"Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:5-8
HOW many Christian professors limit their spiritual knowledge to the first elements of truth! They seem never to pass beyond the alphabet of the gospel. But if we desire the advancement of the Divine life within us, we must know more of Jesus—we must discern more beauty in our Beloved—we must see more of the glory of our Incarnate God—we must know more of the love and grace of the Father in the gift of His dear Son—we must, in a word, grow in the knowledge of God and of Christ. Thus the soul will be established. Every step within the great sanctuary of truth will confirm the believing heart in the divinity and the vastness, the riches and the glory, of its treasures. That no such affluence of wisdom and knowledge, and truth and holiness, could flow from any other source than Deity, would be a reflection disarming every assault upon the faith of the Christian of its virulence and power. There can be no real establishment apart from growth in spiritual knowledge. Oh seek to be rooted and grounded in the faith! Do not be always a babe in knowledge, a mere dwarf in understanding, but go forward in the use of all God's ordained means of faith, until you "come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."
And overlook not your individual responsibility in this matter of establishment. The Christian is here cast upon his own endeavor. He is to rouse himself to the great task; to labor as though the achievement of that task were of a power solely his own. "Work out your oven salvation"—"It is God that works in you"—are words which at once link human accountability and individual responsibility with Divine power and accomplishment. Let every Christian professor feel that God has given him this work to do—that he is responsible for its being done and that all grace is laid up in Jesus for its performance, and the church of God would go forth in the great work of her Head, "fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners." Christian reader, persevere! Angels whisper—persevere! Saints, bending from their thrones in glory, whisper—persevere! God bids you—persevere! The Holy Spirit earnestly speaks—"Be you steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."