Romans 1 – “When they knew God.” In that chapter there is a progression downward of ungodly people. When they knew God, they didn’t follow him or worship him, they grabbed at their own wisdom instead of God’s wisdom. They worshiped idols.
2 Peter 1:1-11 – “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.” God is offering you abundance. The isn’t just a wish or wishful thinking on the part of Peter, rather it is the desire of a loving heavenly Father.
We need to have a foundation. A place to start from. Peter begins by describing this. “A like precious faith.” The foundation that we need to start with is faith.
We should notice two things here – God’s divine power and his incredibly great and precious promises. It is only through these two things that we can escape the corruption of the world around us and be partakers in the divine nature.
John 1 – To those who received him, the right was given to become sons of God. Born of the will of God. This power makes the promises that God gives sure. Political campaign promises aren’t all they are cracked up to be, with God we can be sure that his promises are sure.
God offers to us all of the things that are essential for life and godliness. He offers all that we need, it is impossible for us to say that God gave us an assignment but forgot to give as the “wherewithal” to accomplish it.
There are those who approach the Bible and God and they try to do/be christians but fail to get anywhere. They are trying in their own power, it is impossible without the tools and grace that God offers to us.
Besides all of this, we need to give all diligence to supplement our faith and grow in Christ.
- Virtue – the godly life that comes from following and obeying Christ. As we believe in and trust in Christ and surrender our spirit, we obey and become more of a reflection of the character of Christ.
- Knowledge – the importance of reading/studying the Bible is very clear. We need to learn about God, his provisions and promises, we learn about God’s will for holy living and the truth about sin. There is so much to learn.
- Temperance – self control. We obey God’s spirit working inside of us. Our flesh becomes “restrained” by a mind that is controlled by the Holy Spirit. A carnal Christian gives in to his flesh and pride and sinful desires far too often.
- Patience – endurance. The endurance to “keep on keeping on” by God’s grace through difficult times. Keeping an eye on the goal, consistently keeping on, step after step, right choice after right choice.
- Godliness – becoming more Christlike. There is a devotion to God, a fear of God, a reverence for God. Our character needs to be molded by God.
- Brotherly Kindness – affection for others.
- Charity – agape love.
These are all “rungs” or “steps” on a ladder. However the analogy doesn’t completely hold up because they aren’t all necessarily in order. Although these things are presented and ordered from “more basic” to “more advanced” – there is a measure of each of these steps before we even get started.
2 Corinthians 3:18 – From glory to glory, a continued growth.
There are Christians who begin. There was faith, forgiveness and cleansing. However there are those who lack these “graces,” instead of these things growing they are growing dull and becoming “less obvious.” They’ve quite learning, they’ve quit advancing, they’ve forgotten their deliverance.
If we have these qualities and they are growing, the more productive and useful we can become. “Give diligence to making your calling and election sure.” If we are sincere and earnest Peter tells us “if you do these things, you will never fall.”
All that we need is offered to us and available to us. We all have a ways to go, but let us give diligence to doing our part.
Hebrews 4:11 and Jesus said elsewhere “strive to enter through the narrow door.”
May God help us to grow in our understanding of the power and promises of God.