Supplement Your Faith with These Qualities

February 25, 2024 Preacher: Wade Thomas Series: Second Peter

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:5–9


Good morning, everyone. Visitors, members. People who make up Christ the King. I was thinking as Zach was praying, inevitably. It doesn't matter how tired I am, or I'm sure none of you are tired or frustrated at all. Right. Some of you are. Once people start getting here. My. My heart softens. Every single Sunday morning.

It doesn't matter what challenges I'm experiencing out there in my life. Once I start seeing you all and experiencing worship, whether I'm up here leading or you have the A-Team, the better singer Eric leading. Once we start singing songs and going through the confession and hearing the word preached and I see your faces, it's the same experience more or less every week.

I love God and his people, and I hope that's your experience. And if it's not, I invite you to trust him and love being among his people. We're going to be in second, Peter. If you can turn their second Peter Chapter one. We went through first Peter, and we're now in his second epistle. The passage that I'm preaching to you is chapter one verses five through nine.

But I'm going to ask that you let me read three and four as well, because the very first words in my passage in verse five for this very reason, they point back to verse three. And so, I'm going to read that in addition to the passage that I'm going to be proclaiming to you today, which is versus five through nine, let's read God's Word together and then receive what He has for us from it.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises. So that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature. Having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire for this very reason, the divine power that's granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness for that very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue, with knowledge and knowledge, with self-control and self-control, with steadfastness and steadfastness, with godliness and godliness, with brotherly

affection and brotherly affection. With love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that He's blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Allow me a brief prayer. Very brief. Father, glorify yourself.

Glorify your son. Glorify the spirit. Through the preaching of this Your word. You preserved it for our good. Glorify yourself through our sanctification underneath the Ministry of your Word. It's in Christ name. I pray him faith. Faith that doesn't bear itself out in your affections or your behaviors is insufficient for the Christian life. If you have a faith that is not bearing itself out in your affections or your behaviors, it is insufficient for the Christian life.

You will be, Peter says, ineffective and unfruitful. If you have a faith that does not supplement itself with these qualities in your lived Christianity, if these are not your increasing, then you will be ineffective and unfruitful. So, in those first few words, he says, for this very reason and the very reason is the beginning of the sentence. In verse three, his divine power has granted to you all things that pertain to life and godliness.

So, this is one of the many times when you preach through books of the Bible where you reach a passage that is only true and can only be true for Christians. Who is the you in that sentence? His divine power has not granted to everyone on the face of the earth right now, all things that pertain to life and godliness.

He has granted to those who are in dwelt by his Holy Spirit. And so, if you're not a Christian at the end here, I'm going to invite you to repent and trust in the Lord Jesus and so receive His Holy Spirit. But without His Holy Spirit, you cannot make every effort to supplement your faith. You don't even have the faith yet.

But for every Christian, every single Christian, every single one, he has given you all things pertaining to life and godliness. And it's because he's granted to you everything required for godliness for Christ likeness that you make every effort. It's because he's given you a spade to put to the soil that you get to work. If he hadn't given you all things pertaining to life in godliness, you wouldn't have anything to employ.

But because he has made every effort to supplement your faith, this sort of faith that we're commanded to have is a tangible faith. It's a faith you can see. It's a faith your neighbors can see every much as they can see it, but as much as they can see the color of your van or the state of your front lawn, which is very bad in my case, or that Bengal's flag that you lowered to half-mast when the Steelers made the playoffs.

Sorry, Ryan. Right. You're the people who observe your household and your life. They will be able to see this sort of supplemented faith because it's a tangible sort of faith. By contrast, in imperceptible faith, a covert faith, a faith that flies under the radar and can't be observed is a weak and ineffective faith. It's an unsung, lamented faith.

It's a faith that is nearsighted, so much so that it's blind. It's a faith that is forgetful of the fact that you were cleansed from your prior sins. To live like an unbeliever is spiritual amnesia. It's forgetting that you were cleansed from your former sense. When the prodigal son comes to his senses in Luke 15:17. He remembers things.

Can you picture that story? He's in the pigpen with the pigs. He's eating the carob pods, the food that the pigs eat, and suddenly who he is and who his father is and the resources his father has, they come to mind. He remembers things. He sees clearly his own situation. That's what needs to happen to us. If we are living, ineffective, unfruitful Christian lives, we need to remember who our father is.

Forgetting that you were cleansed from your former sins, having an ineffective, unfruitful life. It happens the same way that your garden fills with weeds or you get out of shape, or your house gets disordered. It happens through neglect. It happens through spiritual laziness on fruitfulness, spiritual ineffectiveness. They happen through spiritual neglect. We are not permitted. This passage makes it clear, but the Sermon on the Mount makes it equally clear.

And there are countless passages in Scripture that make this self-evident. We are not permitted to be the passive observers of our own sanctification. This is not like a Disneyworld ride where you hop in, and God lowers the bar, and you just fall asleep while your kids enjoy. It's a small world. That's not how sanctification works. God, the God who ordains all things, the God who is sovereign over all things.

The God who is authoring the story we're in. He has ordained that you should make every effort. He ordains the means through which everything happens. You remember the story of Nehemiah. He's going to rebuild the walls outside Jerusalem. He doesn't sit in some sort of lawn chair and just kick back with a beer and wait for God to supernaturally rebuild the walls.

He gets to work knowing that God is sovereign over everything, and that God has sovereignly ordained that he would work were to make every effort. Our Lord doesn't say hop on the conveyor belt and take a nap, he says. Strive to enter. Strive to enter the narrow door. Luke, 13:24 The author of Hebrews doesn't tell his audience that sins No big deal.

You're justified, you're forgiven. So now sins no big deal. He says in Hebrews 13:4, In your struggle against sin, you have not resisted to the point of shedding blood. Has your sanctification your struggle to be like Christ. Ever caused you to shed blood? Some of you have been through boot camp or built a house or done something really physically exhausting and daunting as your sanctification ever felt like that has.

You're trying to be like Christ ever felt like that where your hands are raw, and you've got blood on them. That's what the author of Hebrews says. Sanctification will eventually look like if we're doing it obediently. The sovereign God who will get all the all the credit and who is the author and finisher of your faith and sanctification has written into his story your spiritual sweat.

That's a part of your sanctification. So, make every effort. If you don't, if you do not make every effort, your garden will be filled with weeds. You will become spiritually nearsighted. You will become spiritually forgetful. Sin only needs three things to populate your soul with thick, gnarly life. Choking weeds. Time your old man an apathy. With those three things, your life will be destroyed.

God gave you everything that's required for spiritual fruitfulness, but you have to employ it. So, some diagnostic questions right now. Would the people closest to you say that your faith is being supplemented by virtue or that it's surrounded by a raggedy, tattered sort of character that is barely indistinguishable from an unbelievers’? Would they describe you as self-controlled? The people who live with you?

I'm not talking about, you know, your aunt that you see twice a year talking about your dad, your mom, your husband, your wife, your boss, the people who work for you. Or they describe you as self-controlled or as unstable and agitated. Do they see steadfastness and endurance in you, spiritual endurance, or do they see you regularly surrendering to sin and the flesh?

Does your husband or wife or roommate or child or fellow student see godliness and brotherly affection and love? Or do they see worldliness and self-centeredness and strife? If these qualities he lists right here are not increasing in you, remember that you were saved by God to be conformed to the image of his son and you were cleansed by all your former sins.

In other words, this is not like being four foot nine and trying out for the high school basketball team. You have already been given what you need. Some You can't sing very well. This isn't like you being asked to sing the national anthem at the Super Bowl. You've already been granted all things pertaining to life and godliness. This isn't some skill that you have to develop out of thin air.

If you are truly a Christian God, the Holy Spirit, the sovereign God dwells inside of you. I'm looking at people right now, every one of whom is a true Christian, in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. You remember where he dwelt in the Old Testament, in Solomon's Temple. Do you remember what happened when his spirit inhabited that temple and smoke came out that was so thick they had to pause the ceremonies.

That spirit dwells in you If you're a Christian and God has given you a Bible that is really understandable and that is sufficient for building you up for the work of ministry and put it to you this way your soul. If you are Christian, is a garden that God already owns, and He knows the native soil of that garden.

He knows when the dry season is. He knows what weeds are likeliest. He knows what pests are really frequent and he has given you everything in this limitless supply shed that he has for you with no back wall, a supply shed as deep as his heart. In order to make that garden fruitful, he has done that. I would love for all of us to arrive at heaven together, having tried to get every last tree and vine and fruit out of the soil he purchased.

I would love for none of us to look back and see uncultivated patches where we didn't try. All right. Let's get to the qualities themselves. Do you see him there, beginning in verse, the end of verse five, and then through verses six and seven, he says, Supplement your faith with virtue. So, faith is the root of the thing.

Faith, the word there is pestis means faith or trust or belief or fidelity or loyalty. This is believing Christ, not believing him in Him in the way that the demons do, where they know that he is an intellectual fact. They know that he's a reality to be accounted for. That is not the kind of pistons he is talking about.

The demons believe, but they shudder. This is trusting in Christ as your only hope if you need a narrative example. Do I have any Narnia fans in here? It's like nine. All right.

Kind of like read through the Bible plan. I'm guessing most of you read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and stopped. Okay. Did anybody read Silver Chair?

There are more people who said they read Silver Chair than said they were Narnia fans, so I don't know what that's about. Best narrative example of this I've ever seen. Puddle Glum and the Green Witch. And if you haven't read this part of Silver Chair, just Google that. It's phenomenal. But Puddle Glum talks back to this green witch who has convinced everybody else in the room that Aslan can't be real.

And the deep magic of Narnia can't be real and Narnia itself can't be real. That her dark, gloomy cave world is the only real thing and Puddle Glum just won't have any of it. And he gives this speech that's just really heartfelt about how he will follow Aslan no matter what. Even if this witch beats him in the argument and somehow convinces everybody else, Aslan can't be real.

He is Aslan's man. That's faith and our faith now, because it's the conviction of things. You remember what Hebrews says, the conviction of things unseen. Our faith. Now, every Christian in this room has this kind of faith that has received a blessing that Thomas did not. Do you remember this when Jesus came through the locked door and said, Put your hand in my side?

What does he tell Thomas you have seen? Do you see or do you believe because you've seen. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe. That's you. That's Jason. That's Mike. That's Nate. That's me. We're blessed because we have not seen and yet believe. We trust in Christ. We trust the heart, the character, the goodness of the God of the cross.

We know the one in whom we've believed, and we fall back completely on him and his promised. Good for goodness for us, which is sealed by the cross and by the empty tomb. There's a psalm. It's my oldest daughter's favorite psalm because it talks about horses, but it describes unbelievers and their confidence in worldly things this way Some trust in chariots, some in horses.

But we will trust anybody now, man. Very good. All right. We will start singing that song. I'll work that one into the rotation. 2024 version. Some trust and talk show hosts, some trust in Tesla stock, some trust in social media followers, some trust in the virtue they've signaled or which side of history they're on. We will trust in the name of the Lord our God.

And His name is Jesus. His name is Emmanuel. His name is Everlasting Father, wonderful counselor, Prince of Peace, mighty God. And the government is upon his shoulder. And we who trust in him would not have it be on anyone else's. We are Christians. We trust our Christ. He has our fidelity, our hope, our loyalty. We trust in the crucified, risen, ascended Christ, and we supplement that trust with everything he tells us to first quality, a threat, a threat.

It's translated virtue in the ESV. But if you look back at verse three, the last word in verse three is a threat which gets translated excellence. So, it's not merely goodness, it's a kind of shining moral excellence. We are not to be an average people of average character. We are called by a gloriously good God who is himself morally excellent to Christlike character, to lofty excellence.

We are not an age that strives for moral excellence. Can we all agree on that? That's not really a thing for us. In 2024, we're much more comfortable as Christians in our day and place with a threadbare, barely hanging on sitcom sort of Christian life. We like being the victims that God heals. We like being the counsels that He counsels.

We do not so much like being the soldiers that he deploys or the kingdom of priests that he sends out into the world to baptize and make disciples, teaching them all things that God has commanded. Every generation and every culture has its pitfalls. Areas of God's character or reward that it prioritizes in favor of others. We, in our day and place are very comfortable with God's tenderness and His mercy for our sins and faults and weaknesses.

But we are not nearly as comfortable with his call for moral excellence to resisting sin to the point of shedding blood, to exposing the unfruitful works of darkness, to being blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world. Philippians 215 To put it shortly, we are very comfortable in our day and place with God's love.

We are not very comfortable with His Holiness, and that has led to a good many of us being more comfortable with our own sin than we are with his call for moral excellence and virtue, I wager none of the church fathers, none of the apostles, and none of the reformers would walk through most of our houses or observe us for a couple of days and go, You know what?

You guys are banging the holiness drum all too much here. You could ratchet that back a little, but we're not a day and age that is particularly striving for holiness. It is certainly true. We are all sinners still, and that in and of our own selves, our flesh, we are wretched, but we are also temples of the Holy Spirit of God.

We're His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. We are priests of the most high God. If you're a Christian, you are a priest of the most high God. If you're reading through the Old Testament now, I hope you haven't lost track of your Bible plan, but if you have, get back into it. And when you read Leviticus and numbers and you see what God has called the priests to, that's you.

In a sense, Christ is our high priest, but we are priests of the most high God. We should not think of ourselves as identical to those who are still dead in their sins and trespasses. And we shouldn't use the lives and the character of the unbelievers we live around and work with who make about the same amount of money as us and have about the same number of kids and are about the same age as the benchmark for our character, we are called to rat virtue, moral excellence.

And he did not call you by his own excellence just to have you live a life barely discernible from the one before he called. You strive for something. If I can put it this way, take a risk, take a Christian risk for moral excellence, for virtue. Do something that if you screw it up, it will cost you for the glory of God.

Strive for a virtue that isn't harmless and unnoticeable to the forces of evil. Second quality. We supplement our faith with gnosis knowledge. Every Christian needs a working experiential knowledge of God and his Word in order to be effective and fruitful. The Christian life is not an unstudied life. It's not a life that doesn't require the mind. Those of us who do home education.

This is one of the things that we're trying to cultivate in our children's is a capacity for thoughtfulness, for thinking, for not just taking whatever they see on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Tik-tok or whatever the new ones are. Tik Tok I just heard about like a week ago. They don't just take that and believe it hook, line and sinker, but they're able to think to way to consider, to be deliberate.

The Christian life requires your mind. It demands personal, full-hearted commitment to knowing the Lord. And there is no way of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ without knowing His Word. There is no way of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ while neglecting his Word. A man who goes weeks without meditating on and dwelling on God's Word is not a man who is knowing God better, even if he thinks he is.

You can think you're growing in knowledge of God when you are really only growing more comfortable with your preconceived ideas about God. A great example of this was the other day Tom, whose daughter is going to get, I think, baptized at the 11. He messaged some of us guys that he had read the story of Phineas. Anybody know the story?

I won't tell it to you. I'll make you look it up later if you don't know it. But it's the kind of story that is never going to get turned into a vegetable, ever. And Phineas is a hero and God rewards him for something that is shocking to our 20. I mean, God says this man is blessed because of what he did.

Hint it involves bloodshed. Now that's something I wouldn't cook up in my own mind. And if I'm never reading my word, I'm going to be unfamiliar with that aspect of God's character. And instead, I'm only going to be worshiping my preconceived ideas about God, not who he has knowingly revealed himself to be. Let me show you when our Lord did this himself, Luke 24:13-27.

This is a powerful story because our Lord Jesus is going to reveal himself to people in His resurrected body. They've already seen the empty tomb and they've heard about angels and our Lord seals the deal. The angels didn't do the convincing. The empty tomb didn't do the convincing. He seals the deal with the Old Testament scriptures. That's how our risen Lord decides to seal faith in these two men by preaching to them the Scriptures may show it to you.

Luke 24:13- 27 that very day, two of them were going to a village named Amos, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened while they were talking and discussing together. Jesus himself drew near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, what is this conversation that you're holding with each other as you walk?

And they stood still, looking sad, and then one of them named Clippers answered him, are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who doesn't know the things that have happened there in these days? And he said to them, what things? Jesus always answers questions with questions. It seems. He said to them, What things? And they said to him concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet, mighty and deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priest and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death and crucified him.

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes. And besides all this, it's now the third day since these things happened. And moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they didn't find the body, they came back saying they'd seen a vision of angels who said he was still alive.

And some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it, just as the women had said. But him they didn't see. And he said to them, foolish ones, slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures, the things concerning himself?

And we'll go on. Do you remember what they say later after he's gone? Did not our hearts burn? He could have done another miracle with fishes and loaves. He could have cast out some demons when they saw someone they got to wherever they were going. But he didn't. He chose to preach to them the Old Testament scriptures and to awaken their hearts that way.

The risen Christ right there in his resurrected body went to the Bible with these disciples. If that glory has risen, Christ assigned that much weight and importance to the Scriptures, why would we think that we can grow in knowledge while leaving our Bibles unread? Why would we think that we can grow in our lived awareness of him and his character while we're streaming tons of YouTube videos and watching tons of Tik Tok and reading tons of Twitter posts and watching tons of Netflix and leaving our Bibles unread, we won't.

We will not grow in knowledge of him. Christ showed the same love for his own word in Luke four one through three. You remember Satan comes to him to tempt him and three times he subdues Satan. How? By the Word of God, He quotes Deuteronomy three times two Satan. This is Jesus. He has all power in heaven and on earth.

If he fights Satan with Deuteronomy, what do I think I'm going to get by using something less than the Word of God? Our God does not allow us to grow in knowledge of Him while neglecting his word. He does not allow us to grow in knowledge of him while neglecting his word. We can think we're knowing him better while being inattentive to the Scriptures, while not meditating on and dwelling on them.

But we're not true. Knowledge of God cannot be separated from knowledge of His word. Let me show you one more Psalm 119 longest chapter in the Bible verses 97 through 104. God Himself underlines what I've just told you, puts it in bold, puts it in italics and highlights it. Verse 97 I'll read through 104. O How I love your law.

It is my meditation all the day your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged. For I keep your precepts. I hold back my feet from every evil way in order to keep your word.

I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me How sweet are your words to my taste Sweeter than honey to my mouth though your precepts I get understanding therefore I hate every false way The word of God shaped the psalmist heart and affections. He loved what he loved and hated. What he hated.

Because through God's Word, God had changed His heart. It doesn't matter how well-produced the Chosen is, it's not going to do that. We need the Word of God. Third thing ever curtail self-control. You will not live out faith and virtue and personal knowledge of Christ if you have not mastered your passions, your urges, your fleshly wants. If the appetites and instincts of your old man, the one Paul describes still living inside you, if that regularly grabs the wheel of your behavior, you will not live like a Christian, a man who cannot compel his mind and his body to do as it ought is a man who's just drifting on the surface of his own emotions or laziness. I show you what the Apostle Paul describes self-control as and its importance in his own apostolic ministry. First Corinthians 9. The last two verses of this chapter 26 and 27, the Apostle Paul says this. So, I do not run aimlessly. I do not box as one beating the air. I'm not just adrift. I have purpose here.

He describes it in 27, the purpose, but I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I'm by myself, should be disqualified. The Apostle Paul disciplined his body. So are we were supposed to discipline our bodies. Romans six He says this You're either going to obey sin or God. He describes it. What I just told you this way.

Romans 6:11-13. So, you Christians in Rome and us must also consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ. Jesus, let not sin, therefore reign in your mortal body to make you obey its passions, do not obey sin and its passions, its lusts, its desires. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness.

But what's the other option? There's only two but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. He's writing to Christians and still as Christians who aren't with the Lord. Yet they have only two options to obey sin or to obey God. You are either a woman who has self-control or a woman who is controlled by her appetites.

You are either a man who has self-mastery or a man who is mastered by his passions. Those are the only options to not have self-control. Control is to be a city without walls. Proverbs 25:28 By the way, if you're a city without walls, how long are you going to be a city in the ancient world? When that was written not very long.

Proverbs 25, the last verse A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. One last little practical tip before moving on to the next quality. Don't underestimate the power of habit in cultivating self-control. I'll just give you two examples very briefly. One, when before we had kids, my wife and I just decided we were going do family worship every night.

And it's nothing magical. If you've been in our house and you've seen it, you'd be like, That's it. It's like 15 minutes tops. We sing a song, we pray prayer, read a little bit of Bible, read a little bit of another book. But because we do it every night now, I couldn't skip it if I wanted to because my kids will say we didn't worship yet.

Daddy. They have said that to me at the end of the night. And I'm like, my gosh, I'm going to bed. But we do family worship because the force of habit has now just that's what we do. And some of you have felt this. Here's a second example working out. Have you ever, like, gotten over that 40-day hump or whatever?

Where now, it's just a part of your day. Some of you have I know, Joshua, a big guy like somebody in here works out a lot. Okay. You've gotten over that hump that I'm describing where it just becomes baked into your day. And at that point, self-control becomes a lot easier. All right. Next quality hoopamonet steadfastness or endurance, hoopamonet, virtue that doesn't endure knowledge that doesn't endure, self-control that doesn't endure but crumbles in the face of adversity is not going to produce much Christian fruit, a garden that is tended in May and then never again throughout the summer is not going to produce much fruit.

If you water that garden on the first day of spring and then not again to till the fall, it's not going to produce much endure since is required for the Christian life. Here's how Paul puts it in Colossians 1:11. He's going to tell them the end of what he's praying for. And that end is going to be self-control.

I'm sorry, Endurance. Colossians one versus nine through 11. And so, from the day we heard, we've not ceased to pray for you asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. He's writing to a church he's never met. He didn't plant the church in class. So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God being strengthened with all power to His glorious might for all endurance and patience with joy.

There is no well-lived Christian life that doesn't require endurance and steadfastness. It's required for effectiveness. And this is one of the reasons why Romans tells us God subjects us to suffering. I know some of you have suffered a great deal. I've talked with some of you who have suffered more than I ever have. And I have suffered, though not as much as some of our brothers and sisters in this room or elsewhere in the kingdom.

But I've suffered and I can tell you and there are dozens of Christians in this room who can tell you that through suffering, God does bring endurance. The roots go deeper when the winds blow hard, or if you just want the inspired Bible to tell you, instead of my silly analogy about trees that I probably don't understand because I'm not a horticulturist.

Romans 5:3-4. God tells you what I just said. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and. Endurance produces character and character produces hope, a faith that can hold up during back pain, during cancer, during a child's rebellion, during anxiety, is a faith that will produce fruit and it will endure.

Towards the end, we're rounding third here Godliness as a baseball analogy. For those of you who are soccer fans, European baseball has bases year-round. Third, it's like the end. You godliness. Godliness. This is to be godlike. It's to resemble the character and priorities and actions of God, which is different than being sweet or nice. Godly means to be like God in your character and in your heart and your priorities.

Let me show you a contrast from this very letter that we're going to get to 2 Peter, towards the end of the book, he writes in chapter three verses 10-13, but the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved.

And the earth in the works that are done on it will be exposed. God is going to come. He's going to judge everything and everything's going to be known. No secrets. What you whispered that you thought nobody would hear. Everyone will hear. He's going to expose it all. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved on the day of the Lord, what sort of people are you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn.

But according to his promise, we are waiting in that holiness and godliness for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Since the evil works of darkness are going to be exposed because they're going to be exposed live lives of holiness and godliness. Do you remember what holiness means? That word that's so common in Genesis through Deuteronomy, to be set apart, to be different, to be distinct from that which is morally wretched, sinful because the works of the of the world are going to be exposed, live lives of godliness.

In other words, we are not after the world's definition of goodness and kindness. That's not our goal. We're after godliness, Yahweh, likeness, Christ likeness. We want to be like him. Even the parts of him that our world currently would say are offensive and virtuous and not good. That doesn't matter. We want to be like him. We want to be like our father.

It might not be nice to expose the unfruitful works of darkness in 2020 for America, but it is godly. It might be intolerant to oppose the homosexual agenda and the transgender craze, but it is not ungodly that we're not after being nice, we're after being godly, which does have within it nested within it love and kindness and gentleness.

But it also has nested within it a hatred for that which is evil and destructive. We want to be like God, not like Mr. Rogers, who I think was a Presbyterian minister, but I think in one of the more liberal denominations, godliness is recognizable to the world. They spot it, they see it, they can smell it, but they don't always like it.

But I will tell you something. They are always blessed by it, and you should be encouraged by that because whether they realize that this is God's world or not, it really is, and he really does govern it. And so, when we live like him and love what he loves and hate what he hates, we do actually bless the world, even the part of the world that's populated by unbelievers.

There are virtue operates on a different currency than ours. So don't be confused when they don't like our virtue. That's okay. Our virtue operates on the currency of the glory of God. That's why we do what we do to glorify God. There's does not. It's all right. We still aim for godliness regardless of their hostility towards it.

Second to last one. Philadelphia Brotherly Affection. I watch the Rocky movies the other night. One of them anyway. Anyways, with my kids right. Philadelphia. Did you know that's what it meant? City of. Okay, fine. I thought I was giving you something there. All right. Apparently, you already knew that. That's fine. Philadelphia means brotherly affection. Philia is love. A particularly friendly sort of love.

Delphos is brother Philadelphia brotherly affection. The brothers he's talking about the Foy he's talking about are the Christians, the household of God. We are brothers and sisters because we have been adopted by the Father. Your Holiness was never meant to be your own little private gift that you kept in isolation away from everybody else. It's meant to be brought in here and bless the people of God.

It's cold out there, and every brother and sister who brings in the body heat of his or Her Holiness makes the household of God just a little bit warmer. And before you know it, it doesn't feel like February anymore. Eric Tuffendsam's godliness is not meant just for himself. It's meant for me and for you. Your self-control, your love, your gentleness, your fruit of the spirit is meant for us.

Love. Last one. A agape love requires this kind of love. Agape requires knowledge of what is true, because Agape is doing what is best for the beloved, what is truly best. It is not loving to buy a drunk a beer, even if he thinks it is. It's not loving to bail your teenage son out of every mess he creates, even if he thinks it is.

It's not loving to treat every negative emotion your daughter has as though it's absolutely innocent and valid, even if she it is, or you think it is. Love is doing what is truly best for the beloved. And to do it is truly best. You have to know what is truly best. It must be in accordance with what is truly best for the beloved.

If we're doing for the other person something that goes against what God says is good, if not loving, even if they think it is, it may be self-satisfying affection. It may be keeping the peace, but it's not love pretty this way. There has never been an act of love. Real love agape that encouraged sin. There has never been an act of agape that encouraged sin.

There has been human affection, aping love the way a teenage security guard could ape a real police officer. But it's not it's not love. Love does what is truly best for the beloved. If you want to see that, look at our Lord. What did he say? Love was laying down his life for his friends. Why was he laying down his life for their redemption?

That they would be brought to God and made holy and conformed to his own image? Love does what is truly best for the beloved. That's what love is. I'll give you a short definition if you if you like it or if it is helpful. True love. Agape love is Christ like kindness aimed at the true good of another Christlike kindness aimed at the true good of another.

All right, let me close this out towards Christians and non-Christians. Christians. And I hope that's most or everybody in this room. I hope everyone in this room already knows the Lord. But I can hear at least one or two. Maybe so not everybody in this room does know the word right. And some of you may not know the Lord and be adults.

And so, I'm talking to Christians right now, and I'm going to talk to unbelievers in a moment. If you are a Christian, this is not a if you've got what it takes kind of situation God has already granted to you all things pertaining to life and godliness. The question is not whether you'll be too weak or too slow to be a soldier.

This army. The question is not whether you have what it takes. The question is just whether you will use what you have. He has already granted to you all things pertaining to life and God bless non-Christians. If you hear this description of life and you think, there's no way I could do that, keep thinking that right now, because it's true.

Our God saves people who cannot save themselves. He fills those who are hungry, He raises up the lowly, He saves sinners. He did not come to save those who think they're righteous. So, God grant to everyone who repents and believes in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, all things pertaining to life and godliness, all the things that I just read.

But you will not find them apart from him. You will not find self-control or godliness or agape apart from him. But you will find a limitless supply in him, repent of your sins and trust in Jesus Christ. He loves to give sinners salvation and godliness, and he promises it to everyone who repent and believe. Pray with me, Father.

We thank you for your word. We thank you for the church, your household and bride. We thank you for the supper that we partake. We thank you for all things that you've granted to us in Christ Jesus. But most of all, Father, we thank you for Christ Jesus. Because of Him, we have redemption from our sins. Because of Him, we have a love that will never forsake us.

Because of him, we have been forgiven and cleansed and granted all things that pertain to life and godliness because of Christ Jesus. We have eternal hope and an inheritance that cannot be taken from us, and it cannot be defiled or perish or stolen by thieves or devoured by moths. We have all of that and more things that we haven't even learned yet because we're not in glory with you.

We have all of it because of your son. Christ, Jesus, Jesus. I pray to you now. I thank you for your sacrifice. Help us to love and honor you, to obey you in everything. And when we fail and when we sin, when we stumble. Restore us by your grace You are tender to us. You are gracious to us.

We thank you for it. It's in the name of Jesus Christ. I pray. Amen.

More in Second Peter

April 14, 2024

Practical Discernment

April 7, 2024

The Deceptive Strategies of False Teachers

March 24, 2024

6 Characteristics of False Teachers