But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever.” II Peter 3:17, 18.
To grow means something is increasing or developing in size by a natural process. Growing in grace is allowing the Divine influence to work upon the heart, which then reflects in the life. Changes will take place in conversation, appearance and lifestyle. These changes will not be seen all at once, but continue to develop by a natural process. As more time is spent with God in His word, the heart is changed.
The promise given in Ezekiel 36:26, 27 says, “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.”
“In giving us the privilege of studying His word, the Lord has set before us a rich banquet. Many are the benefits derived from feasting on His word, which is represented by Him as His flesh and blood, His spirit and life. By partaking of this word our spiritual strength is increased; we grow in grace and in a knowledge of the truth. Habits of self-control are formed and strengthened. The infirmities of childhood—fretfulness, willfulness, selfishness, hasty words, passionate acts—disappear, and in their place are developed the graces of Christian manhood and womanhood.” Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students, 207.
While we are growing in grace we will be steadfast in the faith and moving forward. We will be living by every word of God and not returning to the old ways.
“Remember that you are daily weaving for yourself a web of habits. If these habits are according to the Bible rule, you are going every day in steps heavenward, growing in grace and the knowledge of the truth; and like Daniel, God will give you wisdom as He gave to him.” The Youth’s Instructor, August 25, 1886.
The life of those who cease to grow in grace and knowledge wither away and lose their connection with God. This falling away is reflected in returning to their old lifestyle.
“My brother, you have not been as God planned you should be—growing up into the full stature of a man in Christ Jesus. … You have ceased to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Do you not realize that you have lost your vital connection with God? Unless the matter is opened before you, you cannot now see the great good you might have accomplished had you kept in vital touch with God.” Manuscript Releases, vol. 3, 204.
We also grow by being tested. “Trials come to him; for unless thus tested, he would never know his lack of wisdom and experience. But if he seeks the Lord with humility and trust, every trial will work for his good. He may sometimes seem to fail, but his apparent failure may be God’s way of bringing him true advancement, and may mean a better knowledge of himself and a firmer trust in Heaven. He may still make mistakes, but he learns not to repeat these mistakes. He becomes stronger to resist evil, and others reap benefit from his example.” Gospel Workers, 142.
Just remember that growing in grace is a continuing process, one day at a time.