“Growth by Addition”

God not only saved us from something – our sins, but to something – Christlikeness. Becoming more like Christ is a process. The Biblical word for this process is sanctification which we also speak of in terms of spiritual growth. The Bible speaks of spiritual growth in a number of ways (Rom 8:29, 12:1-2; Phi 2:12-13; 1Timothy 4:7-8). In his second epistle, Peter writes of this growth in terms of addition (2Peter 1:1-11). One must first trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior before he can grow spiritually. Peter makes clear that faith in Christ unto salvation is a gift from God. We obtained it according to God’s gracious will (vs.1). Once God saves us by His grace, we are to be diligent to grow in His grace. By His grace, He has given us everything we need to be godly, and to live a life that pleases Him (vv.2-4), but we must be diligent to add to our faith the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love (vv. 5-7). When we are adding and growing in these godly characteristics, we will not only be fruitful but also experience the assurance of salvation (vv.8-11).