in process

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Yesterday I was eloquently reminded of the importance of embracing the process of growth through our participation in the divine nature in and through Christ. How certain qualities need to be growing from our faith. How we are accountable for this.

All too often we miss this through poor teaching, or lack of teaching. We tend to think according to what we’ve been taught (or because we’re not taught) that when we come to Christ for salvation, we have it. Or that we simply need a second blessing and maybe a number of second blessings. All such thoughts likely take in partial truths but fall short of the real truth of the matter.

The Apostle Peter in his second letter tells us something quite different. He challenges us, indeed presses us to realize we are in process, a process of growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And that to be engaged in this process is absolutely necessary to our ongoing life in God through Christ. That in fact to fail to do so is to imperil us, even in the matter of our salvation. A careful reading of the entire letter will help make that clear.

The world talks about the grieving process, and there’s at least surely a lot of truth in it. People need to be allowed to work through it. And so it is true with us in Jesus. We too need to work through the process of being true disciples, bearing much fruit. We must be adding to our faith: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection and love.

We can’t escape it: we’re works in process. The ongoing goal for us is continued growth. We can’t be content with yesterday or today’s gains, even though we should be thankful. We must go on. If we have the light needed from God we’ll see enough to know that. And God has a way of bringing in some really hard lessons through life, to get our attention. The more we embrace this process ourselves, the more likely we can do well, not only making our own calling and election sure, but our lives in and through Jesus truly making a difference in this world through helping others.