Growth and Experience
1. HOW does the apostle Peter close his second epistle?
"But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ." 2 Peter 3:18.
2. How may grace and peace be multiplied in believers?
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God,
and of Jesus our Lord." 2 Peter 1:2.
3. What is implied in a knowledge of God and Jesus Christ?
"And this is
life eternal, that they might know Thee the only
true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." John 17:3.
4. By what may we be partakers of the divine nature?
"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises:
by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped
the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.
5. What graces are we to add in our character building?
"Add to your faith virtue [courage]; and to virtue
knowledge; and to
knowledge temperance [self-control]; and to temperance patience; and
to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to
brotherly kindness charity." Verses 5-7.
NOTES.-Faith is the first round in the Christian ladder, the
first step Godward. " He that cometh to God must believe."
But an inoperative faith is useless. "Faith without works is dead."
James 2:20. To be of value, there must be coupled with faith that
virtue, or courage of conviction, which impels to action.
To courage there needs to be added knowledge; otherwise, like the
stumbling Jews, one may have a zeal, "but not according to knowledge."
Rom. 10:2. Fanaticism is the result of such courage, or zeal.
Knowledge, therefore, is an essential to healthy Christian growth.
To knowledge there needs to be added temperance, or self-control-
self-government. See Acts 24:25, American Standard Version, and margin of Revised Version. To know to do good, and not do it, is as useless as is faith without works. See James 4:17. Instead of
the Twentieth Century New Testament invariably says self-control.
Patience naturally follows temperance. It is well-nigh impossible for an
intemperate person to be patient.
Having gained control of oneself, and become patient, one is in a
condition to manifest godliness, or God-likeness.
Having become godly, kindness toward the brethren, or brotherly kindness, naturally follows.
Charity, or love for all, even our enemies, is the crowning grace, the
highest step, the eighth round, in the Christian ladder.
The arrangement in this enumeration of graces is by no means accidental or haphazard, but logical and sequential, each following the
other in natural, necessary order. The finger of Inspiration is seen
6. What is said of charity in the Scriptures?
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; . . . thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not
in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth
all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things." 1 Cor. 13:4-7. "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for
shall cover the multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8. "Love covereth all
sins." Prov. 10:12.
7. What is charity called?
"And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness." Col. 3:14.
8. What is the result of cultivating these eight graces?
"For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall
neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
Christ." 2 Peter 1:8.
9. What is the condition of one who lacks these graces?
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and
hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Verse 9.
10. What is promised those who add grace to grace?
"If ye do these things, ye shall never fall." Verse 10.
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