Summary: God loves you enough to accept you just as you are, but He loves you too much to leave you that way!
Characteristics of Christianity pt 4:
I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends, so that you can watch out and not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people. I don’t want you to lose your own secure footing. 18 But grow (literally, keep on growing) in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be all glory and honor, both now and forevermore. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18 (NLT)
Context of 2 Pet. 3:11-18
These are the last words of an old man whose life pictures the principles he teaches: Simon - Peter.
• Believers are called to a new life motivated by God’s revelation of the future. (Vs 11-14) [Earth will melt]
• God has everything under control. (v. 15a) [God is waiting for repentance of others]
• Some people wrestle with the Word of God to their own destruction. (vs. 15b-16) [Paul’s writings]
1- Eternal life starts with what Jesus called being “BORN AGAIN”. [“Metamorphosis” C. of C. pt #1]
2- Peter WARNS believers not to be carried away by the errors of wicked people. (v. 17) [Danger when babies eat]
3- GROWTH is the natural process of all life. [Explain the Doctrine of Standing and State]
In 2 Peter 3:18 Peter says that believers are called to a two-part growth process. (Discipleship)
1- As a Believer I Must Grow in GRACE. (Jesus = Giver)
1. The word “grace” means “special favor” - a GIFT. [a plant, a pet – anything living needs nurture]
GOD’S RICHES AT CHRIST EXPENSE
2. The “New Birth” is the BEING, growing in God’s grace is the BECOMING. [Not more saved!]
3. My life should be increasing in conformity to the character of GOD revealed in JESUS. “Divine nature”
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God’s right hand in the place of honor and power. 2 Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. 3 For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory. 5 ¶ So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. 6 God’s terrible anger will come upon those who do such things. 7 You used to do them when your life was still part of this world. 8 ¶ But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. 9 Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. 10 In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. Col. 3:1-10 (NLT)
Since you have heard all about him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, 22 throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. 23 Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. 24 You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God’s likeness--righteous, holy, and true. 25 So put away all falsehood and “tell your neighbor the truth” because we belong to each other. 26 And “don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil. 28 If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work, and then give generously to others in need. 29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. 30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. 32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Eph. 4:21-32 (NLT)
2- As a Believer I Must Grow in KNOWLEDGE of Jesus Christ. (Jesus = Object)
1. Knowing the PERSON of Christ is not the same as knowing books.