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Summary: Believers have precious and wonderful promises from God for our life and future, but believer also have responsibilities to God. Each Christian is responsible for his or her growth in Christ-likeness.

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2 PETER 1: 8-15 [Our Precious Faith Series]

LIFE AND DEATH

[Matthew 25:21¨C23]

Believers have precious and wonderful promises from God for our life and future, but believer also have responsibilities to God. Each Christian is responsible for his or her growth in Christ-likeness (CIT). Peter urges his fellow-Christians to demonstrate the reality of their own standing with God by growing in the areas outlined in the previous paragraph (in verses 5-7). In this way they will be kept from failure in this life and be welcomed enthusiastically into the Lord¡¯s eternal kingdom (Mt. 25:21¨C23).

Genuine Christ-like character is the only proof (to ourselves as well as to others) of our salvation [Mt. 7:16¨C21, James 3:2, 1 John 1:7¨C10; 3:10; Gal. 5:16¨C25], even though at times we fail miserably. If you aren¡¯t developing the character qualities listed in verses 5-7 maybe you don¡¯t have salvation either. Those who bear evidence to their growing faith will persevere and be assured of their eternal salvation even as their death approaches.

I. SPIRITUAL SIGHT, 8-9.

II. ENTRANCE EFFORT, 10-11.

III. DWELLING DEPARTURE, 12-14.

We have just been instructed to cultivate a vital faith in Jesus Christ and then add virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love to it. If we make these characteristics increasingly ours we will be fruitful instead of being barren as verse 8 promises. ¡°For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [See the message ¡°Precious Promises¡± by Dennis Davidson on 2 Peter 1: 3-8.]

If these characteristics are not ours, Peter says in verse 9 that we will reap two negative results. ¡°For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

The biblical principle is if you don¡¯t sow you don¡¯t reap. The person who does not make spiritual processes in their life faces two dilemmas. First, a non-growing or fleshly Christian is blind or has spiritual myopia [Gk. my¨­paz¨­n]. Shortsighted is a kind of blindness which prevents us from seeing ahead into our future. Such blindness is one of the expressions of the deceitfulness of Satan and sin (2 Cor. 4:4). Sin and Satan blind us and prevent us from seeing eternal realities. Sin leads us astray and makes us blind to the glorious possibilities of spiritual development that exist in Christ. [Since one¡¯s life is not evidencing the qualities cited in verses 5¨C7, he seems to be just like a spiritually blind or unsaved person (2 Cor. 4:4; John 9:39).]

Second, he ¡°has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.¡± How tragic it is to have our sins forgiven by our Lord and then to forget that cleansing forgiveness and live once again in our trespasses and sins. Such people are short-sighted because they cannot look back far enough to remember the sins from which they were cleansed and delivered.

Several years ago a YOUNG HUSBAND forgot that he was married. According to the newspaper account, the day after the newly-weds returned from their honeymoon, the husband was 3 hours late getting home from the office. Dinner was burned -and his bride was burning mad. He had absentmindedly gone to his mother's house!

That's a humorous story. But when people who belong to the Savior suffer from a similar memory problem, it's not very funny. The apostle Peter reminded those of us who have entered into a relationship with Jesus that we are not what we used to be. God's people have been cleansed from our old sins (2 Pet. 1:9) by the blood of Jesus and we have a new purpose in life.

We who are united to Christ need to remind ourselves continually that we belong to Him, and we are to choose to live for His glory. By studying the Scriptures, communing with the Father, and fellow-shipping with His children, we can avoid losing our spiritual identity.

Believer, you have been spiritually reborn into God's family. Failing to daily remember this new life will result in something far more serious than a burned dinner. Christians who fail to make progress in the Christian qualities just listed are spiritually blind and forgetful of God and the reality of eternity.

As we live there is a great deal of worldly dust that gets into our spiritual eyes of faith. There is no way of clearing out that dust, and gaining eternal insight or developing a sight that can see into heaven, except by growing in that spiritual life which manifests itself in faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.

II. ENTRANCE EFFORT, 10-11.

Verse 10 is a call for diligence in seeking to grow in Christian graces. ¡°Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;¡±

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