Monday, August 4, 2014
“Ingredients of Spiritual Growth” Part 1
New day, new you. This is the daily broadcast for people who have been made new by the blood of Christ. I’m Robert Hatfield, and this is The New You. Here is today’s Scripture:
As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Pet. 1:3-4).
All this week we’re going to look at passages from the little epistle of 2 Peter. This is a most interesting book, especially because of the attention that Peter gives to the necessity of spiritual growth. Peter closes this epistle with these words: “but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (2 Pet. 3:18). So this theme of growth is found throughout the book of 2 Peter.
The new you can’t survive without some nourishment. What steps are you taking to feed your soul so that the new you can grow and mature? That’s what this week is going to be all about.
You know, you can grow spiritually! You are capable of doing it! Sometimes we get down on ourselves when we make some dumb decisions and fail at our mission in life to bring glory to God. Peter’s second epistle is here to remind us that we can do it! In fact, that’s where Peter begins in verses three and four.
He says that God’s divine power has given us something. What is it? “All things that pertain to life and godliness.” We have everything that we need! When Peter says that God has given us “all things” pertaining to life and godliness, he is saying that this gift from God is comprehensive. Nothing that I need is lacking.
Ok so life and godliness sound like things that I want. How do I get them? Peter continues: “through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” With that, Peter introduces another theme in this epistle: knowledge. “The knowledge of Him” is the means, or the instrument, of our growth. Do you want to grow closer to God? Learn more about Him and about His will for your life. Do you want to be more like Jesus? We all do, and we will do that by getting in the Word and studying. Again I say that the new you cannot survive without that nourishment. Are you spending time in the Word of God every day? This program is designed to assist you and me in our spiritual growth. I hope it’s helpful to you.
Having identified the gift that has been given (“all things pertaining to life and godliness”), and the agency by which we receive that gift (“through the knowledge of Him”), Peter continues by identifying the attraction of that growth. Do you have trouble being motivated to get into the Word? Then focus on what Peter says: God’s “glory and virtue.” Peter says that God “called us by glory and virtue.” Do you remember when you decided to put on your Lord in baptism? What was it that motivated you to answer the gospel call (2 Thes. 2:13-14)? Did it not have something to do with the glory and virtue of the One Who called you to Him? God’s “glory” refers to His brightness, spender, radiance, and majesty. God is a great God. God’s “virtue” has to do with His goodness and might. Thayer says that this term refers to any excellence of a person in body or mind. So we see the love of God manifested through the sacrificial love of Christ Jesus. By the way, that is the love in which you and I are to abide (John 15:9-13; 1 John 3:16).
Peter then transitions to some promises. Not just any promises, but “exceedingly great and precious promises.” It is through these amazing promises that we can be “partakers of the divine nature,” he says in verse four. That word “partaker” means a companion, partner, sharer. It refers to one who takes part in something with someone. In this case, we are able to have fellowship with God and to abide in God, knowing that when we do, He will also abide in us. We have communion with God. That is huge!
That communion with God is possible because we have “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” How did we do that? Well, we know that we couldn’t have done it without the grace of God seen through the death of His Only Begotten Son. He has made us alive together with Him (Eph. 2:5), and, consequently, we have been made holy (1 Pet. 1:13-20).
Let’s wrap it up: We all have people who are our role models in Christianity. We respect them for who they are and for what they do. Today, I want you to know that you can be that way, too! You can grow and mature as a Christian. God’s power has given you everything that you need, but the only way for you to receive that gift is by getting in the book and growing in your knowledge. That’s the key. Then, of course, apply the things that you learn. Don’t just be a hearer, but also be a doer! The result? You can enjoy the hope associated with God’s precious promises and you can enjoy fellowship with Him, as you abide in Him and as He abides in you.
Memory Verse: I think it’s appropriate that we let 2 Peter 3:18 be our memory verse for the week.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen (2 Pet. 3:18).
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. New episodes of this broadcast are released each weekday, Monday through Friday, from The Light Network. Archives of this program, episode transcripts, and more Christian podcasts are available there, too, at thelightnetwork.tv.
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This is The New You, I’m Robert Hatfield, and I hope you have a great day!