The God Who Can Be Known (Part 2) – Gospel in Life

The God Who Can Be Known (Part 2)

Tim Keller |  December 5, 2010

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  • Discipleship and Spiritual Growth
2 Peter 1:1-9
RS 326-04


It’s not enough to just know about God— we must actually know him. One of the marks that you know God is spiritual growth: when the Holy Spirit comes into your life, it is going to change you. That means there are no excuses for Christians not having a changed life. In this passage, there are four things we can learn about spiritual growth— spiritual growth is 1) Possible; 2) Vital; 3) Gradual; and 4) Memorable.

2 Peter 1:1–9

Peter’s letter is all about knowing God personally, not just knowing facts about Him. 2 Peter tells us the importance of spiritual growth, which shows us that we have a real relationship with God. It encourages us to know more about Jesus, which in turn increases God’s grace and peace in us. The goal is to continuously grow in our understanding and experience of Jesus’ grace.

1. Possible

As someone who directly knew Jesus, Peter talks about how the gospel can change us. He experienced this change firsthand – he saw Jesus’ transfiguration, received His forgiveness, and was healed by Him. He tells us that our faith is just as powerful as his was, no matter how close or far away we feel from Jesus. The gospel’s promises enable us to share in the divine nature, and the Holy Spirit brings about dramatic change, providing everything we need to live a godly life.

2. Vital

Peter uses the idea of natural growth to describe becoming a Christian. This isn’t a mechanical process, but a multiplication from within. Being a Christian isn’t just about being a good, religious person, it’s about real growth that comes from a new life inside us. This growth results in qualities like love, patience, and self-control. It’s not about trying harder to be good, but about a change of heart and identity that moves us from just doing religious things to truly growing spiritually.

3. Gradual

Spiritual growth takes time and work, like a baby growing or a seed sprouting. It’s like a magical acorn that when cared for through prayer, community, and reading the Bible, transforms our lives. This growth, brought about by God, can heal any hurt, fix any break, and change any habit over time.

4. Memorable

Remembering is a key part of spiritual growth. In the Bible, to forget doesn’t just mean to not remember, it means to not acknowledge or be aware of. There are stories in the Bible of people forgetting God, even though they knew about Him, and this led to trouble. The Lord’s Supper is an important way we remember, as it symbolizes how Jesus’ sacrifice cleanses us from our sins.



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