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!

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