The Story: Growing as “partakers of the divine nature” (v. 4) is an ongoing, increasing adventure. But consistent growth in the Lord depends on increasing in the knowledge of God more and more. This is not just head knowledge – Bible knowledge or doctrine – although it involves that. This is relationship knowledge, encounter-the-glory-of-God knowledge, knowledge which is acquired through resorting to the Word of God and prayer, day by day, moment by moment. As the knowledge of God increases in us, our ability to exercise self-control will improve, until self-control – for example, in dealing with temptation – brings forth the fruit of steadfastness, and steadfastness matures, by degrees, into godliness. Here, with “godliness”, we come back to “partaking of God” and, hence, knowing Him better. This brings forth affection for our Christian brethren which, the more we nurture it, blossoms into real and genuine love. Love is the end of all our instruction in the Lord (1 Tim. 1.5).
The Structure: The Christian life is a dynamic way of life. There’s no standing still. There are no plateaus. We are called to press on, strive day by day, and increase in fruitfulness for the Lord. In a very real sense, the individual Christian life in this time of restoration should be a microcosm of the progress of the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. As those who know us see us growing in the knowledge of the Lord and fruitfulness in expressing His glory, they should understand that this is what God is doing everywhere in the world, growing and advancing His Kingdom like a precious, irresistible stone in the midst of the nations of the world (Dan. 2.44, 45).
Is your life a microcosm of the Kingdom? How could you begin, today, to know more consistent growth in knowing the Lord and showing Him to the people around you?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Getting on with the Life of Faith: 2 Peter 1,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.