Add toBro. David Chancellor
1/23/2011 6:00 PM
But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
This is how salvation begins and works. Jesus is with us and in us. We claim and recognize him as the Son of God. When we believe, we can be saved. We are saved by faith. That is only the beginning. We all need to have this experience. You aren’t part of God’s family until you get to this point. Only salvation makes you a member of the household of faith. Every person has the opportunity to be part of this household of faith. Being a Christian is an act of faith. Salvation is the beginning of our walk with God. Every day we must seek God for what he has for us.
2 Peter 1:1-11
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Peter was writing and rejoicing for what God had provided. "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto use exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." We don’t have to go the way the world is going. Peter begins with faith. Our journey begins with faith. We need to "add to" it all these things. We can’t stop at the beginning and hope things will be all right. We need to travel from faith to charity. We don’t stop at being saved. We walk with God and draw from him what is needed for life and godliness. Start with faith. Put your trust in Jesus as Savior.
"Virtue" – whatsoever procures a preeminent estimation for a person or thing. We want the preeminent estimation to be for God. Have a high estimation of God. Bring honor to him. Lift him up. A virtuous life will have moral goodness and be uplifting.
1 Peter 2:9-12
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
Peter was speaking of Christians: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light". The "praises" here is the same word as "virtue." You have been called to show forth God’s virtue, to give others a high opinion of God and Christ.
The good moral life and eminent goodness in us should lift up God. Your life should honor God. When he says "add virtue," have the quality of life that lifts up God. The bad reputation of Christianity stems from the life of those who took the step of faith but who didn’t add virtue.
2 Peter 1:5b
…and to virtue knowledge;
If you add knowledge, you’ll become a scholar of the Bible. As you study, you’ll gain a little knowledge. To get knowledge, study is needed. Spend time seeking God’s face in your walk with God to learn of him. Get to know God. Get into him.
When Paul found Jesus, he was taught by the revelation of Christ (see Galatians 1). He had been under the greatest teachers of the law and had advanced in the Jewish religion, but he still had to seek and inquire into Christ. We need to seek God so we can know what he would have us to know.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
We all know something. "Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know." Getting puffed up about what you know means you don’t know what you need to know… yet. Knowledge comes in various ways: books, experience, etc. You need to be able to gather knowledge from both your experience and education. There’s still much about God we don’t know and we need to keep seeking and inquiring after him. We need to get into God. There’s more to know and learn of him.
2 Peter 1:6a
And to knowledge temperance…
Add temperance. Temperance deals with strength and self-control. It reigns in the "puffing up" from knowledge. It sees that the knowledge could be abused and works to prevent it. It demands the controlling power of the will of God over man. It helps you to not abuse others with what you know. If you get knowledge without temperance, you’ll have some issues. Self-control is a lot broader than alcohol consumption (an often used example). Paul got a glimpse of heaven, but God gave him a "thorn in his side" to give him some temperance.
In Corinthians, Paul was dealing with the affect of our knowledge on others who don’t have it. Temperance will help us not to abuse the knowledge we have.
Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
This reflects on our need for temperance. Rejoice in the Lord. Let him be the one who is honored and lifted up. Have forbearance for others. Is there anything you need to learn? Be able to bear with others whose understanding and grasp of God may not be what we feel we’ve found. Have self-control. Have the balance that comes when God’s Spirit rules in the heart.
2 Peter 1:6b
…and to temperance patience…
Add patience. Patience – to abide under. Abide in Christ while you’re under trials. Abide under some things and still have the grace of God. Trials are part of the human existence. The Christian has a way out in time of trouble. God will provide grace to patiently endure the troubles that come.
1 Peter 2:19-23
For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:
This shows us what it means to "abide under." If you’re being reproved for what you’ve done, for sure take that patiently. Be able to abide under injustice and still have the preeminent quality of Christ. Jesus suffered wrongfully and took it patiently. He left it to God to avenge his case. We need the same grace. Have grace that lifts up Christ. God will work to resolve the trial, but while you’re in it, manifest the grace of Christ.
We may sometimes have to endure things among the people of God due to misunderstandings or whatever. Be patient. Still manifest the virtue found in Christ.
2 Peter 1:6c
…and to patience godliness
Add godliness. Have a God-ward attitude with an eye to do what is pleasing to him. Everything should revolve around God. He should be our central focus. "Great is the mystery of godliness." (1 Timothy 3:16) Live along the line that God would choose. Choose based on what God wants. Keep your joy, peace and assurance and follow God’s leading.
2 Peter 1:7a
And to godliness brotherly kindness…
Be kind. Be careful about what you do to others. Add brotherly kindness.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
"…in honor preferring one another." This shows us how brotherly kindness can go. To honor someone, begin to focus on that one. Consider how that person might like to be honored. Think about what they like. Think about what would make that one feel loved and special and important to us. We need this quality. We need to make others feel special and cared for, even sinners. They need to know that God and his people care for them.
2 Peter 1:7b-9
… and to brotherly kindness charity.
Add charity. Charity – to have a love like God has for us. It is a love that doesn’t focus on the qualities of the one that is loved. We need that love. It is a love that loves regardless. We need to get all the way to that point.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
If we lack these things, we’ll fail. If we have them, our walk with God will produce what it should. Go down the "adding" path. There is a Christian walk that brings us close to God. We want an abundant entrance to heaven. Faith is the beginning of our walk with God. Go from faith to charity "out of a pure heart fervently." When we get to the end, we want to be able to say what Paul did: "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:" (2 Timothy 4:7). All of these can be part of our Christian experience. We don’t have to fail or fall, but we do have to be diligent to seek after these things that bring glory and honor and praise to God.