Summary: How can we live the excellent life God wants for us? 1. Our life must be founded on faith (vs. 1-4). 2. Our life must be full of God’s fruit (vs. 5-8). 3. Our life must be focused on our finish (vs. 9-11).
God’s Ultimate Excellence for Us - Part 2
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 10, 2013
*Sometimes people get down when they compare themselves to other people: Somebody richer, smarter, stronger or better looking. Have you ever been there? Maybe you think of yourself as a little nobody right now.
*President William Howard Taft’s great granddaughter was asked to write her autobiography when she was in the third grade. And this is what she wrote: "My great-grandfather was President of the United Sates. My grandfather was a United States Senator. My father is an ambassador. And I’m a Brownie." (1)
*You may not feel like much compared to the people around you. But we all can live an excellent life in the sight of the Lord. How can we do it? How can we live the excellent life God wants for us?
1. First: Our life must be founded on faith.
*This is Peter’s message to us in vs. 1-4. The excellent life must be founded on faith. In this letter Peter was speaking to Christians, people of faith, so he opened with this introduction in vs. 1: "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ."
*Jesus Christ is the only foundation for salvation. We must put our faith in Him. This is why Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 3:11, "other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." The only foundation for the excellent, eternal life is Jesus Christ. And that is because we are sinners who must be saved.
*M.C. Richards once asked: "Why is it if we are all so well-educated and brilliant and gifted and artistic and idealistic and distinguished in scholarship. -- That we are so selfish and scheming and dishonest and begrudging and impatient and arrogant and disrespectful of others?" (2)
*It is because we are sinners who must be saved. In Acts 4 Peter and John were on trial before the high priest in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders were grilling them about a miraculous healing, and the Word of God says:
8. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, "Rulers of the people and elders of Israel:
9. If we this day are judged for a good deed done to the helpless man, by what means he has been made well,
10. let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.
11. This is the ’stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’
12. Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’’ (Acts 4:8-12)
*We must be saved and we can be saved, -- but only through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Faith in Jesus Christ is the only foundation for a life worth living.
*Last week we talked about how we can trust in God’s goodness, His grace and His guarantees to us:
-As Peter said in vs. 1: Christians "have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ." That’s God’s goodness.
-Then in vs. 2: "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord." There’s God’s grace.
*And in vs. 3&4:
3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
*Those promises in vs. 4 are God’s guarantees to us. We can surely trust in God’s goodness, His grace and His guarantees to us.
-And this is vital, because the excellent life must be founded on faith.
2. The excellent must also be full of God’s fruit.
*Peter talked about this fruitful life in vs. 5-8, where he said:
5. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.