“For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection; love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8
The Inevitability of Growth
Growth is an inherent law in every living thing that exists. Growth and progress are inevitable if anyone or society is to attain a desired level of fulfillment be it in any fora of life or as individuals. Anything that doesn’t grow is unproductive, simple, and plain.
Growth and the Physical Realm
In the physical realm, for anybody to be productive in society, one has to be born and grow from being a baby to an adolescent to an adult, learning in every stage of growth. The quality of information garnered through the growth process determines the quality of life and the impact we make in life, it determines our productivity overall in our families, businesses, careers, and otherwise. Anyone who doesn’t grow up to fulfill this trajectory is often referred to as an imbecile – a simple person or simpleton.
Growth and the Spiritual Realm
This same principle is true even in the spiritual realm. When we are born again, we pass from death to life and are made a new creation having nothing to do with the former man – for we have now the Spirit of God in us. When we are born again, we have the measure of faith, which is one of the basic tools we use. However, that measure of faith is not enough if we are to grow to the measure of the fullness of Jesus Christ whom we are called and predestined to conform to. Faith is the foundation on which we must build our edifice.
Spiritual Growth is Gradual
Our opening verse calls us to add to our faith goodness: and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection; love. Peter makes a very important statement “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8. Spiritual growth takes time and is gradual and in increasing measure.
The Substance of Spiritual Growth
Yes, we are born of God and have His Spirit beaming in us; we have His nature-love. When we talk about the Love of God, it is light years different from the love we exhibit as humans. The God-kind of love is something we have to grow into and have to be taught by through His Word and the Holy Spirit. It is only when we comprehend the full dimensions of God’s kind of love that we can be “…filled with all the fullness of God” Ephesians 3:19 and become productive in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Love the God-way is the substance.
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