Week 1 - Add to Your Faith: Part 1
Add to Your Faith: Part 1
Week 1 Add to Your Faith – Ps Tony Cameneti
2 Pet 1:3-7 “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. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (NKJV)
2 Pet 1:8-13 “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you” (NKJV)
Adding These Things to Our Faith has Amazing Benefits
- We will be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus
- We avoid spiritual shortsightedness and blindness
- We always remember we were cleansed from our sins
- We make our calling and election sure
- We will not stumble
- Our entrance into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus will be abundant
It pays to add these 7 things to our faith – virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, Godliness, brotherly kindness, love. Doing so ensures us that our life on earth will be fruitful and our entrance into Heaven will be abundant.
True and Lasting Change Starts underneath the Surface
It happens – from the inside out
only supplies surface/temporary change imparts permanent change
covers up problems exposes and solves problems
is powerless to fix the root of problems solved THE problem at the roots
Only God Can Fix Problems at the Root
- It is not superficial
- It begins on the inside
- It works to the outside
- HEALING – begins on the inside
- PROSPERITY – begins on the inside
- SELF IMAGE – begins on the inside
- IDENTITY – begins on the inside
- RIGHT BEHAVIOUR – begins on the inside – the character of God is imparted to us
Adding the 7 things to our faith affects our present walk and our future hope
When considering these things – none of us is pleased with our past mistakes, wasted time or laziness. I especially like to feed on the Scripture ‘forgetting those things that are behind and reaching unto those things that are before’ (Phil 3:13).
It does little good to overly examine our past. Going back very seldom profits; forgetting our past and looking forward is most beneficial.
To Your Faith, Add Moral Excellence
2 Pet 1:5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge …” (NKJV)
2 Pet 1:5 “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge …” (NASB)
- Peter is writing to us – who are saved
- Not to the unsaved about their salvation
- Peter does not challenge us to work hard in order to be saved
- But to be diligent because we are saved
The character qualities we are told to pursue are the character traits of God, Himself. Moral excellence is not of the flesh. It is not of ourselves. If we try to attain it in and of ourselves, we would be going back to the Old Covenant.
Illustration: In order to have light from a lantern, you must first light the candle inside it; then as a result, the light shines through to be seen by everyone. We let the external be brightened by the internal.
Christ is first in us before He is on us. Divine grace first puts Christ in us, which then empowers us to put Christ on. Christ is first in our hearts by faith before He is in our lives as holiness.
Col 1:28-29 “We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ. Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.” (NET)
Paul was co-operating with God’s power that was working in him.
It is our choice to co-operate with the power of God in us.
Alexander Maclaren from Scotland wrote:
“We may have as much of God as we will. Christ puts the key of the treasure-chamber into our hand, and bids us take all that we want. If a man is admitted into the bullion vault of a bank and told to help himself, and comes out with one cent, whose fault is it that he is poor?”
“Life and godliness are now our permanent possession, having been given by pure grace.”
“Maybe you are thinking just now that you really don’t have what it takes to ‘make it’ in this life. Peter says that God’s power gives us what we need to experience real life in a way that pleases Him.”
“God wants to affect every area of our lives – work, marriage and family, relationships, church, and community. How can you make God’s power operational in your experience? Peter says that it comes ‘through the knowledge of Him who called us.’”
Ways to Co-operate with God
1. Feed on His Word
1 Pet 2:2 “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (NKJV)
2. Say what the Bible says about you
- I am complete in Him Who is the Head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10)
- I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
- I am free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)
- I am born of God, and the evil one does not touch me (1 John 5:18)
- I am holy and without blame before Him in love (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 1:16)
- I have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 2:5)
- I have the peace of God that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7)
- I have the Greater One living in me; greater is He Who is in me than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4)
- I have received the gift of righteousness and reign as a king in life by Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17)
- I have received the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, the eyes of my understanding being enlightened (Ephesians 1:17-18)
3. Pray in the Holy Spirit
Jude 20 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit” (NKJV)
Week 2 - Add to Your Faith: Part 2
Add to Your Faith: Part 2
Week 2 Add to Your Faith – Ps Patsy Cameneti
2 Pet 1:2-7 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 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. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (NKJV)
Cannons from a Battleship
We all want great power in our lives; and to not have great power misrepresents Christ. Within the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are displays of the power of God; and together with the accounts in the Old Testament, we see that our God is a mighty God. We like ‘cannon’ giftings, but they will not be effective in ‘canoe’ settings. The canoe is our character and the nature of God in us; and we can go to The Word and find much is said to help us develop our character – so we can develop our canoe into a battleship. However, when our focus is only on our character and the nature of God in us, it is like firing a slingshot from a battleship. Sometimes Christianity can, for the sake of character, reduce the potential of power. When the slingshot (of reduced power) is fired from the battleship (of developed character), the result is only a ‘ding’ on another battleship. God does not want to just make a ding on anything. He wants explosive power. His idea is cannons – cannons from a battleship – strong character and strong power.
But does this exist? Has it ever existed? Yes! In Jesus. He possessed all the qualities noted in 2 Peter on display; and He manifested the power of God fully.
Faith is the foundation. Faith in the completed work of Jesus is the foundation of our life; and then, up from this foundation, grows these amazing character traits.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (NKJV)
It is on this foundation of believing that we have had power imparted into us – from the inside out. The very nature of God has been put into us when we put faith in Jesus and this wonderful virtuous life comes up in us.
Gal 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (NKJV)
We may know some people who have developed some/all of these characteristics through their own ability. They did it by their own efforts and they can pat themselves on the back – but they won’t see the need for a Saviour.
However, as shown in Galatians, Christianity is not about a person acquiring good things and becoming better over the years. No. Christianity is:
I have been crucified with Christ
Yet I live
But, not I
It is Christ who lives in me
The life I live, I live by faith in Him
Christianity is not a picture of man’s goodness, but of God’s goodness and His nature through us.
Jesus said that, when we see goodness in Him, it is not of Him but it is God’s own goodness that is in Him. Because Jesus is on the throne of our own heart, these characteristics come up out of the nature of God that is inside of us. So, we work together, by faith, with God to release the nature of God through us.
Greek = precise and correct knowledge
2 Pet 1:2-3 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 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” (NKJV)
Knowledge of God is important.
1 Tim 2:4 “.. who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth ..” (NKJV)
God desires that we all come to a knowledge of the truth. Why? Because ignorance gets us in to a peck of trouble. The devil takes advantage of ignorance.
Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (NKJV)
It is important to know what God wants you to know about Himself. We can progressively come to know – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. We can progressively and intentionally develop a deeper and deeper relationship with God.
God also wants us to know His (written) Word. We are never too old to learn about Him and His Word.
He also wants us to know who we are in Christ. He wants you to know His purpose for your life. He wants us to know all things.
Prov 16:32 “.. he who rules his spirit (is better) than he who takes a city ..” (NKJV)
A better translation from the Greek would be ‘mastery’. Under the Lordship of Jesus, your body does not just do whatever it wants to do; your mouth does not just say anything it wants to say; and your mind doesn’t just think everything that comes through it and follow every thought. No! Mastery! We follow what is under the Lordship of Jesus; and, if it isn’t under His Lordship, then we determine ‘No, I’m not going there. I don’t have to do that. I’m not obligated to do that’. We have mastery over our body – even if we have gone a certain way for years, we can have mastery over our bodies.
1 Cor 6:12 “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any” (NKJV)
Even if we think it is not really a sin – can we say ‘no’ to it?
We are not jerked around by anything; but only bow our knee to the Lordship of Jesus.
Jesus was tempted by the devil when He was hungry. There is nothing wrong with hunger. But the devil used it to tempt Jesus to bow His knee to something other than the Lordship of His Father. Jesus’ response was ‘No, nothing doing. All of the passions and desires of my body are brought under mastery to my Father’.
In the New Testament the characteristic of a man who is un-swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.
Col 1:11 “.. strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy ..” (NKJV)
When we consider the words ‘glorious power’ we think of: raising the dead; splitting the red sea; great signs, wonders and miracles. But, the Bible says it is: for all patience. This glorious power is for – patience. With joyfulness. You are not making everybody pay for you having to be patient.
Reverence and respect / piety toward God – someone’s inner response to the things of God which shows itself in godly piety (reverence).
1 Tim 4:7-8 “But reject profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come” (NKJV)
We are to exercise ourselves to the reverence of what God says; respecting everything that He has said. If everything looks like it is going against what God says, it doesn’t matter – you are sticking with God. We have worship times in our services so that people can look away from things that have taken their attention and allow us to focus on – God. Remember: there is a God. And we say: He is the most powerful; He is the most wonderful; He is greater; He is my Lord. We exercise godliness. Piety, respect and honour to God.
Affection, tender and genuine affection, for the brethren (fellow-believers)
1 Pet 1:22 “You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart” (NLT)
It is a position of the heart. We love each other and we love them fervently. If something touches and hurts you, then it hurts me too. I am for you. I am with you. We are together in this. You rejoice, I rejoice. This brings glory to God and is a confirmation that God is in us, He is among us and that He sent Jesus – is when we love one another.
John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (NKJV)
If Jesus is our Lord, then we embrace one another and we love each other and work together.
We can love each other deeply. How? We are founded on Jesus, the head of the church – and His love comes up in us and through us and we lay our lives down for one another.
This is the crown of this whole list. It is different from brotherly kindness. As Christians – we even love our enemies. We target our enemies in prayer.
John 15:9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love” (NLT)
The agapé love of God is bigger than just being kind to one another. The agapé love of God does whatever it needs to do. It is the crown of this list and seals the life of the battleship and allows it to shoot cannons. It pulls everything together.
But when we look at the whole list, we can think ‘where do I begin?’ How much time do I spend on each; do I start in order and work through each one; how do I know when I have spent enough time on one? How do I even do this? And, then, you start getting in to ‘works’ – ‘I will spend this amount of time on this one, this amount on that one’ – and you will have taken over the Lordship of your own life.
Do not get caught trying to do this yourself.
We live the divine life.
Jesus says – there are things that all of us are confronting right now. Life is giving us the opportunity for these things to be developed. Life demands things of us. But it also demands things of Him. Whatever is pressing you is pressing Him. When you are connected to the vine, whatever is on the inside of you, whatever is on the inside of God comes up through your life.
Jesus says – keep remembering who is the Lord of your life. He started this.
Phil 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (NLT)
The more that we keep our life under the Lordship of Jesus, we will be able to say that, if there has been any good thing through me, it has been Christ in me. Our life will not point to ourselves; it will point to Him.