Progress to Perfection – Our Journey #5

Progress to perfection – Our Journey #5

It may be the end of the series, but it doesn’t stop today.

It’s a life of disciple to progress to perfection

Our lives must be devoted to progress.

If you know that God loves you, you should never question a directive from Him.  It will always be right and best.  When He gives you a directive you are not just to observe it or debate it.  You are to obey it.  H. Blackaby

 

By Pastor George Lehman

 

Joshua 1:8 (NIV) – Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be carful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

We don’t just enter each new day hoping we may by some miracle progress today.

No!! We must be mind made up – we need to live on purpose to achieve perfection in Christ.  It doesn’t just happen.

We have been looking at Peter’s instruction to the church.  How to ensure you are able progress to perfection.

2 Peter 1:5-7 (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.

 

7 steps – add to your faith:

Goodness (excellence) – No slackness / half-hearted
Knowledge (biblical revelation) – Understanding spiritually
Self control (self discipline, victory over self is the greatest victory)
Perseverance (long obedience in the same direction)
Godliness (let your actions do the talking) – Reflect the character of Jesus
Brotherly kindness (our attitude toward one another)
Love

NB!!  I want to encourage you to commit these 7 steps to memory.

It will give you a spiritual measuring stick to check up our own “progress to perfection”.

 

#7  Love (The pinnacle and most important point you add to your Faith)

Ephesians 3:16-17(NIV) – 16I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love.

 

None of the 6 steps will work without No. 7 Love.

There are a number of Greek words in the New Testament that can be and sometimes are translated “LOVE”.

 

4 main ones:

Eros: is a passionate and intense love that arouses romantic feelings.
Storge: It’s a kind of family and friendship love
Phileo: Refers to an affectionate, warm and tender love.  It’s a committed and chosen love.
Agape: This is associated with God Himself.  It’s an unconditional love.

 

This is the love Peter is describing in the 7th step to add to our faith.

Make sure it’s a part of your whole life.

This love can only proceed from God. It flows in us and through us.

 

The divine demonstration of God’s love as seen in:

Romans 5:6-8 (NIV) – 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Love put Jesus on the cross.

There are 3 words that describe the kind of people for whom Jesus died:

Powerless: Means we couldn’t help ourselves.
Ungodly: Means our whole make up, our character was alien and strangers to God.  He could have looked away from us.
Sinners: We were rebels, we were at war with God.

 

It was for such people as these that God gave His Son Jesus to die for us (that’s God’s love).

It’s a love on another plane that we could never achieve out of our own fallen nature.

The expression of this Agape love is “Total self giving”.

John 3:16 (NIV) – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

 

Divine love is a giving love: This is Agape in action

1 Corinthians 13:1-8; 13 (NIV) – If I speak in tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I have nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.  But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.

 

Please understand this – this is the climax of our spiritual development. Its not an add on extra!

Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV) – 12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

 

Listen to what Peter says before he gave us the step to progress to perfection.

2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) –Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 

God wants you and I to participate in His divine nature.  His divine nature is LOVE.  Genuine “LOVE” is perfection.

1 John 4:16 (LB) – We know how much God loves us because we have felt his love and because we believe him when he tells us that he loves us dearly. God is love, and anyone who lives in love is living with God and God is living in him.

Galatians 5:22a (NIV) – But the fruit of the Spirit is love, …

Romans 5:5 (NIV) – And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

 

NB!! Therefore:  This love is not just a temporary feeling that comes and goes, but……something that becomes our very nature and our conduct.

This brings me back to the reason for this teaching – “Progress to perfection – Our Journey”

Matthew 5:48 (NIV) – Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) – “Aim for perfection.”

 

That’s why Peter closes off with some very important instructions as he looks back at the 7 steps.

2 Peter 1:8-9 (NIV) – 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. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

 

In closing:

2 Peter 1:10-11 (NIV) – 10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Progress to perfection will ensure you receive a rich welcome into the eternal Kingdom.