June 19, 2007

II Peter 1:5-9 ~ June 19, 2007

This passage clearly outlines that we are supposed to be growing in our Christian walk. The sign of life is growth. If we do not see growth, there is stagnance and death/or death. Peter describes very clearly the qualities that should be growing in our lives as we seek to have a closer and closer relationship with Jesus Christ.
v5) "For this reason" see previous verses where Peter expresses what God has done for us as Christians and what we have been saved from, "make every effort," do whatever you have to, make this your #1 priority, "to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge, v6) and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance, and to perseverance godliness v7) and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love." Peter gives us a list of qualities here that sound much like the fruit of the Spirit that Paul taught us about in Galatians. Love joy peace patience kindness goodness gentleness faithfulness and self-control. So if we have Christ in our lives, alive and working because that's our desire and commitment, these qualities should become evident in our lives.

Peter says this evidence is crucial in a Christian's walk with the Lord.
v8) "If you possess these qualities they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of Christ Jesus." Ineffective and Unproductive. Ouch. Those are two major issues in a Christian's life. What did Jesus do to the tree that wasn't producing any fruit? He cursed it and said, "May you never bear fruit again." As Christians we are called to be effective witnesses for Christ. We are called to be transformed by the renewing of our minds, NOT conformed to the pattern of this world.
v9) "But if anyone does not have them (those qualities/fruits) he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins." Wow. Another powerful statement. So if we are not growing in Christ and bearing fruit, we are blind and forget what we were saved from, and ultimately what Christ did for us on the cross. So by ignoring our calling to strive towards a living growing relationship with Christ, we minimize the value of his sacrifice. Who would ever forget if somebody died for them to save their life one day? That experience would have an effect on the rest of their life. So should Christ's sacrifice. If I accept his forgiveness, his grace, and gift of eternal life and pardon from punishment, that should change my entire life. Basically Peter says that if it doesn't, Jesus' sacrifice means nothing to us.

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