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The Response to Divine Grace

2 Peter   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  39:31
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Many years ago, back when we as a church were first investigating the idea of putting up a new building, we had Dallas Putnam, one of the men who works with the ministry of CBM, preach in our church. It was either right before or right after our church was approved by CBM to be taken on as a missionary building project, 8 or 9 years ago roughly speaking. Dallas was preaching a message for our church, and I can’t remember if it was the morning or the evening service (we still had evening services back then). My family and I were sitting in our normal row and one or two of my boys were in the service with us. Dallas preached a fairly lengthy message, and is was especially lengthy to a 5 or 6 year old little boy. And being young and innocent my son decided to make sure the rest of us knew what he thought about the length of the message. As soon as the service was over, I mean Dallas is walking down from the pulpit right by our row, my son stands up and stretches and loud enough for most of the church to hear says, “Daddy, that man talked for a really long time!” You can imagine my embarrassment! Luckily, my son at the time was still young enough for his comment to be deemed cute.
I say all that to make this point- our responses to things in life say a lot about us. If you have young children think about the way they respond when they sit down for supper and find out that the food you slaved on for the last hour and half is not to their liking. Our think about the way they might respond when the open up a birthday present and they really don’t like the gift that grandma got them that year and they are not shy about saying so (has that happened to you yet?) They way we respond to things says a lot about us, especially the way we respond when someone gives us something as a gift.
In 2 Peter 1:1-4 Peter has described for the local church believers the incredible gift of God’s divine grace in their lives.
V. 1- Peter says they were gifted by divine lot- like precious faith, even the faith necessary to trust Christ to save them from their sins was itself a divine gift of God’s grace.
V. 3- The divine power of Jesus Christ has bestowed upon them (gifted to them) everything they needed for life and godliness
V. 4- By means of the glory and excellence of Jesus Christ they have been bestowed (gifted) exceeding great and precious promises
The primary purpose that Peter highlighted the divine gift of grace was to along with marveling over God’s amazing grace, to also describe the purpose of that grace. Why did God give us some many incredible things?
V. 4- So that we might be partakers of / sharers in the divine nature and so that we might escape the corruption (of sin) that is in the world through lusts.
God lavishly showered upon you his divine grace- so that you could share in His own divine nature. That is, so that you could become the very righteousness of Christ or that you could become as righteous as Christ is. His purpose is to conform / transform you into the image of Christ- and in so doing God provided a way for you to escape the corruption of sin. This is God’s purpose, this is why He gifted you with like precious faith, and everything you need for life and godliness, and exceeding great and precious promises.
2 Peter 1:5-11 is all about how you will respond to the gift of God’s divine grace. God has given you an amazing gift, and along with that gift he has given you His purpose for why He did so in the first place. How will you respond?
Peter is commanding these believers to make every effort to respond to divine grace in a way that is pleasing in God’s sight.
Believers, we must make every effort in our lives to respond to God’s divine grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight.
Why? Why should we spend the rest of our lives using all our energy, making every effort we possible can to respond to God’s grace in an way that is pleasing in His sight?
Peter gives us three reasons that we should positively respond to God’s divine grace.
We must make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight...

I. Because of the incredible value of divine grace (vv. 5-7)

Think about all of the resources that God poured into providing you with your salvation, think of the incredible purposes that God will achieve in providing you with your salvation- if nothing else we can make this statement, “God’s grace is incredibly valuable to me!” Therefore, I must make every effort to accomplish the purpose of the gracious gift He has given to me.

A. Why God’s divine grace is so valuable (v. 5a)

2 Peter 1:5 KJV 1900
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
“And beside this, giving all diligence...”
Here we have an idiomatic phrase in the Greek. All other major translations interpret this idiom this way… “For this very reason...”
Peter is about to command these believers to respond to God’s grace in a specific manner, but before he does he gives them a reason. Peter is saying, I want you to respond this way, “For this very reason.” What reason is that? It is everything he has just said in vv. 1-4.
Because God has gifted you with like precious faith...
Because God has by means of the divine power of Jesus Christ gifted to us everything we need for life and godliness...
Because Jesus Christ has called us by his own glory and excellence...
Because by the glory and excellence of Jesus Christ we have been gifted with exceeding great and precious promises...
Because by these promises we have become partakers of the divine nature...
Because by these promises we have escaped the corruption of sin itself…
For this very reason… give or apply yourself with all diligence, or make every effort possible.
Why should I do that? Because God’s divine grace is so incredibly valuable. God wants your to share in His own divine nature- He wants you to become as righteous as He is, and He wants you to escape every single effect of the corruption of sin. In order to do that God has to bring to bear His own divine power, and a divine calling, and divine promises. None of which we deserved, by the way. He gifted them all to us because He is gracious.
Peter is asking you to consider the why God’s grace is so valuable, and once you have come to a proper understanding of why, he says, “For this very reason, make every effort possible...”

B. How we accomplish the purpose of divine grace (vv. 5b-7)

2 Peter 1:5–7 KJV 1900
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Now that you have considered the value of divine grace, here is what you do with it.
You must give all diligence, make every effort possible…
To add to your faith...
The Greek word for add is a very interesting word.
The Geek word is ἐπιχορηγέω, it is an imperative, a command. To add to your faith is not simply recommended it is commanded.
This word according to William Barclay...
“Comes from the noun choregos, which literally means the leader of a chorus.”
In ancient Greece they used to put on all manner of plays, especially in big cities like Athens.
“All these plays needed large choruses and were, therefore, very expensive to produce. In the great days of Athens there were public spirited citizens who voluntarily took on the duty, at their own expense, of collecting, maintaining, training, and equipping such choruses. It was at the great religious festivals that these plays were produced… Men had to be found to provide the choruses for them all…the men who undertook these duties out of their own pocket and out of love for their city were called choregos / choregoi...
The word has a certain lavishness in it. It never means to equip in any cheeseparing and miserly way; it means lavishly to pour out everything necessary for a noble performance. Epichoregein went out into a larger world and it grew to mean not only to equip a chorus but to be responsible for any kind of equipment. It can mean to equip an army with all the necessary provisions; it can mean to equip the soul will all the necessary virtues for life.”
So Peter commands us to make every effort possible to supply or to give lavishly or generously certain virtues to your faith. This is the proper response to divine grace. God wants you to be partakers of the divine nature- to be as righteous as Christ- so believer for this very reason- make every effort to supply lavishly and generously to your faith these virtues
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
1). Faith- this is the starting point, this is talking about personal faith in Christ.
This is the like precious faith that Peter talked about in v.1. He is talking here to believers. It does no good to add these virtues unless your first of all have faith in Christ. Neither can you earn faith through these virtues. This is not a works based salvation. Remember even our faith is a gift from God. These virtues are what should be generously supplied to one’s faith.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2). Virtue- uncommon character worthy of praise / moral excellence
excellence of character-
2 Peter 1:3 KJV 1900
3 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:
Virtue- This is the Divine moral excellence of Christ, focused especially on the beauty of his goodness. The divine moral excellent goodness. The beautiful holiness and righteousness of our Savior.
So we are commanded to lavishly supply our faith with moral excellence.
God saved you to partake in the divine nature- to put on the kind of virtue as Christ has- to become as morally excellent as Christ is- to wear the beauty of His goodness, holiness, and righteousness.
And what is the very first thing Peter commands us to generously supply to our faith? The very same moral excellence. This is what God will accomplish in you, so start supply this very thing in your faith.
This is a stark contrast to the false teachers.
2 Peter 2:14 KJV 1900
14 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
Know the truth, don’t fall prey to their false depravity, instead supply your faith with moral excellence.
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
3). Knowledge- “the divine truth that is the foundation of spiritual discernment and wisdom, the truth properly understood and applied.”
MacArthur-
“This virtue is related to illumination, which is having one’s mind accurately enlightened about the truth of Scripture and involves diligent study and meditation on it, so as to acquire the mind of Christ.
2 Peter 1:6 KJV 1900
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
4). Temperance- restraint of one’s emotions, impulses, or desires, self-control
Self-control is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22–23 KJV 1900
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Self-control is only possible for a Spirit-filled believer. After faith, you supply moral excellence (every thing about your life begins to change, the things you used to do, you don’t do them anymore), then you supply to that knowledge- that is the truth of Scripture properly understood and applied. By means of the truth of Scripture dwelling in you richly you have the ability to be controlled no longer by you fleshly passions, but now you are controlled by the HS and you can supply your faith with spiritual self-control.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude 2. Pursue a Godly Life Diligently (1:5–7)

A sideways glance is cast here at the false teachers, for their lives are marked by dissolution and licentiousness. They are characterized by sensuality (2:2), inflamed by sinful desires (2:10); they live for soft and comforting pleasures (2:13), never cease thinking of adultery (2:14), and are enslaved to corruption (2:19). Those who live a godly life exercise self-discipline and are able to restrain themselves so that they do not capitulate to sinful desires.

Schreiner
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
5). Patience- the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty- endurance, fortitude, steadfastness, perseverance
William Barclay- patience is too passive a word…It does not simply mean to accept and endure, there is always a forward look in it. It is said of Jesus…that for the joy that was set before him, he endured the Cross, despising the shame (Heb 12.2). That is the patience that Peter is talking about, Christian steadfastness or perseverance. It is the courageous acceptance of everything that life can do to us and the transmuting of even the worst event into another step on the upward way.
As you supply your faith lavishly with moral excellence, and knowledge, and you become self-controlled, over a period of time God allows various trials and tests into your life, and now more grounded in the faith you learn to supply endurance/steadfastness/perseverance (the courageous acceptance of everything that life can do to us and the transmuting of even the worst event into another step on the upward way).
This steadfastness, this perseverance is a rock solid confidence in the absolute ability of God to work out even the worst circumstances that life can throw at us, that God will work even those together for good.
Job 42:1–6 NASB95
1 Then Job answered the Lord and said, 2 “I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted. 3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ “Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” 4 ‘Hear, now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me.’ 5 “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; 6 Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”
And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
6). Godliness- an awesome respect accorded to God, a deep reverence for God- piety
It conveys the idea that one who is has it properly honors and adores and worships God.
After you have weathered some trials and tests in your life- and you have come to place courageous acceptance of everything that life can do to you and the transmuting of even the worst event into another step on the upward way. Then you learn by experience to supply lavishly in your faith godliness- an awesome respect and deep reverence for God. Something that only comes through experience. Godliness is a heart transformed to be able to offer the honor and adoration and worship that God truly deserves.
2 Peter 1:7 KJV 1900
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
6). Brotherly kindness- the familial love of a brother or sister.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Peter, Jude 2. Pursue a Godly Life Diligently (1:5–7)

The focus is on the love between fellow believers, on the family-like devotion that should characterize the Christian community. Here Peter used a word that is distinctive of the Christian community in the sense that all believers are brothers and sisters.

7). Charity- Agape love is “the self” surrendering to God fully and completely by serving one another sacrificially and redemptively.
Biblical love is a radical change from self to unself.
It is a selfless and sacrificial investment in the wellbeing of another.
It is a conscious decision to act first in behalf of another rather than first in behalf of yourself.
Colossians 3:14 KJV 1900
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
John 13:34–35 KJV 1900
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
1 Corinthians 13:13 KJV 1900
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
God has gifted you with his divine grace, but his grace has a purpose- how do you accomplish the purpose of divine grace?
Make every effort possible to lavishly supply your faith with excellence of character, and in your excellence of character, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, love.
This is the only proper response the the gift of God’s divine grace! Why?
Because God’s divine grace is of great value!
Illustration: Marge Pett, generous gift, specific stated purpose was for children’s ministry or building project. It would be a great dishonor to her gift if we did not use it for its specific stated purpose. Likewise, believer, you have been given a tremendous gift- God’s divine grace. And God has told you His specific intended purpose for that gift. It would be a great dishonor to use God’s gift of grace for anything less that His purpose
For this very reason- make every effort to lavishly supply your faith with these virtues.
We must make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight...

II. Because of the spiritual benefits a proper response provides (vv. 8-9)

If we make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is please in His sight, the spiritual benefits that provides are incredible!

A. What a proper response to God’s divine grace guarantees (v. 8)

2 Peter 1:8 KJV 1900
8 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.
Peter says, if these things be in you- what are the these things? The list of virtues from vv. 5-7
Faith, moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love.
If these things exist in you, and abound-
2 qualifications-
These virtues must first of all exist in your life, they must be in you. This participle has the idea of owning property in an abiding sense.
The second qualification is the idea of abounding- that is possessing more than enough, even too much, of something. If these virtues are present in a believer’s life and actually on the increase, that reality will make or cause that one to be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge in our Lord Jesus Christ.
This verse guarantees two things for this kind of believer.
He will not become
1). Barren- to be unproductive, useless or worthless
Tied into the idea of being unemployed or idle, of being unwilling to work / lazy.
2). Unfruitful- fruitless, unproductive, useless.
We could say it this way, when the virtues discussed both exist and abound in believers, believers are effective and fruitful with respect to their knowledge of Christ.
Remember Peter is giving us reasons that we should make every effort possible to lavishly supply our faith with these virtues. Why should I do that? Because it will cause you to be effective and fruitful for the Lord. What better reason could there be?
Also remember that Peter is combatting false teachers in the church. People who are enticing other people in the church by sensual passions of the flesh. They are trying to lure them away from the truth. Peter wants nothing of the kind to happen in these churches. He does not want barren, unfruitful people, he wants effective, fruitful people for the Lord.

B. What a proper response to God’s divine grace prevents (v. 9)

2 Peter 1:9 KJV 1900
9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
The one lacking these things- that is the one who is not putting forth every effort to lavishly supply their faith with moral excellence, and knowledge, and self-control, and perseverance, and godliness, and brotherly affection, and love- that one is blind.
If you are lacking in these virtues in your spiritual life, if you are not being diligent to supply your faith with these things, then you are blind and you cannot see afar off- the idea is you are blind being shortsighted.
Shortsighted in what way? you have forgotten that you were purged from your old sins. Look if you are a believer, and there is a severe lack of these virtues-
Little to no moral excellence- your life is not conforming to the character of Christ, you are still living according to the passions of your flesh
Little to no knowledge- you haven’t filled your mind with Scripture in a personal setting for weeks or months
Little to no self-control- you are ruled by passions and lusts, you are not under the control of the Holy Spirit- you are under the control of your flesh
Little to no perseverance- it does not take a lot of trials or suffering to cause you to abandon faithfully following Christ.
Little to know godliness- there is awesome respect for God
Little to no brotherly affection- you do not love other people especially other believers as if they are a part of your family
Little to no love- you are unwilling to sacrifice the needs of self for the needs of others
Then it is as if you are blind, being so shortsighted that you don’t even remember how God purified you from your former sins.
Illustration: You know when you send one of your kids to find something in the pantry? Go and get the honey. And they wander into the kitchen and they stand in front of the pantry and they stare into the abyss and 5 minutes later they come back to the table and say, “I couldn’t find it.” Then you get up and open the pantry and right in front of your nose there sits the honey. Did your mom every say to you, “If it was a snake, it would have bit you!”? How could you be so blind that you could see it? It’s right in front of your nose. It is so obvious. That is what Peter is saying. Those that lack in these virtues are blind in that they are shortsighted. God’s grace is right in front of their nose and they can’t see it!
You have forgotten all that it took God to make you a partaker of the divine nature and to save you from the corruption of sin. You have forgotten that God gave you the gift of faith by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. You have forgotten that the divine power of God granted to you everything that you would need for life and godliness, and that Jesus Christ called you unto salvation by his own glory and virtue, and that He gifted you with exceeding great and precious promises. How can someone be so blind that they can no longer see the divine grace of God in their lives?
You say, pastor I would never forget that! I am not that blind! Does the way you live your Christian life reflect that? Are you severely lacking in these virtues?
This is why we must make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight… Because of the spiritual benefits a proper response provides. You will be effective and fruitful, and you will avoid spiritual blindness.
Believer how about your life? Are there some of you sitting here thinking to yourselves… I have become spiritually ineffective and unfruitful. And if I am being honest with myself, I have become spiritually blind as well. What should you do about it? Diligently, with every effort lavishly supply your faith with these virtues.
We must make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight...

III. Because of the spiritual assurance a proper response provides (vv. 10-11)

A believer who diligently puts into practice these Christian virtues has a confident assurance of his salvation.

A. Putting into practice Christian virtues produces assurance (v. 10)

2 Peter 1:10 KJV 1900
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Wherefore, rather or all the more, brethren / believers, give diligence (imperative), make every effort, to make your calling and election sure
Sure- speaks of validity or certainty, confirm your calling and election, make certain about it
So, we are to diligently make certain our calling and election. That is the call of God to salvation and his election of us before the foundation of the world.
2 Peter 1:3 KJV 1900
3 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:
Called us by His own glory and virtue-
Assurance of our salvation is based on our confidence that we have been called and elected by God unto salvation.
The calling and election of God are sure, there is nothing humanly speaking that one can do to change that.
Romans 8:29–30 KJV 1900
29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
If God calls you, He will justify you, and ultimately He will glorify you. It is an effectual call.
2 Peter 1:4 KJV 1900
4 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.
Do say that we can somehow do damage to the very call and election of God for salvation is to say that God will not keep his exceeding great and precious promises toward us.
Now that is not to say that man has not part- it is still man’s responsibility to repent and believe. How these two truths work together-I don’t know, but the Bible teaches both.
Peter’s point is that our assurance of our salvation is based upon of certainty (not of the exact date and time that we made a profession), but upon our certainty of our calling and election.
Now how do we do that? How do we become certain of our calling and our election of God unto salvation?
2 Peter 1:10 KJV 1900
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
If you do these things/practice these things on a regular basis, you will never fall or stumble.
What does it mean to fall or stumble?
What it does NOT mean- it does not mean that you can lose your salvation. You cannot do damage to the call and election of God. All you can do is to be certain or uncertain about the calling and election of God. To say that someone who is called and elected by God cal fall out of that call or lose that call is to deny the divine power of God, the divine calling of God, and the divine promises of God.
So what does it mean?
1). Peter does not know who is and who is not called and elected by God. There are people in the church who claim to be saved, and yet may not be a called one. How can we tell whether someone actually is a believer? If they are practicing these Christian virtues- then that personal has the blessing of God’s assurance of their salvation and we too can look at that person’s life and say- they must be saved. But if someone does not practice these things and they fall away from the faith- it is not that they lost their salvation, but that they were never saved in the first place. In that sense Peter can say you will never fall.
2). To stumble or fall is not talking about loosing one’s salvation, but it is connected to the idea of spiritual reward. V. 11 talks about abundantly entering into the kingdom. If one does not practice these Christian virtues they will stumble, in that they will not abundantly or be richly provided with an entrance. They will still enter, but because they did not diligently practice these Christian virtues they will loose out of the richness or the rewards of the kingdom that God would have given them if they had lived in with a proper response to His grace.
On a whole the point of v. 10 is to show us that diligently practicing these Christian virtues affords us with the spiritual blessing of an assurance of our salvation.

B. Putting into practice Christian virtues provides a reward (v. 11)

2 Peter 1:11 KJV 1900
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
If you diligently practice supping your faith with these Christian virtues you will have the reward of an entrance being abundantly or richly ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is in stark contrast to the false teachers-
2 Peter 2:9–10 KJV 1900
9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: 10 But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
Instead diligently practice these Christian virtues, they will provide you right now with a confident assurance of your calling and election, and one day God will reward you by richly providing for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Do you struggle with an assurance of your salvation? How diligently have you been putting into practice Christian virtues? Have you made every effort to lavishly supply your faith with these virtues? This is the way to the spiritual blessing of assurance.
Do you look forward to being provided with a rich entrance into the kingdom? Do you have concerns about stumbling in your Christian life? A rich entrance is possible. Will you respond properly to God’s divine grace?
We must make every effort we possibly can to respond to God’s grace in a way that is pleasing in His sight...
Because of the incredible value of divine grace
Because of the spiritual benefits a proper response provides
Because of the spiritual assurance a proper response provides
Are those reasons enough? If I had to boil down our response to this sermon to one word it would be this- diligence. Diligence, how many of us are actually responding to God’s divine grace with every possible effort?
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