Growth In Grace
2 Corinthians 1:15 (ESV) -- Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace.
Sanctification is a word tossed around in Christian conversations and churches. What does it mean? It’s the ongoing process of being sanctified, or made holy. If you would grant me to make up a word, it is the “holification” of the Christian. After we are born-again and justified through faith in Jesus, the rest of our lives is about becoming like what we’ve been declared. We’ve been declared holy and righteous through the finished work of Jesus. Now we grow in grace to become that in practice.
Our passage today touches on this reality. Paul writes to the church in Corinth, “Because I was sure of this, I wanted to come to you first, so that you might have a second experience of grace.” What does Paul mean by this “second experience of grace”? It could mean a few things. First, it could mean a next experience of the grace they experienced the last time he was with them. Paul’s presence undoubtedly helped them to grow in knowledge of the Lord and faith in Him. Second, it could mean the second step of their salvation. They were justified through faith in Jesus, now he wants them to experience the grace of continued growth. In some ways, it could be both of these ideas.
The experience of grace brings transformation in our lives. Many Christians understand and proclaim that it is by grace that we are saved. Salvation is the work of God. We confess it. But many fail to understand that ongoing discipleship and sanctification is a work of grace too. It is only by grace that we become more and more mature as believers. We do not begin by grace and continue through our own strength. It is grace through and through, beginning to end.
How do we get this grace of sanctification? We experience it through reading the Scriptures, prayer, involvement in church community, and putting off sin. As we engage in these disciplines, the grace of God supplies power to them. God sanctifies His people through these means. Seek Him today for more of His grace, and pray He continues to grow you in the faith.
Reflection & Journal:
- What does the term “growth in grace” signify?
- How does sanctification differ from justification?
- What are ways we grow in grace today as believers?
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