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Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
July 3, 2022
Steps to Maturity
2 Peter 1:5-9
I once had someone come into my office and say, tongue in cheek, “You mean you work more than just Sunday?” We laughed about it, but unfortunately that is the perception that a lot of people do have of a pastor. They have the false idea that pastors work one day a week plus special occasions such as funerals and weddings, but other than that they are free to play golf all the time. Admittedly, there may be some pastors who do work like that, but those men are serving themselves and not the Lord. This brings up my point for this morning’s sermon for this misconception of a pastor working only one day a week usually also extends to a person’s view of their own Christianity. It is only active one day a week. They separate the sacred from the secular and become what I call religious schizophrenics.
The religious schizophrenic cannot be identified by church attendance for two reasons. First, there are those that attend so seldom that you do not recognize them. Second, the religious schizophrenic can be very faithful in their attendance at the Sunday morning worship service as well as Sunday School and a mid-week service or home Bible study. Church attendance is not a critical identification factor.
You also cannot recognize the religious schizophrenic by his or her knowledge of the Bible. While most would be generally ignorant of what the Bible says, some will have a great knowledge of the Bible and be able to quote many different verses very easily. Involvement in ministry will not readily identify them either. While most would have minimal participation in church activities, there are others that will be great volunteers involved in many church activities and ministries. How then do you recognize a religious schizophrenic?
According to Webster, to be schizophrenic means to have “mutually contradictory or antagonistic parts or qualities.” The religious schizophrenic is the person who claims to be a true Christian and yet their life is not controlled by the Holy Spirit. They profess Christ, but they live life consistently defeated by sin. Being a disciple of Christ, someone who has committed themselves to following the teachings of Jesus, and being consistently defeated by sin is mutually contradictory. Galatians 5:16-17 is direct on this point saying, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” You will follow either the Holy Spirit or the desires of the flesh, but you cannot do both at the same time.
When I was preparing this sermon, there was excitement about this passage because the reminder about the promises of God and the direction about how to apply those to life enable believers to live in godliness instead of defeat. At the same time, I also thought about how many spiritual schizophrenics I have known over the years. They claimed to be Christians, but their actions contradicted the claim with some even being antagonistic to the gospel.
One striking example from when I was in seminary was a fellow named Jeff that was involved with a singles Bible Study I helped to lead. He was being discipled by one of the other leaders and on the surface he seemed to be growing spiritually, though there were some reoccurring struggles in certain areas of his life. He eventually moved to Berkeley to attend Law school. About four months later we found out he had rejected Christ. He said it was too much work being a Christian and he was a lot happier without Him. He became an avowed apostate and antagonistic toward Christians.
Over the years I have run into many people that were like Jeff. They gave the impression of being a Christian, but eventually the truth came out and they abandoned Christ. Others remained hypocrites often giving twisted justifications for their own blatant sins while criticizing others for their sins. I have met plenty of people that are okay with sins such as lies and slander that promote their cause or fulfill their desires, but they get very upset about sins against them.
Church discipline is a process by which the sin is confronted and exposed in the effort to get the person to live according to their profession of faith instead of in contradiction to it. It works great for Christians who want to live for Christ. They appreciate the love, accountability and help. Those who do not want personal holiness but still want to be religious simply go to another church where they continue the same sinful practices. Most people we have had to disfellowship had been consistent in attendance, were members of the church, and were involved in church activities and ministries, but they were also spiritual schizophrenics. Their profession of faith was contradicted by the lack of faith in their manner of life.
The worst of those with religious schizophrenia occur among people referred to as “clergy.” These are people who have supposedly given their lives over to serve God in leading the church and teaching about God and walking with Him, but eventually their sin gets exposed. Tragically, it has not been uncommon among the popular media preachers to find out they have followed unethical business practices to amass for themselves a fortune. That is normative among those who proclaim the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. It has also not been uncommon to find out about their sexual immorality. Religious schizophrenia among the clergy enables the enemies of Christ to dishonor Him.
While these examples illustrate how bad spiritual schizophrenia can be, of greater concern are the average people sitting in church pews across America that are plagued by religious schizophrenia of a less severe nature, but never the less, just as destructive to themselves and those around them. The couple that come faithfully to church, but their marriage is on the rocks because neither is fulfilling their Biblical role within that marriage. Men who are addicted to pornography and it is slowly but surely destroying their moral foundation. Men and women whose solution to their problems is escape through drugs and alcohol. The Christian Single scene where the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is not much lower than in the rest of society. Families that are racked by strife because of the fighting between the family members. People who feel their lives are unimportant and then insure their insignificance by wasting what time they have on this earth by escaping into the fantasy world of entertainment such as the many sitcoms, movies and games, or a hobby that are without any redeeming quality. Meanwhile, the world around us is entrapped in sin and heading to hell.
Beloved, these things out not to be! Where are the people who are sold out to Jesus Christ and striving to “turn the world upside down” as the early church did (Acts 17:6)? Why is it that so many Christians are living in defeat with their lives controlled by sin? I am bothered in multiple ways by “Christian counselors” that differ little from secular psychologists except offering a prayer at the beginning and end of each session. Why are is there so much advertising to the Christian community for such services?
The problems that we face in life are the result of sin. In fact, you cannot name any problem that ultimately is not the result of sin – your sin, my sin, someone else’s sin, Adam’s sin. And if sin is the problem, then the only correct solution is the one that deals with sin, and the solution that deals with sin is the Lord Jesus Christ. He has conquered sin and offers forgiveness for past sin, victory over present sin, and a future eternal life free from any sin. Why then do those who have supposedly recognized Jesus as the answer still have so many problems? Why are Christians defeated by sin so often? Why do so many professing Christians seek the solution to their problems in secular sources and philosophy instead of Christ?
Let’s quickly review 2 Peter 1:1-4 and what God has done for us to set the context for this morning’s study. Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of [the] divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust
Note the following from each verse:
1) The apostle Simon Peter is writing to those who have the same kind of faith in Jesus Christ that he had. This faith was received. This faith comes by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This faith recognizes that Jesus Christ is both God and Savior.
2) Peter’s desire is for grace and peace to grow in them and this would happen through their close, personal, experiential knowledge of God the Father and Jesus the Son.
3) The divine power needed for everything pertaining to life and godliness is already granted to those who have this faith. This divine power is available through a close, personal, experiential knowledge of the God who has called us by His own glory and excellence.
4) By God’s glory and excellence He has already given those who have this faith His precious and magnificent promises which range from salvation and assurance of heaven to His peace and supply for our needs in the present. All of these promises are for the purpose that we might share in God’s moral nature by becoming like Jesus Christ in character. This enables us to escape the sinful corruption of this world and live in righteousness.
To summarize all of this: God has already done His part and has given to every Christian everything needed to live the Christian life in victory over sin. A Christian who lives in defeat does so because they fail to do their part in applying what God has done through faith. The life of faith is active, not passive. It is lived by stepping out in trust of God’s promises to do what He wants. It is opposite of the “let go, let God” philosophy which eliminates Christian obedience to God’s commands. What then is our part in living in victory over sin? (See: Power from God for living – 2 Peter 1:1-11)
The Steps to Victory & Maturity – 2 Peter 1:5-7
Peter begins verse 5 with the phrase, “Now for this very reason also,” which points us back to the previous verses which we have just discussed which can be summarized by saying that God has already done His part in granting to us everything we need to successfully live the Christian life. However, the point of the rest of this passage is that you also have to do your part. This is a transition from what God has done for us to what we have to do. What is your part? Peter gives seven qualities to which you are to be “applying all diligence,” or “making every effort” to supply alongside your faith.
5 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in [your] moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and in [your] knowledge, self-control, and in [your] self-control, perseverance, and in [your] perseverance, godliness; 7 and in [your] godliness, brotherly kindness, and in [your] brotherly kindness, love.”
These steps are not optional. These are steps we are commanded to make for you have a part to play in living out the Christian life in victory. You must uphold your end with diligent effort. The Greek words here are interesting and they bring out the nature of what is to happen. The word “applying” means to “bring in beside,” so the idea is that you are bringing alongside your faith your diligence, your earnest effort, and supplying that faith with each of the other qualities of having a Christ-like character.
The word for “supply” was used to refer to the training and staging of a grand chorus for some high civic celebration for which the entire expense was paid for by a rich patron. This resulted in the word coming to mean “supply” or “furnish” in a complete or lavish sense. So the full sense here is to “bring along side your faith a determined effort to fully and completely supply / equip / provide that faith with” the things he goes on to mention in the following verses. And again, this is a command, not an option. God has already supplied you with everything you need and now you have to do your part.
What is it that you bring alongside your faith or what is it that equips that faith? Peter mentions seven different qualities that need to be brought alongside your faith. These qualities both strengthen your faith and are strengthened themselves by your faith. These seven qualities are in an order of progression, but not in the sense that you have to complete one level before you can work on the next level. Each quality is something that is being worked on all the time even while also working on the next characteristic. We will look at each of these qualities individually and then go back and look at the interrelationship they have with each other.
The Moral excellence: This is a word we actually saw last week in verse 3 for it is one of the qualities of God Himself. He called us by His own glory and excellence.” When anything in nature fulfills its purpose, that is virtue or excellence. A land that produces a good crop is “excellent” because it is fulfilling its purpose. A tool that works correctly is “excellent” because it is working according to its designed purpose. A Christian is supposed to glorify God because he has God’s nature within (verse 4), and so when he does this, he shows “excellence” because he is fulfilling God’s designed purpose in life. So virtue, or moral excellence means fulfilling what you are supposed to do which is glorify God by your life by becoming like Christ and following Him.
The Knowledge. Each of these qualities in the Greek text has the article before it signifying that Peter is talking about specific qualities and not general ones. The next quality then is specific knowledge, not general knowledge. The word for knowledge here (gnw:sin / gnosin) is the word for practical knowledge of understanding and application that comes with knowledge about and experience. The commentator Lenski describes this as “A wise demeanor with a ready perception of what is useful or harmful, of what is to be done and to be avoided.”
What specific knowledge is being referred to? The specific knowledge of what God has revealed about Himself in His written word and in nature. Paul tells us that nature reveals God’s eternal power and divine nature to the extent that all men are without excuse in failing to acknowledge and worship Him (Romans 1:20). David wrote in Psalm 19:1 that “The heavens are telling of the glory of God and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Any time you go outside into Creation you are reminded that there is a Creator and that He intelligent and powerful.
David continues on in Psalm 19 to declare the characteristics of the word of God in being perfect, sure, right, pure clean and true so that its effect is to restore the soul, make wise the simple, rejoice the heart, enlighten the eyes, endure forever and be righteous altogether. No wonder he declared the Scriptures to be more valuable than gold and sweeter than honey. David’s experience as he interacted with the Scriptures caused him to understand their importance in both warning Him and bringing Him God’s blessing (Psalm 19:7-11). It is the same for us as we learn and apply “precious and magnificent promises of God” in our own lives. God uses them to conform you into the image of Christ and avoid the corruption of this world.
The Self-Control. This is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is an abstinence from the lust of the world. It controls all which includes reason, emotion and will through the knowledge of the word and will of God. This is the person who can control their appetite and stay on their diet. This is the single who lives in a sexually promiscuous society and remains a virgin until marriage. This is the spouse that in obedience to God’s command continues to love and respect even when disappointed and hurt. This is the person who controls his anger and frustration and remains calm after being cut off while driving or in the middle of a traffic jam. This is the person who steps in the direction of his fears and does what God says to do even though he is scared to do it. The mind and will are directed by truth and they control the manner of life instead of emotions.
The Perseverance. The word here (uJpomonhv / hupomon ) literally means to“abide / dwell under,” and so carries the idea of perseverance and endurance. We are not to turn aside when our faith is tested by trials. James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces ‘endurance.” Endurance in James 1:2 is the same word as perseverance in 2 Peter 1:5. Perseverance is slightly different from the “patience” mentioned in the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22) only in that patience or long-suffering deals with trials or hardships caused by people and perseverance deals with trials caused by things, your situation and circumstances. We have to persevere in the trials living in a sin fallen world because things do not work the way God originally created them. We battle with things that break down and do not function properly including our own bodies. Romans 8:19f tells that the world itself longs for redemption just as we do, but until that happens, you will have to persevere.
The Godliness. The Biblical commentator Peter Lange said this about godliness. It is “the disposition in which the consideration of God controls the whole life, in which He is held in supreme honor, whereby His approval is sought, and the doing of which constitutes its own happiness.” In other words, godliness means to live completely for God and be joyful about it. We might use the word pious or reverent to describe such a person. And while we understand that our non-Christian and even our nominal Christian friends might call that fanatical, we know that it should be what is normal for the believer. May the Lord give us more such Christian fanatics who are sold out to Jesus Christ. Someone once called a pastor a “fool for Christ” to which he responded, “I guess I am; we are all fools for someone, whose fool are you?”
The Brotherly Kindness / love. This is the word filadelfiva / philadelphia which refers to the love that exists in the friendship between two brothers. Now admittedly, a lot of parents wonder at times if brotherly love exists as their sons might fight with each other from time to time. I am sure my younger brother, Terry, and I caused my parents to wonder about this because at times it seems like all we did was fight. But at the same time, we would not let anyone else pick on the other because we would stick up for each other. Brotherly love exists because of a likeness to the other. For my brothers and I, it is because we are part of the same family. For the Christian, brotherly love is to exist because of our mutual relationship to Christ and in fulfillment of God’s command that we love each other (Heb. 13:1).
The Love/Agape. This love goes beyond love of those we have something in common with. This love exists and is given in spite of the differences. This is the love that chooses and commits itself to the best interest of the other person at the sacrifice of itself. This is the love of God that is given to us, and it is the type of love that is to exist between believers so that the world will know you are a disciple of Jesus – a Christian (John 13:34-35).
Their Relationship. The idea in this passage is that each of these qualities is added by faith to the previous quality so that they build upon each other so that the whole is strengthened. It is not that each step must be perfected before the next is added, but that the framework of one gives the foundation for the next characteristic.
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as follows: “Now faith is the assurance of [things] hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Faith is not a leap in the dark, but a reasoned conclusion to step forward into the unknown based on who is giving the directions. The Junior High School I attended was also the regional school for blind students. One of my assignments, actually a privilege, was to lead my friend Raymond to several of his classes. Because he could trust my character he had faith I would take him to the place he was supposed to be and that I would do so in a safe manner. He did not fear walking into walls, posts or people. He did not fear stairs, ledges, doors or crowded hallways. He did not fear ending up at wood shop instead of history class or girls glee club instead of the Gym. He had faith for all these things because he believed I would fulfill my responsibilities toward him because he trusted I had both the ability and character to fulfill those responsibilities properly. But please note that I did not carry Raymond to where he needed to go. He put his hand on my shoulder and followed behind me. If he took his hand off my shoulder or walked to the side instead of behind, then walls, posts, stairs, ledges and crowded hallways would have dangerous to him.
That is the same way that we have faith in God. We believe He will keep all His promises toward us because we can trust His ability and character to fulfill them. Faith is the first step in this process and the means by which every other character trait is added. Because I believe God is able and trust His character to do His part, then I can walk in faith where He leads me. I can believe what He says and trust it is the best for me so that I step forward in faith in obedience to His directions. The same is to be true for you as well. Each of these characteristics is pursued by faith, but they build upon one another to strengthen each other.
Peter tells us in this passage that because of all that God has already done for us through His divine power and precious and magnificent promises which grants us everything pertaining to life and godliness that you are to do your part with all diligence in supplying these qualities to your life. You are to step out in the direction of developing these marks of maturity in your life.
To faith, moral excellence must be supplied. If you believe God, then you move forward to do what He wants you to do in glorifying Him. As you do that you gain an experiential knowledge of God which in turn strengthens your trust of Him and striving to glorify Him. These lead to self-control because moral excellence is the opposite of selfishness, and self-control in turn strengthens moral excellence and walking in the knowledge of God. To these are added perseverance which arises from faith, excellence, knowledge of God and self-control and in turn strengthens each of them as they are applied to the hardships that are part of living in a sin cursed world. All these produce the character of godliness which in turn also builds each of the other qualities as you are increasingly marked by living for God’s glory. All of these will produce interpersonal relationships which are marked by brotherly kindness, which in turn continue to increase all the other qualities. As faith, excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness and brotherly kindness become the marks of you life, they will reflect the sacrificial love of God in all areas seeking what is best for other people (brotherly kindness), show piety in how you live (godliness), endure through the troubles of life (perseverance), set aside you own selfish desires in submission to God’s will (self-control), increase in you understanding of God (knowledge), in fulfillment the purpose of you existence (excellence) all based in their faith in God.
The Consequences – 2 Peter 1:8-9.
Peter tells us the outcome of all of this in verse 8 along with God’s purpose in them. “For if these (qualities) are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
If these seven qualities become the marks that characterize you and you continue to grow in them, which should be or should at least become true for any Christian, then you will not be idle, useless nor unfruitful. In other words, if these marks of Christian maturity are yours, then you will be used of God and you will produce good fruit of some kind to some degree. What kind of usefulness? What kind of fruit? The kind that come from the intimate, experiential knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This knowledge is the same as we saw back in verses 2 & 3 in our previous study. Grace and peace are increased in you through this knowledge of Jesus Christ. Everything needed for life and godliness comes through this knowledge of Jesus Christ. Now Peter says that if these seven qualities are marks of your life, you can be sure that you will be gaining that intimate, experiential type of knowledge of Christ resulting in fruit of Christian maturity. That fruit would include that of the Holy Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
God has done His part. You must be diligent to do your part which essentially boils down to a life lived in obedient trust that God will fulfill His part.
What if these qualities do not mark of your life? Then verse 9 applies. “For he who lacks these [qualities] is blind [or] short-sighted, having forgotten [his] purification from his former sins.” Peter says they are blind, a metaphor for having a darkened mind, and they are “myopic” or near sighted. This word actually refers to what near sighted people do. They squint in an effort to try and discern what is before them, but they cannot see it clearly. Metaphorically, Peter is referring to a spiritual understanding that is darkened because they are only looking at what is close at hand and they are no longer seeing what God is doing. These are people that get lost in their present troubles and become consumed by them. They are controlled by their fleeting emotions of anger, passion, depression, fear or whatever else they may be. They are no longer trusting God, their faith has shrunk, and they are consequently defeated by their sin. Peter says these people have forgotten the purification they received from their former sins. The grammar here indicates there is almost a deliberate forgetting. They no longer remember what God has done for them. This is like the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18:28, who after receiving great mercy from his master for a huge debt, willingly forgot all about that when trying to get some little pittance from someone else. There is no remembrance of what Christ has already done for them and they are lost in the present with myopic vision that only sees the problems and no longer recognizes the solution.
What is it that is lacking? A remembrance of the solution to sin. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, came to be a man in order to pay the penalty for our sins and offer us forgiveness based on His sacrificial death for us. Jesus Christ rose from the dead to give us hope of eternal life and to show that the power and shackles of sin have been broken, and we are no longer in bondage to sin as Paul explains in Romans 6. We will be slaves of the one we obey, and Christ has freed us from sin in order to become slaves of righteousness.
When these qualities lack in a professing believer it will be either because their profession is false, or they have forgotten the necessity to trust God at His word and obey His commands in following their principles and precepts in accomplishing His will. The result is blindness and lack of the vision of faith.
God has promised to give you what you need to obey Him and the Holy Spirit will empower you to do God’s will. This sermon series has been about the fact that God can be trusted because of who He is as the Creator and His nature, character and attributes. However, you must do your part and step out by faith in Him and be obedient to what He says you are to do. By faith, develop your character to be marked by moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly-kindness and love.
2 Peter 1:5-11
Now for this very reason be diligent to supply to your faith the moral excellence, and to the moral excellence the knowledge, and to the knowledge the self-control, and to the self-control the perseverance, and to the perseverance the godliness, and to the godliness the brotherly love, and to the brotherly love the true love; for if these (qualities) belong to you, then you will not be idle/useless nor unfruitful, (but instead) they will establish you in the intimate, experiential knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the one not possessing is blind (darkened mind) and myopic (dim vision) having chosen to forget his purification from his former sins, Therefore, Brethren, I command you to be more diligent to make a guarantee of your calling and choosing, for while doing these things you cannot stumble/fall into sin, for in this manner the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Sermon Notes – 7/3/2022
Steps to Maturity- 2 Peter 1:5-9
Religious Schizophrenia: The professing believer that separates their life into secular and ___________
It ______________ be recognized by church attendance, Bible knowledge or ministry involvement
It reveals itself in the professing believer that lives in constant defeat by ___________
Religious Schizophrenics may eventually prove to be _________or be revealed through church discipline
It may even exist in “____________” who prove to be hirelings instead of shepherds
Of greater concern are Christians that are defeated or complacent instead of excited doing _____________
The problems of life are caused by _____- my sin, your sin, other people’s sin, living in a sin cursed world
Review – 2 Peter 1:1-4
1) Peter is writing to those who share his ____which came by Jesus’ righteousness – and Jesus is also God
2) Peter’s desire is for believers to _________in grace and peace that come from personally knowing God.
3) God has already given us the divine ___________needed for everything pertaining to life and godliness
4) God’s precious and magnificent __________are meant to change us to be like Christ and escape the sin
The Steps to Victory & Maturity – 2 Peter 1:5-7
The believer is _________________ to make every effort, be diligent, to take these steps.
“Applying” = “bring in beside” – we bring in alongside our faith earnest _______to supply these qualities
“Supply” = furnish in a _____________ or lavish sense.
The Moral Excellence = that which fulfills its ______________, virtue – in glorifying God by your life
The Knowledge = the practical knowledge of understanding & application that comes with ____________
We know God’s eternal power and divine nature through _____________ – Romans 1:20
We know God’s other attributes through ________________- Psalm 19
The Self-Control = an abstinence from the lust of the world – a __________of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23)
The person who can step in the direction of his ___________ & do what God says
The Perseverance = “to abide” or “dwell under” – endure. _______________Related to things, not people
The Godliness = to live ___________________ for God
The Brotherly Kindness = the ____________ that exists between brothers.
The Love / Agape = The ______________love that chooses & commits itself to the best interest of others
Their Relationship: Each quality is added by __________ to the previous so that they all are strengthened.
______ believes God will keep all His promises because His ability & character to fulfill them is trustworthy
Because God grants His divine power and precious & magnificent promises, we step forward in ________
The Consequences – 2 Peter 1:8-9.
If these seven qualities mark your _______________, you will be used of God & will produce good fruit
These qualities ensure that you will gain an experiential knowledge of Christ resulting in _____________.
God ___________His part. You must do yours which is live in obedient _______that God will do His part
Those lacking these qualities are ______- have darkened minds, and near sighted – focused on themselves
They lack _______& do not trust God and so are defeated by sin. They have forgotten what God has done
Those lacking these qualities have either a false profession or have ________the necessity to trust & obey
God’s attributes make Him completely trustworthy – the life of faith is applying trust of Him to daily life
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – 1) Count how many times power is mentioned. 2) Talk with your parents about how the power of God can change your life to make you like Jesus
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. Do you separate your life into secular and sacred components? If so, why? If not, why not? What are some reasons a professing Christian might live in constant defeat by their sin? What is the cause of your greatest struggles? Who is Peter writing to and what does he desire for them? What has God already granted to us that ensures Peter’s desire can be fulfilled? What are some of God’s precious and magnificent promises that enable the believer to become like Christ and avoid sin? What are some of the most meaningful promises of God to you? Why are they so important to you? What does it mean to apply all diligence? What do we need to supply? What has God already supplied? What is the significance of each of the qualities listed being used with the article “the”? What is the meaning of moral excellence and what does it refer to in this context? What is the type of knowledge being used here and what specific knowledge is being talked about in this context? Describe what it means to have self-control in general and its application in a relationship with God? What does it mean to persevere? In this context, what is being endured? What does it mean to be godly? Non-Christians and even some nominal Christians often think that godly people are fanatical. Is that charge accurate? Why or why not? The word philadelphia is often translated as either brotherly love or brotherly kindness. What are the characteristics that [should] mark sibling relationships that help us understand this concept? Define agape love. How should this love be demonstrated by believers? What is the relationship between these characteristics Peter has listed? How does one lead to another and how do they strengthen each other? What is the benefit to the individual that is characterized by these qualities? How does Peter describe those who do not have these qualities? What dangers do they face? What have they forgotten? What must they do in order to change and develop these qualities in their life? Do these qualities characterize your life? If not, why not and what will you do to develop them? If so, what are you doing so they continue to improve?
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