Thursday, February 21, 2019

Both H.E.A.R.T. and Ministry and Manners will be held today as scheduled.


Growth Points – Part 1

2 Peter 1:3-8
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5  And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6  And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7  And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8  For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

When a newborn comes into the world, there is great joy in a family and care given to the little one.  Great attention is given to a newborn’s growth.   Checkups are scheduled to weigh the baby.  The baby eats on the average of every two to three hours.  In the baby’s 1st couple years of development, a baby who is progressing in a normal way begins to talk, crawl, pull himself up, walk, eat solids, and so on.  A born again Christian is given clear instruction and direction regarding spiritual growth

The focus and fervency of a Christian should be centered on personal, spiritual growth.  “Giving all diligence” demands all out effort in this area.  Adding to one’s faith cannot be on the back burner of life.  A growing believer is a focused believer on spiritual growth

2 Peter 3:18
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Peter emphasized spiritual growth because of the influence of false teachers, and the increase of persecution and suffering.  A growing knowledge of Christ would produce a life growing in specific areas that please the Lord.

In 1 Peter 1:3 & 5, the very first growth point is identified as virtue or that which is morally excellent.  1 Peter prioritizes this commitment to grow in virtue as a top priority.  Also, it is clear that a Christian is called unto virtue in v. 3.  Living up to your calling requires you adding to your faith “virtue”.  Falling short in moral choices confuses the world as to what is the true identity of a Bible-believing, Christ-following Christian.

Spiritual growth results in adding virtuous choices and thoughts (Phil 4:8) to one’s life.  A Christian should be known for being a morally excellent Christian.  Moral choices affect us every day.  We make moral choices by what we look at in a day.  Moral choices are reflected in the kind of music and language we listen to.  Moral choices are made in decisions we make each day regarding being honest or dishonest with others.  Moral choices are made as to how are body is used each day.  Moral choices include what places we choose to visit (church vs. bar or movie theatre). Moral choices include the choices regarding entertainment that we make.   Virtue (moral excellence) in our lives is built one day at a time, by the choices and thoughts we give ourselves to.

You may be thinking, what is the standard of moral excellence for a Christian?  In 1 Peter 2:9, the word “praises” is the same word that is translated “virtue” in 2 Peter 1:3, 5.  The standard the Christian is to live up to in his moral choices is the “praises” or virtue of Christ who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

As you consider adding to your faith, what choices or thoughts need to be addressed in your life to raise the standard of moral excellence so that you can shew forth the virtue of Christ to others?  Remember virtue is your calling as a Christian!

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