Growth Or Stagnation

By Don Givens

Growth is essential among healthy plants, animals, and humans. A lack of growth and proper development in our children, for example, is a grave cause of concern. By far the most important growth is spiritual. Its value and consequences far outweigh any other type of growth.

There are no “spiritual plateaus” which a person may reach and rightly say, “I have arrived. . . I need grow no more.” To stop growing in Christ is to stagnate. To stagnate is to begin decay. To stay in the process of decay is to rot, and to rot spiritually is to die and be eternally lost.

By means of adding the virtues of such characteristics as listed in 2 Peter 1:1-11 we “partake of the divine nature” and become participants in the very attributes of the Lord.

We must, as faithful disciples, “work out our own salvation” (Phil. 2:12,13) and crucify the flesh (Gal.(Rom. 12:1,2).

5:22-24). This must be done with diligence, bending every energy to become more Christlike.

In the Christian’s life there must be a steady moral advance; it must not be just “initial spasm” followed by “chronic inactivity.”

Diligence is literally: “haste, earnestness, zeal, and application.” No exertion must be spared to “cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).

As pilgrims in the midst of a perverse generation, we must manifest a strong energetic faith; a faith that is able to overcome the world (1 John 5:4). It matters not whether we live in the “Bible belt,” a large metropolis, a rural village, or the islands of the Pacific, it takes courage to say “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Rom. 1: 16) and it demands even more courage to live a life that proves the statement of our lips.

Our faith must produce virtue, manliness, vigor, or spiritual energy. This includes the courage to honestly confess Jesus before all classes of men, and the strength to be different from the world, not just because we desire to be “oddballs,” but because we live on a higher plane

Being grateful that we have “all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3) may each of us strive to grow in grace and knowledge and partake more and more of His divine nature.

Guardian of Truth XXIX: 24, p. 741
December 19, 1985