All Things That Pertain to Life Pt. 2
Letís start by reviewing last lessonís Scripture:
2 Peter 1: 1-4: 1. Simon Peter, a servant 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.
We discussed last lesson, the importance of the divine nature, dwelling in us. That through this indwelling we are to grow spiritually and walk in what God has for us.
That we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Letís continue by looking into 1 Peter before we continue in 2 Peter.
1 Peter 1:3-7: 3. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4. to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5. who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7. that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
Here again Peter is talking about Godís plan for us. In His abundant mercy we have been given a hope of "kingdom living" through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We are heirs of life now as we discussed last lesson, but also heirs of an incorruptible inheritance stored for us in Heaven. We should rejoice in this knowledge daily, but with this inheritance also comes trials which will refine us into what God would have us be.
It is through the testing that our faith is refined, but we will not go through the testing successfully if we do not know what the Word of God says.
There is a difference between obtaining faith and refining it. How do we obtain faith?
Romans 10:17: So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
We obtain faith by hearing the Word of God. We heard the Word of Salvation; we believed and were saved. We heard we believed and were saved. There was no testing, no trial. The only way to have faith is to get into Godís Word, study it, meditate on it and believe it. This will produce faith. The more you study the bigger your faith becomes, the more you know you can depend on God and His Word. If you donít know what Godís Word says about life, trials and temptations, then when the fire comes you wonít be able to stand in it because you wonít know how.
Letís think of obtaining faith as mining. We mine Godís Word for the gold of faith. We dig deep find it and take it. But, then what happens? It needs to be refined!
Websterís II New Riverside Dictionary defines refine as: 1. To remove unwanted material from, purify. 2.To free from coarseness. 3.to make more perfect or subtle 4. To improve or perfect.
Have you ever considered that the trials you go through are to remove unwanted material that will interfere with the mining of your faith? We cannot successfully go through trials without faith. We cannot obtain faith without hearing the Word of God. It is that simple. The enemy would have us stumbling around in the dark, bumping into obstacles, constantly beat up, never obtaining victory. I am here to tell you that is not what God intends! He has a plan and it is in the "mine" of His Word. Dig deep and find it for yourself. You can start by hearing what Pastor says on Sundays, but it must go deeper. It is individual digging, not group digging that builds your faith. I can sit here and type out what God is putting on my heart, "till the cows come home," and it will help you begin your digging but it cannot replace your own "mining experience."
You must get into Godís Word and be ready for the refining process, because it will come. Why does it come?
2 Peter 1:5-11: But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6. to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7. to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11. for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It is a building process, to build us into the holy temple of God. It takes more than faith, more than refined faith. We are to go from faith to faith and from faith to virtue. We add
virtue to faith through trials. Virtue is moral excellence. Moral excellence is holiness.
We become more holy as we burn away impurities through the trials of fire. Isnít is wonderful to see how it all comes together.
Yet, it continues from there. We add knowledge to virtue. Our moral excellence or virtue will not stand if we do not add more of Godís wisdom to our lives. Yesterdayís victory is established to give use a strong base to continue our growth. Yet, we must practice self-control to keep everything in place.
If you cannot control yourself, your temper, your emotions, your desires, your appetites, then the base you are establishing will be cracked and unstable and will eventually be crushed under the continued pressure of further refinement. Self-control ushers in perseverance. Perseverance is steadfast continuance in an idea purpose or task despite any obstacle.
Our faith in God is that idea. Our purpose or task is whatever Godís purpose in our life is. See how it all fits together?
We dig in Godís Word and obtain faith, it is refined through trials, unwanted material is burned away, and then we are able to add virtue to our lives. After virtue comes self-control which leads to perseverance in Godís Plan, which is for us to become godly.
When we become godly, we add brotherly kindness to our lives and walk in love.
Romans 5:5: Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
It was through the Holy Spirit that the love of God has been deposited in us, making all this possible. This is the importance of the divine nature, dwelling in us. Through this indwelling we are to grow spiritually and walk in what God has for us, and what God has for us is "all things that pertain to life and godliness".
Why is this important you ask? Because without all this occurring you will not be fruitful in you life. Letís go back and see what Jesus said about bearing fruit.
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 14:12: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
We go through this mining and refining process so that we can bear fruit and do the works of Jesus. It is that simple. Peter went on to say that if we do not add all these things to our lives: faith, virtue, self-control, perseverance, brotherly kindness and love,
then we will be unfruitful in the things of God and will stumble in life.
I donít know about you, but I have no intention of either being unfruitful or going about stumbling in the darkness of ignorance of Godís Word. I have made a choice and it is to live life fully for the Glory of God. How about you are you going to spend life unfruitful or fruitful? It is up to you! I urge you today, get into Godís Word, mine the richness of His inheritance, build up your faith, so that you can walk through the fire when it comes.
Build yourself into the temple of God he so desires you to be!
I come to you now, I lift each lady reading this to you Lord. Open the eyes of her understanding to the importance of "mining" Your Word. Guide her as she grows from faith to faith to virtue, establishing self-control and perseverance. Help her to allow the love of God that was deposited in her heart to exhibit itself in brotherly kindness and love. Lord, let each lady bear fruit in their lives, to do the Works of Jesus and to glorify you in all that they do.
In Jesusí name, I pray, the name above all names,