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      In this V. Peter is telling us to Grow in Grace. In order for us to talk about growing in Grace we should ask ourselves again, “What is it?" Some have said that it’s God’s riches at Christ expense, others have said that it’s God’s unmerited favor, Bobbie Jean said that it’s the H.S.

      I. Look at ZEC 12:10

                  A. Who is the Spirit of Grace?

                              1. It’s no one other than the HS.

                              2. We have another V that is similar to (ZEC. 12:10) and that is HEB 10:29.

                                          a. Again it refers to the Spirit of Grace.

                  B. Grace is God’s unmerited favor, it’s also God’s riches at Christ expense; We have God’s grace because of what Jesus did on that cross, & it’s also God’s H.S., but it’s even more than that.

                              1. Grace it’s the very heart attitude of God which moves Him toward people.

                                          a. Because of God’s Grace, He is willing to be involved in your life and mine.

                              2. Grace is also the power active within the heart of the believer that works in him and empowers him to do God’s will.

                                          a. Giving him the strength and the ability to do what God wants us to do.

                                          b. Strong’s concordance says that the word “Grace” means “The divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life.” It also means, “benefit, favor, and gift.”

                              3. Grace does have to do with God’s H.S., God’s ability, and God’s power.

                                          a. That’s why the Lord said to Paul, “My GRACE is sufficient for thee.”

                                                      i. Let’s just take a look at that, 2CO 12:7-10

                                                      ii. In (V. 9), The Lord said, “My grace is sufficient (or enough) for thee.”

                                                      iii. When we allow the Grace of God to work in our lives, the power of Christ rests upon us.

                                                                  a. ACTS 1:8

                                                                  b. We can have that same power in our lives.

                                          c. Back in (2CO 12:10) Paul said, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”

                                                      i. When we allow ourselves to grow in Grace we are saying, “I can’t do it, but the H.S. in me can.”

                                                      ii. (PHI 4:13) Says, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (KJV)

                                          d. We should all want to grow in God’s grace.

                  C. Now, how are we going to grow in Grace?

                              1. Well, 1st of all you have to receive the knowledge of the Lord.

                                          a. In our opening V (2PE 3:18) it says, “But grow in grace, and {in} the knowledge of our Lord.”

                                                      i. Eph 2:8

                                                      ii. How did you get saved?

                                                                  a. 1st you heard about the Lord (you received knowledge about Him) that produced faith so that you could receive God’s goodness or you could say you received God’s grace to be saved.

                                          c. 2PE 2:19‑20

                                                      i. The part that I wanted you to see is the 1st part of V 20, “For if after they have escaped the pollution’s of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

                                                      ii. Doesn’t a person really escape the pollution’s (NIV says corruption) of the world through GOD’S GOODNESS or you could say that they escape the pollution’s (corruption) of the world through GOD’S GRACE.

                                                      iii. But how did that Grace come? Through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and by coming to the throne of Grace.

                                                                  a. (Hebrews 4:16) Says, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

                              2. What do you do to grow in God’s favor, in His blessings, in His Grace?

                                          a. Begin to study and meditate on God’s Word.

                                          b. Spend time with Him, in fellowship and in prayer.

      II. Now there are also some hindrances to growing in Grace.

                  A. GAL 5:7

                  B. Look at GAL 5:4

                              1. Notice that phrase, “Fallen from grace.”

                                          a. To fall from Grace is to allow God’s Grace to become null and void.

                                          b. It also means to trust in something else other than God’s ability.

                              2. The Phillips translation words this same V this way, “You put yourself outside the range of Grace.”

      III. It’s sad to say but, not all Christians are actually growing in Grace.

                  A. Many have gone backwards or regressed in their growth in Grace and in the Lord.

                  B. There are some hindrances that I’m going to share with you that might help you get back in the race and continue to grow in Grace.

                              1. The 1st hindrance is LIGHTNESS.

                                          a. In this age that were in everything seems to be so light. No body takes things seriously. (Catching venereal diseases, wars, drugs.)

                                                      i. People just don’t take them seriously any more. They make light of them. We’re living in an age of lightness.

                                          b. It seems that same spirit of lightness has crept into the church and into t lives of individual Christians.

                                                      i. Everyone likes light reading material, even Christian material is getting light.

                                                      ii. Lets get into the meat of God’s Word, lets get into the deep things of God.

                                                      iii. Lets find things that will feed our spirit.

                                          c. Another area of lightness which I feel is even more important, is that there is a spirit of irreverence in the churches today.

                                                      i. Taking the Spirit of God too lightly.

                                                      ii. PSA 46:10

                                                                  a. This V is talking about reverencing God.

                                                                  b. I think one of our biggest problems with irreverence is that no one has taught on it.

                                                      iii. 1COR 12:7‑11

                                                                  a. We all know that the gifts of the Spirit come from the Spirit of God.      They’re holy.

                                                                  b. But too many times we see people moving around when the Lord is giving a tongue and interpretation, or a prophesy. That’s irreverent.

                                          d. HEB 6:1-2

                                                      i. This is the doctrine of Christ and they are holy.

                                                      ii. The “laying on of hands” is holy, water baptism is holy.

                                                      iii. We sometimes take these things too lightly.

                              2. #2 Looseness

                                          a. According to the dictionary, “looseness” means, “with out order or connection, negligent, careless, unchaste, and unrestrained in behavior.”

                                                      i. Many in the body of Christ have LOOSENESS IN THOUGHT.

                                                      ii. That’s where sin begins. That’s where Christians get into trouble.

                                                      iii. (PHI 4:8) Says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things {are} honest, whatsoever things {are} just, whatsoever things {are} pure, whatsoever things {are} lovely, whatsoever things {are} of good report; if {there be} any virtue, and if {there be} any praise, think on these things.” (KJV)

                                          b. Many have Looseness in LIFE.

                                                      i. Especially in the area of morality.

                                                      ii. But that is also true in the area of all sin.

                                                      iii. If your in sin, you’re stuck in the mud.

                                                                  a. PSA 40:1‑3

                                                                  b. If you cry out to the Lord, He will pick you up & set you back on that firm foundation.

                              3. #3 LAZINESS or slothfulness

                                          a. Some Christians just do want to grow in Grace.

                                                      i. If that’s true the flesh dominates them.

                                                      ii. They’ll do whatever the flesh tells them to do.

                                          b. 1COR 9:27

                                                      i. The last ½ of (1CO 9:27) From the (ASV) says, “Lest by any means I myself should be rejected.”

                                                      ii. Paul kept his body under so that he would not be rejected by God.

                              4. #4 Lots of talking, too much talking.

                                          a. PRO 10:19

                                          b. That might not be too clear to you. The NIV says it this way, (PRO 10:19) “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.” (NIV)

                                                      i. (ECC 10:14) Tells us that, “A fool is known by the multiplicity of his words.”

                                          c. JAM 1:19

                                                      i. We need to be slow to speak.

                                                      ii. (ISA 40:31) Says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew {their} strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; {and} they shall walk, and not faint.”

                              5. #5 The 5th hindrance to growing in Grace is in trying to be like other people.

                                          a. Many times we try to be like someone else, maybe you’re trying to be like a T.V. star, Mr. Cool, Mr. Macho.

                                          b. 1JOHN 2:15

                                                      i. (JAM 4:4) Says, “Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (KJV)

                                                      ii. The biggest area where people fail, is when they try to be someone else.

      IV. Just be that person that God created and live the life that he has for you.

                  A. Jesus has given you an entrance to the throne of Grace to obtain all the strength and resources you need.

                              1. Enter by faith and receive from Him.

                                          a. If you have fallen from Grace, He is reaching out to pick you up.

7/29/90 SUN AM and WOLCC SUN AM 10/2/94

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