2 PET 1:8,9
INTRO: From knowledge of God to knowledge of him that hath called us, to adding, supplying fully the qualities unique to Christian character the apostle Peter moves forward in a letter concerned with firmly establishing Christians in the present truth (1:12). I have no doubt that Peter felt deeply for fellow saints. With his concern that his earthly life might soon be ending, he writes caring, frank advice about growing, surviving. In the two verses of our text there are only two options.
I. WE CAN BE FRUITFUL (OPTION #1)
A. Being fruitful...
1. Lk 8:14,15 - here is a great contrast ... a very real picture
2. Jno 15:8 - how to glorify God? be fruitful!
3. Mt 21:18-20 - Gods view of unfruitful?!
B. And I know we wonder about the nature of fruit
1. from Gal 5:22,23 - surely this helps us
2. from Rom 6:22 - fruit leading to holiness
3. from Eph 5:9 - more on the fruit of the Spirit
4. from Col 1:5,6 - gospel truth brings forth fruit
5. from Col 1:10 - fruitful is good works
6. from Heb 12:11 - fruit is a result of chastening
1. being fruitful is the result of our connection, involvement with Jesus
2. being fruitful is specific qualities which are seen in our lives because of our relationship with the Lord
3. being fruitful is good works from hearts which are transformed into the divine image
D. But lackluster discipleship will not be fruitful
1. in you, and abound - see 1 Cor 15:58 on abounding
2. this is a very real contemporary problem ... as it was then ... waning discipleship
3. the early bloom gives way to reality of commitment - troubles come, and commitment becomes a chore (Phil 2:12)
II. WE CAN BE BLIND AND FORGETFUL (OPTION #2)
A. Being blind...
1. Mt 13:13-15 - and their eyes they have closes
2. Mt 15:14 - falling into the ditch!
3. 2 Cor 4:3,4 - the fate of blindness ... lost
B. Here, though, is short sighted
1. Heb 11:13 - this is the contrast - looking beyond
2. short sighted: controlled by the immediate
3. Esau, the short sighted! see Heb 12:16,17 (cf. Gen 25:29ff)
C. Are we spiritually short sighted?
1. does the immediate distract us from the distant, the ultimate?
2. are our daily lives so busy, complex that all we do is deal with the urgent, important to the neglect of who we are and where we are bound?
3. Phil 3:18-21 - I wonder if most of us are so busy minding earthly things that we are not really looking for Jesus
1. a person - in practice - forget his cleansing
2. here, Peter makes very clear that ones early joy in Christ must result in moral and spiritual advance
3. that advance is hindered by our not adding the qualities of which he spoke
E. Rom 12:11 - ...fervent in spirit...
1. there just is not any middle ground
2. spiritual progress, or spiritual stagnation!
3. Heb 6:1 - ...let us go on to perfection...
CLOSE: Bottom line? Deepening knowledge of Christ comes to one who concentrates on Christian character in his life.
Cecil A. Hutson
May 1, 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)