A man who dives for exotic fish for aquariums said one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark.
He explained that if you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium.
Sharks can be 7 inches long yet fully matured.
But, if you turn them loose in the ocean, they grow to their normal length of 8 feet.
This can happen to believers who are confined by their flesh or legalism.
Christians who seek to grow spiritually by their own strength or by legalism will be confined in a little aquarium growing only to 6 inches, so to speak.
But, if we are turned loose in the ocean of Christ’s Grace, we can grow “big” in Christ.
2 Peter 3:18 says:
“grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Literally this can be translated:
“but be constantly growing in the sphere of grace and an experiential knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
We are to be constantly growing, not growing “in spurts.”
We see from this verse that we grow in the sphere of grace, which means we come to the end of our own resources and learn how to live out of the unlimited resources of Jesus Christ.
We must not only grow in grace, but in “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The two must go together.
To grow in knowledge without grace is only intellectual knowledge and not knowledge that is applied to life.
The knowledge we are challenged to grow in is not just knowledge of the Bible, even though that is needed, but also in the “knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
The object of our knowledge is Jesus Christ.
The word knowledge is applied knowledge or intimate knowledge.
We are to be deepening our intimate relationship with Christ.
It is one thing to “know the Bible” and another thing to know the Jesus Christ of the Bible. He is the central theme of the entire Bible.
The better we know Christ intimately through the Word, the more we grow in grace; and the more we grow in grace, the better we will understand the Word.
When rescuers were finally able to pull a middle-aged man from the wreckage of a horrible car accident, he was taken to a nearby hospital.
But it soon became apparent that he would die.
As the chaplain comforted him, the man, who was a Christian, exclaimed, “As I look squarely at eternity, I realize now just how much I wasted my life on things that don’t matter.”
What really matters is our growth in Christ!
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries