(2 Peter 3:18) “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.”
(Romans 5:1-5) “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
You might think that if we have peace with God and are in his grace then we would have peace here in this world and have an easy life. If you think that, you are wrong.
Romans chapter 5 tells us that when we are justified by faith, we have peace with God, and by faith, we have access to the grace of God. The grace of God means the state of God’s favor. When one is in grace, it means God treats him better than he deserves.
By faith in God, we have been justified even though we do not deserve it. By faith, we have peace with God. We do not deserve to be justified because we are guilty. We do not deserve to have peace with God, for we are His enemies.
But God has justified and has made peace with us, because of what God did through the death of His Son. And all He asks of us is that we believe in His Son.
When we are in the grace of God, we stand, and we have hope. The hope that Paul is talking about is that we are sure that God will fulfill his promises. When we have this kind of hope, we should rejoice in it. Not only rejoice in this hope but we ought to glory in it too.
Now Peter tells us that we not only can live in grace, but we can also grow in grace. It seems that one can be given more and more grace. Peter tells us to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. When Peter tells us to grow in grace, he also tells us to study the writings of Paul. (2 Peter 3:15)
To grow in grace, we need to know more about the Lord Jesus Christ by faith. We know Him by faith, but there seems to be a process of growing in grace that will go on as we live. Paul describes this process starting in verse three.
This process starts with hope, and it ends with hope. This process we ought to glory in. (Romans 5:3-4) “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
When we have faith in Jesus, we are in the grace of God, and because we are in His grace, we have hope. Then we will have tribulation. This will work in us patience which is endurance that is the ability to stay with something and not give up.
And because we have tribulation and we endure, it will give us experience or character. Experience is the way we learn. The thing that we learn about God when we have tribulation is that we can trust God to keep his promises. That will give us hope. (Romans 5:5) “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”
Hope is an important word. It is more important than I can do justice to in the few words I have left. All I am going to say is that it is the thing that we must have to have salvation and to be able to live the saved life.
*Devotional written by Ralph Williams, retired pastor and member of One Hope Mobile.