2 Peter 1:1-9 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Pastor Phil launched into a new Sunday Sermon series this week based upon various Bible passages to focus us on Christian growth and life application for the abundant life Jesus promised, not in perfection, but in perfecting in the process of sanctification. Here are my notes and thoughts. The apostle Peter is an example to us all because he bumbled, fumbled, stumbled sometimes in his walk yet was brought upright and used mightily by the Lord. From doubting Jesus in Matthew 14 - “Lord, save me”, to denying Jesus in Matthew 26 - “I do not know the man.”, to then identify Jesus in Matthew 16 - “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Peter speaks to us. Peter was martyred on the cross in Rome, but historian Clement of Alexandria in his book “The Stromata” – Book 7, records “Peter, on seeing his wife led to death, rejoiced on account of her call and conveyance home.” She was crucified before him, yet his trust was in the Lord. Peter knew that he was going to be executed when he wrote this letter to the church to give his last words to them. What about you? If you knew that you were going to die, what would you tell your friends? It is the goal of every Christian to be a disciple to others, as a witness for Christ and His gospel. If those around us, within our sphere of influence, were to die today, are we certain that they’d go to Heaven? The Lord has put righteousness, holiness and godliness of faith into our hearts that we may give it out. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Do we read the living Word to hear the voice of God speak to our heart? Hear God through His Word, through the indwelling Holy Spirit and through anointed teachers.
2 Peter 1:10-16 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease. For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
These things are ours, when we make them ours in an attitude of dependence upon the Lord. It is a revelation to realize that we need His help and see His work in our heart. Then we cry out: “I need you Lord Jesus!” We can willfully give Him our life and serve Him for life. A bond Servant for Jesus Christ is a servant by choice, in obedience, out of love. We have a free will to follow Christ, but why would we? Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Remember that Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not pay. When we know the grace is God’s love, and that knowledge is a personal relationship with Him, then we can say the words of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Obedience in moral excellence lies in love; love of God and “loving your neighbor as yourself”. So love like the Lord and make “right” choices; not by following set steps or 613 laws, but with a virtuous heart in relationship, leaning on the promises of God and partaking in the Divine nature. But what relationship do you have with someone that you never visit or spend time with? Put relationship into action and what it grows strong in your faith. Escape that which is “wrong” in the easy of the Lord, by choosing to not allow them into your eye-gate to the mind. Come to the conclusion to take every thought captive and pray about them.
2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Pray for wisdom from above and peace that passes all understanding will a heart that is in God’s will. There are a lot of challenges in life, but we have been set free in Christ. Before we put on the spiritual armor of God, put on Jesus daily – taking up your cross, dying to sin and following the Lord of all – because though we’ve taken off the old man and renewed in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:21-23), this side of heaven, we have the old suit hanging in the closet of our sin nature in our fleshly desires. How does that love of God manifest itself in our life? How can I apply godliness to life today? Walk in the Spirit, stay in the Word, and keep your eyes upon the Lord.
In Christ, Brian