Growth is Intentional

                                        II Peter 1:1-11

                                         May 6, 2007

 

 

v. 1 -  "a servant (bondservant) of Jesus Christ"

 

He is to watch for souls (not be the judge of souls)

 

            "obtained like precious faith....through the

            righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus

            Christ

 

There is no respect of persons with God - in His

righteousness He bestows like precious faith on

all who come to Him through Christ, without

distinction of race or country!

 

v. 3 - "His divine power hath given to us all

            things that pertain unto life and

            godliness"

 

The ceaseless activity of God's providence and grace.

 

Every command which God gives carries a promise

of all grace needed for obedience to it!

 

"godliness" - reverence - true piety towards God

 

 

v. 4 - "given to us exceeding great and precious

            promises" - and they will be certainly

            fulfilled in all their depth of meaning!

 

"that by these ye might be partakers of the

  Divine nature" - positively - not mere forgiveness of

sins, not mere remission of the penalty but the blessed

and holy purpose of God in restoration to the Divine

image!

 

"That ye might be filled unto all the fullness of God"

solace for our hearts, strength for our wills, stimulus

for our desires - they are not only "precious" but

"exceeding great"                            

 

"Let us make man in our image, after our

likeness" - Genesis 1:26

 

"changed into the same image from glory to glory"

                                                II Cor. 3:18

 

By continual growth made "partakers of

Christ" - Heb 3:14 - "partakers of the Holy Ghost" -

Heb. 6:4

 

John 17:20-23,      14:16-17,23

 

 

 

 

"having escaped the corruption that is in the world

   through lust" - negatively - the prevalence of the

lower over the higher principles of our nature -

where there is an inversion of the Divine order,

society must go into corruption - towards which

we have gravitated and fallen!

 

carnality leads to death - Romans 8:5-8

 

Becoming partakers of the Divine nature and

escaping the corruption in the world through lust

are two aspects of the Christian life and they must

go on simultaneously.

 

Notice the effects of corruption on the antediluvian

world - Genesis 6:12

 

Also on the modern world - I John 2:16

 

vs. 5-7 - God’s precious gifts and promises should

          stimulate us to earnest effort!

 

The Infinite and the finite working together - the

Christian willing to spend and to be spent.

 

"He that saveth his life shall lose it" - Matt. 16:25

 

Phil. 1:6 - "Being confident of this very thing, that

            He which hath begun a good work in you

            will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

 

I Thess. 5:24 - "Faithful is He that calleth you who

            also will do it"

 

“beside this, giving all diligence” - earnestness,

zeal - increased exertion -

 

The Divine doing is no reason for us doing

nothing - "Why stand ye here idle?" was the

question of Jesus.

 

It is God’s work but we are to do our part -

“add”

 

Our hearts are the chosen temple of God; we

must furnish that temple richly with Christian

graces - its proper decorations!

 

Beginning with faith and ending with love.

 

If ye have not yet believed, you need to cooperate

with God in believing! 

 

"This is the work of God that ye believe on Him

whom He hath sent" - John 6:29

 

 

 

 

 

Add:    (1) virtue - Christian manliness

            (2) knowledge - discretion, right understanding

                                       between good and evil - obtained

                                       only in face-to-face communion

                                       with God through the teaching of

                                       His Word!

            (3) temperance - self-control  - governing all

                                         appetites

            (4) patience - endurance and submission

            (5) godliness - reverence and piety towards God

            (6) brotherly kindness -

            (7) charity/love  -

 

A character which nature cannot produce!  Many try

to be holy without saving faith - it is a useless effort -

 

No grace can remain alone - it is gradually formed in

the soul and tends to develop and strengthen the others

and they meet in the highest grace - LOVE

 

Love is the sunshine on the whole landscape of

character.

 

Beware of being men of one grace - the believer is not

to be contented until he has acquired all the graces.

 

The nearer one draws to the Heavenly Father, the

Fountain of all love, the more fervently out of a

pure heart they will love one another.

 

All graces meet in love - it is the crown and center

of the Christian character.

 

"giving all diligence" - diligence implies personal effort -

 

Speedy and spontaneous sanctification is what we would

prefer but the idea is not encouraged by Scripture - true

growth takes time!

 

220 year old tree at the University of the Cumberlands -

didn't happen overnight!

 

Sanctification is progressive and demands constant

endeavor!

 

v. 8 - “For if these things be in you and abound” -

            this implies actual possession - these graces must

            be made our own and be ingrained in our

            characters where they are to increase and

            multiply

 

They make you productive and fruitful - “ye shall

neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge

of our Lord Jesus Christ” - THE GOAL!

 

The Bible says Jesus “went about doing good”  - Acts 10:38

 

So should we.

 

 

v. 9 - “he that lacketh these things is blind, and

            cannot see afar off”

 

nearsighted - myopia - only seeing the things

that lie close about him - the earth and earthly

things and sees neither “the land that is very

far off...(nor) the king in His beauty”  - Isaiah 33:17

 

He cannot discern the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ;

he cannot see the awful realities of the eternal world;

he cannot discern the spiritual powers working in

the Church.

 

He works more for the meat that perishes than for

that which endures to eternal life.

 

"forgotten that he was purged from his old sins"

 

The assurance of pardoned sin is the strongest

stimulus to piety.

 

v. 10 - Because God has given such good gifts to men

and their use leads to fuller knowledge - we are

to “give diligence” in daily life, making our

“calling and election sure” - it is to be a life-long

thing.

 

The Scripture bids us “work out our salvation

in fear and trembling”  - Phil. 2:12 for it is

possible to “receive the grace of God in vain” -

II Cor. 6:11 or to “frustrate the grace of God” -

Gal. 2:21

 

“if ye do these things ye shall never fall”

 

Rupp Arena/2006 - walking down the end zone

and made a misstep - tumbling

 

Beware - Matthew 21:42-44

 

If ye do these things you will never make such a

stumble as would prevent your entrance into the

kingdom of heaven.

 

v. 11 - implies degrees of rewards in heaven -

 

“entrance...ministered unto you abundantly”

 

Bro. Bob mentioned an entrance into heaven for

Mrs. Underwood.  5/5/2007

 

It is no base or average kingdom - it is an

“everlasting kingdom” - Luke 1:31-33      Isaiah 9:7