2 Pet 1:1-4
INTRO: When I think of verbs which are vital to our understanding God, the verb gave invariably comes to mind. I simply cannot think of God without this very important aspect of His relationship with mankind. From the very first chapter of the Bible we are seeing God as a great giver. Throughout the Bible we note that the ultimate purpose, plan of God will involve His giving. Let me bring our attention to just some of that which God gives.
I. HE GIVES NECESSITIES FOR LIFE
A. Gen 1:29 Behold, I have given you ...
1. the creating genius of God was thorough
2. if God gives life, He gives that which is necessary to sustain life
B. Mt 5:44,45 Such gifts manifest His love
1. some of Gods giving, then, is to all of humanity
2. how gracious is our Creator! - Gen 8:22
C. Ps 19:1-6 The natural creation is a great gift
1. first, these things are universal testimonies to Gods glory
2. then, each is in itself a source of human pleasure
II. HE GIVES NECESSITIES FOR SPIRITUAL LIFE
A. Jno 3:16-18 Here is the great giving text
1. sin necessitated this provision - Isa 59:2 with Rom 3:23
2. but the nature of God desires that sin should not be the end of the human story - 2 Pet 3:9
3. 2 Tim 1:9 given ... before the world began
B. 2 Pet 1:3,4 given ... all things that pertain to life ...
1. He gives us, in His word, everything needed to begin and sustain spiritual life
2. but we must take responsibility for the knowledge part of the equation
3. 2 Tim 3:15-17 gives us basis/source of our knowledge
III. HE GIVES GOOD GIFTS
A. Jas 1:17 Every good gift ...
1. once again, the giving nature of God
2. I note He is here the Father
3. so, Mt 7:9-11
B. He gives grace
1. 1 Pet 5:5 ...giveth grace to the humble
2. yes, by grace we are saved ... initially
3. but Gods grace continues in the blessings of the Christian life
C. He gives peace
1. Jno 14:27 ... my peace I give unto you ...
2. in fact, scripture refers to God as the God of peace(Phil 4:7,9)
3. in the John passage is this: Let not your heart be troubled ... - one of the most serious human maladies is troubled hearts ... does this reflect a lack of confidence in God?
D. He gives wisdom
1. Jas 1:5,6 ...wisdom ... shall be given him
2. not knowledge ... but wisdom is given by God in answer to confident praying
3. the nature of wisdom is described at Jas 3:17,18
E. He gives victory
1. 1 Cor 15:57 ... which giveth us the victory ...
2. the victory which takes us through death to ultimate eternal joy!
3. without our claiming the benefits of Jesus death the grave, however, is the winner
CLOSE: Josh 24:14a ... here, beautifully stated, is the proper response to Gods gifts. Any other response will result in our loss of these great benefits!
Cecil A. Hutson
18 March 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)