Hi Church, a lot has happened since I had the opportunity to talk with you all. What an awesome Sunday a couple of weeks ago when our Miracle Offering giving in our first weeks is now paving the way for us to be in our new facility very soon. Thank you for your ongoing generosity.
The time is getting closer for us to celebrate together.
Also, on a sad but at the same time triumphant note, we farewelled Jan’s Mum Faye at a beautiful graveside service which I know many of you viewed online. Thank you on behalf of Jan and all our family to all who prayed for us, sent flowers and messages of sympathy and practically assisted during this time. We have a loving, generous and genuine Church. We are very blessed!
2 Peter 1:3-10 (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
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.
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,
I want to continue the series started by Pastor Kerrin last Sunday entitled “ Faith Mods” or adding to your salvation experience by tapping into God’s divine power here on earth “that has given us all we need for life and Godliness… so that through them (the very great and precious promises) you may participate in the Divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”
You see, if we don’t intentionally tap into God’s Divine Power and participate, then we won’t escape the world’s corruption. There may be oil underground but to get to it we must “tap into it”. It must be intentional!
Peter, in this letter written in his latter years to Christians facing horrific persecution, addresses the difficult times during which they may wander and forget the basics of their faith. A time when false teachers were around denying Christ’s second coming. A time of opposition to the basics of the Faith. A bit like today, without the obvious persecution in this part of the world, but still filled with false doctrines, relative truth, situational ethics, secular humanistic, godless lifestyles, greed and corruption at all levels of society.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 (NIV)
3 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4 They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” 5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
Tap into, participate and escape, all imply intentional effort.
Salvation is a free gift, but to tap into, participate and escape, we must “make every effort” as Peter says to add to our faith. We are saved by grace, a free gift, but to live the life God intends us to live it takes effort, it takes spiritual warfare, it takes adding to our salvation faith the virtues which Kerrin spoke about last week and the ones we address today from 2 Peter.
It’s not about us only, if we are satisfied to be saved and have our “ticket to heaven” and don’t “tap into, participate and escape” then nothing will change in our world. Our salvation is assured, but is it all wood, hay and stubble?
No legacy for future generations and no impact now…… Faye’s legacy.
If we build a new building for our comfort, nothing is gained except we enjoy our Christian gatherings more, have all the mod cons and can even be falsely proud of our achievements but our building is to bless others, bless our city and demonstrate our desire to give our best to Him who gave it all for us. “Excellence honours God and inspires people”.
The vehicle in which we tap into, participate and escape is God’s “very great and precious promises”
As with any vehicle you have to purchase it, own it and move through life with it. Do you know and own the precious promises given to you through God’s Word? Are they your vehicle?
The promises that He will supply all your needs, all things work together for good, healing promises, generational blessing promises, protection promises, end time promises, and the list goes on. Are these promises your vehicle for life?
Now, 1 Peter 1:6 takes us to the next Faith Mods, to add to our faith. Following Goodness and Knowledge comes Self Control and Perseverance.
Remember from last week, Goodness is Excellence in our attitude, effort and reputation e.g. In SCA our sports Chaplains are reminded that they are ambassadors, representing the King in their club and in their world.
Knowledge is not just believing, but knowing what you believe.
Self- Control – add to your faith self- control. In the Hellenistic world of Peter’s day this word pertained to sports. As Paul put it “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training” (1 Cor. 9:25)
(Reflections on lack of strict training during football days, no cutting corners when running laps, no concessions for short legged footballers… although I pleaded my case!)
It’s the same with “add ons” to our faith, we can’t cut corners with holiness!
Self-control is complete reliance on God. It can mean waiting for God’s timing and unlike Abraham not causing a mess by becoming impatient with God and letting self take over and run ahead of God and His purposes.
What a “Middle East catastrophe” that lack of self-control continues to cause!!
A word here for those trying to make things happen in relationships,
God has this, rest in His promises. Don’t try to make things happen like Abraham!!!
Perseverance (Romans 5:1-5 (NIV))
Defined as “the ability to continue in the faith and resist the pressures of the world system.”
It’s stick-ability, consistency, determination, forward focused tenacity, …
It’s how you leave a Legacy; it’s moving forward when nothing seems to be happening.
It’s also adapting as you move tenaciously forward, taking on new approaches and new ways of reaching now generations.
Jan’s late mum, Faye was a great example, always adding to her faith, tenaciously embracing new ways, especially in Church life. When our previous Church introduced Friday night Church, her desire to encourage young leaders overruled loud music, overruled Friday night tiredness, overruled preferred worship style. If it was a gathering of God’s people, she would be there. Even in her incapacitated state in Aged Care she would wonder who was taking her to Church, not realising those days were over. Perseverance combined with daily prayer warfare leaves a legacy of perseverance, determination and tenacity.
These are Faith mods – add-ons and they take “every effort”.
2 Peter 1:5a
“for this reason, make every effort to add to your faith”
Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV) sums it up.
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works lest any man should boast.”
The free gift part is to participate in the divine nature.
For we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – the add ons, participate in the good works, God has targeted you for!
Salvation is a gift won for us by Jesus on a Roman Cross at Calvary.
That piece of divine workmanship – you, has been created in Christ Jesus to fulfil a God ordained purpose- so let’s make every effort to add to our “Salvation Faith” these virtues.
It’s all about tapping in, participating and escaping.
Today if you don’t know Jesus tap into the Divine Nature, participate in His will for your life and thus “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires”.
Repent, receive the gift of salvation and escape from a life of futility and experience what God has prepared for you…… and it is good!
Suggestions for discussion
- Discuss what it means to you to “tap into, participate and escape”.
- How difficult is it to wait for God’s timing and not become impatient with God?
- Are God’s promises your vehicle for life?