"As iron sharpens iron,
so one person
In our last lesson we studied the importance of abiding in Jesus, the vine, abiding in His word and abiding in His love. Our identity with divinity is our Father’s will.
Faith in a New Identity Bears Much Fruit
When God changed Abram’s name to “Father of Many Nations,” He changed Abram’s identity. See Genesis 17:5.
One year later, Isaac was born! When we were born from above, we became a new creation in Christ Jesus, a Christ-ian. Abiding in who Jesus says we are, in Him, will produce much fruit for the Kingdom of God.
The Just Shall Live by His Faith 2 Peter 1: 1-11
In the Apostle Peter’s second letter addressed to people who have obtained like precious faith, the Holy Spirit reveals that through God’s precious promises we are partakers of the divine nature and His divine power. This is how we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust and greed, by having faith projects! See 2 Peter 1:1-4.
Bearing Fruit That Remains: The Ball’s in Your Court
Do you know how to never stumble?
It’s terrible to see someone who is older stumble and fall down, perhaps even breaking a shoulder or a hip.
What about a stumble “in the spirit?”
Peter continues to teach The Church how to overcome in verses 5-11. He explains how the hidden qualities of the heart must accompany outward actions. Faith resides and brings stability in our heart, but there are other spiritual attributes that we are to add to our faith:
“But also for this very reason,
- giving all diligence,
- add to your faith virtue,
- to virtue knowledge,
- to knowledge self-control,
- to self-control perseverance,
- to perseverance godliness,
- to godliness brotherly kindness,
- and to brotherly kindness love.
“For if these things are yours and abound,
- you will be neither barren
- nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- For he who lacks these things is shortsighted,
- even to blindness,
- and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent
- to make your call and election sure,
- for if you do these things you will never stumble;
- for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly
- into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Adding and Subtracting
Remember when you were in school and learned how to add?
Sometimes the teacher would demonstrate by giving a visual example to the students, showing two items and then adding two more items. Two plus two equals four, four plus four equals eight, and so on.
That’s what Peter is telling us to do in 2 Peter 1:5-11. ADD!
- Add to your faith: virtue (moral excellence, moral energy)
- Add to your virtue: knowledge (knowledge of God and spiritual things)
- Add to your knowledge: self control (govern and restrict the dictates of the flesh)
- Add to self control: perseverance (never give up)
- Add to your perseverance: godliness (Jesus is always our example)
- Add to your godliness: brotherly kindness (affection)
- Add to brotherly kindness: love (Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
What does this add up to?
INCREASE! FRUITFULNESS! SPIRITUAL STRENGTH AND STABILITY! MATURITY! MULTIPLICATION!
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord...”
2 Peter 1:2 Praise God!
Do you remember when your teacher taught you to subtract?
The teacher might have shown ten items on the table and when ten items were subtracted, nothing was left. I remember my teacher using the words, “Take away.”
- Subtract love from: brotherly kindness
- Subtract brotherly kindness from: godliness
- Subtract godliness from: perseverance
- Subtract perseverance from: self control
- Subtract self control from: knowledge
- Subtract knowledge from: virtue
- Subtract virtue from: faith
What does all this equal?
This has the consequence of a Christian whose life is barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, being shortsighted, even to blindness, forgetting that he was cleansed from his old sins. (vs. 8)
Is this why some turn to drinking and carousing? Luke 21:34
What’s the bottom line?
“A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:22
How can this happen to a born again Christian?
They let go of their daily intimate time with the Lord.
They gave up their personal study time and fellowship in the Word of God. (How can you discern a lie if you don’t know the truth that is in God’s Word?)
They let their prayer time go.
They forgot to be doers of the Word.
Peter reveals that these Christians began to listen to false teachers and false doctrine.
“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.” 2 Peter 2:20
Subtracting The Word of God
The enemy is the thief and he is after the Word.
If he can steal the Word from you he will endeavor to replace it with subtle lies and deception. Remember the tactic he used in the garden with Eve?
Good Ground Bears Fruit!
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” John 15:7
“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” Mark 4:20
Good Ground Can Become Thorny Ground.
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,
- and the cares of this world,
- the deceitfulness of riches,
- and the desires for other things
- entering in choke the word,
- and it becomes unfruitful.” Mark 4:18-19
NO WORD, NO FRUIT!
For people who are called into God’s Army of Pray-ers, no word means prayer becomes weak and feeble.
Staying in the center of Father’s will has become increasingly important in our generation.
Adding and Subtracting
Edified or Deflated?
We always endeavor to walk in love with others, but not everyone should be allowed into our close intimate circle of fellowship. See 2 Corinthians 6:11-18.
Remember, Jesus only took Peter, James, and John up on a high mountain, apart from all the others. They saw Him transfigured and then Elijah and Moses appeared to them.
Mark 9:2 -4
Take an Inventory
1. Make a list of things and people that edify your walk with the Lord. Think about what adds peace and joy to you. What adds strength to your spirit man? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with this.
2. Make a list of things or people in your life that are subtracting LIFE from you. Think about your habits and activities. Are they adding to or subtracting from your “walk in the spirit?” What are you watching and listening to? Philippians 4: 8 can help to define good boundaries.
When making decisions ask, “Will this add to my walk with Jesus?”
Life in 2015
You and I have a responsibility before the Lord:
“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11
Beloved, when you prosper, I prosper. When we all prosper, we do the greater works!
“Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.” Romans 15:2
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YOUR COUNTIES NEED YOUR PRAYERS!
For the love of:
The Church The Lost Elected Leaders (Love your enemies…)
The Importance of Watching!
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.
“For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
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