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Forgetting the Past and Embracing the New

Isaiah 43:18-19 (NKJV) "“Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert." (Isaiah 43:18-19, NKJV)

2 Peter 1:1-4 (NKJV)
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

" 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." (2 Peter 1:5-11, NKJV)


Faith marks the beginning of the Christian life (see Acts 3:16; Rom. 3:28; Heb. 11:6). Through genuine faith, God grants eternal life to a spiritually dead person (see Eph. 2:1).

I.                 Faith

A.              We begin with faith, because faith is where we begin in our walk with God

a)           John 20:24-31 (NKJV)

(1)        29 Jesus said to him, 6“Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

b)          We know something about Jesus, but not everything. John 1:43-51 (NKJV)

(1)        50 Jesus answered and said to [Nathanael], “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”

2.                Faith is ths operative ingredient of our salvation

a)           John 3:16 (NKJV) "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16, NKJV)

3.                Faith is where we begin our Life (abundant and eternal)

a)           John 3:36 (NKJV) "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”" (John 3:36, NKJV)

b)          John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10, NKJV)

4.                Faith is where we begin our journey…together

a)           Faith is the common ground on which you stand

b)          Faith is the point and line of agreement from which you can walk together

(1)        Amos 3:3 "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3, NKJV)
(2)        or depart

B.               Through the cross God has placed Jesus on a platform to draw everyone to him

(1)        John 12:32-33   "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”" (John 12:32, NKJV)
(2)        John 3:14-15

C.               And it is through Christ, our faith in Christ, that we

1.                access God John 14:6  "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6, NKJV)

2.                secure a ticket of salvation John 3:16

3.                posess life John 3:36  "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”" (John 3:36, NKJV)

4.                are a channel for miracles Acts 3:16

a)           Hebrews 11:32-35

"And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection." (Hebrews 11:32-35, NKJV)

D.              to live faith is to extend knowledge of God beyond the current reality, yet into reality.

a)           Hebrews 11:1 " Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1, NKJV)

E.               Faith is a continuum through which we are kept by God until the (prescribed) end (of faith) (at which point our souls are saved) 1 Peter 1:3-12 

F.                For our effort to live faith I  encourage and challenge you to be brothers of Life, Leadership, Legacy.

1.                Of Life Live, embrace life, go after the abundant life you have in Christ Jesus, not settling for death or mere survival. Thrive. Exist in the liberty throughwhich Christ has set you free, refusing to remain (or become again) entagled with death, sin or the affairs of this life Romans 6:4-14 2 Timothy 2:3-4

2.                Of Leadership Not the leadership to which we are accustomed, where a person leads before he knows where he is going Luke 6:39-40 No, Follow. Follow Christ as He has called you. Be Christ’s disciples wholeheartedly that one day you might be able to rightly say “Follow me as I follow Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

3.                Of Legacy Received your inheritancec. Actively choose what is coming to you, both naturally and spiritually  Luke 15:11-12 Accept what is God, refuse all else. Consider your father’s spirit(s) and your mother’s disposition. are they what you want? To our betterment, some of us have inherited our parent’s faith 2 Timothy 1:5 As joint heirs with Christ, acknowledge and waith on your spiritual inheritance through God Romans 8:16-17 1 Peter 1:3-4 Furthermore, consider the inheritance you will leave your children and this world. Proverbs 13:22

a)           Luke 15:11-12 " Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood." (Luke 15:11-12, NKJV)

II.              Virtue

A.              Jesus lived a higher standard

a)           Matthew 5:20-48

b)          John 8:1-12

"So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst." (John 8:7-9, NKJV)

2.                Jesus made clear that apart from Him we can do nothing

a)           John 15:5  "“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5, NKJV)

B.               How do you get to a life virtue?

1.                Model yourself after Christ 1 john 2:6

"He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked." (1 John 2:6, NKJV)

2.                Role model for others 1 Corinthians 11:1

703 ἀρετή [arete /ar·et·ay/] n f. From the same as 730; TDNT 1:457; TDNTA 77; GK 746; Five occurrences; AV translates as “virtue” four times, and “ praise” once. 1 a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action. 1a virtue, moral goodness. 2 any particular moral excellence, as modesty, purity.

III.          Knowledge

A.              The Holy Spirit Teaches

(1)        John 14:26

2.                Jesus declared that

a)           He is the truth John 14:6

b)          He would give us another Helper, the Spirit of truth John 14:16-17

c)           Truth will set you free John 8:32

B.               Yet the chief benefit of truth is not in its knowing/posession, but its application

1.                1 John 1:5-7

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." (1 John 1:6, NKJV)

2.                Therefore, Walk in truth/Carry out truth Ephesians 5:8-10;15-17 

3.                In fact, to know truth and not apply truth will prove detrimental/disastorous to those watching you, as well as yourself

a)           1 Corinthians 8:4-13

"And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened;" (2 Corinthians 8:10-13, NKJV)

b)          Peter 2:20-22

"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. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”" (2 Peter 2:20-22, NKJV)

C.               Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

1.                2 Peter 3:17-18

D.              Live out scripture that you may be complete and thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1.                2 Timothy 3:16-17

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV)

Knowledge (practical wisdom) is obtained by dedicating ourselves to learning God’s truth in the Scriptures and putting that truth into action.


IV.          Self-control

A.              Strive For it. Posses it.

a)           Romans 6:13

"And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God." (Romans 6:13, NKJV)

B.               Understand, self-control is a Spiritual fruit, a result of God’s Spirit working in us and with us.

a)           Galatians 5:16-26

C.               Do not under estimate the desires and lust of your flesh.

a)           Romans 7:18-25  "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find." (Romans 7:18, NKJV)

D.              Remember, it took the authority of Christ, the power and righteousness of Christ’s life, death, burial and resurrection to free us from the bandage of sin (of our flesh), giving us a realistic choice to serve Christ.

a)           Romans 6:1-14

"knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin." (Romans 6:6-7, NKJV)

1466 ἐγκράτεια [egkrateia /eng·krat·i·ah/] n f. From 1468; TDNT 2:339; TDNTA 196; GK 1602; Four occurrences; AV translates as “temperance” four times. 1 self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites).


V.             Perseverance

A.              Here’s the problem:

1.                we give out too soon

(1)        Luke 8:11-15

"Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity. But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience." (Luke 8:14-15, NKJV)

b)          We loose heart from fear Luke 21:25-36

c)           As if God will not make good on His promise Hebrews 10:32-39

d)          As if God is not molding us--we take the position that everything is about the devil Hebrews 12:1-11

B.               What are the actions of someone who is persevering?

1.                Hebrews 10:19-31

a)           Be forgiven 1 John 1:9

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9, NKJV)

b)          Draw near James 4:8a  "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." (James 4:8, NKJV)

c)           Examine, but don’t deny the authenticity and simplicity of your own confession Romans 10:9-13

"that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”" (Romans 10:9-13, NKJV)

d)          Live life together and encourage each other Ephesians 4:25-32 Ephesians 4:11-16

e)           Live like you know

(1)        Luke 21:16-19  

"You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls." (Luke 21:16-19, NKJV)

(2)        John 16:33

"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”" (John 16:33, NKJV)

perseverance: A person who exercises self-control will not easily succumb to discouragement or the temptation to quit. Viewing all circumstances as coming from the hand of a loving Father who is in control of all things is the secret of per-severance.

5281 ὑπομονή [hupomone /hoop·om·on·ay/] n f. From 5278; TDNT 4:581; TDNTA 581; GK 5705; 32 occurrences; AV translates as “patience” 29 times, “enduring” once, “patient continuance” once, and “patient waiting” once. 1 steadfastness, constancy, endurance. 1a in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. 1b patiently, and steadfastly. 2 a patient, steadfast waiting for. 3 a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance. Additional Information: For synonyms see entry 3115, makrothumia.See entry 5861 for comparison of synonyms.

VI.          Godliness

A.              Live reverently, ackowledging God’s sovereingty and appreciating His grace

a)           (2 Peter 3:1-4 )

b)          Romans 6:1-2

" What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2, NKJV)

2150 εὐσέβεια [eusebeia /yoo·seb·i·ah/] n f. From 2152; TDNT 7:175; TDNTA 1010; GK 2354; 15 occurrences; AV translates as “godliness” 14 times, and “holiness” once. 1 reverence, respect. 2 piety towards God, godliness.

VII.      Brotherly Kindness

A.              A casual love will not get us through

1.                1 Peter 4:7-11 ( 1 Peter 1:22; 2:17; 3:8-12)

" But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (1 Peter 4:7-11, NKJV)

2.                Romans 12:9-13

" Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." (Romans 12:9-13, NKJV)

3.                John 15:12-13

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (John 15:12-13, NKJV)

5360 φιλαδελφία [philadelphia /fil·ad·el·fee·ah/] n f. From 5361; TDNT 1:144; TDNTA 22; GK 5789; Six occurrences; AV translates as “brotherly love” three times, “brotherly kindness” twice, and “love of the brethren” once. 1 love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love. 2 in the NT the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren.

VIII.   Love As a first step

1.                Matthew 22:24-29

"saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God." (Matthew 22:24-29, NKJV)

2.                I corinthians 13:1-13

26 ἀγάπη [agape /ag·ah·pay/] n f. From 25; TDNT 1:21; TDNTA 5; GK 27; 116 occurrences; AV translates as “love” 86 times, “charity” 27 times, “dear” once, “charitably + 2596” once, and “feast of charity” once. 1 brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence. 2 love feasts.


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