Summary: The second in a series of 5 sermons dealing with abundant living from 2 Peter 1:3-11. We have everything we need for life and godliness!
A young minister about to deliver his first sermon asked a retired pastor for advice on how to capture the congregation’s attention. "Start with an opening line that’s certain to grab them," the older man said. "For example: ’Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife.’" He smiled at the younger man’s shocked expression before adding, "She was my mother." The next Sunday the young clergyman nervously clutched the pulpit rail in front of the congregation. Finally he said, "Some of the best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman who was not my wife." He was pleased at the instant reaction-then became panic-stricken, and said, "But for the life of me, I can’t remember who she was!"
Certainty. Have you ever felt absolute certainty about anything in your life before? Yesterday was the Pittsburgh Steelers football game, and I was absolutely certain that we were going to win that thing. EXPLAIN THIS. To me it was never in doubt. EXPLAIN THIS.
Our problem comes when we speak of certainties when it comes to this world. When it comes to this world, we can’t be certain of what tomorrow holds, what a football game holds, or even what our friends hold. I’ve talked about one of the girls in my dorm who just completed her classwork in December—she’s not coming back. And I’ve talked about her on Sunday nights; she has a terrible towel that she would wear on her head to watch the game. She promised me that she would be watching and cheering last weekend, and you know what? She turned it off and fell asleep! Unbelievable! I mean, if there were something that I could consider to be a certainty, a sure thing, it would have been her watching that football game. EXPLAIN WHY.
I know some of you don’t like sports—I’m stopping now—but I just want to remind you that when it comes to this world that there are NO SURE THINGS that this world has to offer you, outside of death and taxes.
Last week, we looked at a word—do you remember what it was? Sufficient. We talked of how Christ’s sacrifice for us was sufficient for eternal life, that his blood shed on the cross was sufficient to pay the price for our sins. But we also looked at how it was sufficient not just for eternal life, but for LIFE! John 10:10
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
We saw how in 2 Peter 1:3 that 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. Everything we need!
We talked about the ramifications of this as well. How we often look to this world for advice on ourproblems, for help, as the ULTIMATE AUTHORITY on what we need to do in life. Yet Christ came, not just to give us eternal life, but abundant life.
16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And remember the question we asked ourselves last week—do you believe it? Do you believe that Scripture is God-breathed? Do you take God’s Word at His Word? Because if we don’t believe this, if we don’t believe that we have everything we need for life and godliness, if we only believe that Jesus came to punch a one-way ticket for us to heaven, then we should all just go home. Go back to bed, get some sleep. In fact, we should all just do what we want, because God couldn’t keep what he promised.
But he is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."
God is faithful, and his work was sufficient—able to meet the need at hand.
Today, we will continue in this passage, but I want to give you certainty about it. Last week we started to look at how we can enjoy this abundant life, but not we will look at the certainty about this abundant life, and instead of looking at 2 Peter 1:5 and following, we are going to start at verse 8, and if you can, don’t look at any other verse than 8 for right now.
8For 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.