Summary: This is the 12th study in the study "Hope In The Darkness". This study looks at growing as Christians.
LIVING IN GROWTH
In our last study we looked at the fact that the Christian life begins with faith. Where there is life, there must be growth. The new birth is not the end but the beginning. God has provided everything we need to grow, but spiritual growth is not automatic. Our text gives us seven things that we are to build upon our salvation. This list is sequential, meaning you have to have the first characteristic laid upon the foundation, which is Jesus Christ, before you can lay the second characteristic.
Characteristic #1: Virtue
This word basically means “excellence”. A person of good character, of excellence, doesn’t just happen. Many people “put off” salvation until they can become of excellent character, not realizing that on their own, even on their best day they cannot be a person of good character without Jesus Christ as Savior. It is through the Holy Spirit within us that we are able to live a life of good character. Now there is many who stop right here. It is our faith in Jesus Christ that helps us develop virtue and it is virtue that helps us develop…
Characteristic #2: Knowledge
This knowledge is a spiritual understanding. This is the ability to handle life successfully. There are many Christians who have a lot of head knowledge concerning spiritual matters, but they have no practical knowledge or application of those things. This characteristic is speaking of a practical knowledge that is used in that person’s life. This kind of knowledge doesn’t just happen; it comes from being obedient to God.
Faith develops virtue, virtue develops knowledge and knowledge develops…
Characteristic #3: Temperance
The Message Bible translates this as alert discipline. This is talking about self-control. Can you hold your tongue and keep from “flying off the handle”?
Faith develops virtue, virtue develops knowledge, knowledge develops temperance, and temperance develops…
Characteristic #4: Patience
Patience is the ability to endure when circumstances are difficult. Patience is definitely not something that just happens. We learn patience through going through the difficult times and situations of life.
Faith develops virtue, virtue develops knowledge, knowledge develops temperance, temperance develops patience, and patience develops…
Characteristic #5: Godliness
This word means “God-likeness”. This word describes a person who is right in their relationship with God and those around them. The word reverence is also very fitting. All this sounds simple, but this is describing someone who is living like Christ and that is a very difficult thing to do. This person seeks to do the will of God regardless of the cost.
Faith develops virtue, virtue develops knowledge, knowledge develops temperance, temperance develops patience, patience develops godliness, and godliness develops…
Characteristic #6: Brotherly Kindness
This is having love for one another. This is “phileo” love which is brotherly love. This is something that has plagued the Church throughout the ages. When God’s people will learn how to love one another we will see great advances in the Kingdom. It is hard to be the reflection of the light of Jesus when we are busy beating each other’s heads in.