This Biblical Christianity website encourages people to know and to live, God’s Word; thus enabling us to live now as God intended for us to live, and preparing us for eternal life in God’s kingdom.
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Spiritual growth begins the moment we place saving faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and are born again from above by the Holy Spirit. It is important to realize that a new spiritual life and all its benefits are available to us, and can become ours through saving faith, only because the Son of God became a man, died in our place, and paid the penalty for our sins.
Peter in his second letter reminds us of God’s marvelous salvation plan in a very striking manner, which we too often pass over without giving it due consideration. To begin with, God has designed into His plan the way that it is to function. Peter tells us that God’s grace, and all that it incorporates, are multiplied or applied unto us through "[the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. He reinforces this injunction throughout the letter and again at the very end when he says "But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (2 Peter 3:18)! And just so that there will be no doubt as to the supreme importance of continually learning to know more about Jesus, He said, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ( relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. [Jer. 6:16.] For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good--not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne" (Matt. 11:28-30).
We cannot be expected to learn to trust Jesus for something that we are not aware of that He has provided for or promised to us. It is true in the spiritual as well as the Physical that we have to gain a better understanding about life and how to live it before we can put it into practice, and that is the message that Peter is delivering to us in the first eleven verses of his letter. So let’s take a close look at what he considered so important that he said, "So I intend always to remind you about these things, although indeed you know them and are firm in the truth that [you] now [hold]. I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle (tent, body), to stir you up by way of remembrance, since I know that the laying aside of this body of mine will come speedily, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that [even] after my departure (decease) you may be able at all times to call these things to mind. For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power)" (2 Peter 1:12-16).
2 PETER 1:1-11.... Simon Peter, a servant and apostle (special messenger) of Jesus Christ, to those who have received (obtained an equal privilege of) like precious faith with ourselves in and through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace (God's favor) and peace (which is perfect well-being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in [the full, personal, precise, and correct] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.
5For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), and in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), and in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
We are also told that God’s divine power and everything that we need to live as God would have us to live is bestowed or given unto us "through the [full, personal] knowledge of Him." And that, by means of these (God’s grace and God’s power) He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, through which we can be delivered from the deception that is in the world, and become partakers of the divine nature.
But these promises are activated by our faith and diligence! Another words, we take the knowledge we presently have about Christ and the provisions or promises He made available to us, and trustingly direct it toward developing a more virtuous character by relying upon the indwelling Holy Spirit to make them a living reality in our lives; as we continue our walk of faith, this new virtue increases our knowledge of Christ and His promises; as we continue on this increase of knowledge enables us to maintain better self-control; the increase of self-control enables us to be more steadfast, patient and enduring; as a result we are steadily becoming more godly or Christ-like; as we trustingly live out these new characteristics we discover our affection for our Christian family is also increasing; with the end result being we find increasing ability to express real Christian love.
Actually, all this godliness or righteousness had already been applied to our account or person when we received Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, but God desires our cooperation in making them a present living reality in our lives. "What shall we say then? That Gentiles who did not follow after righteousness [who did not seek salvation by right relationship to God] have attained it by faith [a righteousness imputed by God, based on and produced by faith]," (Rom. 9:30). There are also other great benefits derived from this exercise of our faith, as mentioned in the following paragraph; it will save us from much needless suffering, and we will be richly and abundantly provided entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
8For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed one). For whoever lacks these qualities is blind, [spiritually] shortsighted, seeing only what is near to him, and has become oblivious [to the fact] that he was cleansed from his old sins. Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall. Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]" (Eph. 2:10). Two questions we should all ask ourselves are, since all Christians are individual, unfinished or uncompleted creatures of God’s workmanship, what is He trying to work into me at the present time? And, at what stage of the process that Peter outlined am I presently struggling in; the virtue, the knowledge, the self-control, ect.?
Here are a few examples of faith and/or the lack of it:
LUKE 7:1-10.... After Jesus had finished all that He had to say in the hearing of the people [on the mountain], He entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a bond servant who was held in honor and highly valued by him, who was sick and at the point of death. And when the centurion heard of Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him, requesting Him to come and make his bond servant well. And when they reached Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying, He is worthy that You should do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built us our synagogue [at his own expense].
6And Jesus went with them. But when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent [some] friends to Him, saying, Lord, do not trouble [Yourself], for I am not sufficiently worthy to have You come under my roof; neither did I consider myself worthy to come to You. But [just] speak a word, and my servant boy will be healed. For I also am a man [daily] subject to authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my bond servant, Do this, and he does it.
What in the world was it that made this centurion think and believe that Jesus could heal his servant, having not even seen him, by just speaking a word? The sentence immediately following surely had something to do with it, "For I also am a man [daily] subject to authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my bond servant, Do this, and he does it." He had been in the practice of or had exercised this kind of authority on many previous occasions; he knew that it worked. He obviously recognized that Jesus had this kind of authority and relied upon the generosity of Jesus to grant his request – do we?
9Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and He turned and said to the crowd that followed Him, I tell you, not even in [all] Israel have I found such great faith [as this]. And when the messengers who had been sent returned to the house, they found the bond servant who had been ill quite well again.
LUKE 7:16-17.... Profound and reverent fear seized them all, and they began to recognize God and praise and give thanks, saying, A great Prophet has appeared among us! And God has visited His people [in order to help and care for and provide for them]! And this report concerning [Jesus] spread through the whole of Judea and all the country round about.
LUKE 8:22-25.... One of those days He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, Let us go across to the other side of the lake. So they put out to sea. But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger. And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, censured and blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there came a calm.
25And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me--in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?
In contrast to the centurion, the disciples failed to recognize either the authority, the power or the generosity of Jesus.
LUKE 8:43-48.... And a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for Twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her flow of blood ceased. And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side! But Jesus said, Someone did touch Me; for I perceived that [healing] power has gone forth from Me. And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling, and, falling down before Him, she declared in the presence of all the people for what reason she had touched Him and how she had been instantly cured.
48And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace ( untroubled, undisturbed well-being).
MATTHEW 28:18-20.... Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days ( perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
So let us trust and rely upon Him unconditionally, without any reservation, and in all things! Let this exercising of our faith be something we do every day, and throughout all the day regardless of the circumstances.
For further consideration of this subject see our website page entitled Grow In Grace Through The Knowledge Of Christ.