9 December 2018 PM – 2 Peter 1:6 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: Genesis 39 records the events of Joseph’s life while he was a slave in Egypt. Potiphar’s wife tried her best to lead him into sin. Like the strange woman described in Proverbs 7, she likely wore the attire of a harlot, kiss him, and used fair speech and flattering words to entice him. Day after day, she begged him to sin, but Joseph firmly said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” In the face of her daily temptation, he stood firm and refused. Joseph was exemplifying biblical patience.
In 2 Peter 1:6, God tells us to add to our temperance, patience.
Transition: As we examine what God wants us to learn about adding patience to our Christian lives, I will divide it into three sections – Patience Defined, Patience Developed, and Patience Displayed.
1. Patience Defined
a. What patience in the Bible does not mean
1) It is not just a good-natured tolerance of delay or incompetence. (WordWeb Dictionary)
2) It is not just the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. (Google)
3) It is not just the ability to wait, or to continue doing something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed (Cambridge)
4) These are common English definitions of the word “patience” but the Bible word is more than cheerfully waiting.
b. What patience in the Bible DOES mean
1) The Bible word comes from the Greek word Hupomone. It is a compound word from hupo under and mone to remain. It is remaining firm under pressure.
2) Thayer defines it as steadfastness, constancy, or endurance. Thus, it is steadfast endurance.
3) The word is found 32x in the NT – patience (29x), enduring (1x), patient continuance (1x), patient waiting (1x).
4) In the NT [it is] the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. (Thayer)
5) It is remaining under trials and testings in a way that honors God. (Wuest) These trials may not be sensual temptations like those of Joseph. They may be the temptation to compromise, to change doctrine, to buckle under the threat of persecution, to look at evil, to get angry or any other sort of temptation or trial.
6) Schaff states, In the New Testament it [patience] seems always to carry with it the idea of manliness, expressing not the mere bearing of trials, but the courageous, persevering endurance of them.
O Life is full of difficulties and trials. Our flesh wants to run from them or to become bitter because of them. The devil wants us to quit standing for truth, cave in to the pressures and give up. God wants us to have biblical patience so that we bravely endure trials without swerving from our loyalty to Him.
2. Patience Developed
a. We are to add patience to temperance
1) Last week we learned that temperance is self-control or self-mastery over all desires and passions to bring them all into harmony with the will of God.
2) Temperance is a life-long challenge. Fleshly and carnal desires do not lessen as we get older. The battle with our sinful flesh will rage until we see Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54) “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
3) Warren Wiersbe reminds us that, “Self-control has to do with handling the pleasures of life, while patience relates primarily to the pressures and problems of life.”
4) The pursuit of temperance is an uphill climb that is difficult. We will be tempted to run, become bitter, cave in and quit. To prevent this, we need biblical patience.
b. How do we get biblical patience?
1) God is the author and enabler of patience. (Romans 15:5) “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:” Patience is not a human attribute. We need God’s grace that we might steadfastly endure hardships without quitting. This is a ministry of the indwelling Holy Spirit available when we walk in harmony with Him (Gal 5:16).
2) Turn with me to Colossians 1:9-11. Here God tells us that we gain patience as we learn His will, walk worthy of Him, and get to know Him intimately. The better we know God’s love and character, the easier it will be come to trust Him patiently during trying times. We must NOT underestimate this KEY TRUTH! Seek to know God as your loving, merciful, faithful, omnipotent, caring Father.
3) Wiersbe rightly said patience is not something that develops automatically; we must work at it.
a) Turn over to James 1:2-8.
b) “The trying of our faith works patience.” Romans 5:3 says, “Tribulation worketh patience” which is what James is telling us.
c) We are to let patience have her perfect or complete work in our lives.
d) When we lack wisdom (particularly concerning patience during trials) we are to ask God for it.
4) Every time a temptation, trial, hardship, or burden comes our way, it is another opportunity to further develop and display biblical patience for God’s glory.
3. Patience Displayed
a. Biblical patience complements temperance
1) Philip Schaff said, Christian self-control is to be practised in and along with the spirit of patient endurance
a) Patience saves temperance from harshness and fitfulness [i.e., irregularity].
b) Patience confirms temperance into constancy [i.e., faithfulness and dependability]
c) Patience mellows temperance into tenderness and humility. (Schaff)
2) This reminds us of Daniel’s determination to honour God. (Daniel 1:8) “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” He could have made an abundance of excuses (e.g., parents dead, slave, foreign land, eunuch, young). To maintain his self-control, Daniel purposed it in his heart. He displayed biblical patience.
b. Biblical patience is very beneficial
1) It supports our temperance as we have noted.
2) It keeps us focussed under pressure. It keeps our eyes on things above (Col 3:1-2).
3) It sustains us during temptation by keeping us from yielding to sin.
4) It prevents spiritual retreat or surrender. Paul displayed patience when he said, (Acts 20:24) “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
5) It enables us to mature spiritually (Jas 1:4).
6) It prevents complaining as we remember that God is ALL that we need.
7) It enables us to honour God.
Conclusion: God wants us to be patient, to endure trials bravely without swerving from our loyalty to Him. We must persevere. We need patience to sustain our self-control. To be patient we must believe that God is good, loving and faithful. Believe that He is our strength, our rock, our refuge, and our deliverer. Believe that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We must depend on the Holy Spirit. We must joyfully accept each trial as an opportunity to grow in patience for God’s glory. So, stand strong! Draw near to God! Remain loyal to the Lord! Never quit!
Song: I have Decided to Follow Jesus, 397