Summary: #4 In the scriptures there is the assumption that anyone who is born again of the Spirit of God, that that person has the very power of God to live a life of godliness. This is not a life that is some unproductive barren wasteland, but a life that is full
The Enlargement of Life
Living Self-control Emancipated in Perseverance
Reading: Luke 8:11-15
Even a quick reading of the N.T. reveals that God has a plan and a purpose for anyone who will be fully open to Him. This plan is that we might have a life, and a way of life that is not only full and complete, but also functioning in a worthwhile way under His constant anointing. God is not some inter-galactic being that only pays scant attention to this part of His creation, then giving fuller attention when things seem to be getting out of control. He is the Lord God who never slumbers nor sleeps, nor ceases to have an active interest in His creation and in particular, those who are born anew. Constantly throughout the Scripture we see that not only does He have an interest, He is actively involved in the lives of those who will open to His Son.
Now according to the passage of scripture in 2 Peter 1:8, it is possible for such a believer to become barren, but when we apply and live in the principles outlined in the previous few verses, then barrenness and unfruitfulness in the Knowledge of our Lord, is banished. In fact this passage exhorts us to abound in such things, and when we do so the desert areas in our lives are thrown back and ultimately banished, as the desert become fertile and blossoms with life.
We have seen how that this passage exhorts us to manifest the moral excellence of God as an expression of our faith, "add to your faith virtue." This is not however to be some off beat mystic pie in the sky theory, but grounded firmly and securely in our Knowledge of Him. This is, in turn manifested in that person, by being a person of self-control. They are able to maintain their position in Christ by having dominion over themselves and having the strength to maintain that position. The beauty of this is that our Lord so endows us with His enabling, that we not only maintain our position in Him, but also grow in Him.
We seem to have a paradox presented to us by Peter, because he now tells us to add to this Self-control, Perseverance/Patience/Steadfastness. Some would say that as I am a person who has control of all my inner workings, then I must have Perseverance to what I am committed to. That is not necessarily so, Self-control has to do with the controlling of you as a person, perseverance has to do with what you have committed yourself too.
The Greek word is translated in four different ways in various translations. Perseverance, Patience, Steadfastness and Endurance. It is in the parable of the sower that we get the overall picture of this word. The sower has sown his seed in the same way that many generations before him had done. He has spent time getting his plot of ground ready, so now he starts to sow the seed. Not all the seed fell onto the ground that he had prepared. Some had fallen onto the pathway, others had fallen on to rocky ground, and some more had fallen into the thickets. These for various reasons, perished, but the seed which had fallen onto the prepared ground, bore much fruit. We are told by Jesus in his explanation of the parable that ; "… the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear much fruit with patience." Jesus is here telling the disciples, “When it comes to pressures and temptation exerted by the world, don’t be a person who puts up some fleshly, isolated pieces of resistance, but be a person who has a persistence, a durability, a steadfast disposition that is consistent in it’s commitment to the Lord, and resistant to the ingression of the world in your life."