Saturday, September 26, 2015

2 Peter 1:7 Discipleship Ladder 6 & 7: “love”

2 Peter 1:7
Discipleship Ladder 6 & 7 (Love)

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 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. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. [2 Peter 1:3 – 9 NIV]

***** Why did Peter put the ideal of “love” last? *****
(ill. TV commercial, “before there is love there is…”)

I.             Love as “right motions.”

                A.            Love by itself:
                                a.            Empty of truth = useless.
                                b.            Empty of zeal = meaningless.
                B.            Love for its own sake:                           
                                a.            Misses the point of redemption and healing from sin.
                                b.            Misses the opportunity to make a genuine difference.

II.            Love as “right motives.”

                A.            Two types of “love” Peter uses:
                                1.            “Philadelphia”
                                                a.            “Brotherly” love.
                                                b.            Love that is natural in a family.
                                                c.             Towards fellow believers.
                                2.            “Agape”
                                                a.            “Unconditional love” (technical term)
                                                b.            It is the love God demonstrated toward us.
                                                c.             Toward all.
                B.            Love exercised for Christ sake.
                                1.            Clarke – “the strongest attachment to Christ’s faith, feeling each other                                                as a member of your own body.”
                                2.            Cambridge – “united in a common belief.” 

***** UNITY *****

                C.            Love exercised for Christianity (and fellow believers).
                                1.            Jesus commanded it.

John 13:34, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

                                2.            It is our mark.

John 13:35, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

III.           Love from a “right mind-set.”

                A.            Reality check:
                                1.            Selfishness kills love.
                                2.            Insulation (not being intentional about sharing Jesus) kills love.
                B.            Love is a deliberate choice.
                                1.            Love does not just happen. 
                                2.            Duck Dynasty guy: “You don’t have to compromise convictions to be                                                compassionate.”

1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, show sincere love to each other, because love brings about the forgiveness of many sins.” [CEB]

IV.          Love is the “right message.”

                A.            “Sour godliness… is of the devil” [Wesley]
                                1.            Sour godliness loses warmth.
                                2.            Sour godliness loses zeal.
                                3.            Result: we lose compassion for others (the different, the needy, the                                                        ones  we are offended by) and we lose our zeal for being                                                                        intentional about sharing Jesus with those who need to know Him.
                B.            Love is the result (fruit) of certain things, without them, love is a lie.

1 Timothy 1:5, “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

1 Peter 1:22, “Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart.”

What’s the point?

2 Peter 1:8, “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.”

Imagine and live a useful and meaningful life!

Saturday, September 05, 2015

2 Peter 1:6 Leadership Ladder #5 (Godliness)

2 Peter 1:6
Leadership Ladder #5 (Godliness)

We have everything we need to live a life that pleases God. It was all given to us by God’s own power, when we learned that he had invited us to share in his wonderful goodness. God made great and marvelous promises, so that his nature would become part of us. Then we could escape our evil desires and the corrupt influences of this world.
Do your best to improve your faith. You can do this by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, devotion to God, concern for others, and love. If you keep growing in this way, it will show that what you know about our Lord Jesus Christ has made your lives useful and meaningful. But if you don’t grow, you are like someone who is nearsighted or blind, and you have forgotten that your past sins are forgiven.
10 My friends, you must do all you can to show that God has really chosen and selected you. If you keep on doing this, you won’t stumble and fall. 11 Then our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will give you a glorious welcome into his kingdom that will last forever. [2 Peter 1:3 – 11 CEV]

I.             Spiritual reality:

                A.            Powerless belief

2 Timothy 3:5: “having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” [ESV]

                B.            Impotent religion

1 Timothy 3:16: “Without question, the mystery of godliness is great: he was revealed as a human, declared righteous by the Spirit, seen by angels, preached throughout the nations, believed in around the world, and taken up in glory.” [CEB]

                C.            Purposeless lives

2 Peter 3:11: “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be? You must live holy and godly lives,” [ESV]

II.            What is “godliness?”

                A.            Wesley – A continual sense of God’s presence and providence, and a filial (noting or  having the relation of a child to a parent) fear of, and confidence in, him.

                B.            Vincent – “Worship rightly directed” … “worth – ship” reverence paid to worth.

                C.            Cambridge – “godly conduct” (behavior)

III.           Why is godliness necessary?

                A.            Life AND godliness are linked.

2 Peter 1:3: “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.” [CEB]
                                1.            God has given us ability for these things… EVERYTHING we need.
                                2.            Divine power changes us: life AND godliness.

                B.            Clarke – “A disposition indispensably necessary to salvation… but exceedingly rare among professors.” (People who profess belief/faith/salvation)

James 2:17: “In the same way, faith is dead when it doesn’t result in faithful activity.” [CEB]
James 2:24: “So you see that a person is shown to be righteous through faithful actions and not through faith alone.” [CEB]
James 2:26: “As the lifeless body is dead, so faith without actions is dead.”

***** “exceedingly rare” *****

 IV.          How to save the sinking ship…

                A.            Starts with and continues with DEPENDENCE on God.
                                1.            It is God’s power.
                                2.            It is through Jesus Christ.

                B.            Directed:
                                1.            Outward, toward others it is behavior that reflects Jesus.
1 Peter 2:21: “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” [ESV]
                                2.            Inward, brining strict order to our thought lives.
2 Corinthians 10:5: “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” [ESV]
                                3.            Upward, toward God is worship.
Revelation 5:12: “saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” [ESV]