Saturday, August 29, 2015

2 Peter 1:6 Discipleship Ladder #4 (Patience)

2 Peter 1:6
Discipleship Ladder #4 (Patience)

By his divine power the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of the one who called us by his own honor and glory. Through his honor and glory he has given us his precious and wonderful promises, that you may share the divine nature and escape from the world’s immorality that sinful craving produces.
This is why you must make every effort to add moral excellence to your faith; and to moral excellence, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, endurance; and to endurance, godliness; and to godliness, affection for others; and to affection for others, love. If all these are yours and they are growing in you, they’ll keep you from becoming inactive and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whoever lacks these things is shortsighted and blind, forgetting that they were cleansed from their past sins.
10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be eager to confirm your call and election. Do this and you will never ever be lost. 11 In this way you will receive a rich welcome into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. [CEB]

ESV = “steadfastness”

Definition: “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” []

Working definition: steadfast endurance.

I.             Where does patience come from?

                A.            Patience comes from pain and suffering.
James 1:2 – 4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, [3] for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. [4] And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” [ESV]

Romans 5:3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.” [ESV]

                B.            Patience requires effort.
Luke 8:15 “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” [NIV]

Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” [NIV]

                C.            Patience is a matter of life and death.
Luke 21:19 “By your endurance you will gain your lives.” [ESV]
                *Context: end times, hated because of Jesus, betrayed and persecuted.

II.            Why do we dislike patience?

                A.            It offends our theology.
                                1.            We want prosperity.
                                2.            We want comfort.
2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” [ESV]

                B.            It requires harder work.
                                1.            Vincent: “not merely enduring the inevitable… but the brave, heroic… not only bears but contends.”
                                2.            It’s not a passive endurance. 
                                3.            There is a steadfastness in purpose (follow Christ, win the lost).

                C.            It eliminates excuses.
                                1.            Not stupid insensibility.
                                                a.            Brains are not “checked at the door.”
                                                b.            This is a thoughtful counter to sin, persecution, and their          advocates.
                                2.            Not stubborn resolution.
                                                a.            Stubborn (unreasonably or perversely unyielding – merriam –                                                       
                                                b.            Sometimes we can be unreasonable without cause, truth, or facts.
III.           What does real patience look like?

                A.            Christ-life VS Self-life
                                1.            There will be an honest struggle to “die to the world.”
                                2.            Our eyes, lives, and purpose will be “fixed on Jesus.”
                                3.            Circumstances are just circumstances, neither good nor bad.
                                4.            Life will be free from bondage from ANYTHING and EVERTHING of this world.
                                5.            The will be absolutely NO wobble, weave, or wavering in our faith.

                B.            Early church:
                                1.            Under pressure they evangelized their world.
                                2.            Under pain they patiently prepared for the return of Jesus.

2 Peter 1:5 Discipleship Ladder #3 (Temperance/Self-control)

2 Peter 1:5
Discipleship Ladder #3 (Temperance/Self-control)

I.             The reality of life (Peter’s failures)

                a.            Inconsistent
                b.            Incompetency
                c.             Judgmental

2.            The ideal of “temperance.” (“self-control”)

                a.            Two ideas colliding:
                                1.)           Pleomexia (plea neksea) – “Ruthless self-seeking and arrogant  assumption that others and things exist for one’s own benefit.” (Ritenbaugh)
                                2.)           Egkrateia (eng-krat'-i-ah) – “The virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites.” (Thayer)
                b.            Virtue and knowledge leads to:
                                1.)           Mischief… sabotaging and undermining others. OR
                                2.)           Temperance (self-control)

3.            So what does “temperance” mean?

                a.            “Stability of mind and consistency of conduct.”
                b.            Wesley --  Christian temperance implies the voluntary abstaining from all pleasure which does not lead to God. … the due governance of every thought, as well as affection.”

(Ill.) “Everyone who competes practices self-discipline in everything. The runners do this to get a crown of leaves that shrivel up and die, but we do it to receive a crown that never dies.” [1 Cor. 9:25]

                c.             It means that we keep desire under control and passions in check.

4.            How is this to be accomplished?

                a.            Only under the sovereign rule of the Holy Spirit.
                                1.)           Sinful desire vs Holy Spirit

“People whose lives are based on selfishness think about selfish things, but people whose lives are based on the Spirit think about things that are related to the Spirit. The attitude that comes from selfishness leads to death, but the attitude that comes from the Spirit leads to life and peace. So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t. People who are self-centered aren’t able to please God.” [Romans 5:5 -- 8]

“For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” [5:13]

b.            We have a responsibility to Jesus…. Can we live carelessly?

“So then, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation, but it isn’t an obligation to ourselves to live our lives on the basis of selfishness.” [Romans 8:12]

Friday, August 14, 2015

Discipleship Ladder #2 (Knowledge)

2 Peter 1:3 – 11
Discipleship Ladder #2 (Knowledge)
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.
 (“knowledge” 161x in 158 verses ESV)
1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition:
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning:
3. acquaintance or familiarity gained by sight, experience, or report: []

Knowledge as a negative:
                1. It may be an opportunity to sin.
Gen_2:17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die."
                2. It is may become a burden. 
Ecc_1:18  For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
                3. It is may spin us around.
Isa_47:10  You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, "No one sees me"; your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me."

                4. It is may destroy us.
1Co_8:1  Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that "all of us possess knowledge." This "knowledge" puffs up, but love builds up.
1Co_8:11  And so by your knowledge this weak person is destroyed, the brother for whom Christ died.
                5. It is may be the occasion for arguments.
1Ti_6:20  O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called "knowledge,"
                6. It is spiritual warfare.
2Co_10:5  We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
The dangers of the lack of knowledge:
                1. God takes it personally.
Job_38:2  "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
                2. It exposes our true heart.
Pro_1:22  "How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge?
Pro_1:29  Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
                3. It makes us impatient.
Pro_19:2  Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
                4. It destroys us.
Hos_4:6  My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
                5. It sends people to hell.
Luk_11:52  Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."

What is necessary to acquire knowledge:
                1. The healthy fear of the LORD.
Pro_1:7  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
                2. Deliberate consistency.
Pro_19:27  Cease to hear instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
Pro_23:12  Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.
                3. God’s will.
Dan_2:21  He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;
                4. By asking.
2Ch_1:10  Give me now wisdom and knowledge to go out and come in before this people, for who can govern this people of yours, which is so great?"

Where do we get knowledge:
                1. Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Isa_11:2  And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
                2. Through Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Psa_19:2  Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
                3a. Through the Pastor.
Jer_3:15  "'And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
                3b. Through the Pastor.
Mal_2:7  For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
                4. Together as a church.
Col_2:2 – 3  that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God's mystery, which is Christ, [3]  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

Why is Peter so concerned?
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. [2 Peter 2:20 – 21]