Summary: This is the first of eight messages that focus on the spiritual growth of the believer.
January 4, 1998 Rev. Tom Dooley
Eight Habits of Highly Effective Christians
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
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
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
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
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
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
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