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Being Diligent

05.13.18 Jared Clark

  1. What the Lord Requires …
    05.20.18 41m 21s
  2. Being Diligent
    05.13.18 40m 43s
  3. The Root of Happiness
    05.06.18 46m 05s
  4. Anxiety
    04.29.18 42m 54s
  5. Mission Sunday
    04.08.18 46m 27s
  6. The Glory of God in the Face of Christ
    03.04.18 45m 35s
  7. Unity and Hope
    01.28.18 46m 21s
  8. The Struggle is Real
    12.17.17 51m 10s
  9. Contentment
    08.06.17 44m 27s
  10. Value
    03.26.17 30m 37s
  11. Brave: People of Character in a World of Chaos
    03.12.17 43m 00s
  12. the Body of Christ
    01.08.17 32m 16s
  13. The Message That Will Change Your Life
    01.01.17 34m 18s
  14. Obadiah
    10.30.16 37m 24s
  15. 3 John
    10.16.16 48m 54s
  16. Haggai
    10.09.16 28m 19s
  17. 2 John
    10.02.16 39m 36s
  18. Philemon
    09.25.16 39m 04s
  19. The DNA of ABC
    08.28.16 51m 47s
  20. Baptism Sunday 2016
    08.21.16 34m 26s
  21. Addressing Fear and Anxiety
    08.14.16 35m 48s
  22. A Recipe for Victory
    06.19.16 37m 07s
  23. I Am With You Always
    06.12.16 39m 33s
  24. Mentoring the Heart
    05.22.16 40m 36s
  25. One Mind
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  26. Christmas Refuge
    12.20.15 44m 03s
  27. Your Christmas Gift
    12.13.15 38m 43s
  28. Bethlehem
    12.06.15 32m 23s
  29. Persecuted Church
    10.25.15 39m 57s
  30. The Most Counter Cultural Command
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  31. State of the Church
    08.30.15 43m 28s
  32. The Fear of the Lord
    08.23.15 37m 40s
  33. Baptism Sunday
    08.16.15 27m 41s
  34. Let Us Go To Him
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  35. The DNA of Alpine Bible
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  36. Preparing for Easter
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  37. A Heart God Desires
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  38. Evil, Suffering and God
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  39. Win the Worship War
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  40. Live For Christ and Living Like Christ
    08.04.13 36m 26s
  41. How do we keep from losing heart?
    07.28.13 41m 41s
  42. Bible Stories: Jonah and the Whale
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  43. Forgiveness
    11.25.12 46m 47s
  44. The Persecuted Church
    11.11.12 43m 30s
  45. Driven
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  46. New Year’s Resolutions
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  47. Baptism
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  48. The Passover
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  49. Go and Learn What This Means…
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  50. How Good is Good Enough?
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Being Diligent

05.13.18 Jared Clark Standalone Series

Today we’re going to be in the book of 2 Peter, so if you have your bibles with you, you can go ahead and grab your bibles and turn to the book of 2 Peter. It looks like we have some new technology this morning. Looks like so far it’s working so that’s good. I was really hoping to turn around and see my slide up there and it’s there, so we’re good.

If you don’t have bible and you prefer to read along in the bible, there should be some bibles in the seat back there. Please feel free to open that up and turn to the book of 2 Peter. This message is on being diligent. It’s really about fruitfulness in the Christian walk and assurance of our salvation. That’s what Peter’s addressing in this first chapter of his second letter that he’s written to believers in the world, so if you’re turn there.

If you’re there, we’ll go ahead and get started here, and we’ll read the first 11 verses. Peter beings this way, “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of God, righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ, grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

“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. For by these, he has granted to us, his precious and magnificent promises, so that by them, you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

“Now for this very reason also, apply all diligence in your faith. Supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and they increase and they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”

“Therefore brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about his calling in choosing you, for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble. For in this way, the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” This is just a wonderful passage of scripture for the believer. It’s just packed full of just beautiful and wonderful truths that God has provided for us in our identity in Christ. It’s also, I especially like this passage of scripture because it brings into light two, what can be dangerous extremes that a Christian can take in their Christian walk. The first one of those is, you saw that list I’m sure, as we were reading, starting in verse 5.

We have a tendency, we kind of have a tendency as just humans really, to see a list right, and want to just be a list doer. So we see that list, and we say, oh if we want to be a good Christian, we can pursue these virtues that Peter is describing here, and as long as we have these virtues covered then we’re good, and that’s ultimately missing the point I believe of what Peter is trying to get across with that list. Because it’s not about our behavior modification.

Peter is writing about what it means when we have sanctification or heart change, and that the heart, at the soul level, by the power of the Holy Spirit doing a change within us, and that’s ultimately what we’re getting to, but if we read through thifs list, we can just kind of gravitate to that list and resonate there, and it’s about, suddenly becomes about doing the list of virtues and not about how your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is. Is your relationship with the Lord abiding? And that’s what’s ultimately important.

That’s extremely important, so that’s the extreme it could go to. These other extremes on the other side of the bar there, and that’s the potential for us to understand that we’re saved by grace, and that we don’t have to really do anything in our relationship with the Lord. The extreme is to become passive in our relationship with Jesus and just to kind of float in life, like we’re saved. I believe in Jesus. I have a ticket to heaven. I can just kind of hang out and do what I want to do. Just kind of floating along in life. Those are two extremes that I believe are dangerous for the Christian. They come to light in this passage of scripture as we’ll see, and so we open this up a little bit.

As we do that, what I especially like about this passage of scripture, it provides us the means in which we can avoid those extremes, and instead of going to one of those extremes or the other, to live our life in that tension of walking down the middle, but to live a life that is fruitful, a spiritual life that is balanced, and Peter provides us the means in which we are able to walk that balanced life.

So the first, his understanding of where we get the power to live that kind of life, and that’s what Peter begins with there in verse 1. Spiritual strength and fortitude to live a victorious life and a fruitful life is not found within ourselves. But it’s found within Jesus Christ, and the saving faith of the gospel, his gospel, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the source, and we all have the opportunity to be connected to that source, through a saving faith in his gospel.

That’s what Peter’s describing here in verse 1. Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who are saved. Oh, still up there. That’s good. To those who are saved, who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and savior, Jesus Christ. There it is, to receive a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ, faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, his righteousness on our behalf, is the foundation for all of Christian living. We must start there.

He goes on to say grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. Yes, the power to live a victorious life and a fruitful life stems from the gospel of Jesus Christ. What would have taken Paul, the Apostle Paul like four chapters to describe, this gospel, Paul says, and just summarizes it, or Peter summarizes in two verses there, right? That’s the entire gospel.

Receive a faith of the same kind by the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. But I think it’s important that we kind of unpack the gospel. We need to understand that this is our foundation. We need to truly understand what it means to have faith in the gospel, and be saved by God’s grace. That’s what he goes on to say. Grace there, faith is, notice first of all that faith is the same kind as ours. So Peter’s writing as an apostle, but notice it’s the same type of faith. The same faith that saved Peter, is the same faith that saved those believers that he’s writing to. It’s the same faith that we believe today.

We all, there’s no special power or special faith for a more righteous person. We all acquiesce or we come to the gospel moment, the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the same type of faith. It’s the same kind. It’s cut from the same cloth. So that should be encouraging to us. God will meet us where we’re at. It doesn’t take a special person. You don’t need to prove yourself to be righteous. He will meet you exactly where you’re at and extend this gospel call to you, and by faith you can reach out, to receive this wonderful message of God’s grace, saving you from your sin.

He goes on to mention grace. Grace means God has given us unmerited favor. That’s what grace is. Grace be multiplied to you. It’s unmerited. God as a love gift, has given us this unmerited favor because we can’t earn it. If we could earn, Jesus would not have to had stepped into his creation and go to the cross to die. We could have all done what we needed to do to earn our salvation back to him, but that wasn’t the case. We can’t earn it.

This salvation is unmerited. It’s by God’s grace. There’s nothing we can do to earn it. God has revealed the gospel and the gospel means good news. The reason why that’s so important is because there’s some really bad news that we all have to come to terms with. God’s revelation shows that starting way back in the book of Genesis, that mankind fell and was separated, spiritually separated from their creator, their God. We are separated because of our sin.

We’re all born into this sin, and we’re all born separated by God. That’s some really bad news, because of sin. The dictionary defines sin as an immoral act considered to be a transgression against the divine law. You take the Ten Commandments, given to Moses, and we say if you don’t follow one of these laws, that’s a sin against God. But at the heart level, sin goes much deeper than that.

Sin is much deeper, deeper problem at the heart level. John Piper says it this way. “Sin is any failing or thought or speech or action that comes from a heart that does not treasure God over all other things. And the bottom of sin, the root of all sinning is such a heart, a heart that prefers anything above God, a heart that does not treasure God over all other persons, does not treasure God over all other persons and all other things. What is sin? Sin is,” and he gives a list here. “The glory of God not honored. The holiness of God not reverenced. The greatness of God not admired. The power of God not praised. The truth of God not sought. The wisdom of God not esteemed. The beauty of God not treasured. The goodness of God not savored. The faithfulness of God not trusted. The promises of God not believed. The commandments of God not obeyed. The justice of God not respected. The wrath of God not feared. The grace of God not cherished. The presence of God not prized. The person of God not loved.”

As we look at that list, I think it’s fair to say that it pretty much levels the playing field for all of us, right? Do we always, at all times, have all of our thoughts and our actions and our speech under the captivity of God? The answer is no. That’s what separates us from our creator. Paul declares it this way in Romans 3. “There is none righteous, no not one.” There is none. There is no one that seeks after God in this way, as described, that I just described.

We all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Because of our sin, we are eternally separated from our creator. That’s our condition. That’s the bad news. But there’s good news, right? But God. Those are my two most favorite words in the bible. God intervened on our behalf. This verse goes on to say, “But God,” in Ephesians chapter 2, “Being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ, by grace.” By his unmerited favor. Something that we couldn’t earn, by grace you have been saved. “And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come, he might show the surpassing riches of his grace and kindness towards us, in Christ Jesus.”

There it is. Ephesians 2, chapter 2, verse 8, “For by grace you have been saved through faith.” It’s this like-minded faith that Peter is referring to there in his letter, in his opening sentences of his letter. When we can be rescued, we can be rescued from our lost and separated and spiritually dead condition by receiving God’s grace. It is unmerited favor and we receive it through faith, by believing Jesus Christ’s substitutionary atonement on the cross paid our penalty in full.

Jesus before he allowed himself to die, he said, it is finished. Colossians says all of our sins and trespasses were nailed to the cross. It is finished. That is, his love gift to us, to pay the eternal penalty of our sin, on our behalf. God can’t just wink at sin. He is holy and he is perfectly just. Because he’s perfectly holy and just, he must condemn the sinner and the sin. To wink at sin or to just let any amount of sin occur in his presence without condemnation would violate his very attributes, his very nature of who God is.

But the good news is that God is not only the judge, but he’s also the savior. The good news is that God became a man and took the penalty upon, your sin penalty upon himself. It wasn’t just the whipping, the scourging. It wasn’t just the public harassment. It wasn’t just him dying physically on the cross, but it was taking the wrath of God for our sin on the cross. He did it for us. Why? So that we could have relationship with him. So that we could be atoned. That we might be redeemed, that we might be made alive in Christ. We were dead, separated from God and now we have this chance of, this opportunity for reconciliation through what Christ has done for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 states it this way, “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.” Jesus’ sacrifice and atonement on the cross satisfied God’s wrath perfectly. Those who place their trust and faith in that blessed gift of salvation, of what Christ has done, are saved, are regenerated, are made new, given a new heart, adopted into God’s family. All these wonderful things. This is the faith that we, many of us have in this room, through the righteousness of Jesus Christ our Lord, as Peter refers it to.

This is the faith that saves. This is the faith that allows us, that gives us the foundation in which we can now live life, meaningful and to the glory of God because of what he has done for us on our behalf. We can’t just go straight to that list, and begin saying, well if I live these virtues, God will be okay with me. No. It starts at the foundation. Placing our faith and trust in the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope all of you that are under the sound of my voice this morning have had that opportunity, have known what it means to be separated from God and understand that, and have reached out to Christ, have called out to him, and by faith believe and trust that what he has done for you on your behalf is enough. That you’ve abandoned your religiosity and your good versus bad and your good outweighs your bad, so you must be good. I hope you’ve abandoned all that and trusted completely and wholly in Christ.

Paul declares it this way. The word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth, he confesses, resulting in salvation. Jesus has done it on your behalf. You must believe that, and hold wholly and truly to that and for that alone. That’s like-minded faith, by righteousness in Jesus that Peter’s referring to here.

He goes on to describe grace. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. This prayer ultimately, for these saints and to us, the Holy Spirit’s prayer to us, that grace, this grace, this unmerited favor and the peace that God provides be multiplied to us. Grace isn’t just a one-time gift given to us by God at salvation. It’s not just saving grace. It’s much more than that. It’s a continually gift given by God to the believer. It’s called enabling grace.

He asks, we’re saved by his grace, his unmerited favor, but as we go into this world, and we encounter the trials and tribulations of life, it’s God’s enabling grace that can get us through it. As we look to the scripture and see that it’s not just let go and let go, but we have a responsibility. We have an expectation given to us by our king because of what he’s done for us, but we don’t do it in our own strength and power. We turn to God, and we ask for his enabling grace, to be able to be conformed to the image of his son.

That’s what Peter’s referring to here. This enabling grace, grace be multiplied to you. That this grace, this unmerited favor given to us by God, we’ll be able to get us through those trials and those tribulations and be able to conform us. Consider these verses for me if you will.

Acts 20:32 says, “And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” So here we are, this enabling grace. Acts 20 is grace, the word of his grace which is able to build you up and to give you all, inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

Titus 2 says, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” So that’s God’s saving grace, but then he goes on in verse 12 about enabling grace. Grace instructs us to deny ungodliness, and worldly desires sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age.

2 Corinthians 2, verse 9 says “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have abundance for every good deed.” The power to live a fruitful life is not in our strength and power. The power to live a balanced spiritual life is not in our own strength and our own spiritual fortitude, but it’s found in God, and his enabling grace.

Peter goes on to mention peace, God’s peace to be with you. Peace is a, peace means to be bound, to be joined or woven together. That’s the Greek word that’s used there. I think that’s such a great illustration, is it not? Have you ever been in a crowd of strangers and felt completely alone, and how awkward that feels and all of a sudden you see someone you know. It’s like, oh, someone I know, right? Then you bind together and you suddenly become much more comfortable.

This is the peace that God gives us, as we increase our knowledge, right? And that’s ultimately what he’s saying here. We desire grace to abound, enabling grace to abound in our lives. If we desire God’s peace to abound in our lives, we must diligently work towards increasing our knowledge of him, becoming closer and closer with our Lord. We can’t just float in life, and expect these things to happen.

Peace is a knowledge that God will provide, that God will guide you, God will strengthen you, God will sustain you, God will deliver you and encourage you. The peace of knowing God has saved you. That peace is, gives real life both now and forever, and so that’s God’s peace and it’s so important.

So Peter is expressing his desire that God’s grace and peace be multiplied in the reader’s lives. He does that, he shows how that can happen. If those are the things that we desire, if we desire to have God’s grace and God’s peace multiplied, it’s multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I got to warn you, it’s not just about a head knowledge, right? It’s about seeing who God is and who’s demonstrated it. It’s about the promise he’s given to us in scripture, and then by faith, believing those promises, as we step out into this world. That what he has promised, he is able to deliver in our lives. As we go through those trials and tribulations, and if everything that this world says should bring us stability and comfort is stripped away form us, one thing remains, and that’s our God.

He’s steadfast, and he sure, in the life of a believer. So this knowledge is a knowledge of who God is, but knowing that his love that he’s said, that he has demonstrated on the cross is expressed to you in your lively encounters and in your trials and your tribulations, and other times of life. As we seek our Lord, this knowledge comes from the head to the heart because we know he’s real. We know his love is authentic and that he knows us, and he loves us and he is for us in this life.

Grace and peace can be multiplied as we increase our knowledge, our understanding of him. We access the means in which he’s given us the opportunity to increase our knowledge in his word, in his written word. In prayer, and the church, to be able to be amongst believers and be able to glean God’s wisdom from all of those different opportunities that he’s given us, to increase our knowledge in him.

Verse 3 goes on, “This is eternal life, that your …” Sorry. Verse 3 says this, “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.” How do we access everything pertaining to life and godliness? Again, we see the theme here, through the true knowledge of him who has called us.

He’s given us everything for life and godliness. Verse 4 goes on, and he says, “For by these, he has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises, so that by them, you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”

Sorry. The thing just kind of gave out on my here. So for by these he has granted to us his precious and magnificent promises so that by them you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. What are the promises he has given to us? There’s so many right? Given to us? God has given to us in his word. How about the promise of forgiveness, that he that believes on him is not condemned. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and are called according to his purpose.

While he goes on to say, being justified by faith, we have peace with God. There’s a few promises for you. How about life? That as many, eternal life, that as many as receive into them, he gave the right to become the children of God, even to those that believe in his name. While he goes on to say, being born again, not of the, by the word of God, not of an incorruptible word but by the word of God.

If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. God has promised us life in Christ, eternal life. This is what Christ said in his high priestly prayer in John 17. “This is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” That is eternal life, to know our creator, to be one with him again, to be redeemed and reconciled and adopted into his family.

How about this promise? He has promised to complete what he has begun in us. He that began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ. These great and precious promises God has given us, he’s given us everything for life and godliness, and it goes on to say, in reference to the partakers of the divine nature. That’s just a reference to what it means when we’re saved. We’re regenerated. We’re given what Paul says is the new man, a new heart that pursues after God.

He says this in Ephesians 4. “You put on the new man, which after God has created in righteousness and true holiness.” He says in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away. Behold all things have become new.” So let’s just reflect on these things for a minute. He’s provided for us justification by faith alone, apart from the works of the law, through Christ’s substitutionary atonement. We are recipients of his daily enabling grace and peace, as we grow in the knowledge, in our knowledge and understanding of him.

Now only that but his divine power has provided everything for life and godliness as we deepen our understanding of our identity of who we are in Christ. He’s given those things. Everything we need for life and godliness, and to top it all off, he has granted to us many precious and magnificent promises, so that we might be the divine, may be partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruption that is in this world.

What a glorious salvation he’s given us. Everything that we need, and so the question is, what should our response be? I was really looking for a good illustration, and my go to guy for good illustrations is David Jeremiah. He’s in San Diego. I sent away for his sermon on 2 Peter 1, because I knew if I did, I’d probably get a good illustration out of it. He did provide what I think is a good one.

He talked about this, what all these things that God has done for us, right? Before he’s about ready to tell us what we should do, what the expectation of that should be. He first, and Paul does the same thing. It grounds us in what God has done on our behalf. Then he goes on to tell us what we’re supposed to do.

David Jeremiah put it this way, “Imagine if someone came to you and knocked on your door this afternoon when you got home from church, and they had a lawyer in hand. They’re like, hey, there’s a distant relative that you don’t know about, that they have like a gold mine that’s sitting on millions of dollars worth of gold. All you have to do is sign right here, and it’s yours. He wanted to give it to you. And so you sign on the dotted line, and that gold mine becomes yours. That gold’s just sitting in there. The gold’s yours now. Yeah. Legally. But it’s still in the mountain. In order to get the gold, you have to mine it out. You have to go into that mountain. You have to diligently work toward mining all those precious resources, those precious minerals out of the mountain.”

This is kind of what we’re sitting here. We’re sitting on this precipice and God’s given us all these precious promises. Everything for life in godliness. It has an expectation and they’re all ours. We own them. He’s given those to us, by the mirror of adoption into his family. These are ours to take, but we, like the gold miner, have to mine those riches out. We have to diligently strive to pursue these things. We can’t just drift in life and expect this just to happen. To make these things real. To have grace abound and peace abound in our lives.

A balanced life is, we go on here. He goes, and this is how, this is what Peter says, how we mine those things out, what our life should look like as believers. “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence in your faith, supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge. And in your knowledge, self-control and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” So here’s the list, right? This is the list that we can just kind of gravitate to, and that’s what I would do.

I have my legalistic background. I just want to go to that list. I want to start measuring myself against that list. I forget like the first four verses are even there. So this list isn’t … And if you know the life of the Apostle Peter, he’s the last one to be giving you a legalistic list of things to do. He knows what it’s like to fail in self-righteousness, when he’s following the Lord Jesus in Christ’s earthly ministry.

He denied the Lord Jesus three times, even though he said I’ll be the last one to stand with you. He fell flat on his face in his own strength and power. So this list is a list that demonstrates a balanced spiritual walk. So we don’t go to this list and go, I need to work on this virtue in my life. It’s just a way and means of which we can see. So Paul says to walk in the Spirit, put on the new man. Jesus says love your neighbor as yourself. What does that look like?

Well this is a practical illustration given to us, what it means to walk in the Spirit, what it means to put on the new man, to pursue these virtues, because of what Christ has done. It’s made a healthy balance. Spiritual life is a faith that demonstrates moral excellence because doing so reflects the perfectly moral and holy God that saved us from our sin. We desire to be a light in this world, and to pursue moral excellence is to reflect the image of who Jesus is and who our God is, perfectly holy and just.

So we pursue moral excellence because of that. The healthy, balanced spiritual life is a life of faith that demonstrates self-control and perseverance and the trials and temptations of life. As temptations and trials come, that’s when God’s enabling grace is most important. A balanced life of faith is a life that exhibits godliness, kindness and love to your family and friends, and yes even your enemies, according to Jesus, right?

So it’s not this list of dos and donts but it’s a list of what does my life look like? Is my life being balanced, and if we’re lacking and I’m sure I can get an amen to we lack a lot of these attributes most of the time. But it’s a means in which God’s given us that we can see that our life is out of balance. But the goal is not to pursue the virtues. Oh, I need to be, have more perseverance, I need to have more love. That’s not the goal of this list. The goal is to draw near to the source, to the power, to the enabling grace of God that was able for us, as we draw close to him and increase our knowledge of him, and we see the unbalanced life that we have in many aspects of our life, we draw near to him.

We ask for his help. We understand that he gives grace to the humble, and we know we lack the strength and fortitude to change ourselves, and so we look to him. So, what a great passage of scripture to be able to see that God expects of us, but also know that he’s given us everything we need in able to complete it. It’s through his enabling grace, it’s through his peace, that he gives us these things.

I’m running late, so I’ll have to hurry up here. The next passage, or verses 8 and 9 demonstrate the purpose in which God has given us this list. It’s not just a list just to do it, but there’s a reason why he desires us to try to exemplify these virtues, and all these virtues, if you go back and read it, it talks about faith being the foundation, right? Our faith in Jesus Christ. That is the foundation.

If we don’t have a faith in Christ, none of this should matter because without the foundation of who we are in Christ, none of these things can be applied in an effective manner in your life. Faith is the foundation, but the purpose for these, to pursue these virtues, to mine those riches and treasures out of what God has given for us, is for this, that these qualities are yours and they’re increasing. They render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So if these qualities are you, and they increase and you render, you’re neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I desire to have fruit in my life. I desire those things. I want to be used for God’s kingdom, and to pursue these virtues as a means. With faith as my foundation, as a means for all of us to be able to be fruitful and useful in God’s kingdoms.

Then he casts it in a negative light here in verse 9. “For he who lacks these qualities is blind and short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.” He’s short-sighted. He’s just about what’s going on here. He’s just drifting in life. He’s forgotten the joy of his salvation. It’s a bad place to be for a Christian.

God’s purpose for us pursuing these virtues is to be fruitful and to be used for his kingdom. Then finally we close with this. The promise given to us by God. “Therefore brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about his calling in choosing you. For as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.” That’s a great promise. As we pursue these things, you will never stumble. I don’t know about if I’m the only one in here, but I’ve stumbled in my Christian walk.

I’ve found myself just suddenly feeling distant and away from God and everything in the world, upset and angry and lack of peace, and everything opposite of what God desires to have in my life. It’s because I’ve usually wandered away from him. I’ve stopped pursuing him. I’m just adrift and suddenly I find myself there.

His promise here is that if we pursue these things, that we’ll first have assurance of our salvation, certainly of his calling and choosing you, and also that you will practice these things. You won’t stumble in your life if you pursue those things. Even when the trials and temptations come, you’ll be grounded and rooted in his strength, and his enabling grace.

Verse 11, “For this, in this way, the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” Abundantly supplied. That’s looking above, on the things above, right? It’s not about this today. It’s not about this life. It’s not about this world. It’s about the eternal life to come. That’s what we should pursue. That’s what we should have our eyes set on, and Peter’s given us this list of virtues to pursue and seek, to reflect who God is, and he’s given us these great promises.

So these are the promises that we have by our God today. That if we pursue these things, we’ll have assurance of salvation. We’ll be fruitful in his kingdom. We’ll have an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom to come. So, the question is, my challenge to you is, are you going to believe him today? Are you going to set out today and diligently strive to pursue these things, knowing who you are in Christ? Knowing that what he has promised he is able to deliver? Do you desire assurance, more assurance of your salvation? Do you desire not to stumble when the trials and temptations come?

These are the promises he’s given you. I just ask that you would pursue them. I just wanted to close with a guy named Thomas Hooker about what it means to have faith in God’s promises. It says this. “For thou must not first have faith and then go to the gospel promise, but first go to the promise of the power of faith. For from the promise thou must receive the power to believe.” So we have to go to the promise first. We’ve been presented promises that God’s given to us this morning, and then we go to God, and ask for the power to believe them. To expect faith without a promise is as if a man should expect a crop of corn without seed, for the promise is the immortal seed of God’s word and thereby the Spirit breeds this faith in the hearts of all that are his.

Lord I believe. Help my unbelief. God desires to do a work in each and every one of us. He desires to have his grace abundant and his peace abundant in your life. But he also has an expectation that we pursue those things diligently. That he’s given us every means in which we can. It’s not on our own strength or power. It’s in his. I pray that all of us would pursue that this morning.