Faithlife Sermons

Useful, Fruitful Faith

2 Peter: Spiritual Maturity... Knowledge, Grace, & Growth  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  44:43
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Lives suffocated by the looming feeling of being useless… bearing not fruit or purpose. We see them all around us...
Elderly once full of energy, sought after for advice, now seemingly forgotten and battling the question daily of what is the use
The once healthy, active, strong individual, who now suffers illness watching others do what he or she can only now dream of doing
The person who once was in high demand who now is jobless, wondering if anyone or place will want them
Those once independent now relying on others for their daily needs...
The individual who feels useless keeps close company with despair, depression, and sadness.
We see them around us, in fact some could be us here today.
The church is not immune to these lives...
Each of these lives have allowed their situation to dictate their perspective...
There is a horizontal --- view of things rather than a | vertical focus!
God has given a remedy, an antidote for those who feel this way
He gives a sure fire way for His followers not to be counted among the useless and unfruitful!!!
Peter as he writes this letter gives very little doctrinal teaching really, but rather very PRACTICAL challenges to his readers.
He has established he is talking to believers of the same faith
As an apostle Peter has walked with, talked with, laughed with cried with God in the flesh… Jesus Christ
He has had a living example of what he is now challenging his readers to know and understand.
Peter gives some practical instructions for his readers...
2 Peter 1:4-9
2 Peter 1:4–9 NASB95
4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

A Practical Challenge With Promises

We are in the section of Peter’s letter where he is going to discuss and challenge us to Spiritual Growth!
Note with me first of all that phrase “He has granted to us
What we are seeing here is that what we are discussing… God has already SUPPLIED and made AVAILABLE!
Promises… “Precious and magnificent”!
Verse 8 gives us a powerful promise! However it is also followed up with a stern warning!
Scripture is full of the promises God has given His people, 100’s even 1000’s!
These promises allow us to partake in God’s nature… no longer seeking the empty and shallow promises of this world
God is true to His Word /He cannot lie! He is faithful
We live in light of His promises… Because of these promises is the reason we can and should do what is instructed next...

Participation in His Provision

The faith required for salvation is simple, freely given, earned by nothing, bought with the precious blood of Christ
That being said… the christian life is not something that comes automatic… there is a responsibility and actions that must be taken by the follower of Jesus Christ!
Verse 5 “applying all diligence, in your faith supply...
applying all diligence = literally ‘to bring every effort to’ to do one’s very best in attempting to do something—‘to do one’s best, to make every effort to, to try as hard as possible.’
Are you willing to work hard at this church???
The next word there is “Supply” = to provide something in addition to what already exists
The root of this word has the implication of “choreography” or “chorus”
God has given these things to us, we have to add them to our faith…
Peter has listed 7 things to add to our faith… this dance so to speak and how beautiful it is when added!
1) Moral Excellence : to do what is right, stand firm, stand alone if necessary. There is a courage and bravery, steadfastness needed for this.
Standing alone for right reasons though… for God and His Word
This is not being a loner, we need to be insulated NOT isolated from the world
2) Knowledge = Peter loves this word… a practical common sense of God’s Word
Taking what you know of God’s Word and applying it to life!
What you know and understand and allow it to filter what the world throws at you
3) Self-Control = Remember this is part of the fruit of the Spirit (Singular)
Mastered by nothing but God
so much in our lives can master us, control us, EVEN good things
Giving Him control in your life, not allowing ones self/flesh to have rule in your heart
4) Perseverance = You almost get tired just thinking about the word don’t you!
to bear up under a heavy load
to keep going, enduring hardship
continuing even when, especially when it is difficult...
5) Godliness = appropriate beliefs… right thinking
A right view of God (REVERENCE)
A right view of Mankind (RESPECT or RELATIONSHIP)
The idea behind this is NOT an “appearance or look” but rather “BE or state of being, who you are”
Internal vs external
6) Brotherly Kindness = a genuine affection towards your brothers and sisters in Christ!
The word here is “philadelphia” philao affectionate...
Setting self aside and showing concern and care for others (ALL OTHERS)
Based on who you are as a follower of Christ, NOT on what they have or have not done.
7) LOVE = agape… apply to all this “dance” God’s perfect love
Seeking the absolute highest good of the the other person
God sees this and remembers Hebrews 6:10
Hebrews 6:10 NASB95
10 For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.
What a powerful list of virtues that the believer can add to his or her faith!

Two Promised Outcomes

What God says He means… Look at what God says about how you receive what has been taught today...
Two outcomes...
2 Peter 1:8
2 Peter 1:8 NASB95
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You will be useful and fruitful
Notice these virtues can and should be increasing in your life… we do not arrive
2 Peter 1:9
2 Peter 1:9 NASB95
9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
If you do not supply your faith with these virtues you are blind/ short-sighted
This is a willful blindness, a closing of the eyes
Wrong perspective, looking to the here and now
Forgotten what Christ did and why

Our Challenge as We Grow Spiritually...

Verse 10 challenges us to work hard, to be diligent…The NLT states Peter’s closing on this thought well 2 Peter 1:10-11
2 Peter 1:10–11 NLT
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Prove to a watching world, not God
What an amazing outcome to never stumble, never fall away...
God has given us everything as Peter stated in verse 3 everything pertaining to life!
And one day He will welcome us home, may each of us hear “well done good and faithful servant”
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