Summary: why add to faith?
Last week we noted that God has given to people everything needed for life and godliness; and God desires every Christian to participate in His divine nature. God has given everything needed for a Christian to live a wonderful abundant life! How are we responding to this God who gives the best for us? This is the question we should ask ourselves every day!
God Jesus Christ said that He came to this world to give people life and life to abundance. God lays it out for us step-by-step. Let’s make sure we have the first step right. A person in this world really does not have true life unless they believe and trust in Jesus Christ! And so, the first thing we need to make sure is we have faith (know, believe, and trust) in Jesus Christ alone as God and Savior. Life is meaningless without Jesus Christ in it! How can life be abundant when Jesus Christ the Creator of life is not part of it? This important truth must also be shared to our relatives and friends.
A reminder again for us Christians; the first part of the full armor of God we are to put on always is the Belt of Truth, who is Jesus Christ!
Let us continue to learn from God’s Word; Open your Bibles to 2 Peter and read along with me, Chapter 1:5-15….
As Peter indicated, we all have short term memories; our own sinful natures, the world, and the devil keeps us busy from the life God had intended for us. We constantly need reminders of our life with Christ! And so, let us be reminded, learn, and commit to an abundant life!
Abundant life is found through faith in Jesus Christ to begin with, because you can live knowing you are going to heaven! John 3:16 states, say it with me, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and Only Son and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life!”
Then God tells us in 2 Peter to add to our faith. Before we move forward, we need to answer this question: Do we have to add to our faith in Christ to be saved? Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us “It is by faith that we are saved, not by works.”
Then why do we have to add to our faith? = 2 Peter 1:8-9….
Adding to faith is not for salvation but it is an indication of salvation and a way to abundant life!
From earlier verses in 2 Peter 1 we noted, the more knowledge we have of God and Jesus Christ the more power we have! As we add to our faith in Christ, we become more and more effective and productive in our knowledge of Christ! And again, the more we know Jesus Christ, the more power we will have!
This is why Jesus’ statement is not redundant when He said “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Being born again (faith in Jesus Christ) to have real life is imperative but God desires an abundant life on earth for us!
Many Christians live life nearsighted or even blind even though they are saved and going to heaven.
It is clear in our passage today what we must do to experience an abundant life!
1. With the faith in Christ, add goodness! Goodness here is virtue or moral goodness. Can there be immoral goodness? You know that there are many “do-gooders” in the world; but let us note that in God’s eyes, unless something is done with God in mind, that work is worthless. If I gave each one of you $10000, would that automatically be a good thing that I did?? It depends on the intent or source of the gift, doesn’t it? It would be a good thing if I gave you something just to take advantage of you! It would not be a good thing if I hurt someone and stole money to give you.
We can fool our own if hearts! We should pray and ask God what is good for only God is good!
2. To Goodness, add knowledge! Knowledge here is doctrine and wisdom! And so, praying and asking God goes along with this that true goodness and true knowledge is based on what God says in his Word. And so in other words, to goodness add God’s Word!
3. To knowledge, add self-control! Self-control here signifies self-mastery and self-restraint. It is the same word in Galatians 5:23! This self-control is one of the fruit of the Holy Spirit through the Christian! As we learn from God’s Word, Christians are to yield to the Holy Spirit in them and produce fruit such as self-control!