CAN'T SEE, CAN'T HEAR, CAN'T REMEMBER-
"Let your light shine before men" (KJV)
(Mark 8:1-21; 2 Peter 1:1-9)
Click on the link below to read the scriptures.
Mark 8 2 Peter 1
By Mary Lee And James L. Thornton
Mark 8:18. Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
How sad it is when we see our parents, or others of our acquaintances, as they get older and begin to lose their eyesight, their hearing, and especially their memory.
There are others through accident, disease, malnutrition, or just plain neglect, experience loss of these important faculties.
But the saddest of all things is when people are spiritually blind and have closed their ears to spiritual truths and have forgotten that Jesus came into the world to save sinners.
Jesus is talking bout Spiritual Blindness, Spiritual Hearing, And Spiritual Memory.
In this study we want to look at Eight Steps to Prevent Blindness and Memory Loss, found in (2 Peter 1:5-7.)
In The Verse We Have Read (Mark 8:18) Jesus Is Not Talking To Sinners, Or People Of The World, But To His Own Disciples.
These Men Had Been With Jesus For About Three Years And Had Enjoyed The Greatest Of Fellowships, Having Listened To Him Day After Day As He Spoke About The Things Concerning The Kingdom Of God.
They Had Witnessed Miracle After Miracle, Some Of Which Directly Involved Their Own Lives, And Now As His Ministry Was Drawing To A Close, And The Shadow Of The Cross Was Falling Upon Him, Jesus Was Still Dealing With The Dullness Of Their Understanding Of Spiritual Matters.
We Feel The Intense Concern Jesus Manifested Here In This Verse. Jesus And His Disciples Had Been Crisscrossing The Sea Of Galilee (Mark 8:10, 13) And Were On Their Way Back Across Again.
The Crossing Would Take Several Hours (Mark 8:4-6), And Part Way Across One Of The Disciples Mentioned That They Had Only One Loaf Of Bread With Them Because They Had Forgotten To Buy Bread. (Mark 8:14)
They Knew That They Would Need To Eat Some Food On The Way Across, So They Discussed The Situation Among Themselves.
The Conversation Among Themselves And What Jesus Said To Them Took Place On The Boat As They Were Crossing. (Mark 8:14-21)
Jesus Overhearing Their Concern About Their Lack Of Bread (Food) Made This Remark To Them,
Mark 8:15. "And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod."
16. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread."
Jesus Was Talking About Spiritual Things. He Was Referring To The "Doctrine" Of The Pharisees When He Used The Word "Leaven."
The Pharisees Had Corrupted The Law By Their Own Vain Traditions, (Luke 12:1) Calls It "Hypocrisy."
They Had Not Done Away With The Law, Nor Changed It Entirely, But Had Introduced Their Own Interpretation And Added Things To It.
Jesus Refers To These Subtle Changes And Additions To The Law As "Leaven."
Jesus Knew The Power Of This "Leaven," Or Doctrine.
Paul Says, "A Little Leaven Leaveneth The Whole Lump. (Galatians 5:9)
A Little False Doctrine Enters Into A Person’s Soul, And Before Long The Whole Of The Person Is Infected With It.
That Is What Jesus Was Referring To And The Disciples Thought He Was Referring To The Fact That They Had Brought Only One Loaf Of Bread.
That’s What Prompted Jesus To Reprimand Them.
Can’t See, Can’t Hear, Can’t Remember:
Mark 8:17. "And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened?
18. Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember?
19. When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve.
20. And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven.
21. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?"
What Jesus Is Saying In These Verses Is,
"Why Reason Ye Because Ye Have No Bread, As Though I Was Referring To Natural Things, And Speaking Concerning Bread For The Body, And Wishing You To Be Anxious About That?
Could Not I Provide Bread For You, If Necessary, Just As Easily Here On The Sea As I Did Just A While Ago In The Desert?" (Mark 8:1-9)
This Dullness Of Their Spiritual Perception Is What Concerned Our Lord After They Had Been With Him So Long And Had Been Witnesses And Partakers Of His Miraculous Ministry.
That Is The Reason Simon Peter, Who Learned This Lesson Well, Wrote Thirty Years Later, That A Christian, At Every Level Of Spirituality, Had To Keep Working On His Spiritual Being Lest He Loose His Perception Of Faith.
I’m Sure That Simon Peter Had This Incident In Mind When He Wrote These Words In,
2 Peter 1:9. "But He That Lacketh These Things Is Blind, And Cannot See Afar Off, And Hath Forgotten That He Was Purged From His Old Sins."
Can’t See, Can’t Hear, Can’t Remember:
Simon Peter Give Us 8 Steps To Prevent These Spiritual Deficiencies.
7. Brotherly Kindness
Let Us Look Back To The First Verse Of Chapter One Of First Peter.
2 Peter 1:1 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ"
In This Epistle Peter Is Writing To A Group Of People Who Have Obtained "Like Precious Faith" As Those Of The First Group Of Christians At Jerusalem (Acts 2), At Samaria (Acts 8), At Caesarea (Acts 10), And At Ephesus (Acts 19).
We Also Would Like To Link Ourselves With This First Century Group Of Believers, Having "Obeyed From The Heart That Form Of Doctrine Which Was Delivered" Unto Us. (Romans 6:17)
To Us, Along With Those Peter Was Writing To.
2 Peter 1:2. "Grace And Peace Have Been Multiplied Unto You Through The Knowledge Of God And Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
3. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."
Let Us Comprehend What We Have Read.
At Our Conversion Something Happened. We Received Forgiveness Of Sins By Being Washed In Jesus’ Blood By Being Baptized In His Name, And Filled With The Holy Ghost, We Became A New Creature, Old Things Passed Away And All Things Became New.
We Received Something Else, "His (Jesus’) Power Has Granted Unto Us All Things That Pertain Unto Life And Godliness (2Peter1:3)," He Also Gave Us "Exceeding Great And Precious Promises (2Peter1:4)," And Through These Promises, "We Have Been Made Partakers Of The Divine Nature (2Peter1:4)."
As We Look Back On Our Christian Experience, We Have Come A Long Way.
Looking Around Us, We Are In The Midst Of A Great And Glorious Inheritance. Just Look At What We Have Obtained.
May We Not Rest And Enjoy It?
Is There Anything Pertaining To The Christian Life That Is Not Included In What We Have Already Received, As Peter Has Described In The Preceding Paragraphs.
Seeing That "His Divine Power Hath Given Unto Us All Things That Pertain Unto Life And Godliness (2 Peter 1:3)," And That We, "Are Partakers Of The Divine Nature (2 Peter 1:4)," What More Could One Attain To?
Now Let Us, From Our High Standing, Look Forward To What Simon Peter Says In (2 Peter 1:5)
2 Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Let Us Say At The First That, However Great May Be Our Privilege And High Attainments, It Is Not The Way Of Scripture To Permit Anyone To Think That He Has Already Attained, Or Is Already Perfect.
Every Attainment Won, Every New Gift Received, Is But Occasion Of A New Endeavor In Christ, A Reaching Forward.
This Is True Now And Here, And It Will Be Throughout Our Christian Life.
Beside This, Says Simon Peter,
In Addition To All That You Have Attained And Received,
Give All Diligence,
Unfold Your Faith.
Philippians 3:13b. "... and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14. I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
There Is No Finality In The Growth Of Christian Character,
No End To Unfolding Of Faith.
Let Us Examine What Simon Peter’s Words Say,
"... Giving All Diligence,..." A Strong Word.
"Make Every Effort."
God’s Precious Gifts And Promises Should Stimulate Us To Earnest Effort, They, The Precious Gifts, Are A Reason, Not For Letting Up, But For Increased Exertion.
If We Neglect "All Diligence" (Effort), In Our Spiritual Life, Then, Let Us Be Sure Of It, We Shall Decline In The Deep Desire To Be Conformed To His Image, And To Follow In His Steps Further.
We Shall Decline Also In The Conscious Activity And Persistence Of Faith Which Rests In Him For Peace And For Power.
Let Us Look At The Phrase Again.
2 Peter 1:4 "... Partakers Of The Divine Nature."
Here Is The Christian Life In Its Origin, At Its Source.
At Its Very Beginning Man Becomes A Partaker Of The Divine Nature,
When God’s Spirit Comes Into His Life.
The Human Gets Transfigured Into The Divine By The Power Of His Faith.
Our Natural Inclinations, Disposition, Or Tendency, Is Towards Evil.
Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
If We Follow The Broad And Easy Road Of Our Instincts And Appetites, We End In Destruction.
It Is Only By Crucifying The Flesh With The Affections And Lusts Thereof, That We Keep Strait At All.
That Is Why The Bible Insists, As The First Step In The Christian Life, That We Must Become "Partakers Of The Divine Nature."
WE MUST BE BORN AGAIN. (John 3:3)
We Must Be "Renewed In The Spirit Of Our Minds." (Ephesians.4:23)
We Must "Put Off The Old Man (Ephesians. 4:22)," We Must "Put On The New Man Which Is Created In Righteousness And True Holiness." (Ephesians 4:24)
Every Phrase Used In The New Testament To Explain Conversion, Or To Describe The First Step Of The Christian Life, Indicates A Change Which Is Radical, Profound, And Revolutionary.
We Are Changed At The Very Core And Center Of Our Being.
We Get A New Principal Of Life.
We Get "A New Heart" (Ezekiel 36:26), As The Prophet Expresses It,
A "Clean Heart" (Psalms 51:10), As David Asked.
When A Man Becomes A "Partaker Of The Divine Nature," He Lives For God, "Old Things Are Passed Away, All Thing Become New." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Now We Do Not Want To Lose That Lofty Position That Faith Has Brought Us To.
Simon Peter, After Recognizing Our Remarkable Position, And The Divine Nature We Share Says,
"And Besides This, Giving All Diligence, Add To Your Faith..." (2 Peter 1:5)
"In Addition To This," "In Addition To Your Faith Which Placed You In Such Heavenly Company Of Saints And Apostles, And Bestowed A Divine Nature Upon You, There Are Some Things You Must Add."
I May Ask The Question, "If My Faith Has Already Accomplished So Much For Me Why Must I Strive To Be Even Better?"
Simon Peter Gives The Answer To This Question In (2 Peter 1:9.)
2 Peter 1:9 "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
Blind, And Can’t See,
Forgotten, Memory Loss.
CAN’T SEE, CAN’T HEAR, CAN’T REMEMBER
Simon Peter Writing To These Early Christians Proceeds To Give 8 Steps To Prevent Spiritual Blindness And Memory Loss.
We May Be Tempted To Think That We Have Every Thing A Christian Would Ever Hope To Gain In This Life, But Not So.
Let Us Analyze These Additions Simon Peter Mentions.
2 Peter 1:5 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."
First We Must Consider All Eight Graces That Are Mentioned Here As A Whole.
In Other Words No Single Grace Is Complete By Itself.
It Takes All Of Them To Make A Complete Christian.
The Same Is True Of The Beatitudes,
Or The Fruit Of The Spirit.
The Christian Character Does Not Grow By Successive Stages, Taken Abruptly One After The Other, So That One Is Complete Before The Next Is Begun.
But Character Is Formed On The Principal Of A Variety Of Graces And Habits Which Are In Close Communion With One Another, Advancing Together To Maturity, And Reinforcing One Another.
Each Grace Acts Upon All, And All Begin Simultaneously.
Brotherly Kindness Is Near The Bottom Of The List, And Temperance Is Near The Top, Yet They Were Born The Same Hour, By The Same Divine Nature.
Let Us Not Look At These Eight Graces As Steps On A Ladder Where One Rises Higher As He Masters Each Successive Step.
Rather We Should Picture Them As A Rope Or Cable, Where Several Strands, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, Charity, Are All United With ‘Faith’ Intertwined With It, And Intertwined With One Another, And Mutually Strengthening One Another, So As To Form One Firm, Strong Union.
There Is A Deep Closeness, A Subtle Connection, A Permanent Relationship That Exists Between These Virtues And We Cannot Strengthen One Without Reinforcing All.
One Beautiful Thing In Character Or Conduct Leads To Other Beautiful Things, Finally To All Beautiful Things.
When We Attain A Triumph Over Our Selves In One Particular Area, Or, When We Succeed In More Fully Cultivating Some Special Goodness Of Spirit And Life, We Raise The Quality Of Our Whole Character And Life.
Paul Says, "Tribulation Worketh Patience, And Patience Experience, And Experience Hope; And Hope Maketh Not Ashamed." (Romans 5:4-5)
One Strand Wound Together With Another Until Strand After Strand It Becomes An Unbreakable Bond, All Working Together.
We All Understand The Connections Of Evil Vices.
One Sin Leads To Another Sin Until One Is Entangled With All Sins.
It Is Just As True With The Connection Of The Virtues Of Grace.
One Grace Invites Another Grace, That Grace Brings Higher Grace, Until All Graces Become One.
Now In This Passage (2 Peter 1:1-9) Simon Peter Lays Down A List Of What Is Required Of Us, And Bids Us Give All Diligence To Cultivate Each. This Is A Discriminating, Hourly, Life Long Work.
Simon Peter Clearly Affirms That Sanctification Is Progressive, And Demands Constant Effort. God Will Not Give Spiritual Enrichment To Spiritual Inaction.
Let Us Look At Each Of These Graces Which Simon Peter Tells Us To Cultivate In Our Lives.
It Begins With Faith And Ends With Love.
Faith Is The Number 1 Grace.
It Is Certain That Faith Is The Primary Essential Of The Whole Character.
Faith Is The Root Out Of Which All Christian Graces Grow From The Soil Of The Word Of God.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
Faith Must Arise, Have Its Origin, From The Bible.
Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Faith Is The Gift Of God: Let It Be Our Earnest Prayer, "Lord, Increase our faith." (Luke 17:5b)
Faith Is Precious Exceedingly, Above All Earthly Price.
Sight Is Precious; Blindness Shuts A Person Out From So Much Brightness And Joy.
Faith Is Spiritual Sight.
By Faith The Believer Sees "Him who is invisible" (Hebrews 11:27).
He Sees The Promise Afar Off, And Embraces Them, And Confesses That He Is A Stranger And A Pilgrim On The Earth. (Hebrews 11:13)
Peter Has Said In The Opening Verses (2 Peter 1:1-4) That The Faith Of The Humblest Newborn Christian Is Equally Precious With The Faith Of The Holiest Apostle; It Is The Gift Of The Same God.
Yet Simon Peter Is Not Referring To A Passive Faith, But An Active Faith.
James 2:20. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Faith At Work, Or The Fruits Of Faith. They Must Develop Out Of Faith, As Faith Expands, And In The Exercise Of Each Grace A Fresh Grace Must Issue Forth.
2 Peter 1:5a. "Giving all diligence (effort), add to your faith virtue; ..."
Virtue Is Spiritual Manliness, An Active Courage In "The Good Fight Of Faith,.." (1 Timothy 6:12)
Virtue Is The Courage To Stand Up, To Take A Stand Against All Evil.
Virtue Is Boldness To Declare Our Belief In Christ.
Acts 4:29b. "...: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,"
Without Virtue (Moral Courage) The Christian Church Would Have Disappeared In Half A Century.
Virtue Is The Force, Or Power, Whereby We Overcome The World.
2 Peter 1:5b. "...; and to virtue knowledge."
Knowledge As Peter Uses It Here Applies To The Apprehension Of Truths, Especially Concerning God.
Colossians 1:10b. "..., and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
It Is Very Possible To Have All Secular Knowledge (Physical, Material, Worldly) And Still Have Little Or No Knowledge Of God.
2 Timothy 3:7. Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
2 Peter 3:18. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ."
The Means Of Spiritual Increase Is The Knowledge Of God, Scripture Backs Up This Premise.
Knowledge Of God Brings,
"They have escaped the corruption of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 2:20a)
"Acquaint now thyself with Him, and be at peace." (Job 22:21a)
"The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits." (Daniel 11:32b)
"Hereby we do know that we love Him, if we keep his commandments." (1 John 2:3)
"He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is Love." (1 John 4:4)
Jesus Summed It Up When He Said, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3)
Knowledge Quickens Desire.
We Cannot Know God Without Longing To Possess More Of Him And Of What He Has To Give.
Greater Knowledge Is The Fruit Of Study And Fellowship.
It Is Only In Face To Face Communion With God, Such As Is Possible Through The Teaching Of His Word, That We Can Really Know Him, Therein He Speaks To Us, And In Prayer We Speak To Him.
We Can Understand Why Knowledge Is Placed Very High In The Lists Of Virtues Because It Is Through Knowledge That We Know Right From Wrong, Which We Learn Through Fellowship With God.
Knowledge Is A Clear Perception Of Christian Duty At Each Given Moment, Just Knowing How To Act, What To Do.
And Knowledge, Along With Faith And Virtue, Makes It Possible For The Next Grace Simon Peter Mentions To Become Active In Our Life.
2 Peter 1:2a. "And to knowledge temperance;.."
Temperance Is Using Christian Knowledge For The Guidance Of Our Lives.
Temperance, Or Self Control Enables A Person To Govern His Appetites, And To Keep Them Under The Rule Of A Good Conscience.
He Must Check The Tumult Of Earthly Desires By The Light Of Knowledge And The Strength Of Virtue.
1 Corinthians 9:27. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Temperance Has Come In Common Terms To Mean Abstinence, Total Or Partial, From Intoxicants, But The Word, As Simon Peter Is Using It, (2 Peter 1:2a) Has A Much Wider Significance.
It Means ‘Self Control’ In The Largest Sense, And Applies To Every Appetite, Emotion, Desire, Fancy, Or Purpose That A Person Can Cherish.
Self Control Is The Power Of Keeping Oneself Well In Hand, Of Governing One’s Passions, Of Restraining Oneself From Outbursts Of Anger, From Excessive Devotion To Pleasure, Or Riches, Or Gluttony, Or Whatever Other Fervor Arises In One’s Self.
We Can Only Rule Ourselves When We Let Jesus Christ Rule Us.
Bring Him Into Your Life As King And Ruler And All Other Rebel Desires Will Bow Before Him.
So Give Up The Sovereignty Of Your Soul To Jesus Christ, And He Will Give You The Strength (Virtue) To Govern Yourself.
The Lack Of Self Control (Temperance) Is The Beginning Of Sin.
The Great Principal Represented By The Tree Of Knowledge Of Good And Evil, In The Midst Of The Garden Of Eden, Is The Principal Of Self Control.
Adam And Eve’s Lack Of Self Control Led To The Fearful Consequences We Are All Familiar With.
In Dante’s Hell (Divine Comedy), We Find That The Sinners In The First Rows Are There Through Lack Of Self Control.
All Other Sins Follow In The Wake Of This First Failure.
Proverbs 25:28. He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
Proverbs 16:32. He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
The World Is Very Apt To Get Carried Away With The Noise Of Battle, And Hail The Soldiers And Generals That Capture A City, Crowning Them With Glory And Honor.
But How Little Of This Kind Of Help Has He Who Fights The Battle For Self Mastery.
The Very Loneliness Of Spiritual Struggles Adds To The Hardness Of The Strife And The Glory Of Victory.
In The Depths Of His Spirit The Struggle Goes On, And What Does The World Know Or Care About It?
Another Thing, He That Takes A City May Take It In A Hurry, Or Maybe In A Few Months, Or At The Most, As In Some Cases, A Few Years.
But He Who Would Gain And Keep Mastery Over Self Has No Such Speedy Accomplished Task Before Him.
He Is Engaged In A Warfare Which Can End Only With His Life Here.
Only When He Lays Down His Life Can He Lay Down His Arms.
This Is What Makes The Spiritual Warfare So Hard For Flesh And Blood To Maintain.
He That Takes A City Has But Flesh And Blood To Contend With, And Therefore Fights The Battle On Somewhat Equal Terms
But The Apostle Tells Us.
Ephesians 6:12. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
It Is Against No Small Opposition That Any Man, In The Spiritual Life, Will Fight His Way To Victory.
Looking Within Our Own Hearts, What A Formidable Array Of Spiritual Enemies Do We See.
Each Heart Can Only Know Which Is The Fiercest And Most Unruly It Faces.
Each Heart Knows How Earnestly, Perhaps With Agony, It Has Striven To Subdue Them, And How Often With Poor Success.
But Poor Success Should Never Lead, In The Spiritual Life At Least, To Utter Abandonment.
The Very Greatness Of The Difficulties To Be Encountered Will But Add To The Glory Of The Victory When Finally Achieved.
Just Listen To The Testimonies Of Those Who Have, With Perseverance, Won The Battle Over Some Evil Habit, Or Desire.
The True End Of Temperance Is Growth In The Likeness To Christ, And This Leads Us To The Next Grace Simon Peter Speaks Of.
2 Peter 1:6b. "..; And to temperance patience;..."
While Temperance, Or Self Control, Has To Do With What Is Internal, With A Person’s Own Passions And Propensities.
Patience Has To Do With What Is External, With The Afflictions And Injuries That Come Upon A Person From Without.
If He Cannot Fight The Evil In His Own Heart He Will Never Make A Firm Stand In The Battle Against Things Without.
The Duty Of 'Self Control’ Naturally Precedes The Duty Of 'Patience,’ Because A Person’s First Business Is To Conquer And Rule Himself.
It Is Only When He Is Master Of Himself That He Can Hope To Be Master Of His Circumstances.
If He Cannot Restrain Himself, The Inner Circle, The Citadel Of His Life Is In The Enemies Hands, And It Matters Little About The Outworks.
‘Self Control’ (Temperance) Naturally Comes Before 'Patience,’ And The Two Must Never Be Separated.
Temperance Teaches Self Control And Patience Teaches Self To Put The Shoulder Under The Burdens, Especially The Hardships Of Life.
Patience Is ‘Christian’ Endurance.
2 Timothy 2:3. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Matthew 24:13. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
Jesus Never Promised That The Christian Life Would Be A Bed Of Roses,
But On The Contrary He Tells His Followers (Luke 21:12-17) That There Would Be Great Hardships.
Then In The Following Verses He Tells Them How They Would Be Saved In This.
Luke 21:18. But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19. In your patience possess ye your souls.
We Would Never Develop Patience If We Had No Difficulties Or Trials.
Romans 5:3b. ...., but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Patience Is Possible When Beneath All Our Sorrows, Be They Great Or Small, We Recognize God’s Will, Everything Else We Try To Lean On In Our Despondency Will Give Way Except This.
It Makes Tests Easier To Bear When We Pray That God’s Will Be Done In Our Lives.
Sometimes This Is God’s Way Of Refining Us. It Is Past Our Understanding To Know Why God Asks Some To Go Through Trials That Are Hard To Bear.
Zechariah 13:9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
James 1:3. Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
4. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
From Out Of Faith Flows, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, And As These Graces Continue To Work In Our Lives It Will Strengthen And Develop Godliness.
2 Peter 1.6c. "...; And To Patience godliness."
Godliness Is The Spirit Of Reverence, The Holy Fear Of God.
Godliness Is God-Likeness.
Having The Same Mind In Us That Was In Jesus Christ, Looking At Everything From The Divine Standpoint, And Living Our Life As Fully In The Light Of His Presence As We Live Our Bodily Life In The Light Of The Sun.
The Godly Person Sets God Always Before Him. The Thought Of God Controls His Whole Life.
God Is The Center Of The Devout Life, The Life Of Godliness, And To Fix The Mind Of The Soul On Him We Must Learn The Great Lesson That The Apostle John Taught.
1 John 2:15. Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
The Old Testament Characterized This As "Walking With God."
Genesis 5:24. And Enoch walked with God: And He Was Not; For God Took Him.
Enoch Lived In The Presence Of God, He Ordered His Thoughts And Acts To Harmonize With God’s Thoughts, He Rejoiced In God’s Company Day By Day, Until "God Took Him" Home With Him.
It Was David’s Desire To "Walk Before God In The Light Of The Living." (Psalms 56:13)
Micah Also Testifies To This.
Micah 6:8. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
The Word Godliness Means Devout, Godly, Pious, And Is Synonymous With, Holy, Holiness, Hallowed, Sanctified, Consecrated, Dedicated, Saints, & Etc.
In The Old Testament We Read The Phrase "Most Holy," (45 Times) Which Usually Referred To Things Dedicated Or Consecrated To God, And Even To God Himself, But Man Could Never Attain To That Particular Status.
It Was Only Made Possible By The Sanctifying Power Of The Blood Of Jesus Christ That Man Could Become Holy Enough For God Himself To Dwell In Him.
Simon Peter Makes It Plain That It Is Now Possible For A Person To, Should We Say, ‘Take On’ The Nature Of God.
2 Peter 1:4. Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped (Delivered From) the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God Lives In Us Through The Indwelling Of The Holy Ghost, Our Bodies Have Become ‘Most Holy,’ And Is The Temple Of God. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Thus It Is That Man Is Endowed With A Nature Capable, Through God’s Mercy, Of Acquiring The Moral Nature Of His Divine Maker.
Constituted As He Is, Fashioned In The Likeness Of God, (Though That Likeness Has Been Marred By Sin), Man Can, Under The Influence Of The Holy Spirit, Attain The Excellency Of The Moral Attributes Of God, Can Aspire To Them, Can Resolve And Endeavor To Participate In Them.
That Is What The Bible Refers To As ‘Saints.’
And This Lead Us To The Next Grace Simon Peter Tells Us To Add To Our Faith.
2 Peter 1:7a. "And to godliness brotherly kindness;..."
Brotherly Kindness Literally Means, ‘I Love Him Like A Brother.’
It Is Like Having A Loving Brother Or Sister.
All The Graces That Preceded, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Had To Do With One’s Own Personal Relationship With God, These Next Two, Brotherly Kindness, And Charity Has To Do With Our Relationship With Our Fellow Men And Women.
Our English Word ‘Philadelphia’ Is One Of The Better Translations Of This Phrase.
Philadelphia Means, ‘Brotherly Love.’
That Is What Simon Peter Is Portraying In The Phrase, "Brotherly Kindness."
Christianity Was Born In A World That Divided Men From One Another.
There Was Hostilities Of Race, Of Religion, Diversities Of Slave And Free Men, Huge Chasms Between Wealth And Poverty, Even The Men And Women Worshiped In Separate Quarters.
When Simon Peter Wrote This Epistle (2 Peter) Thousands Of Those Who Were Once Separated So Widely, Jews And Gentiles, Bond And Free, Rich And Poor, Both Men And Women, Had Been Called, Chosen, And Incorporated Into The Church Of God.
The Gospel Bridged Over All The Divisions, And Filled The Breach, And Brought Bond And Free, Jew And Gentile, Man And Woman, Into A Great Unity, So Deep, So Sweet, So Real, That All Antagonism Faded And Vanished.
Jesus Brought Harmony Into A World Of Divergence. He Taught That All Men Had A Common Father. "Our Father which art in heaven,.." (Matthew 6:9b.)
He Taught That A Common Relation To That Divine Father Made All The People Who Came To Him As One.
The Christian Church Today Is Known As "The Family Of God."
We Are No More Merely 'Son’s Of God' By Creation After The Flesh, But 'Sons Of God' Through The Spirit.
"Being born again, not of corruptible but of incorruptible seed, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever" (1 Peter 1:23)
Therefore We Are All, As Partakers Of This Life In Christ, Derived From One Father, ‘Brethren One Of Another.’
Jesus Brought A New Principal Into The World Which The Church Called ‘Philadelphia,’ Or Brotherly Love, Or As Simon Peter Calls It Here ,
(2 Peter 1:7)
This Grace (Brotherly Kindness) Must Not Be Taken Lightly Because It Is An Essential Part Of The True Christian Life.
John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Pity The Church That Is Not Filled With Brotherly Love.
It Seems That We Can Pray Solemnly And Do Great Works, We Can Teach And Contend For The Faith, We Can Give Generously And Show Great Zeal For God, We Can Control Our Passions And Suffer Patiently, Sooner Than We Can "Love One Another With A Pure Heart Fervently." (1 Peter 1:22)
It Is Easier For The Soul To Move Freely Towards God Than Towards Some Of His Children.
But God Will Not Endorse Our Godliness Until It Gives Proof Of Itself In Our "Unfeigned (Pretended) Love Of The Brethren." (1 Peter 1:22)
Every Sincere Loving Child Of God Must Become A Sincere And Loving Brother Or Sister.
Very Little Brotherly Love Is Possible In A Divided Church.
We Must Be Careful, Therefore That The Divisions That Affects The World Around Us Have No Place In Our Heart.
(Joseph Parker) "When As A Christian We Cultivate A Spirit Of Mutual Trust, "esteem other better than themselves" (Philippians 2:3b), When The Strong Recover And Support The Weak, When The Wise Are Patient And Gentle Towards The Feeble Minded, When We Are Careful Of Each Other’s Reputation, And Gentle Towards Another’s Infirmities, When We Are Pitiful, Long Suffering, Condescending, Self Sacrificing, Then Will Men Remember That It Is Written ‘A New commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another." (John 13:34)
Love Begins In The Christian Church And Expands In An Ever Widening Circle To Incorporate Those Around Us Who Are Not A Part Of The Christian Community.
2 Peter 1:7b. "...; and to brotherly kindness charity."
Today This Word ‘Charity’ Has Lost The True Meaning From What Simon Peter Was Referring To Here.
Today The Word ‘Charity’ Is Used In Alms Giving, Or, Giving Money, Goods, Or Of Our Time To A Worthy Cause.
The New Testament Word ‘Charity’ Means Love In The Widest Sense.
Simon Peter Goes From ‘Love Of The Brethren,’ To ‘Love Of Our Fellow Man.’
This Is The Natural Flow Of The Love Of Christ In Our Heart.
‘Brotherly Kindness’ Is The Love That The Believer Has For His Fellow-Believers,
The Spiritual Affection That The Christian Should Have For The Other Christian.
‘Charity’ Is The Love That A Christian Has For Humanity At Large,
Love That Counts No Man Outside The Reach Of God.
Christian ‘Charity,’ Or Love, Must Not Be Confined Within The Limits Of The Christian Church.
On One Occasion Jesus Gives The Definition Of "Loving Thy Neighbor," In That Great Parable Of ‘The Good Samaritan.’ (Luke 10:29-37)
According To The Jews A ‘Neighbor’ Was Any Member Of The Hebrew Race And Nation.
According To Jesus A ‘Neighbor’ Was Any Man, Irrespective Of Race, Or Religion With Whom We Chance To Meet, And That It Was Our Duty To Respond To Any Of Their Needs, And To Love Them, Even Our Enemies. (Matthew 5:44)
Love Is The Crown Of The Christian Character.
Love Gives Up-most Value To All The Graces.
Even Though Charity (Love) Is The Last On The List Of These Graces That Simon Peter Mentions, It Is By No Means The Least Among Them.
On The Contrary Charity (Love) Is The Highest Christian Achievement.
Without Love All The Other Achievements Are As Nothing.
Faith Avails Nothing, Knowledge Avails Nothing, Virtue Avails Nothing, Heroic Patience Avails Nothing, Self Sacrifice Avails Nothing, If Love Be Not The Spring It Flows From.
1 Corinthians 13:13. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
The Apostle Paul Gives Us The Key To Achieving This High Standard,
It Does Not Come By Human Endeavor But By The Power Of The Holy Ghost Which Dwells In Us.
Romans 5:5b. "...; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."
Simon Peter Sums Up His List Of Graces Which Are To Grow Out Of Our Initial Faith In The Next Two Verses (2 Peter 1:8-9) By Telling Us That They Are The Fruits Of A Christian Life. This Is The Positive Side Of Diligence.
And Then Peter Tells Us That If We Lack These Graces In Our Christian Life That We Are Blind To The Things Of God, And Have Forgotten That We Were Delivered From The Bondage Of Sin. This Is The Negative Side, Lack Of Diligence.
2 Peter 1:8. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To Withdraw A Single Grace Is To Impoverish Every Element In The Religious Life.
We Are To Practice These Graces, For There Is A Great Disadvantage In Lacking Them. ("he that lacketh these things") The 'Lacking' Here Is Not Merely Having Them In Abundance, But The Not Having Them At All.
In The Beginning Of This Chapter (2 Peter 1) Simon Peter Is Commending These People For Their Having Started In Their Walk For God. Extolling The High Position Their Faith Had Placed Them In ('Partakers Of The Divine Nature'). (2 Peter 1:3-4)
He Is Now Telling Them (2 Peter 1:9) That Unless Their Faith Develops These Graces, Virtue, Knowledge, Temperance, Patience, Godliness, Brotherly Kindness, And Charity, That They Were Blind, And Had Forgotten The Things God Had Done For Them.
There Was A Time When They Were Baptized, Cleansed From Their Old Sins, But They Had Forgotten This, And Had Not Fully Developed Their Faith.
There Is A Danger For All Of Us If We Do Not, With Diligence, Let Our Faith Expand Until All Theses Graces Which We Have Discussed, Abound In Us.
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James & Mary Lee Thornton