Pastor John began this class on adding to your faith by reading the first 12 verses of 1 Peter 2. When Peter writes this he is reminding the people of a commonly understood story about the building of the temple in Solomon’s days. Pastor John wanted us to notice that we may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness. This is what you are chosen to be and that you may proclaim His praises.
9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:9-12
Peter wrote this at a time when the Church had no formal or organizational status. The Christians were scattered and this was written as instructions on how to survive and grow in the environment they were in. We can see in Peter’s explanation to them that they are newborns and while they keep coming to Jesus they are being built into a house of God and a royal priesthood unto God.
I believe that it is the practical side of working out your love for the Lord, because you’ve commanded to love the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself. But you see the first commandment enables the second commandment. You can’t love people without receiving the lord’s love and the way you receive the Lord’s love is by loving Him, by making that your first commandment.”
Romans 5 tells us the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Being immersed in the Holy Spirit enables us to love by the spirit of God and our spirits can cooperate with that. The immersion of the Holy Spirit is really important. The baptism of the Holy Spirit; immersed into His Spirit. It must be received and given to others. Jesus told his disciples freely you have received, freely give. Therefor, when you have received the love of God now there is a stewardship to give that love away. You deposit the love in the “one anothers” in life. This is what His command is.
You know what our joy is? Our joy is like Jesus’ joy in that it is pleasing Him. Everything we do is, the motive is out of pleasing Him.”
In this second part in a series of classes given on adding to your faith, Pastor John will be focusing on perseverance and patience. Pastor John began by reading the story of fruitful growth in the faith from 2 Peter 1.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11 KJBV
Sometimes when we get words that come from the Greek or Hebrew they are almost impossible to translate exactly. They make the best effort they can to put that word in its meaning. This is one of those times that they took the Greek word hupomene meaning cheerful, hopeful endurance, patient continuance and perseverance. It is translated 29 times in the King James Version to patience and once as endurance. This is a quality that Pastor John calls spiritual tenacity. Those that believe the promises of God without yielding to winds of adversity or the time pressure we all live in. He is saying add these things to our faith.
That’s why you and I can hold our confessions strong and that is why we can believe to the end. That’s why we can give the same diligence to the end, because He who promised is faithful.”
Pastor John says that this is the whole issue of believing. It is understanding who is faithful. Understanding who is able. Understanding whose promise it is we are believing.
I believe that if you will add this perseverance to your faith you will be so glad that you did. You will look back on your life and you will be so glad that you didn’t bolt, you didn’t run, you didn’t quit, you didn’t walk away, and you were faithful. You stuck in there. Not because you were strong, but because you knew His promise.”
This is the last study on adding to our faith that Pastor John gave in the beginning of 2001. For his message Pastor John will be looking at the last two issues that Peter said we should add to our faith; being of godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. Peter is talking about shoring up your life by putting the right stuff in you.
Brotherly kindness is a special dimension of love that prepares our heart to make that final step of full commitment to love the brethren, disciples, and to love one another. Peter in his admonition to the persecuted believers of his time understood the difficulty when you are battered and bruised with relationships, how difficult it is to open your heart to love. How do you tell people to obey the command of the Lord that have been abused and mistreated? How can they love again? How can they love to the dimension He is calling? Peter not only knew of the difficulty that they were in he knew how difficult it was of him when Jesus looked across the table and said love one another as I have loved you. This is my commandment. With his experience, Peter established a place of beginning for us to move into this kind of love.
It’s extremely important, part of victory over flesh is to learn to love each other rather than preferring yourself in your own way.”
Pastor John believes you’ll know what a person means by the action that comes out of the statement. When God said that he loved you he put action behind it. And the level of the action behind it reveals what He meant when He said it. Therefore we can understand what Jesus meant when He used the word love because He explained it in the commandment itself. He explained it by his own life and the way He walked in love.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
John 13:34-35 NKJV