Growth in Grace

Day 11 - April 3 / Pastor Scott Winchester

Colossians 2:19

“…holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.”

In Colossians 2:16-23, the apostle Paul is warning the church in Colossae not to give in to those who are trying to elevate human traditions, regulations, or practices above the true worship of God. As he is wont to do in his discourse on such things, he inserts an important truth about God: Jesus is “the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God” (Col. 2:19).

The church as Christ’s body, in which he is the head, is an important biblical metaphor. Paul adds to this picture by telling his audience that a body grows. We know this truth from nature of course, but what does it look like to spiritually grow? Well, this is part of what we call sanctification, which the Westminster Shorter Catechism defines as “the work of God’s free grace, whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness.” Notice the progressive language there; that we are enabled “more and more.” When God’s grace reaches down to save us, it is the same grace which will work throughout the rest of our lives to change us. Christians should be ever moving forward toward the image of Christ. Some will move “slower” and some will move “faster.” Some will have longer seasons of “victory” than others. But sanctification is another fruit of our union with Christ, which means God will accomplish it.

But unlike justification or adoption, man is conscious of, and involved in, this work. It requires diligence, reflection, supplication, confession, and repentance, among other things. It means that we must make the right use of all of God’s ordinances, including the reading and study of his Word, observing the sacraments, and going to him in prayer. Just remember that God gives more grace, and his riches are uncountable. Don’t gloss over this truth! God is ready to supply our needs, but in the epistle of James we’re told that we do not have because we do not ask. So ask, and do not cease asking.

Meditate on this beautiful verse as a final thought: “But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day” (Pro. 4:18).
Prayer Points:
  • Praise God that he is the standard for holiness and righteousness
  • Confess any sense that you’re “good enough” in your walk with Christ, and commit to diligence in the use of God’s means of grace
  • Give God thanks that he has ordained not only the means to our holiness, but the ends as well. He will finish the work he has started in us!
  • Ask God to increase your love for him as you also ask him for the will to press on

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