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Summary: By possessing and growing these seven qualities, we will be able to live victoriously in this life and to joyously in the next

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“What Sort of People Ought You To Be…”

Growing A Christ-Like Character

Reading: 2 Peter 3:10-18

Text: 2 Peter 1:1-11

INTRODUCTION

In our lesson today we are going to consider the final words of the Apostle Peter as they are recorded in Second Peter. This letter is addressed to all the faithful and is intended to “…stir you up by way of reminder.” 2 Peter 1:13b

a.Written with an awareness that his death was imminent

2 Peter 1:14

b.Reminder that false teachers would seek to lead them astray

2 Peter 2:1-2

c.Reminder of the words of the prophets and the commandments given to them by the apostles of Jesus Christ

2 Peter 3:1-2

d.Reminder of the coming Day of the Lord 2 Peter 3:10

We are going to examine in the final words of this letter a question and a command Peter gives us:

a.Read 2 Peter 3:10-18

b.Question in v11 “…what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…”

c.Command v18, a charge to “ grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”

[We are not left to wonder what Peter had in mind, for in 2 Peter 1:5-8 we learn...]

I. What It Means To Grow…

A. The Development Of Seven Qualities...

1. These attributes, listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7, have a foundation in faith.

2. Briefly defined...

a.Moral excellence is courage or fortitude, to enable you to profess the faith before men; Virtue

b.Knowledge is wisdom, fully knowing Christ

c.Self-control is keeping every sense under proper restraint.

d.Perseverance is bearing all trials and difficulties with an even mind, enduring in all and through all.

e.Godliness is Piety towards God, holding God in your heart.

f.Brotherly kindness is love toward the brethren

g.Love is love not based on conditions or warrants

3. Now note carefully 2 Peter 1:8

a.We must have these qualities and increasing

b.Only then can it be said that we are growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ

4. It is more than simply increasing our intellectual knowledge of Jesus!

a.Such knowledge has a place, but it is just one of the qualities necessary

b.Peter is talking about growing in a fuller and more personal knowledge of Jesus Christ!

1)Which comes by developing the “ Christ-like” attributes listed in this passage

2)The more we grow in these qualities, the more fully we know Jesus and the closer our character comes to be like Him.

5. Peter makes it clear that it involves more than intellectual knowledge by the Greek word used for knowledge

a.The word is epignosis {ep-ig’-no-sis}, meaning “ to become thoroughly acquainted with, to know accurately, know well” (Thayer)

b.Such knowledge comes only as we demonstrate these “ Christ-like qualities” in our lives

B. In Conjunction With Each Other...

1. Notice the word “add” (or “supply”) in 2 Peter 1:5

a.Before each quality mentioned, the word is implied

b.The word in Greek is epichoregeo {ep-ee-khor-ayg-eh’-o}

1)“ Originally, to found and support a chorus, to lead a choir, to keep in tune”

2)“ Then, to supply or provide”

c.This word suggests each quality working in harmony with the others to produce an overall effect.

2. Notice also the preposition “to” (or “in”) in 2 Peter 1:5-7

a.This implies each quality is to temper and make perfect the grace that goes before it

b.To illustrate this point:

1)“to knowledge (supply) self-control” - the grace of self-control enables one to apply properly the knowledge one has

2)“ to self-control (supply) perseverance” - self-control in turn needs the quality of perseverance to be consistent day after day

3. Therefore each grace is necessary!

a.They must all be developed in conjunction with each other

b.We cannot be selective and just pick the ones we like and leave others behind

1)Don’t think that you can be faithful without being virtuous.

2)Don’t think that you can have this kind of knowledge without exercising self-control.

3)Don’t think that you can be godly without persevering.

4)Don’t think you have real love without brotherly kindness.

5)We need them all. They all work together.

C. With All Diligence...

1. Notice the repeated use of the word “diligence” - 2 Peter 1:5, 10

2. It means “earnestness, zeal, sometimes with haste”

3. To grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ requires much effort

4. We do not “accidentally” or “incidentally” develop these graces!

ILL: If we are not careful, we may be like the teacher in the following illustration: In his book Folk Psalms of Faith, Ray Stedman tells a story of a woman who had been a school teacher for 25 years. When she heard about a job that would mean a promotion, she applied for the position. However, someone who had been teaching for only one year was hired instead. She went to the principal and asked why. The principal responded, “ I’m sorry, but you haven’t had 25 years of experience as you claim; you’ve had only one year’s experience 25 times.” During that whole time the teacher had not improved.

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