Friday, July 31, 2015

Discipleship Ladder #2 (Knowledge)



2 Peter 1:5
Ladder of Success #1

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[c] his own glory and excellence,[d] by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities[f] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers,[g] be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. [ESV from www.biblegateway.com]

Background:
                1.            Meet Peter, “the mess-up.”
                2.            Matured, learned a few things.
                3.            “Make every effort.”
                4.            REASONS:
                                a.            [v 8]  “keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful.”
                                b.            [v 10]  “if you practice these qualities you will never fall.”

I.             The Stalled-life is an impaired life.
                A.            Christian life:
                                1.            Start well
                                2.            Lose momentum
                                3.            Perpetual inertia
                B.            Result:
                                1.            [v 8] Ineffective (lit. inactive, lazy, useless) [Wesley “slothful”]
                                2.            [v 8] Unfruitful (Jesus said these would be cut and thrown into the fire)
                                3.            [v 10] Fall (lit. trip…. “fall, offend, stumble)

II.            The Stalled-life is an inferior life.
                A.            Christianity vs the world
                                1.            Stoics had what they called “prokope” (moral progress)
                                2.            Peter uses that wisdom and starts with “virtue” and progresses to “love.”
                B.            “Virtue” defined:
                                1.            It is an ideal…
                                2.            Excellence infused with energy.
                                3.            It is “operative and effective excellence.” (Barclay)
Moffatt – “The Christian life must not be an initial spasm followed by chronic inertia.”
                                4.            It is evidence by service to God and people.
“Good better best, never let it rest, until your good is better, and your better is best.”

III.           The Growing-life is a Christ like life.
                A.            It comes through responding to God’s initiative.
                                1.            [v 3] “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and                                                             godliness.”
                                2.            [v  4] “by which he has granted to us his precious and very great                       promises.”
                                3.            [v 4]] “so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature,                                                    having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful                                                             desire.”
                B.            The “trajectory of faith.” (my image)
                                1.            Point “A” traveling toward point “B.”
                                                a.            Faith to submission…
                                                b.            Submission to rule of the Holy Spirit…
                                                c.             Rule of the Holy Spirit to effective, fruitful, and victorious life.
                                2.            What it takes:
                                                a.            Being intentional.
                                                b.            Planning and making measurable progress.
                                                c.             Not resting until it is “excellent.”

IV.          The Growing-life is a calibrated life.
                A.            Calibrated?
                                1.            Planned.  (What are your spiritual goals?)
                                2.            Determined (What energy are you putting into those goals?)
                                3.            Measured (How will you know when you have reached a goal?)
                                4.            Modeled (What do you need to do/not do to become more like Jesus?)
                B.            What will this look like?
                                1.            Love and knowledge of God will increase.
                                2.            Intentional life of service will increase.
                                3.            Forward! (Not having to repeat past mistakes or lessons)

To Do:
                1.            Ask the Holy Spirit what ONE thing you will move forward on.
                2.            Define what that is going to look like.
                3.            Set a time to achieve it by.
                4.            Measure it: is it good, better, or best?

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