To Add or not to Add
6 January 2019 PM – 2 Peter 1:8-9 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: Have you noticed that people tend to neglect things in life that do not show instant benefit. They neglect eating healthy foods. They neglect drinking only healthy substances. They neglect changing the oil in their car. They neglect exercise. They neglect giving up smoking.
When it comes to spiritual things, many Christians tend to do the same thing. Peter has reminded us that we ought to add seven qualities to our faith. We know it is a good idea, but because we do not see instant results, we tend to neglect doing it.
Transition: To motivate us to make the effort, in verses 8-9 Peter gives us the results of adding to our faith or not adding to our faith.
1. The results of adding to your faith (v.8)
a. The indications
1) These things be in you.
a) These things refer back to the qualities you are to add to your faith:
(1) Virtue: excellence in character, particularly in the area of morals. It is the determination to do what is excellent in God’s sight.
(2) Knowledge: spiritual information found in the Bible that reveals the character of God, the mind of God, and the will of God for our lives.
(3) Temperance: self-mastery over all desires and passions, especially sensual appetites, to bring all that we do into harmony with the will of God.
(4) Patience: bravely and consistently enduring trials without swerving from our loyalty to Christ.
(5) Godliness: a respectful fear of God because of an awareness of God’s character that produces behaviour and attitude that are well-pleasing to Him.
(6) Brotherly love: philadelphia love, a tender affection for other Christians because of the supernatural bond we have in Christ as children of God.
(7) Agape love: the sacrificial giving of one’s self to meet the needs of another expecting nothing in return.
b) In order to enjoy the benefits of these qualities, they must exist in you. They are the stepping-stones on the pathway to getting to know God. They are God’s qualities that with His help we are seeking to develop in our lives that we might better know Him.
2) These things abound in you. The word translated “abound” means to exist in abundance or to increase. Both of these ideas fit the context. God does not want us to get a little of these qualities. He want them to overflow abundantly in our lives. He also want them to increase in our lives.
3) The Christian life should be a constant growing process. You will never reach the top of the Christian growth mountain in this life.
4) The blessing is that God did not say, “When you master all seven of these qualities, THEN you will reap the benefits.” He simply said, all of these qualities need to be in you and be increasing in you.
b. The benefits – God tells us of two benefits
1) You will not be barren in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
a) The word “barren” is an interesting word. It describes one who is free from labour, at leisure; or lazy. Five of the seven times it is used in the NT it is translated “idle”.
b) If you have these qualities in your life, your labour will be obvious. Others will know that you have not been standing idle. Your Christian life will not be like an idle unworked garden. Your labour will gain you a fuller knowledge of Christ. You will get to know Christ more intimately.
c) If you will work at adding God’s qualities to your daily life, your life will not look like an untilled weedy garden, but like a productive garden.
2) You will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
a) To be unfruitful simply means to produce no fruit. Peter says, this will not be the case.
b) If you add these seven qualities to your faith, you will be fruitful in the knowledge of Christ. You will produce fruit in your life that evidences that you are gaining a fuller knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
c) As we cooperate with God and add these seven qualities to our faith, God will cause the fruit of our efforts to grow abundantly on our tree.
d) This knowledge of Christ is not about learning facts about Him but knowing His closeness and imitating is character. Be as the Psalmist when he prayed, (Psalms 42:1) “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
2. The results of NOT adding to your faith (v.9)
a. The indications
1) These things of course refer to the seven qualities we are to add to our faith.
2) These things are lacking. God is speaking of those in whom these qualities are not present. Others are unable to observe virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, and agape in their lives.
3) The fact that Peter states they have forgotten that God purged them from their old sins indicates that he is addressing true Christians.
4) In some cases, only God knows how many, the lack of these qualities is testimony that the person does not truly know the Lord. In that case he is totally blind spiritually, totally shortsighted, and has never been saved and forgiven (2Co 13:5).
b. The consequences
1) He is blind. Without these qualities in our lives, we are blind to our need to know Christ intimately. We cannot know Christ in a close and intimate way because we cannot see the path that leads to Him. The more we seek to live like Christ, the more we will see our need to know Him better. These qualities help us see life from God’s perspective. Without them, we see life only from our own perspective.
2) He is shortsighted. We will fail to see outside of our little circle. We are selfish. We see only things of this present world and fail to see the value of living for eternity (Colossians 3:1-2) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (2 Corinthians 4:18) “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
3) He has forgotten that Christ purged him from his old sins. “Forgetting” is not a mental process but a practical failure. Constable When these qualities are lacking in our lives, our attention turns from a God-focus to a self-focus. We stop dwelling on the priceless miracle of God’s forgiveness that motivates us to put Him first in our lives. We forget the little chorus that says, “After all He’s done for me, how can I do less than give Him my best and live for Him completely?”
Conclusion: Let’s all close our eyes for a moment. Take an honest look at your life. Are you flourishing and fruitfully growing in the knowledge of God? Or are you blind, shortsighted and forgetful of God’s grace?
Now look up here. What did you see? If your spiritual garden is growing, then keep adding these seven qualities to your life. If your spiritual garden is idle and fruitless, take heart, your situation is not hopeless. You can begin adding the seven qualities to your life tonight. Confess you failure and carelessness and ask God to help you start adding. I would encourage you to go on the web and listen to the sermons again. Down load the notes and study them. You CAN do it. You can get to know the Lord intimately if you will work at it.
Song: O I Want to be Like Jesus 320