II PETER 3:18
A. Forgetting the Past. (Philippians 3:13,14) Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1. Past Failures.
2. Past Victories.
3. Past Goals for they are to grow to the Glory of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
B. Forgiving An Offense. (Ephesians 4:32) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
1. The Power of Kindness.
2. The Place of a Tender Heart.
3. The Peace of a Forgiving heart.
4. The Heavenly Example.
C. Forging ahead in Growth. (Hebrews 5:12-14) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
1. Suspending the Culture of the World. (Galatians 1:4) Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:
2. Depending on the Lord.
3. Feeding on the Word of God. (I Peter 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
D. Following Freedom and Liberty Wisely. (I Corinthians 8:9) But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. (Romans 14:7,8) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
1. Secure in Salvation. (Ephesians 1:13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.
2. Safe in Conversation – “Way of Living.” (Galatians 5:1) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
III. THE MEANS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
A. The Scriptures. (John 17:17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
1. Sanctification – Set apart to Holy Service to God.
2. The Truth Effectually Works In You. (I Thessalonians 2:13) For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
3. Milk to Meat. (I Peter 2:2) As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: (Hebrews 5:13,14) For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that aare of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
B. The Spirit.
1. Leading into all Truth. (John 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
2. Our Change by the Holy Spirit. (II Corinthians 3:18) But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
3. Our Walk. (Galatians 5:16-25)
III. THE MOTIVES OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH.
A. Acquiescence – means consent, agree.
1. Obedience and Grace. (Romans 1:5) By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
2. Graciously receive Christ and Walk. (Colossians 2:6) As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
B. Affection. (John 14:15) If ye love me, keep my commandments.
1. Love of the Saviour.
2. Love of His Blessings.
3. Love of His Answers to Prayer.