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Faith, Fact or Fiction

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Faith, Fact or Fiction

2 Peter 1:1-11 (NIV)
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I.        Introduction: The essence of Christian Faith is the essential nature of Christ experienced and expressed through the life of the Christian, which will yield eternal results if that experiential knowledge is maintained.

II.      Recognize the Connection of Faith: The Fellowship Entered – Mutual Partnership in knowing Jesus (v. 1)

A.      The Communication of An Apostolic Faith

B.      The Connection in an Identical Faith

III.   Reap the Benefits of Faith: The Freedom Enjoyed – Many Provisions in Knowing Jesus (vv. 2-4)

A.      Plentiful Fruit from knowing Jesus

1.       Multiplied Grace

2.       Multiplied Peace

B.      Powerful Ability from Knowing Jesus

1.       Ability Given through God’s Power

2.       Ability Given for a Godly Life

C.      Promises Realized through Knowing Jesus

1.       The Channel of the Promises

a)       Communicated by the Manifest Glory of Jesus

b)       Communicated by the Manifest Goodness of Jesus

2.       The Cherished Promises

a)       Very Great

b)       Very Precious

3.       The Change Through the Promises

a)       Experiencing God’s Nature

b)       Escaping a Corrupt Nature

IV.    Realize the Expansion of Faith: The Focus Extended  – Multiple Products from Knowing Jesus (vv. 5-7)

A.      The Expansion of Faith Expected

1.       Because of the Opportunity Afforded

2.       Because of the Addition Needed

B.      The Effort of Man Essential

V.      Regard the Demonstration of Faith: The Facts Exhibited – Manifest Proof of Knowing Jesus (vv. 8-9)

A.      The Knowledge of Christ verifiable in its Witness

1.       Increasing Christian Graces

2.       Active Christian Graces

B.      The Knowledge of Christ Void of its Witness

1.       Deficient Witness

2.       Dim Insight

3.       Dead Memory

VI.    Resist the Neglect of Faith: The Finish Envisioned – Marked Persistence from Knowing Jesus (vv. 10-11)

A.      Staying Faithful to God

1.       Validating  your Call

2.       Verifying your Election

·         It is not your election that makes your perseverance sure, but your perseverance that makes your election sure.

3.       Vigilant in your Walk

B.      Staying Focused on the Goal

1.       Entrance into the Kingdom

a)       Being Found Faithful

b)       Being Welcomed by God

2.       Enjoyment of Kingdom

a)       An Everlasting Kingdom

b)       An Everlasting King

(1)     Our Sovereign

(2)     Our Saviour

VII. Conclusion: With the initial grace of Christian faith comes the knowledge of Christ. With the knowledge of Christ come graces and virtues that Christ possesses. The Christian experience is one of a vital connectional relationship in which Jesus communicates His own virtue and graces to those who trust and remain in Him.  Unless theses graces are increasing and improved upon, we call our knowledge of Christ in question. Knowledge is not assent, but experience.

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