This content is part of a series.
God's Provision for Practical Christian Growth - Part 2 (2 of 8)
Series: Shoe Leather Christianity
2 Peter 1:5-7
INTRODUCTION: Practical Christianity
requires cooperation with God and the application of spiritual diligence and discipline. The foundation of our personal relationship with Jesus Christ is based on faith. This speaks of our initial acceptance of God's grace as offered in the gospel. Now, Peter speaks of building on faith.
Where there is life, there must be growth. The new birth is not the end; it is the beginning. God gives His children all that they need to live godly lives, but His children must apply themselves and be diligent to use the ''means of grace'' He has provided. Spiritual growth is not automatic.
Peter listed 7 characteristics of the godly life, but we must not think of them as 7 beads on a string, or even 7 stages of development. The word translated ''add'' really means ''to supply generously.'' In other words, we develop one quality as we exercise another quality. These graces relate to each other the way the branch relates to the trunk and the twigs to the branches. Like the ''fruit of the Spirit''
(Gal. 5:22-23), these qualities grow out of life and out of a vital relationship with Jesus Christ.
It is not enough for the Christian to ''let go and let God,'' as though spiritual growth were God's work alone. Literally, Peter wrote, ''Make every effort to bring alongside.'' The Father and child must work together.
'' Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.''
''work out'' - means to continually work to bring something to fulfillment or completion. It cannot refer to salvation by works, but it does refer to the believer's responsibility for active pursuit of obedience in the process of sanctification.
''for it is God who works in you both to will ...
There are 10208 characters in the full content. This excerpt only shows a 2000 character sample of the full content.