Summary: A sermon examining the Christian Growth process
Christian Growth Supplements
There has been much controversy in recent years concerning growth supplements in professional sports. In fact a report came out this past week alleging that some major names have been taking PED's. Over the years several high profile players have been suspended and fined enormous amounts of money for breaking the rules. A "supplement" is something that something that completes or enhances something else when added to it. Human Growth hormones and other Performance enhancing drugs are strictly banned in professional sports but some supplements are beneficial, legal and acceptable. Doctors may recommend certain dietary supplements to provide nutrients that may otherwise not be consumed in sufficient quantities. These supplements include vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, and amino acids.
Did you know that there are some spiritual growth supplements? They are found in our selected text. In these verses Peter says that we are to add certain things to our faith. The spiritual growth supplements are Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness and Charity. We are directed to "make every effort to supplement our faith" with these things. When these supplements are added to our faith we will be effective and fruitful for the Lord.
Jesus told Nicodemas that “unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) - Once a child is born he or she begins to grow. If there is no growth, there is no life! The same is true in the spiritual life. Once you are born again you begin to grow spiritually. If there is now growth...THERE IS NO LIFE! Our spiritual growth depends on our "spiritual diet". Many Christians have a Spiritual Diet that is unhealthy. There is too much of one thing and not enough of the other. Some Christians are spiritually anorexic.There is no growth because there is no consumption of spiritual things!
I would like to walk through these verses and consider some "Christian Growth Supplements". For those who have trusted in Christ as Savior there is some vital information concerning your spiritual growth and health. Peter says that we are to "give all diligence" to supplement our faith. This makes it clear that the things that follow are vital to our spiritual health.
In Greek culture, the word used for "add to" was used in relation to a choirmaster. The choirmaster was more than a song leader. It was his duty to supply everything that his choir needed. He would have the music prepared. He would ensure that the instruments were tuned and ready. He lavishly supplied them with all that was needed for a splendid performance. In verses 3-4 we saw that God has lavishly provided us with all that is necessary for us to live a holy life for Him. Now we see that there is some personal responsibility required on our parts. Notice in verse 5
I. Supplement # 1 Virtue - "add to your faith virtue"
We are to add to our faith... virtue. Virtue speaks of moral Excellency. Adding virtue to our faith requires us to read and study God's Word, follow God's Word, and allow His Word to transform our lives. When this happens we will live a morally pure life. We are expected to be pure physically, mentally & spiritually. A virtuous Christian is one who stands out as being morally excellent. If Christians act like the world, we do more harm for the cause of Christ than good. If the lost man sees no difference between themselves and us where is the incentive for them to listen when we share the gospel? If there is no moral character in our lives the lost man will be quick to charge us with hypocrisy.
Consider the damage done by the many pastors and evangelists who have been involved in extra-marital affairs. The world is watching us all, and we must make every attempt to supplement our faith with virtue.
- One day as a woman was crossing a street at London station, an old man stopped her. He said to her, "Excuse me, ma'am, but I want to thank you." She looked up and exclaimed, "Thank me?" He replied, "Yes ma’am, I used to be a ticket collector, and whenever you went by you always gave me a cheerful smile and a good morning. I knew that smile must come from inside somewhere. Then one morning I saw a little Bible in your hand. So I bought one, too, and I found out about Jesus from that Bible. Now I too am saved!” That man saw something in that woman that touched his heart. He saw Jesus living in and through her life. Each one of us, who are saved, should so live that the world can see Jesus in our lives. - (Source: Dr. Alan Carr Thesermonnotebook.com)