Summary: Our goal is to grow to be like Christ, exemplified by a certain belief, conduct, values, priorities and relationships. We are to make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.
RECAP – 2 Pet 3:8-13
• Peter reminded the people of the impending return of Christ and the end of this world by fire.
• We are to THINK ETERNAL and invest in things that cannot be burned up, because what we do today has a bearing for the world to come.
• The fact that HEAVEN is coming will mean that we need to build our CHARACTER and watch our CONDUCT, in preparation for eternity.
Our vision for the coming years will be to make EVERYONE a DISCIPLE AND a DISCIPLE-MAKER. We want to be like Christ and influence others to be like Christ.
• We want to invest in that which counts for eternity; the gold, silver and costly stones that would withstand the fire in the last days.
Let’s go on and read the concluding words of Peter – 2 Peter 3:14-17.
If we know that this world will end, and heaven is where we belong, then Peter says in verse 14: “Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.”
• 3:18 “…grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” One has to do with the EXPERIENCE and the other the UNDERSTANDING of Him.
• Again, it’s CHARACTER. Watch what you are BECOMING.
• Peter says Paul emphasizes this same concern in his writings. Character matters. Character counts.
We want to take on the ROADMAP OF DISCIPLESHIP because we want to be intentional and deliberate in our desire to grow. We want to be systematic in our learning.
• Anything left to chance is half the battle gone, if not entirely. If you do not commit to anything, nothing will change. I excel in what I commit to.
• We want to take this journey and encourage one another to stay on track and onboard until the end.
3:14 “Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him.”
• So what are we to BECOME? What does it looks like at the end? By these - his
(1) belief, (2) conduct, (3) values, (4) priorities, and (5) his relationships.
(1) BELIEF – what are you believing in?
Right believing is very important. The first church has always been fighting against false prophets and teachers. Right believing changes your life. Wrong believing destroys it.
• We need to get back to the Word of God. Jesus often starts with “I tell you the truth…” He says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) The Bible is the bedrock of our belief.
• We want to know WHAT we believe in, and WHY we believe in WHAT we are believe in.
• We are starting with GIC Growing in Christ – basic, fundamental truth of our faith in Christ.
• It is important because our world is getting pluralistic, where everything is subjective and there is no absolute truth.
• We want to study it systematically next few years because God’s Word is the truth.
(2) CONDUCT – who do you look like?
I’ve already emphasized this a few times in the last few weeks.
• You are created to be like Christ, that’s the original image of God when we are first created. God is restoring us back.
• 2 Cor 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” The Holy Spirit is doing that work in our lives.
• We cannot reproduce the character of Christ on our own strength. No New Year’s resolutions, no amount of will-power, or our best intentions can do the job.
• But the Holy Spirit can, if we allow Him. We will allow Him and cooperate with Him. He can change the way we think, and move us in the right way.
(3) VALUES – what are important?
A disciple lives differently. Read the Sermon on the Mount – Matt 5-7.
• World - take revenge. Jesus - turn the other cheek and let God avenge.
• World - take as much as you can. Jesus - it is more blessed to give than to receive.
• World - fight your enemy. Jesus - Love your enemy. Do good to those who hate you. Pray for those who persecute you.
• World - treat others they way they treat you, an eye for an eye. Jesus - treat others the way you would like to be treated. Extend mercy. Forgive, without limits.
• World - rule over others, exercise your authority. Jesus - whoever wants to become great must be a servant.
• World - teaches us to live by sight and feel. The Lord says live by faith.