But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

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CHRISTIANS EXHORTED TO STRIVE FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH

Not to grow is to remain in your sin and pollution. Would you who have been washed in the blood of Christ, have become partakers of the spirit of sanctification, are the children of God, have become the bride of the holy Jesus – will you continue in your sorrow and remain in your pollution? Oh, let it not be thus! Be no longer disobedient to God your Father. Disentangle yourself from the bondage of pollution, expel sin, and flee from it. The more you grow, the more you will distance yourself from sin; and the more you distance yourself from sin, the more you will grow.

The more one grows, the more the image of God will become manifest, and the more likeness to God there will be – for that is the perfection held before us. You already do grieve, however, that you are so far from God, and with all your desire you long to be near to God. It is your only and all-satisfying comfort to live in blessed communion with God. Of all this there is a small beginning in you and there is the certainty that this suggested perfection is to be attained. Would you not then pursue that which you love so much; would you not then make this your objective and endeavor to come closer to achieving this? Yes, it has already been prepared for you and God stands ready to give it to you. He holds it, so to speak, in His hand and calls you but to come in order that what is behind you and “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

The more one grows, the more pleasing he will be to God. A father is delighted when his children grow, and one rejoices when he observes the growth of trees he has planted. Since, however, God takes pleasure in the growth of His children, having regenerated them by his will and according to the Word of His truth, and since He delights Himself in the garden and the trees which He himself has planted there, should we then not endeavor to be pleasing unto the Lord and to become “His pleasant plant” (Isa 5:7)?

God is glorified by our growth, for therein it becomes apparent that He is neither a barren nor a howling wilderness to His children, but that He is good, benevolent, faithful, holy, and omnipotent. The Lord will grant many comforts to those who grow, so that they will find much delight and joy in their growth.

Wilhelmus A. Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service Vol. 4


REASONS WHY BELIEVERS DO NOT GROW AS MUCH AS THEY OUGHT

Fourthly, world conformity enters the picture here. Believers still have a desire for the things of the world under the cover and pretense that they are lawful, necessary, and fitting – even though the real motive is love for the world. The world and the spirit are enemies, and the one is always intent on expelling the other; they are a mutual impediment to each other, and therefore we must either fully yield to the world, or must yield fully and entirely to grace. As long as we halt between two opinions, and as long as we attempt to join together Christ and Belial, so long shall we make no progress. A bird which as been fastened to the earth will fall back to the earth when it wants to fly upward. Thus, he who wishes to fly heavenward must divorce himself from the world.

Wilhelmus A. Brakel, A Christian’s Reasonable Service Vol 4


The Fourth Commandment

But, sir, is the bare observing and doing of these things sufficient for keeping of this commandment perfectly?

Oh no! The first commandment must be understood in all the rest, that is, the obedience to the first commandment must be the motive and final cause of our obedience to the rest of the commandments, otherwise it is not the worship of God, but hypocrisy, as I touched before; wherefore, neighbour Nomologista, though you have done all the duties the Lord requires in this commandment, and avoided all the sins which he forbids, yet, if all this has been from such grounds, and to such ends, as I told you of in the conclusion of the second commandment, and not for the love you bear to God, and the desire you have to please him, you come short of keeping this commandment perfectly.

 

Edward Fisher, The Marrow of Modern Divinity


Matthew Henry’s Method for Prayer

Having ascribed glory to God, which is his due, Psalm 29:2 we must next take shame to ourselves, which is our due, and humble ourselves before him in the sense of our own sinfulness and vileness; and herein also we must give glory to him, Joshua 7:19 as our Judge, by whom we deserve to be condemned, and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and absolved.

In this part of our work, we must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God and to be ashamed of ourselves when we come into his presence and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness and obnoxious to his justice.