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Growth in Grace.

Growth in Grace.

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Published by glennpease
By DANIEL STEELE, D.D.

WE are exhorted to grow in grace and in
the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some
tell us that we find the true philosophy of
Christian growth by reversing this order, and
putting the knowledge of Christ first, as the
means of increasing in grace.
By DANIEL STEELE, D.D.

WE are exhorted to grow in grace and in
the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some
tell us that we find the true philosophy of
Christian growth by reversing this order, and
putting the knowledge of Christ first, as the
means of increasing in grace.

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Published by: glennpease on Jan 29, 2014
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GROWTH IN GRACE. By DANIEL STEELE, D.D. WE are exhorted to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Some tell us that we find the true philosophy of Christian growth by reversing this order, and putting the knowledge of Christ first, as the means of increasing in grace. But the order of the apostle — grace first and knowledge sec-ond — is the most philosophical. We grow in the knowledge of Christ through the heart, and not through the head. We do not know Jesus till we love him, and the more we love the more intimate our knowledge of him. The more we familiarize ourselves with the perfect character of Jesus, the more we shall admire him, just as by studying the works of Angelo we come to admire him the more. But admi-ration is not love. It kindles no furnace-glow in the affections ; it impels the soul onward through no losses and labors, self-denials and persecutions, to the martyr's stake. As the
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Growth in Grace. 331 character of Christ folds its splendors beneath the long and earnest gaze of the student, he may be growing esthetically by familiarity with so many moral beauties, and he may become more perfectly grounded in his theological beliefs respecting the Divinity of the man of Nazareth, and yet he may, in his own heart, be refusing to receive and to enthrone him as his rightful king. We advance a step further, and say that growth in grace, while accompanied by increas-ing power to abstain from actual sin, has no pow-er to annihilate the spirit of sin, commonly called original sin. The revelation of its indwelling is more and more perfect and appalling as we advance from conversion. Hence, in Calvin-istic writings especially, we find that the meas-ure of true piety is self-abhorrence. The more entire the consecration, the more vile in their
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own eyes do eminent saints appear. This standard of piety is a peculiarity of all the tru-ly devout souls who were taught to believe that there is no power to deliver from inborn depravity this side of the grave. To these persons a piety which is not self-loathing and self-condemning is as contradictory as a piety 332 Love Enthroned. which is not penitent. But the sinless Jesus exhibited the marvelous proof of an impenitent piety. May not they who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb stand forth, even on earth, as specimens of a piety which glorifies God without self-vilification ? Does God get the highest revenue of glory from us while we perpetually proclaim that the blood of Christ fails to reach the root of evil in our natures? If not, then the self-loathing style of piety, like that of David Brainerd in his early ministry, who saw so much corruption in
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