Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | April 15, 2015

How is Your Christian Life Working for You?

Ask Yourself a Question About You

After all, you are the world’s leading authority on you; no one else even comes close when it comes to knowing who you are and what you expect from life. Has your life met your expectations, do you feel your life has gone well or are there some loose ends you would like to address?

As an online missionary for Global Media Outreach I respond to requests for help from Christians all over the world. There often seem to be areas of concern about the nature and quality of their lives that are common to many; concerns about their failure to resist sin, feelings of fear and doubt, concerns that they are wandering away from God and no longer feel the power and joy of His presence in their lives, some even questioning if they’re saved at all.

All of these symptoms are evidence of serious spiritual malnutrition; these people are starved for spiritual food, the word of God.

It might be well to ask ourselves in the privacy of our own minds how are we faring spiritually? How do we measure up to the Biblical standard as set, for example, in Galatians 5:22-25?

“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

What percentage of your waking hours could you honestly say your life is characterized by these qualities? This is completely between you and the Lord, of course, and no one else need be told. I’m sure we would all like to say these qualities characterize our lives 100% of the time but how true would that be for you?

A Timely and Most Excellent Sermon

This past Sunday, April 12, 2015, our pastor, Barry Jeffries, preached an excellent sermon on 2 Peter 1:1-11:

“1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, 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. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Big Problem in Many Christian Lives

As you read this passage from 2 Peter you should notice the prominence of one word, knowledge.

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge

everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge

make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge

Knowledge of Bible doctrine, and the faithful application of this knowledge to one’s daily life experiences is the secret to a Spirit led life filled with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. There are no substitutes, there are no alternatives that will work!

A Vitally Important Distinction!

As Christian men and women we exist on two levels, our eternal spiritual level and our mortal earthly level. Peter addresses this distinction in verse one where he writes, “To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours

We have been given the gift of faith which has resulted in our gift of salvation; in Ephesians 2:8-9 it is written:

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

This gift of salvation is an unconditional gift and will never be taken away from us; we have been justified and forgiven by the shed blood and holy righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ and that will never change. Spiritually we have been blessed beyond measure as is pointed out in Ephesians 2:6-7:

“6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”

The mortal lives we now live on this earth are an entirely different matter; although the Lord might have called each of us home at the point of our salvation; He has chosen instead to leave us on the earth with a mission to perform. While we share certain responsibilities such as soldiers of the cross, ambassadors for Christ, Royal Priests, we each have our own special ministries given to us by our Lord and must find and pursue these ministries as enabled by our Lord.

Our Solid Foundation of Bible Knowledge

Unfortunately a solid foundation of Bible knowledge on which we can base our lives does not come automatically; it is something we must diligently and systematically work to acquire! This is why Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:15:

“15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

Would you be an effective workman for the Lord? If your answer to that question is yes then there is no substitute for studying, learning and faithfully applying Bible doctrine to your life experience every day!

Bible 006

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12


Responses

  1. David: great message…bless you!

    DE

    Like


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