamb,From condemnation free^The saints for ever were,And shall for ever be."And they are at all times as much justified as they are at anyother time. Give me to-day to be justified — ^to-morrow I shallbe justified ; yesterday I was. As soon as I put my trust in thoSaviour, I became complete in grace, so far as that was cv>n-cerned ; perfect in Christ Jesus. I cannot be more than perfect.I^d, therefore, I caanot grow in grace in that respect; I cannotGROWTH I GRAOB. S2lreceive more justifying mercy ; I cannot receive more pardoninggrace ; for I have had it all at once, and have so br^me perfectm Christ.But you will remark our text does not say any thing aboutgrace growing ; it does not say that grace grows. It tells us to" gn3w in grace." There is a vast difference between grace grow-ing and our growing in grace. God's grace never grows ; it isalways infinite, it cannot be more, — it is always everlasting ; it
is always bottomless ; it is always shoreless. It cannot be more ;it could not in the nature of God be less. The text tells us togrow in grace. We are in the sea of God's grace. We cannotbe in a deeper sea ; but let us grow now we are in it. We can«not be more in it than we are, than we always have been. We,are in God's g^iftg^; we are in the covenant; we are in thescheme of redemption ; we are in union with Jesus ; we cannotbe more or less so, for we are secure through the blood of ourSaviour. But while we cannot grow more in it, and it cannotgrow more, we can " grow in grace."I must make another remark. It is certain that while the graceof God toward us does not grow^ yet there is such a thing as the cfe-velopment of grace. There are some persons who object much toprogressive sanctification, and to any thing like growth in grace.My brethren are welcome to object if they like, but I am sure if they read the Script ure§ (they will not object surely to Scripturalterms), they will find growth in grace very frequently mentioned ;if that does not mean something of progressive sanctification,then I do not understand the term "growth in grace" at all. Itis quite certain there are degrees of the development of grace.You will not say the young man who has been converted but thelast few months knows as much of grace, understands as much,has as much faith and as much love, as the man who has for thelist twenty or thirty years stood in his Master's service. Youwill not tell me that one man who is scarcely ever seen comingup to the house of God, who is in a daily state of religious starvation, stands on a par in grace with a man who is laboring forhis Master, whose love is evident to all, and whose faith is testi-fied before the whole congregation. You will not tell me thereb a dead level in Christianity. If you tell me so, I tell you that14»822 OBOWTH I GBACX.you have no eyes, or that you do not look about you. For it iscertain there are some farther advanced than others ; some withgreater faith than others have. There are " great faiths " as wellas " little faiths," great loves as well as little loves ; there aremen of ardent spirits who have grace more developed in themthan others. It is true, they are not more loved of God thanothers, not more justified, nor more accepted, for in that we alstand on a level, and there is no diiference ; but as to the deveopment of grace and the display of grace in our souls, every o? omust admit that there is a difference between different saints. I

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