Far Sighted Faith

02/10/2016 12:54

LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE

Date: 2 October, 2016

Text: II Peter 1

Title: Far Sighted Faith

 

Introduction:        

 2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,)

·         Grace and Peace from God are two things that we need as believers.

def. grace: good will, loving-kindness, favour

2a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

exp. Grace makes the Christian life possible.

def. peace: of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

exp. Peace makes the Christian life enjoyable.

 

IF YOU WANT YOUR CHRISTIAN LIFE TO PROSPER, this is where it is at - living with God's grace and God's peace.

 

question: But where do you find grace and peace?

2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,)

note: A proper and correct understanding of God brings us to GRACE and PEACE.

 

Ill. Men - have you ever been frustrated at the grocery store when you are looking for an item your wife told you to get and you have no idea where to find it? It is such a relief to find a sales clerk and have them take you to that product that you need.

 

question: THERE IS NO USE OF KNOWING WHAT YOU NEED IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO TO GET IT.

exp. But Peter is going to show us exactly where in our Christian life to get the knowledge of God.

 

(IN OUR PASSAGE HE TELLS US WHERE TO FIND IT AND THEN HE SAYS....

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.

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.

 

(HE BELIEVES THIS TRUTH TO BE SO IMPORTANT THAT HE SAYS....

12 ¶  Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

13  Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

14  Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

15  Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

 

HOW TO INCREASE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

 

5 ¶  And beside this, giving all diligence,

 

I. You have to start with Faith.

add to your faith

ill. My father in law loves to BBQ. He has a very fancy BBQ and does major recipes. This may seem obvious but he doesn't ever cook without meat. All the spices, sauces, temperature, and heating elements are pointless without meat. MEAT IS THE MAIN THING.

exp. When it comes to the knowledge of God - the faith of Jesus is the main thing. If you don't have that - you don't have anything to which to add the other ingredients.

ill. Have you ever witnessed to someone and asked, "Why do you believe you will go to Heaven when you die."

·         I'm a good person.

·         I treat others as I wanted to be treated.

·         I've never done anything that bad.

·         Because God is a forgiving God.

·         Because I have asked God's forgiveness.

note: But, the main ingredient of salvation is missing completely?

1Timothy 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Luke 2:11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Romans 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ac 5:42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.

app. The knowledge of God begins when we receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

1 Co 2:

10  .... for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

app. If you want grace and peace from God - you must receive God's Gift of Salvation and Have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

 

Note: Once you have that Peter says to diligently add to that....

 

II. Diligently add virtue.

virtue;

exp. Virtue is moral goodness or moral excellence.

note: Peter is the one who said in 1Pe 1:15  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

1Pe 1:16  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

ill. The virtuous woman in Proverbs is a moral woman.

Proverbs 31: 10 ¶  Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12  She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

note: If there is a moral decision for this woman to make - she will make that right decision.

ill. I have witnessed to people who are in a religion that believes you earn your salvation by goodness who have said to me, "If what you are saying is true - you could live a wicked life and just say 'sorry' and go to Heaven."

ill. No - you have to put down the weapon that murdered Jesus and confess and forsake it.

exp. A moraly excellent life is God's expectation as Peter has already written.

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:

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.

app. Are you striving for moral excellence (God's standard not yours)? You can't have a close relationship and knowledge of Jesus with immorality in your life.

 

III. Diligently add knowledge.

and to virtue knowledge;

exp. How can we gain a knowledge of God without learning?

ill.  Kirk teaching his class in Dundee and saying that many of the students don't even attend the lectures. I have a question, "How can you teach someone who isn't there?"

question: When you got saved - Did God give you a complete knowledge of Him and His Word? WHERE DOES THIS KNOWLEDGE COME FROM?

Jos 1:8  This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein:

for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Ps 1:2  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

Acts 17:11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

2 Timothy  2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1Ti 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

app. Are you attending church? Are you STUDYING AND MEDITATING on God's Word? Don't expect to have grace and peace - there is no way to know God without applying yourself to KNOWING HIM.

 

IV. Diligently add temperance.

6  And to knowledge temperance;

def. self control - the ability to master the sensual desires.

ill.  Touring the Britannia and seeing the wheel house. But the wheel house isn't controlled by the man who turns the wheel. It is controlled from the bridge. The order comes down from above and is applied below.

exp: A temperate person isn't controlled by their body - they control their body.

1Th 4:4  That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

ill. James used the example of the tongue. (gossip, anger, bitterness, slander, cursing....)

James 3:2  For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

ill. Paul used the illustration of running.I Corinthians 9:24 ¶  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.

app. Have you mastered your passions? Our knowledge of Jesus is increased when we get victory over our flesh.

 

V. Diligently add patience.

and to temperance patience;

exp. Impatience can destroy temperance and virtue.

ill. Esau lost his birthright (blessing from his father) because he sold it because he could not wait to eat.

Heb 12:16  Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.

ill. Israel sat down to a meal and rose up to commit fornication because they couldn't wait for Moses to come down from the mount.

Exodus 32: 1 ¶  And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

(They made the molten calf and were immoral.)

7 ¶  And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

8  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them:

ill. Positive example - Abraham patiently waited believing God.

Hebrews 6:13  For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,

14  Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.

15  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

app. Are you learning to wait on the Lord? Our faith will be tried, but patience will lead us to an increased knowledge of God.

 

VI. Diligently add godliness.

and to patience godliness;

def. A respect for God.

ill. A lot of media attention in the States has focused on people not standing during the national anthem? Why do people care? Because when you don't stand - YOU ARE SHOWING DISRESPECT or DISHONOR to your nation.

question: (obviously God is far different from a nation)

Do you respect God?  Do you honor Him? Do you believe that He is always right? Does He have the right to instruct you?

saying: "God said it. I believe it. That settles it."

BETTER SAID, "God said it - that settles it."

ill. Speaking to Kay Lee's therapist - She kindly said, "Well if that is what you believe." I said, "That is what God believes." (AND GOD IS ALWAYS RIGHT.)

app. If you are a godly person - then you believe that God is always right and that he has the right to instruct you BECAUSE YOU RESPECT HIM.

 

VII. Diligently add brother kindness.

7  And to godliness brotherly kindness;

def. This is brotherly love.

ill. I remember my parents making me give a cuddle to by brother or sister when we got into fights.

exp.  When you are a part of a family - and rightly related to that family - we expect you to love that family.

ill. Our world is so messed up in these days that family doesn't mean very much to them.

2Ti 3:3  Without natural affection, ...

exp. Without familial affection.

1.) News story - Man who probably killed grandpa and mum.

2.) Woman who killed her two children.

3.) 14 year old boy who killed his father and then shot some school children.

note: We rightly expect families to love each other but sin has corrupted that.

exp. Sin can corrupt that in the family of God as well - but God commands us to have love one towards another.

1Jo 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

app. Do you love your Christian family? Peter says that this is a disipline needed in our lives to increase our knowledge of God.

 

VIII. Diligently add charity.

and to brotherly kindness charity.

exp. I Corinthians 13 would teach us a lot about charity - but the main thing is charity is ALL ABOUT OTHERS.

hymn: Others - by Charles Meigs - written after hearing about General Booths' New Years Cablegram to all of the salvation army stations. "Others"

 

Lord, help me live from day to day
In such a self-forgetful way
Then even when I kneel to pray
My prayer shall be for OTHERS.

Help me in all the work I do
To ever be sincere and true
And know that all I do for YOU
Must needs be done for OTHERS.

Let self be crucified and slain
And buried deep, and all in vain
May efforts be to rise again
Unless to live for OTHERS.

And when my work on earth is done
And my new work in heaven begun,
May I forget the crown I've won,
While thinking still of OTHERS.

Others, Lord, yes, others --
Let this my motto be;
Help me to live for others
That I may live like Thee.-- 

app. What is your life about? If charity is present in your life - it will be about others.

 

conclusion:

·         If you lack these things you are near sighted spiritually.

·         If you have these things - you have the knoweldge of God and THEREBY GRACE AND PEACE.

1.) Faith of Jesus?

2.) Virtue (moral excellence)

3.) knowledge (Bible study)

4.) temperance (control of flesh)

5.) patience (ability to wait upon God)

6.) godliness (respect of God)

7.) Brotherly kindness (love for God's family)

8.) Charity (Others focused.)

 

Peter has reminded us (as he loved to do) these need to be diligently added to our lives.