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Summary: This is the first of eight messages that focus on the spiritual growth of the believer.

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January 4, 1998 Rev. Tom Dooley

www.preachingtheword.com

Eight Habits of Highly Effective Christians

2 Peter 1:1-10

Habit Number One: Practicing Spiritual Diligence

Peter’s readers were living in an environment that was

extremely hostile to cause of Jesus Christ. Peter knew that

if they were to stand under the pressure and make an

impact on their world they would have to grow strong

spiritually. And so Peter gives instruction that not only

fortified their faith, but will help us become what I would

like to call, "Highly Effective Christians" in our society as

well.

I want to be a Highly Effective Servant of my Lord and

Savior. As a pastor, my greatest desire for you as a

church is to see you grow and mature into Highly Effective

Servants of Jesus.

Here we discover... what I want to call.. Eight Habits of

Highly Effective Christians.

Why I use the term habits... habits must be established,

built into our lives. Peter admonishes us to "add" or build

our faith.

The first habit I find here is foundational. Highly effective

christians PRACTICE SPIRITUAL DILIGENCE.

Look at verse 5 and notice that Peter underscores....

I. THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PRACTICING

SPIRITUAL DILIGENCE

(verse 5)

We seem to live in the day of additives. There are vitamin

additives designed to supplement your diet. There is STP,

a gasoline additive, that is suppposed to give a little extra

"umph" to your car. There is even Grecian Formula to add

a little color to your hair, and as the commercial goes only

your hairdresser will know for sure.

You will notice in verse 5, that Simon Peter give the

instruction, "Add to your faith," then he names seven things

we are to add or build upon the foundation of faith.

Let’s clarify however that in order to add to your faith, you

must have saving faith.

Peter’s readers had saving faith. Look again at verse 1

and you will see that Peter addressed this letter to "them

that have obtained like precious faith..".

Peter speaks here of a "precious faith".

This faith that Peter speaks of is not the FALSE FAITH of

the heritics, nor the PHONY FAITH of the hypocrite, or the

FRUITLESS FAITH of one who merely professes faith.

Peter describes this faith as "precious" I believe for two

important reasons.

First, because of...

1) The Object of our Faith

Who is the object of the christians faith? Note I said who

not what? Who... Jesus.

Saving faith is precious because it is through faithin Jesus

Christ that one is born into the family of God.

John’s Gospel tells the story of Nicodemus. Jesus told him

that to enter heaven he "must be born again". Jesus went

on to explain that to be born again one must put their faith

in the Lord Jesus. Jesus assured Nicodemus... "FOR GOD

SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY

BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIVETH IN

HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING

LIFE."

I think secondly, that Peter describes saving faith as

"PRECIOUS FAITH", because of...

2) The Outcome of our Faith

The Bible declares that if you have trusted Jesus Christ as

your Savior and Lord, then you have become... " A NEW

CREATURE". Because that is true, "OLD THINGS HAVE

PASSED AWAY, BEHOLD ALL THINGS ARE BECOME

NEW". (2 Cor. 5:17)

Peter new the reality of the transforming outcome of

placing faith in the person of Jesus Christ. Before Peter

trusted Jesus as his Savior, he was a foul mouthed, self

centered, cowardly, compromising man. But Jesus saved

him and transformed him into a mighty instrument of

righteousness. Notice in the opening sentence of this

letter, Peter identifies himself as, "A SERVANT AND AN

APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST".

The christian life begins when one places their trust in the

Savior, but Peter wants us to understand that becoming a

christian is not the end, it is the beginning. The Christian

life is to be "addded to".

Look again at verse 5 and note that we are to be "GIVING

ALL DILIGENCE" as we add to our faith.

The word "diligence" refers to the earnest, zealous,

exertion of oneself.

This matter of adding to our faith, seeing our faith

strengthened and enriched demands our diligence.

No one grows in the spiritual realm automatically.

I wish as a pastor I could just put people in a room push a

button and bang... it would produce a mature, growing,

effective believer for the kingdom of God. But that is not

possible.

It takes intentional effort. (Illustration: Hershal Walker of the

Dallas Cowboys was the smallest kid on his high school team at age

15. Coach challenged him to build himself up. He said that off season

he did a million pushups, situps, and ran a million yards of sprints. I

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