Presentation on theme: "FAITH, GOODNESS, AND KNOWLEDGE 2 Peter 1:5: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”"— Presentation transcript:
FAITH, GOODNESS, AND KNOWLEDGE 2 Peter 1:5: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”
“For this very reason” – what reason? Do you remember from your study a few weeks ago? Let’s review Verses 3 and 4 to see what that reason is:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” “…through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these [His own glory and goodness] He has given us his very great and precious promises…”
“…so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” So, there you have it… That’s the reason!
(In other words, so we may “share in” and be associated with the God-like nature of Jesus Christ, which will keep us from being corrupted in the world by evil desires!) WHAT GOOD NEWS!
Now that we remember why we are instructed to do this, let’s look at what we are to do: Just as we may build a house, one brick or stone upon another, we are instructed to build our character by building one Christ-like quality upon another so that we may “participate in the divine nature.”
FAITH GOODNESS KNOWLEDGE
The deeper our relationship with God grows, the more we receive the grace, peace, and everything else we need to walk through this life with godliness (a conduct that seeks to please God). And the more we believe and trust in the wonderful promises in God’s Word, the more we develop a Christ-like character that keeps us from giving in to evil desires that lead to corruption.
So, it is to our very great benefit to read and meditate upon God’s Word (gain Biblical truth) so we can develop a close relationship with Him (have the knowledge of God).
So let’s look at tonight’s verse again: 2 Peter 1:5: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;”
FAITH We first receive that precious gift of faith when we come to know and believe that He is who He says He is (we believe His promises).
Hebrews 11:1: “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:6: “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
Faith is the foundation upon which we build. Through faith, we can know the answers to these questions:
Does God exist? Is God trustworthy? Does He even care about me? Is the Bible truly His Word? Is every word in the Bible true? Is Jesus the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the only way to God? Did Jesus really die on the cross for me, personally, so that my sins may be forgiven and I may have a personal relationship with Him?
When we are able to answer yes to these questions and fully believe them, then we have faith. This faith is a wonderful gift from God: “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, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Salvation comes to us through faith in Jesus and is given to us by the grace of God! Peter told us how to begin living by faith: “Repent and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off – for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).
Once we have received the faith to believe these things, we have to choose – God’s way or our way? So you must ask yourself these questions: 1.Have I accepted this gift of faith from God and, by His grace, do I believe that He sent His son to die for me? 2.Am I ready to choose God’s way for my life?”
GOODNESS Peter says that once we turn from our way to God’s way (repentance), it is at that point that we can start building our character to be like Jesus so we won’t be “corrupted with the evil desires of the world.”
First we need to add goodness to our faith. (Some translations call goodness “virtue,” and it means “excellence of character, or striving for moral excellence or right conduct.) So we begin with faith (confidence and trust in God and in Jesus Christ our Lord) and then add the quality of goodness - or striving for excellence in our faith-based relationship with God and Jesus Christ.
When faith is joined by goodness, our faith will be vibrant and our service to God will be full of good works. The place to start developing goodness is by guarding what we think. Paul says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
The moment we believe in God, His Holy Spirit comes to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit convicts (or convinces) us of wrongdoing in our lives, guides us into right doing, and gives us the power to want and to do whatever is right in God’s sight. Philippians 2:13: Phil 2:13, “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
Goodness is one of the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23, because it is produced in abundance (a large quantity) in our lives when we allow God’s Holy Spirit to lead us rather than following our own way. Galatians 5:16-26:
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
God does not force anyone to choose His way of living. Each person has to choose and make the effort to live an upright life. Titus 2:11-14: For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope — the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.”
So, ask yourself these questions: 1.How much goodness (excellence of character) do I exhibit in my life? 2.What steps can I take to add more goodness to my character?
KNOWLEDGE The third quality we are to add is knowledge. When Peter says to add knowledge to our faith and our goodness, the knowledge he is talking about here means “to ‘know’ (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications.”
In other words, he is telling us to seek out much information that will give us correct insight (gain Biblical truth) in order to thoroughly know who God is and how all that He is affects every area of our lives. When we do that, it cannot help but create an intimate relationship with Him.
This knowledge pertains to understanding the will of God and the way of salvation through Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself established the value of knowledge as a part of Godly character when He said in John 8:32: “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” He is saying that unless we understand the truth with our minds, it cannot begin to set us free.
The more settled we are in our minds about who God is and what His wonderful qualities are, the more we will seek to know His will for our lives. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear [awe and reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”
When we first come to understand that God is really God, and that He loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, then an awe and a reverence for Him begin to rise up within our spirits, and knowledge is born within us. We have the beginning of a relationship with Him.
Then, Peter says, we are to add knowledge (information and insight) to the knowledge (relationship) we already have. In fact, To be pleasing to the Lord, we must have a knowledge of His will.
Colossians 1:9-12: For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”
We don’t gain full knowledge of God (information and insight) the moment we believe and receive His Holy Spirit. It is a growth process, obtained only through seeking, praying, and studying and meditating upon His Word, the Bible.
But it is more than knowing facts and memorizing Scripture, and it is more than doing the right thing and avoiding the wrong. Knowledge must first lead to a deeper relationship with our Lord… Then it must lead to improved conduct for ourselves… And it also must include valuing other people – even our enemies – and working toward the peace and well being of everyone we touch in our lives.
In other words, it must include love. Paul says in Philippians 1:9-11, “And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern [understand] what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ — to the glory and praise of God.”
In our desire to obtain knowledge, certain attitudes are necessary: 1.A heart that longs and searches for knowledge Proverbs 2:3-6: And if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. I Peter 2:2: Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.
2. A mind that values knowledge more highly than gold Proverbs 8:10-11: Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her.
3.A love for instruction Proverbs 12:1: Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.
A person with these attitudes will: Make daily Bible reading a priority in their life Utilize every opportunity to study the Word of God alone, and with others
So, the questions you must ask yourself now are: 1.Do I really know God (have a relationship with Him and His Son, Jesus Christ)? 2.Am I hungry to know Him better? 3.Do I demonstrate that gaining knowledge of God's Word is a priority in my life?