* “THE SECRET OF GRACE IS IN ITS GROWING. (Like Leaven)(As a young plant)(It’s the nature of grace to grow.)(No limit or law on how much saturation, or growth.)(“It is for the sheer joy of it, the feeling of fulfillment, the fruit that is just natural to it.”)
* Orange trees bear oranges – joyfully/willingly/ gladly – Not their TASK – it is their NATURE – THE MORE THEY GROW, THE LARGER THEIR CAPACITY. They have no goals, no programs, FOR IT IS “FRUIT-BEARING” NOT WORK-DOING.”
* John 15:1-8
* Charles Hodge “Use your imagination. Imagine a cornstalk. COMMAND this cornstalk to make corn. It cannot! A CORN STALK CANNOT MAKE CORN! Only God can make corn. He bears corn on a cornstalk. This is fruit – not works. It is INTAKE not OUTPUT. A cornstalk of itself, cannot manufacture corn. A cornstalk will produce in direct proportion to what it has brought in. This is a simple LAW of nature – INTAKE DETERMINES OUTPUT. The cornstalk brings in to put out. A cornstalk needs soil, water, sun and minerals. The more the better. You do not blame the cornstalk during a drought. No farmer is angered with a cornstalk during bad conditions. The cornstalk is at the mercy of intake. Put it in and nature will put it out. So simple!” (“Amazing Grace”, 20th Century Christian Foundation, pg. 61).
1. COLOSSIANS – GROW IN GRACE
(Apply what has been learned!)
A. Vs. 1-4 “Raised with Christ” –
1.) “Set” New focus/goals/aim
2.) “For you died” (attended your own funeral) – Hidden in Christ – BOXES
B. Paul reasons this way, YOU HAVE DIED TO SIN… RAISED UP WITH CHRIST…
NOW SEEK/SET YOUR HEARTS (DESIRES) ON THINGS ETERNAL. YOU
MUST PLOW THE GROUND BEFORE YOU PLANT THE SEED. MUST WEED
AS PLANT GROWS!
1.) Notice the BALANCE in Paul’s reasoning vs. 5-9
2.) “Put to death” – An encouragement to keep on doing what was done at
C. How does this phrase make since here… “INTAKE DETERMINES OUTPUT”.
1.) Conversion is not MORAL REFORMATION (based on will power) IT IS
a.) Luke 3:15-17; John 3:3-5; 7:37-39; Titus 3:5-7 cf NIV and KJV
E. Vs. 12-15 – (Put on) the new ways
1.) cf. Philippians 2:12f; 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace and knowledge”
(“IN-TAKE DETERMINES OUT-PUT”)
2. GALATIANS – GROW IN GRACE
A. Galatians 5:22-24
1.) Paul did not say, ‘Grow in church attendance’, ‘grow in taking the Lord’s
Supper’, ‘grow in adding more busses’, ‘grow by adding more elders or
deacons’, ‘grow in having a larger number in Bible study’, or ‘grow in meeting
you budget’… On and on we go with a list of DOING THINGS (none of which
are wrong within themselves nor should be opposed or discouraged). THESE
ARE NOT GRACES so much as they are duties and jobs, and organizations,
AND THE RESULTS OF GROWING IN GRACE.
B. The forgotten FIRST COMMAND (and second) Love God/Love others as self.
1.) Division is not the product of growing in grace… it is the result of growing in
2.) Teach the truth of baptism and Lord’s Supper – but these can be done w/o
growing in grace.
C. 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace and knowledge”
3. PETER – “GROW IN GRACE”
A. Graceless Simon – the worst disciple
1.) Said/did wrong thing (foot in mouth)
2.) If Simon can make it… anyone can make it.
B. Simon was converted
1.) First gospel sermon – Acts 2:14-40
2.) Cornelius – Acts 10
3.) Simon grew in grace and knowledge of the Lord.
C. 2 Peter 1:3-10 Read
D. Is this the same Peter
1.) Luke 5:8 “Get away from me Lord, for you don’t know how many sins I’ve
2.) Matthew 17:4 “Let’s build three tabernacles, one for you, one for Moses and
one for Elijah.”
3.) Matthew 16:22 “No Lord, you are not going to the cross!”
4.) John 18 “I don’t know the man!!!”
E. YES, this is the same man… but NOT the same man….
1.) He grew and grew and grew and grew in grace….
F. Peter’s encouragement, “Grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Grace as opposed to law/works… simply enables and promotes the growth which many leaders are seeking in their congregations. The problem seems to be in the way leaders and preachers are going about trying to get their congregation to grow.
Grace is a motivator, liberator, and encourager… whereas law/works (check-list system) and the resulting efforts at ‘perfect performance’ and guilt for failure…does not promote growth. Growth will come as Christians grow in grace…. the results will be with joy, and love, and will be the natural fruit of the Spirit who lives within each and every Christian… This in turn will promote unity in the body of Christ.