Summary: Today, as we begin to look at 2 Peter, the Apostle Peter talks about our spiritual lives as authentic believers in Jesus Christ in physical terms using our eyes.
AVOIDING SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
INTRODUCTION… Spiritual in Terms of the Physical (p)
Human beings are unique in all of creation in that we are made up of two distinct parts. Human beings, like all living things, have a body. We have flesh and bone and blood which are part of our earthly existence. To be honest, all animals and plants have a physical body of some kind which is not what makes us unique. What makes us unique? We have a soul. Our soul or spirit (we wrongly mash them together most of the time; Hebrews 4:12) are what make human beings unique in all of Creation for it is in possessing our souls that we are made in the image of God. Our souls are what separate us from all other beings created by God.
We can see our bodies. We can study organs and injuries and learn all about our bodies. That makes talking about the physical body of a person easier than talking about the soul or spirit of a person. Talking about spiritual things can often be difficult because spiritual things are often unseen. Faith is not what is seen, but what is unseen. We cannot see our spirits and so often when we talk about spiritual things, we must use terms and words that we are familiar with. Most of the time, we use physical references to talk about spiritual things. For example, we talk about:
Disobedience to God being described as stiff-necked even though an actual neck is not involved (Exodus, Deut)
Having eyes of faith, even though our eyes are not involved (Jeremiah, Acts)
Hearing the voice of God, even though our ears are not involved (Deut, Isaiah, Matthew, Revelation)
Trusting God with our heart, even though that organ is not what we mean (Matt, Mark, Luke, John)
Today, as we begin to look at 2 Peter, the Apostle Peter talks about our spiritual lives as authentic believers in Jesus Christ in physical terms using our eyes.
READ 2 PETER 1:1-11
Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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 very 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.
I. SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS
The Apostle Peter is warning us in this passage about “spiritual blindness.” In verse 9, Peter says that it is possible to be spiritually nearsighted and blind. What does he mean by that? There are three words in verses 8-9 which help us define spiritual blindness for us.
Ineffective. I noticed that the translation of this word that the NIV uses is quite nice compared to what the word actually means. The word used here means “useless.” It comes from a word that means “careless,” “lazy,” and “idle.” Part of being spiritually blind means that you are lazy spiritually. Spiritually laziness is exactly like what it sounds I think.
Spiritual laziness puts off to tomorrow what should be done today
Spiritual laziness means no spiritual disciplines are active and working
Spiritual laziness results in ineffectiveness for God
What might be some specific examples of ineffective spiritual laziness?
* Coming to church and sitting in the gym drinking coffee and eating donuts while Sunday School is going on
* Coming to the Wednesday night meal and then leaving and skipping out before groups start
* Deciding to watch TV in the evening until you fall asleep and not once reading the Bible or praying
* Telling someone you will pray for them, but never actually doing it