2 Peter 1:5-9 (NIV)
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Make every effort to mod up your faith!
Faith is good:
- It gets us to heaven
- It saves us
- Without it, it is impossible to please God
- Faith is God’s currency
- Faith is key
But it can be kitted out. Martin Luther argued ‘Sola Fide’ – by Faith Alone and that is 100% true of salvation, but we can ask the Holy Spirit to help us also add to our faith!
I don’t believe this is just about trying harder, but working with God, asking Him to help us, giving us grace to change and to grow.
What sort of life do we want?
- What sort of treasure in heaven do we want to store up?
- What sort of influence do we want to have here in this life?
- What sort of impact do we want our lives to make?
- What sort of eternal purpose and destiny do we want to live out or step into?
There is a place that we can live where we are a Christian but missing out on so much that God has for our lives!
But before we look at these things, lets jump ahead and find out what Peter says about it if we do not add to our faith.
1 Peter 1:8-12 (NIV)
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble,11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
It is possible to have faith in Jesus – but not have told our personality, our manners, our character, our mouth, our smile!
It is possible for people to be saved from their sin and become Christians,
- But boy are they painful, negative, complaining, cynical
- Still pretty rude and have terrible manners
- No-one wants to be like them
- They are fruity and weird, but unfruitful
- Barron – no influence, not birthing anything new in God or no-one looks to them
- They are a Christian, yet they go around and around in circles about the same issues, never seeming to overcome or break free of things
But there is another Christian life that steps into all God has for us!
- A Christianity filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and miracles
- Blessing and favour
- Freedom and liberty
- One that is filled with joy and peace!
- Life and lived to the full!
If that is the kind of life and Christianity you want, then this message is for you!
Let’s live life to the full like God intends us to live!
There are some pretty good reasons to mod up our faith and some pretty strong words for those who refuse to do it. So let’s check it out.
But I have one disclaimer:
- I don’t believe adding to our faith is ‘working harder and doing more’ – but neither is it just hoping God does everything
- This message requires our ‘making every effort’, but also the grace and work of the Holy Spirit together to help us grow and add to our faith so it its dynamic and powerful.
This word is Ar-et’-ay means excellence, goodness and praiseworthy.
This word is used four other times in the New Testament and twice it is translated as ‘praise or praiseworthy’.
Philippians 4:8 (NIV) it is talking about what we think about and one qualification is anything ‘praiseworthy’ – it’s the same word.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
This is the same word – it seems aligned with something that would draw praise especially to God.
Something is praised when it stands out as excellent!
- When it is excellent it has reason to be praised
- The Bible says add that quality to our faith
That is why this is to be added to our faith, not because we might believe in Jesus, but for others to see us and also want to follow Jesus, they will need to see something good in our lives. See something that would cause them to praise God.
What makes a person good? What quality do you describe it as, or what attributes define this goodness? Are we excellent in our attitude, efforts, reputation and craftsmanship? Is what we give our time and effort to, excellent and praiseworthy?
- Christians ought to be the best employees and bosses in Bendigo!
- People ought to see us at work and our effort and diligence should warrant praise which then can be directed to God.
Goodness could be:
- A willingness to help others at our own expense – that is good and excellent in character and praiseworthy
- A generous heart – willing to give and not be stingy and tight fisted
- Are we encouraging, uplifting, nice, friendly with our demeanour, are our interactions with others praiseworthy? Does your face know you are saved?
- The Bible talks about entertaining – even lists it as a gift – which is being warm and friendly, giving people food, treating them nicely and being welcome
- Are we honouring of others, preferring others, sharing?
- Excellence in our honesty and integrity is good – people admire that
- A person who is honest but gracious with their words
- A good person who does what they say even to their own hurt
- Someone who defends people who can’t defend themselves
- Someone who makes room and space in their lives for others
Let’s mod up our faith with being good people – goodness. Our lives need to be praiseworthy that can be reflected back to God.
It is one thing to believe in something or be passionate about it, but it is another thing to have knowledge about it. In life we call this maturing!
Cooking without knowledge will lead to not enjoying your food.
Marriage without knowledge can fail.
We might have had a radical God encounter, love Him so much and be so in awe of Him, but if we don’t add some knowledge to that we won’t grow – sadly I have seen people abandon their faith due to lack of knowledge.
Romans 10:2 (NIV)
2 For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
Ephesians 4:13 (NIV) puts it like this:
13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Colossians 1:10 (NIV)
10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
This is about maturing as a person, gaining the knowledge to:
- Understand things about God
- Not be easily convinced of this or that
- Knowledge of God, who He is, what His word says. It’s one thing to believe the Bible, but it’s another to know what it says
- Knowledge about having good relationships
- Knowledge about what leads to blessing versus what leads to trouble
Are we growing in our knowledge and learning to be mature in life? Lack of knowledge leads to wrong decisions.
It is so essential that we have good, godly people who speak into our lives. We need to choose to grow in knowledge and listen to those who have some knowledge as we grow. It is easy to get side-tracked and make terrible mistakes and bad decisions.
Its why I love Bible College so much. It adds knowledge to our faith and helps us stay grounded and mature. Get knowledge from reputable sources.
We are saved by faith, but maturity comes through adding to that knowledge and learning about the Word of God, the Person of God and the things of God.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the most important thing. Be a follower of Jesus.
Read your Bible and find God’s plan for your life.
Suggestions for discussion
- Discuss ways you can modify your faith to mature into what God has planned for your life.
- Lack of knowledge can lead to abandoning your faith. How can you prevent this from happening?
- How can you develop goodness and maturity in your life?