Summary: We begin the Christian life by faith, and that is how we must walk with the Lord daily.
October 15, 2008
Pastor John L. Harper
“The Steps of Faith”
Simon Peter: the two names are appealing to the Hebrew and the Greek audience
• Those he is writing have not received an inferior faith (same as the apostles)
• They didn’t do anything to earn this faith
• Grace and peace are only possible through a relationship with the Lord
I. THE CHRISTIAN LIFE BEGINS WITH FAITH (vs.1-4)
A. Faith is in a person
1. That person is Jesus Christ
2. Jesus is our savior (deliverance from trouble)
B. Faith involves God’s power
1. Real power is knowing Jesus Christ
2. This power produces life and godliness
C. Faith involves God’s promises
1. These promises are great because they come from a great God
2. These promises are precious because they are priceless
II. FAITH RESULTS IN SPIRITUAL GROWTH (vs. 5-7)
“These graces relate to each other the way the branch relates to the trunk and the twigs to the branch.” (Warren Wiersbe)
A. Goodness to knowledge
1. Excellence in fulfilling our God given purpose
2. Not shining up human qualities, but producing godly characteristics
B. Knowledge to self control
1. This is the kind of practical knowledge or discernment
2. This knowledge comes from obedience to God’s word
C. Self control to perseverance
1. The one who is slow to anger is better than the mighty
2. The one who rules his spirit is better than the one who takes a city.
D. Perseverance to godliness
1. To tough it out in hard times
2. Handling the pressures of life
3. “Self control has to do with handling the pleasures of life, while patience relates primarily to the pressures and problems of life.” W. Wiersbe
E. Godliness to brotherly kindness
1. It means to worship well
2. It describes the one who remains in the Lord, and is well related to his neighbor.
3. This is to do what is right, not what is easy or convenient
F. Brotherly kindness to love
1. This is an indication of our love for the Lord
2. This is a trait that is worked out in everyday relationships
3. There is no way we can grow without exercising sacrificial love in our lives.
4. There is no way to produce these seven qualities apart from the Lord. The DNA is there for growth, as we cooperate with the Holy Spirit and obey the Word.
III. SPIRITUAL GROWTH BRINGS PRACTICAL RESULTS
CONCLUSION: (I am indebted to Warren Wiersbe for the main points)We begin the Christian life by faith, and that is how we must walk with the Lord daily.