“Ments” for Growth
Text: 2 Peter 1:1-13.
1. The book of Second Peter deals with Christian growth.
2. When I think about this book, I think about this statement: “Things to Know…in order to Grow.”
3. The book begins and ends by emphasizing growth.
a. It begins, “giving all diligence add to your faith” (1:5).
b. It ends, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (3:18).
4. The book of Second Peter may be briefly outlined as follows:
Chapter one: PROVISION for Growth. Provision for growth is supplied because “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” (1:3).
Chapter two: PREVENTING Growth. We prevent growth by allowing false teachers to “bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them…” (2:1).
Chapter three: PURPOSE for Growth. Purpose for growth is because “the day of the Lord will come” (3:10) and we want to be “found by him in peace, without spot and blemish” (3:14). We look for a “new heavens and new earth” where righteous dwells (2 Pet. 3:13ff).
5. Observe carefully that salvation is based on knowing the Savior. Notice his emphasis on this knowledge:
a. Grace and peace comes to us “in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (1:2)
b. All things pertaining to life and godliness are “through the knowledge of Him” (1:3).
c. We are cleansed from our sins “in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1:8-9).
d. We escape the pollution of the world “through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2:20).
e. Grace is extended to us “in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:18).
6. Therefore the Christian’s “hope and faith are in God” (1 Peter 1:21). Having been “born again” (1 Peter 1:23), we rest our “hope fully upon the grace…” of God (2 Peter 1:13).
7. But while our salvation depends totally and completely on our knowledge and trust in the Savior Himself, our growth as a Christian depends on knowing His word and will for our lives.
8. As newborn believers, we are to “desire the pure milk of the word” that we may “grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2).
9. Second Peter is a book that helps and encourages us to do just that – grow as Christians.
10. In this study we want to notice three “ments” for growth from Second Peter 1:1-13.
11. And to let you know what we are talking about, we remind you of a number of “ments” that exist in our world and language. For example there are:
Advertisements, Accomplishments, Appointments
Engagements, Enjoyment, Experiments
Apartments, Compartments, Departments
Statements, Refreshments, Supplements
12. When I was a child my favorite Aunt accused her sons and me of being full of “devilment” – whatever that means.
13. In the Bible we have: Atonement, Commandment, Testament.
14. In Second Peter there are three “ments” to help us grow. They are:
Body: “Ments” for Growth
I. ENCOURAGEMENT (2 Peter 1:1-4).
A. The first “ment” is encouragement. Encouragement is something that gives us courage, hope, and confidence.
B. The first four verses of 2 Peter 1 are full of encouragement for growth.
1. Notice first the PRECIOUS FAITH (2 Peter 1:1).
a. The precious faith is in the “precious blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:19). To those of “us who believe HE is precious” (1 Peter 2:7). Our faith (trust) is not in procedures, plans, or performance. Our faith is in a PERSON!! (2 Peter 1:1)
b. We “rest our hope fully (not partly, or mostly, or somewhat, but “fully”) on His grace.” (1 Peter 1:13).
c. We are saved “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:1) and not by anything we have done or will do.
d. This is “the true grace of God in which you (we) stand” (1 Peter 5:12).
e. We “have purified our souls in obeying the truth” that Jesus died “for us” and “redeemed us” with His “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:18-22).
f. “Having been born again” (1 Peter 1:23) when we demonstrated our trust in His death, burial, and resurrection by being buried with Him in baptism and raised to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:3-6), we have “the salvation of your [our] souls” (1 Peter 1:9).
a. In Christ, God has “given us all things pertaining to life and godliness through knowing Him” (2 Peter 1:3).
b. Included are “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4). Note, not just promises, or great promises, or precious promises, or even great and precious promises, but “exceeding” great and precious promises.
c. It is through “these promises” that we have “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4).
d. These promises include “remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39), “eternal life” (1 John 2:25), and “all spiritual blessings” (Eph. 1:3).
II. COMMITMENT – (2 Peter 1:5-10)
A. God has provided the encouragement for growth and “for this very reason” (vs. 5) we need to make a commitment to grow.
B. And while it is true that the indwelling Spirit produces fruit in us (Gal. 5:22-23), He only does so with our cooperation or commitment.
C. Even those who had gifts of the Spirit given by the laying on of the apostles hands could “neglect the gift that is in you” (1 Tim. 4:14)
D. They also had the responsibility “to stir up the gift of God” which is in them (2 Tim. 1:6). Paul clearly taught that “the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” (1 Cor. 14:32).
E. And just as they had to cooperate with the Holy Spirit in them, so do we. We can “quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19) by refusing to allow Him to work in us. He is a helper, not an enforcer! (Jn. 14:16, 26).
F. Therefore we must be “giving all diligence” (v. 5) and “be even more diligent” (v. 10) to add these Christian virtues to our lives (2 Peter. 1:5-7).
G. And while it is only “through Christ who strengthens” us (Phil. 4:13) that we are able to accomplish anything (John 15:5), it does take trust in Him and commitment in order to grow.
H. Remember, we are not saved by our commitment to grow, we are saved by Jesus and what He did for us. (1 Peter 1:18-20).
I. But because He has saved us, He wants us to “desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2) and be committed to being fruitful (2 Peter 1:8)
III. EXCITEMENT (2 Peter 1:12-13)
A. The third “ment” for growth is excitement. Encouragement and commitment leads to excitement when there is agreement.
B. Even though they already knew the things Peter had emphasized, he wanted “to stir you [them] up by reminding you [them]”. (2 Peter 1:12-13)
C. One purpose of our assemblies is to “stir up love and good works” (Heb. 10:24-25).
D. According to the Dictionary “excite” means “to cause emotions to be aroused, to stir up.”
E. I don’t mean jumping benches and trying to snatch the light bulbs out of the sockets, but I do mean we need to be excited, aroused, and stirred up.
F. I know that emotion without devotion is nothing but commotion. But at the same time, devotion without emotion is no motion – i.e. dead.
G. We may not need to yell like a wild Comanche, but neither do we need to sit here like a wooden Indian.
H. When we get more excited about ballgames, jobs, or making money than we do about salvation, something is wrong somewhere.
I. If we are going to build up, we’re going to have to get stirred up.
J. Our assemblies need to be for excitement as well as enlightenment. We need to “stir up love and good works” and “exhort” one another in our assemblies (Heb. 10:24-25).
Some supplements may help the body. Some statements may help the mind. Atonement will help the soul. But if we are going to grow as Christians, it takes encouragement that leads to commitment that leads to excitement.Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).