"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." -- 2 Peter 3:18
Growth is the sure mark of life. We see this in vegetation, in the animal creation, in the growth of our own bodies, and of every other thing in which there is life. Where, then, there is the life of God in the soul, there will be a growth in that life. Paul says to the Thessalonian Church: "We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly" (2 Thess. 1:3); and Peter says, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." There is "an increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10), and "a coming in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:13). It was for this increasing knowledge of the Son of God that Paul stretched every desire of his soul when he followed after, if that he might apprehend that for which also he was apprehended of Christ Jesus; and thus reaching forth unto those things which were before, he pressed toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:12-14). This is not what is called progressive sanctification, as if the flesh got holier and holier, for that is still ever "the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;" but this is a growth of that "new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." After this growth in grace, this closer conformity to the image of Christ, should we ever be striving with all the powers of our soul; not satisfied with a low and lean state before God, but with unceasing prayer and supplication, begging of the Lord that we might be "filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that we might walk worthy of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:9, 10). – J.C. Philpot
He Is Not Ashamed To Call Them Brethren
This has to be one of the most blessed verses that a sorry, saved sinner can hear; that the Lord of Glory is not ashamed to call us brethren. O’ how ashamed we are of ourselves. As the Lord said through Ezekiel, after hearing of all that the Lord has and will do for us, “ye shall remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations”(Ezek.36:31). And yet, the Lord God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is not ashamed of those He died for; not ashamed of them, though they have shamefully sinned against Him and will do so again; nevertheless, He is not ashamed of them, for He knows their frame; He knows their hearts; He knows their spirits are willing but their flesh is weak. He knows they believe Him (He gave them the faith) though they often act and speak like they don’t. He knows they love Him (He gave them that love) though they sometimes act and speak like they don’t. He knows them, like a Father knows His child, like a brother knows His kin, like a husband knows His wife. He knows them better than they know themselves and so He is not ashamed to call them brethren. We can’t help but think of Joseph, when He revealed himself to his brethren; those sorry brothers who hated him, sold him, and forgot about him. But Joseph never forgot about them, and when the Lord brought them into Joseph’s hands, to do with them as he pleased, Joseph (a type of Christ), was not ashamed to own them as his brethren. Some of his first words to them were, “I am Joseph your brother”. . . And the fame thereof (Joseph was famous for love and mercy) was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brethren are come” (Gen.45:4,16).
What a loving, merciful, longsuffering, kind, compassionate, patient and understanding Elder Brother we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. O’ how we ought to fear sinning against such love; fear doing anything to put Him to shame. But if and when we do, what hope and comfort it will give us in knowing that “He is not ashamed to call them brethren” and none who put their trust in Him will ever be put to shame; they will never be disowned by Him, for He abideth faithful.
Christ And Him Crucified– 1 Cor.2:2
Paul said he was determined to know nothing . . .save Christ AND Him crucified. Paul knew many things and dealt with many things, but in the matter of man’s salvation, the one thing is to know Christ . . . and Him crucified. Many know about Him but don’t know Him. Many admire His person, but to really know Him, is to know Him crucified. Do You? Go learn this!