Growth in grace
(J.C. Ryle, "Growth in Grace" 1879)
"Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" 2 Peter 3:18
When I speak of growth in grace, I only mean an increase in the degree, size, strength, vigor and power — of the graces which the Holy Spirit plants in a believer's heart. I hold that every one of those graces admits of growth, progress and increase. I hold that repentance, faith, hope, love, humility, zeal, courage and the like — may be . . .
little — or great,
strong — or weak,
vigorous — or feeble, and
may vary greatly in the same person at different periods of his life.
When I speak of a man growing in grace, I mean simply that . . .
his sense of sin is becoming deeper,
his faith is becoming stronger,
his hope is becoming brighter,
his love is becoming more extensive,
his spiritual-mindedness is becoming more marked,
he feels more of the power of godliness in his own heart — and he manifests more of it in his life.