2 Peter 3:18 – But continue to grow and increase in God’s grace and intimacy with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May he receive all the glory both now and until the day eternity begins. Amen!
Christianity is a constant and active process in our lives. In other words, we are not complete when we are born again. Now don’t take this the wrong way, in God’s eyes we are absolutely perfect the first moment we are born again. From His perspective we are new creatures in Christ. In the practical everyday world there are lots of changes that will be going on. Peter said that Christian growth was a continual process. I like his words, “continue to grow in grace and intimacy”. By grace we are introduced into this new life and by grace we continue. We are being transformed day by day.
But how does this process happen? The Passion Translation uses the word intimacy (The NJKV says knowledge). Our intimate knowledge of Christ is how this change takes place. Here is how the Passion Notes describe this beautiful work of grace.
“The Aramaic does not use the imperative but makes it more of a decree: “You continue to be nourished in grace and in the intimate knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Messiah, and of God the Father.” Spiritual growth is yielding to the grace of God and having passion to know Jesus Christ intimately. In time, we grow into his beautiful image.”
So it is a combination of these two words, grace and intimacy, that holds the key to our growing up in Christ. The influence of God’s grace unveils the beauty, power, and majesty of Christ. What was once a concept or a theological belief now becomes an overwhelming awareness of the reality and love of God. That is what grace does in us. Our response is spontaneous, we are captivated by His magnificence. He is no longer a religious belief or even a miracle worker or teacher from long ago. He becomes altogether lovely to us. We are captivated by His word, in love with His presence, and passionate about His body (the local church). As we respond to His love day by day, we continue to grow in grace and intimacy. This is how we become more like Him in our journey, this is how we continue to grow up