Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Ineffective Life - part 1

Do you ever struggle in your Christian life? Do you get discouraged by your own sin nature? Do you feel ineffective and unproductive? This passage of scripture is for you.

II Peter 1:3-11 – His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

There is an awful lot of stuff here, so let’s take it a piece at a time. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Here is the first key to living the Christian life successfully. God’s power is what gives us everything we need for life and godliness. How much power does God have? He created the universe! He created you and me! He undoubtedly has enough power to get us through this life, but we do not have the power on our own. So, it is God’s power that gives us what we need to live a godly life. But how does this work? According to this verse it is through our knowledge of Him. And what do we know about Him? Specifically here we know that He called us by His own glory and goodness. (of course we can know a whole lot more as we study Scripture) So God didn’t call us based on our own merit, and we can’t expect to live a godly life on our own merit either. Both these things come by God’s own glory and goodness. Thank God, I don’t seem to have much glory and goodness on my own.

Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. This sentence continues to expound the same theme. Through God’s glory and goodness He has given us His promises (again, we can know these as we study scripture), and through His promises we participate in a godly life, and that is how we can escape our own evil desires and the evil desires in the world around us. So far, we have God’s power and God’s promises leading us to a godly life.

More to come....
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