Summary: What is the main teaching of the Bible? What is the main thing we ought to be conveying? "Jesus Christ and Him crucified."
Father in heaven, at your right hand are eternal pleasures, and in your presence is fullness of joy. Help us now as we look into your Word to remain in Your presence. Oh God we know that You actively seek people to worship You, help us then to see in Your Word that which will draw worship out of our hearts. In Jesus’ Name.
Let’s open our Bibles to the book of 2 peter chapter 1. 2 Peter 1 will give us our introduction for today. Peter is writing to Christians here and he tells them of their resources in Christ and of their responsibility in Christ. Their resources are in verses 3-4 and their responsibility is in verses 5-9. So let’s read of the Christian’s resources and the Christian’s responsibility.
3 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. 4 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. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 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. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9
This list of Christian virtue begins with faith and it ends with love. Faith is the beginning, love is the goal. But it also tells us that we are to be constantly adding Christian character to our lives. We are to be growing in Christ-likeness, increasing in knowledge and virtue, and changing into the image of Jesus Christ. Since the last time we met, you and I should have grown in knowledge and love of God and each other, we should have added goodness to our lives, and knowledge and self-control, etc. we should have changed some in good ways. That’s what the Christian life is about. Notice the first part of verse 8, we are to possess these qualities in increasing measure.
But there is something listed here that will bring our growth to a screeching halt. There is something so serious here that if we miss it we are stopped in our tracks. So what is it that brings a person’s growth to a halt? Look at the end of verse 9: “he has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” He has forgotten his forgiveness; in other words, he has gotten his eyes off of the cross, and anyone, let me say it again, anyone who gets their eyes off of the cross becomes spiritually blind. That is what it says in verse 9. We get near-sighted, meaning we can’t see past our nose, we become self-centered; we’ve lost sight of the cross so we’ve lost sight, and our growth comes to a screeching halt, and we no longer fulfill our responsibility to grow.