2 PET 1:5-7
INTRO: In 1 Pet 2:2 Peter wrote, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. He understood and encouraged spiritual growth. He recognized that the world and its attractions and persecution with its discouragements were a real threat to immature Christians. In the second letter he has stressed a deeper knowledge. He has spoken of the divine nature which clearly separates us form the corruption in the world. Then he proceeds to urde adding - another clear reference to growth.
I. THE NEED OF DISCIPLESHIP? GROW (EQUIP)
A. Note 1 Cor 13:11 - ...but when I became a man...
1. here is a subtle way of saying, Youve not grown as you should
2. in the absence of growth, maturity? often there is division
3. old habits die hard - and this church had not grown beyond the habits of its past
B. Or Gal 5:7 - ...who did hinder you...
1. in Gal 4:19 he is having birth pains again for them
2. coming into Gods grace, one must grow in grace
3. and, apparently, failing to grow is not all that rare in disciples
C. Eph 4:15 - Here is the need - ...grow up into him in all things...
1. it will keep Christians stable - settled (cf. v. 14a)
2. it will assist Christians with discerning (cf. v. 14b)
3. it will strengthen the body, the church (cf. v. 16)
II. THE SPIRIT OF DISCIPLESHIP? DILIGENCE!
A. What does it mean?
1. painstaking, eager, earnest, careful, urgent
2. a diligent person has desire to do; is careful about the doing, gets on with the doing
B. Heb 6:11,12 - A comparison?
1. diligence versus slothfulness
2. only by diligence does one inherit the promises!
3. compare Heb 2:1,2 - ...give the more earnest heed...
4. or, Phil 3:14 - I press... - here is diligence
III. THE NEEDED QUALITIES?
A. And beside this...
1. he refers back to all things pertaining to life, godliness
2. he refers back to precious promises which are formative
3. he refers back to the divine nature
4. the following things, things to add, enhance, reflect the divine nature
B. Begin with faith (Rom 10:17)
1. conviction about truth
2. everything in growth goes back to this (Heb 11:1)
1. excellence - courage (Ps 31:24)
2. faith does not retire - it goes forward in a life devoted to God; unafraid, unashamed of Whose I am
1. knowledge, obviously, of Gods word and will
2. knowledge is essential for discernment, deciding, acting in faith
1. here is self control - self mastery
2. mastery of desires, passions - Gal 5:23 (a fruit of the spirit)
1. steadfastness - endurance - courageous acceptance
2. Heb 12:2 - ...endured... - the event He endured was another step of progress
1. piety with reference to both God and man
2. religion in the practical aspects of worship, service
H. Brotherly kindness
1. this is philadelphia - brotherly affection
2. thus, care for, concern for others - discipleship is relationships, not monasticism
I. Charity (love)
1. this love extends beyond brotherly love
2. so, Mt 5:43-45
CLOSE: These virtues equip us for day to day life - for the totality of lifes challenges and choices. Indeed, they do contribute to our being holy people ... saints!
Cecil A. Hutson
April 24, 2005
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)