Growing in Perseverance and Godliness
Text: 2 Peter 1:5-7
(1) Need to grow:
(a) 2 Pet. 1.5-11
(b) 1 Pet. 2.2 – “Like newborn babes, long for the pure milk of the word, that by it you may grow in respect to salvation.”
(c) 2 Pet. 3.18 – “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
(2) We will examine 2 of the 8 “Christian graces:”
I. Grow in Perseverance:
1. Comes from the Greek “hupomone.”
a. Literally, it means: “to remain under.”
b. This word is used 32 times in the New Testament (Wigram).
c. Thayer’s lexicon defines it as: “the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings” (644).
d. Another lexicon defines it as: “the capacity to hold out or bear up in the face of difficulty” (BDAG 1039).
2. This not only implies endurance but also requires one to “face up to them in a positive way so as to turn them into opportunities” (Shelly 87).
3. There is an aspect involved in this in which one “does not lose heart” (Trench 209).
4. Further, “there is always a forward look in it” (Barclay 358).
1. James 5.11 – the patience of Job
2. Job’s life:
a. He was tested but never cursed God.
b. He didn’t understand but believed that he would be vindicated.
c. He held on and kept his faith in God and was vindicated.
1. Patience “grows only in trial” (Vine’s 462).
a. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1.2-4).
b. “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance” (Rom. 5.3).
c. One wrote, “Without trials we could never learn patience” (Wiersbe 438).
2. Therefore, we must endure trials in order to gain patience, but how do we endure?
a. Two lessons from Hebrews 12:2 –
(1) Fixing our eyes on Jesus
(2) For the joy set before Him
b. View life on God’s schedule (2 Pet. 3.8).
c. Learn to prioritize (Matt. 6.25-34).
d. Take life one day at a time.
II. Growing in Godliness:
1. Comes from the Greek “eusebeia.”
a. Literally, it means: “to worship well/reverence paid to worth” (Wuest 25).
b. It is used 15 times in the New Testament (Wigram).
c. It is defined as: “Uprightness toward the one and only God as truly existing and confessed, and a resulting upright life” (Trench 189).
2. It “denotes an attitude of heart which bows in willing submission to deity” (Shelly 88).
3. One described it as “a very practical awareness of God in every aspect of life” (Green 79).
4. Warren Wiersbe pointed out that “it is that quality of character that makes a person distinctive. He lives above the petty things of life, the passions and pressures that control the lives of others. He seeks to do the will of God, as he does, he seeks the welfare of others” (438).
1. Biblical –
a. Paul – “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time” (Acts 20.18; cf. 2 Thess. 2).
1. Be truly converted –
a. Rom. 6.3-5 – Bury the old Man
b. 2 Cor. 5.17 – New Creature
c. Gal. 2.20 – Crucified with Christ
d. Rom. 12.1-2 – Be Transformed
2. Love God with your whole being (Matt. 22.37).
3. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22.39).
4. Continually surround yourself with good (cf. 1 Cor. 15.33).
(1) “Grow” implies that we are continually getting better (not perfection).
(2) We can get better with God’s help, which is always available.
(3) Will you turn to God so that your life can be eternally changed for the good?