Progress to perfection – Our Journey (Series #3)
They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes *perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds. – Winston Churchill
*It’s about daily disciplines
By Pastor George Lehman
Aristotle wrote: We acquire a particular quality by acting in a particular way.
We have been looking at Peter’s teaching to the church…
“How to progress to perfection”.
2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) – 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This was given for application not just information.
The steps – adding to your faith:
Knowledge (revelation – Pr 12:1)
Self-control (Appetite, thoughts, tongue)
Perseverance (go through the unpleasant, difficult, trials, temptations)
Just want to say God is working out all these levels all the time in your life. Like clay on the potter’s wheel.
NB!! Make every effort to add to your faith
It’s not very fashionable today for people to talk about Godliness. People have their own gospel.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 (NIV) – 2Preac the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage with great patience and carful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
Myths: is something that is untrue; its with out an author.
But the truth remains: It is something God holds in high value and requires from His children. The Bible makes this very clear.
To define Godliness…it’s a life that would be meaningless if there is no God. “It comes from God”.
Godliness: True Godliness does not turn men out of the world but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it. – William Penn
It’s “living the God life”
Godliness: Living in obedience to God’s commands.
Paul uses this powerful example:
2 Corinthians 2:14 (Amp) – But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us spreads and makes evident everywhere the sweet fragrance of the knowledge of Him.
The victory of Jesus worked out in our lives.
And the fragrance of Jesus.
Colossians 2:15 (Amp) – When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities [those supernatural forces of evil operating against us], He made a public example of them [exhibiting them as captives in His triumphal procession], having *triumphed over them through the cross.
*triumphed = triumph means “I have won”
Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:14 that we triumph over the enemy. Christ has enabled His church to be Triumphant.
We should show off the victory to all who come into contact with us.
Out of this Godliness we spread the fragrance* of Jesus.
*Fragrance – a pleasant, sweet smell; an aroma scent; perfume.
Fragrance is a beautiful thing.
True scientific fact:
If a woman puts a few drops of perfume on her skin your nose can pick up that fragrance that no scientific instrument can detect.
Fragrance stimulates memory. Smells can bring back a beautiful memory.
Even a backslider longs back for4 his First love Jesus.
Godliness is spreading the fragrance of Jesus – like a perfume.
Everywhere you go people will ask, “What is that beautiful fragrance?”
Three practical factors in Godliness.
A godly person draws everything from God.
No self-reliance, self-confidence. No trusting in the flesh, but only on the grace and mercy of God.
Godliness refers everything to God before making decisions. It waits on God.
A godly person sees God in everything.
In the great, overflowing, blessed, joyful times and in the worst and difficult times.
They don’t complain and blame when things go wrong, or things aren’t working out.
A life of Godliness says, “He is my Father, He has got this. He is working all things out for the best”.
Let’s look at ungodliness. The bible speaks about the end of this present age.
Jude 14-16 (NIV) – 14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.16 These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
Notice – 4 times in one verse(15) the sign of the end times will be ungodliness.
A clear sign of ungodliness is grumbling and faultfinding.
Whereas the positive side of Godliness is praise and thankfulness!
The positive alternative – these are the basic requirements of Godliness.
Jude 20-21 (NIV) – 20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
Build yourselves up in your faith. Add to your faith – 2 Peter 1:5.
Pray in the Holy Spirit.
That we keep ourselves in God’s love.
How much progress are you making to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect?
Matthew 5:48 (NIV) – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Keep making progress to perfection.