One mark of 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
One mark of growth in grace, is increased HUMILITY. The man whose soul is growing, feels his own sinfulness and unworthiness more every year.
He is ready to say with Job, "I am vile!"
And with Abraham, "I am dust and ashes!"
And with Jacob, "I am not worthy of the least of all Your mercies!"
And with David, "I am a worm!"
And with Isaiah, "I am a man of unclean lips!"
And with Peter, "I am a sinful man, O Lord!"
The nearer the Christian draws to God, and the more he sees of God's holiness and perfections — the more thoroughly is he sensible of his own countless sins and imperfections. The further he journeys in the way to Heaven — the more he understands what Paul meant when he says,
"I am not already perfect!"
"I am not fit to be called an apostle!"
"I am less than the least of all the saints!"
"I am the chief of sinners!"
The riper the Christian is for glory, the more, like the ripe corn — he hangs down his head with humility. The brighter and clearer his gospel light — the more he sees of the shortcomings and infirmities of his own heart. When first converted, he would tell you he saw but little of them — compared to what he sees now.
Would anyone know whether he is growing in grace? Be sure that you look within for increased humility.