January 15, 2012 – AM service
Sun Oak Baptist Church
A. “Blessed” refers to the supreme happiness and contentment and fulfillment in life that can only come from living in the light of God’s favor.
How can we grow in Christ-likeness this year? How can we be blessed
in the coming year? Peter answers this question using the lens of 7 Christ-like virtues that he says are to be added to our faith in an ongoing manner.
2nd Peter 1:8: if we give all diligence to the ongoing discipline of adding these virtues to our faith we will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ!
What an incredible promise!
B. How can we have a blessed New Year – in 2012 or for that matter each and every year?
I. By being poor in spirit.
Being “poor in spirit” is the personal acknowledgment of spiritual bankruptcy. According to Jesus in Matthew 5:3, one aspect of God’s work of grace in salvation brings a lost sinner to the place that he knows he’s spiritually bankrupt and can’t save himself.
The New Testament then fleshes out the truth that Christian growth continues on the same basis.
II. By giving all diligence to living out the Christian life. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
This cluster of words – giving all diligence, add – this is emphatic – the point being that Christian growth...the act and process of adding these things requires effort on our part.
Important truth: God is ultimately responsible for all spiritual growth. God is ultimately responsible for all spiritual growth. But
at the same time, God won’t do our part. See Isaiah 61:11; 1st
Corinthians 3:7-9; etc.
God’s Word teaches us is that God will not do what you can do. We can’t do what God does, and God will not do what you can do.
III. By giving all diligence to the task of adding specific Christ-like ____________ to our faith. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
A. The first of these is virtue.
This is “moral excellence.” The idea isn’t so much as being “good” it literally refers to the activity or vigor of the soul towards moral excellence.
B. Christ-like virtue #2: add to virtue _____________________.
The particular “knowledge” here is the kind that refers to adding insight, understanding, or enlightenment of God.
C. #3: add to knowledge ______________________________.
Self-control is the idea of “endeavoring, and laboring, and taking pains by every contrivance imaginable” to stop – to cease and desist.
D. #4: add to self-control __________________________.
Perseverance is “patient endurance” – patient steadfast endurance; plodding; it’s putting our nose to the grindstone and continuing up the ladder come what may.
E. #5: add to perseverance _________________________.
Godliness refers to “reverence, respect, or piety towards God.” Godliness is reverence; it’s respect – and it’s piety towards God. It’s kind of a general term that sums up the Christian life. See 1st Tim. 6:11 and 2nd Peter 3:11.
F. #6: add to godliness ____________________________.
This specifically refers to love in the church, love among the brethren – loving one another. It’s something that is absolutely critical in the life of a church and in the spiritual health of the church.
G. #7: add to brotherly love ______________.
This is 1st Corinthians 13 love. It is the love behind brotherly love; it is the love that is unselfish; it’s the love that never seeks its own; and so on.
Beloved: Christian growth – adding any of these ingredients to our faith comes down to priorities – priorities and choices we make – and this is right where Christian growth stops – choices and priorities. Moving up the rungs of this ladder comes down to purposing by God’s grace, to give all diligence in making these things the priorities of our day-to-day lives. Peter doesn’t say “perfection” – but he does say we must give all diligence.