â€œBut grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.â€ (2 Peter 3:18)
These last words of the apostle Peter urge us to grow in each of two important phases of the Christian lifeâ€”grace and knowledge. Such growth into Him in all things (Ephesians 4:15) will indeed give glory to Him, now and forever.
When we first become Christians, we are newborn babes (Greek brephos, 1 Peter 2:2). Our spiritual birth has been by the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23) on the basis of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3).
As the Christian life began with the Word, it can only grow on the Word. â€œAs newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow therebyâ€ (1 Peter 2:2). Here, â€œof the wordâ€ is the Greek logikos, elsewhere used only in Romans 12:1, where it is translated â€œreasonable.â€ It is the source of our English word â€œlogical.â€ New Christians must feed on unadulterated, logical truth if they are to grow, and this can be found only in the Holy Scriptures.
There is another word used for babes: Greek nepios, â€œwithout speech.â€ This word is used for toddlers, old enough to walk but not yet able to speak plainly or to act unselfishly. It is used for â€œcarnalâ€ Christians. â€œI, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meatâ€ (1 Corinthians 3:1-2).
Carnality in Christians is arrested growth at the â€œbabes in Christâ€ stage and is clearly abnormal. Such stumbling, quarrelsome babes need to be fed with meat, as well as milk, if they are to grow: â€œFor every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babeâ€ (Hebrews 5:13). May the Lord enable us to grow in His grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! HMM