Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus – 2 Peter 3:18

Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

2 Peter 3:18 NIV

Peter, in the extended passage ending here, is writing to believers about what is to come. And his primary concern in this passage is ensuring that, as believers, we are equipped for the attacks on our faith that we will face. Sometimes those attacks will be overt and obvious. But Peter’s bigger concern seems to be those attacks that come from within. From those who distort the Scriptures to their own ends and teach false doctrines. Peter’s concern is in preparing us to meet these threats and to have victory over them.

In verse 17 Peter tells us that we have been forewarned. If we have been paying attention, we should know that godless people, under the guise of being Christ followers, will seek to lead us astray. So, he says, be on your guard against them. The danger is great. The danger of falling from our secure position. However you understand this warning, one thing is clear. It is a warning to not be caught up in the error of those who themselves are on their way to destruction.

Growing in Grace and Knowledge

So how do we guard against this error? Peter’s admonition to us is to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The solution is not to study their error and learn how to combat it, although we should be aware of it. The solution is to become more and more deeply grounded in our faith.

Grace has to do with favor, in this case God’s favor. We need to grow in his favor by living in obedience to him and his word. It is not enough for us to read the Bible and participate in the rituals of our faith. Those we are being warned about also do that. Rather, we should, as dearly loved children, seek to imitate our heavenly Father in all we do (Eph. 5:1).

And we are to grow in the knowledge of Christ. Often we might see this as intellectual knowledge that I can gain by study. But I believe Peter is actually referring to growing in relational knowledge, coming to know our Lord on a deeper and more personal level. It is the difference between knowing about someone, and knowing them.

Growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus should be the constant goal of all believers. If we will do that, then everything else will fall into place. Want to be a better evangelist? Grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ. Want to be more effective in service? Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. Want to have deeper relationships with other believers? Then grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. Do you want to be secure in your faith? Then be growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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4 thoughts on “Grow in the Grace and Knowledge of Jesus – 2 Peter 3:18”

  1. You must be reading the NIV. My KJV uses two verses, 17 and 18 that states; “Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. 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.”

    Nevertheless, Paul also discoursed on this same subject (1 Corinthians 10:12). This is also the same word used by Paul in Gal. 2:13; and it was Peter and Barnabas, in that instance who were “carried away.“

    Peter’s characterization of the heretics in this verse shows clearly the antinomian nature of the false teaching. Those who held it viewed themselves as under no obligation whatever to any laws, maintaining indeed that no laws applied to them; sound familiar?

    Quite clearly, both grace and knowledge here are used objectively as progress that the Christian is expected to achieve through diligent application, study and worship. Some people understand the “grace” to be that which Christ bestows; but Peter insists on the knowledge of Christ as essential for growth in grace, which, of course, has been the subject of my posts today.

    “Beware” in 2 Peter 3:17 and “grow” in this, can be seen as the essence and theme of this whole epistle. BUT Beware, There are false teachers everywhere! A Call to progress’ has been sounded here; grow!

    However, it has been said that a second century forger could have dared end a letter upon such a unique note as this. However, is has been correctly concluded, This Petrine doxology cannot have been written after liturgical expressions had become in any degree stereotyped.

    The literal meaning of the words ”now and Forever” are rendered as, “until the day of eternity.” This teaches that eternity is a day without any night, a real and perpetual day. Augustine described the eternal day thus: “It is only one day, but an everlasting day, without yesterday to precede it, and without tomorrow to follow it; not brought forth by the natural sun, which shall exist no more, but by Father of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. (Revelation 21:23-25)

    These verses in Revelation put Christ as equal with His Father, the apostle John says that: (a) Christ is central and crucial; (b) Christ shares the glory of His Father, the eternal God; (c) Christ is to be glorified now; and (d) Christ is the glory of that eternal day which encompasses and fulfills all our days.

    This glorious epistle is a triumphant affirmation of a magnificent faith in Jesus Christ. Such a production is utterly beyond the power of any human being to forge. There are only a very few men who ever lived on earth who could have written a letter like this; and they are those apostles who heard Jesus Christ deliver the discourse recorded in Matt. 24. The entire epistle carries the inherent hallmarks of integrity, authenticity, yea more, the true “inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”

    Reply
    • Yes, I use the NIV. I used the KJV for many years, but find the NIV easier to read, and to share with others, without the archaic language of the KJV. And it is more reliant on older manuscripts than what were available when the KJV was translated.

      Grace, in the Bible, always has its source in God. Peter is talking about growing in the grace God provides. How do I do that? By living as much as possible according to the model set for me by Christ.

      Reply

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