THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-29-10
LESSON TITLE: “FOR IF THESE THINGS ARE YOURS AND ABOUND: GIVING ALL DILIGENCE”
Good morning! Let me welcome each of you to our program this morning. It is always a privilege to have you with us to hear the Living Word of God. We are excited that you have chosen to give this time of sacrifice to our Creator. Won’t you take advantage of every opportunity this morning to give your own reverence to the Lord, as we together offer this time of worship to Him. May all things be done, to God, for God and unto His glory? Let’s begin our offering to God with a prayer!
Now it’s time to join together in praising our God! Our first song of the morning reminds us of that wondrous day all things will truly be known. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, “Farther Along?”
(SONG # 1)
Have you ever considered that as Christians, there are some things which the Bible says we are to “get?” For example, back in Proverbs 4:7, we read, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Here we find that wisdom and understanding are things we need to get, in order that we be better equipped in the service of our Lord.
Another example of things we need to get is found in 2 Peter 1:5. In this passage Peter begins by saying, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to…,” notice those things here we are to add to or get in our Christian lives to be found more pleasing in His sight. The scripture continues like this, “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.” Wow, consider all of these things that we need to equip ourselves with and get in our lives if we are to be proper servants in His eyes. These verses go on to say that those who do such are fruitful before God, but those who don’t are short sighted. Certainly, none of us want to be shortsighted in the eyes of God!
The Apostle Paul in his letters, also talks of the many things we must “put on!” He tells us to put on Christ, the new man, the Christian armor, faith, that which is incorruptible, and so on. Again the idea is clearly presented here of studying, learning God’s Will, and “getting,” those things from it which God wants and applying them to our lives.
So what are you willing to “get,” and apply in your life for the sake of God. Will you choose today to better equip yourself and commit to doing God’s will in His Way?
As far as our main study of the day, we will be starting a new series together entitled, “For If These Things Are Yours and Abound.” In this series, we want to explore some of those Christian attributes which are required to be found faithful in God’s sight. The specific lesson today is called, “Giving All Diligence!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, we will be lead in our main thoughts of the day.
Today we are happy to have brother Kevin Patterson with us. Brother Kevin is the minister for the HWY 13 Church of Christ in Bolivar, Missouri. We thank him for being with us and look forward to him leading our main thoughts at the appropriate time. But for now let’s join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, “Footprints of Jesus.”
(SONG # 2)
By Kevin Patterson
“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.”
Good morning and thank you for staying with us this morning. We so appreciate you taking this time out of your Sunday morning to join us in a study of God’s Word and in worship to the Lord God Almighty.
This morning we are going to start a new series, a new series entitled “For If These Things Are Yours and Abound.” This is from a passage out of 2 Peter chapter 1. Just a moment ago, I read verses 5-7 which give us a list of various Christian virtues as they have been coined throughout the years that a person must have in their Christian life if they are to be found pleasing in the sight of God. Over the next several weeks we are going to take a look in detail each one of these various virtues. But this morning, we are going to start off our lesson from a phrase that is mentioned in verse 5 of 2 Peter 1 giving all diligence.
But as we begin that, let us first set the stage for our study by examining the context of this passage of scripture. It is very important for people to understand context when they are studying the Bible. It’s important to know who is doing the writing and to whom it is written. It is important to understand some of the details that will help us better apply these passages of scripture to our lives.
In 2 Peter chapter 1 beginning in verse 1 we see the first two words “Simon Peter.” That identifies the person who is writing this particular letter. It’s important to recognize that this is the same Simon Peter that denied Jesus three times when Jesus was arrested back in Matthew 26. It is also the same Peter who just days later would preach that great sermon in Acts chapter 2 on the Day of Pentecost.
We also see from our passage of scripture that Peter identifies himself in two ways. First as a bondservant. What is a bondservant? A bondservant is very simply one who is bound to serve another. They are bound in service to another. Paul would write to the churches of Galatia in Galatians chapter 1 and verse 10, “For do I now persuade men or God or do I seek to please men? For if I still please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.” Paul identifies the fact that because he is a servant of Christ, because he is bound toward that goal that he is not going to with his preaching or with his living try to please men, but ultimately first and foremost please God in heaven above.
We see that Jesus Christ who is our Master and is the One whom we serve when He lived as a man, when He took on human form, we see that He Himself demonstrated to us just exactly what a bondservant was. In that He humbled Himself to serve the Father in Heaven above.
In Philippians chapter 2 verses 5-7 Paul would write, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus who being in the form of God did not consider it robbery to be equal with God but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men.” So other disciples and other New Testament writers would imitate this attitude before God that they too would be bondservants as Peter declared himself to be in our passage.
Paul would identify himself in Romans chapter 1 and verse 1 right off the bat as a “bondservant.”
James would identify himself in James chapter 1 and verse 1 as a “bondservant.”
Jude would identify himself in the very first verse of his book as a bondservant of Jesus Christ.
So Peter identifies himself as a bondservant, but he also identifies himself as an apostle. An apostle is something that is not exactly a disciple. We can be disciples today but apostles, especially as it is used in this case, were a very few select men who were chosen to be as the word literally means “sent forth” on the mission that Jesus Christ would have them accomplish in the 1st century. So Peter describes himself as one of these select few that were chosen to ensure that the church got off on the right foot in the 1st century and was obeying the teachings of the Master.
We also see something that is mentioned there back in 2nd Peter chapter 1. I want you to, if you have your Bible, to follow along with me as we notice in this passage of scripture that Peter writes in the first verse this letter to a group of Christians. How do we know that? Well notice to whom he was writing. He says, “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
First and foremost, we recognize that he is writing to a group of people who have like precious faith. What is significant about that? Well the Bible teaches in passages like Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 5 that “There is one faith.” And that faith, in Romans 10 and verse 17 “comes from hearing the Word of God.” So it’s no wonder that when Jude would write his letter in Jude verse 3 that he would write, “While I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once and for all delivered to the saints.” Notice that he didn’t say, “Contend earnestly for a faith or one of many faiths.” He said, “I want you to contend earnestly for the faith.” So in other words, this faith which comes from God’s Word that can bring salvation to the life of a sinner, this faith is what Jude was saying to contend for, and it’s this faith about which we need to be earnest and diligent in our lives.
Paul would write in Philippians chapter 1 and verse 27, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
We see in 2 Peter chapter 1 and verse 2, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Notice here that he mentions that “grace and peace would be multiplied” to them. These are some of the blessings that we find in Christ.
Those who are outside of Christ do not have the grace of God. They do not have the peace that comes by being one with the Savior. But to those who have been added to the body of Christ, and those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb and washed clean, saved from their sins, to these people grace is extended and they have a peace that passes all understanding.
Ephesians chapter 1 and verse 3 teaches us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”
We continue on with our passage in verse 3 as His divine nature has given to us everything, given to us all things that pertain to us life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” We read in this passage of scripture that it is through the Bible, through the scripture, through the teachings of God’s Word, through the Word that can make us whole that we have been given, and Peter wrote this in the 1st century. In the 1st century we had been given all things that pertain to life, and godliness, all things that help us to live and all things that help us to live in the life to come.
1 Timothy 2 verses 3-4 reads, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Jesus would pray in John 17 and verse 17 to the Father, “Set them apart by Your Truth. Your Word is Truth.”
In verse 4 of our passage, “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.”
We read in passages like Romans chapter 3 and verse 23 that, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Just three chapters later in chapter 6 and verse 23 of the same book, Paul would write to the church at Rome, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We see in this passage of scripture that we are reminded of the fact that because we have sinned at some point in time we have faced separation from God. But for those who are saved, for those who are added to the body of Christ, those who look forward to an eternity, an eternal reward with God in heaven above, we are thankful for these things.
Now as we take a look at verse 5 of our passage you will notice that it begins the sentence on that condition. Verse 5 reads of 2 Peter chapter 1, “But also for this very reason that you once were sinners, for the very reason that Jesus Christ humbled Himself, took on the form of a man and died on the cross, for the very reason He paid the price that you could not pay, and for the very reason that He offers us through His blood eternal life in heaven one day, because of this reason, for this very reason giving all diligence add to your faith virtue and to your virtue knowledge…” and on and on and on as we will get into in later weeks.
Notice the phrase though “giving all diligence.” What is diligence? The definition of diligence is easily defined as “constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken, persistent exertion of body or mind.” In other words, you’re excited about something. You’re dedicated to something. You’re going to give it your all and not let up.
Most all of my children have played basketball at one time or another and I have coached most all of them at basketball at one time or another and it is always fun to play in the game. It is always fun to make the winning shot. It is always fun to be the guy who takes the ball and dribbles down the court ahead of the other team and shoots a layup and makes two points. That’s always fun, but there is something that precedes that. There’s something also that comes after that game. It is called practice. It is practice where you run up and down the court. Its practice where you practice dribbling and you practice passing, and you practice shooting. You do this day in and day out, and day in and day out. A lot of people are excited the day that they are saved! They are excited the day somebody brings them the message, the saving message of Jesus Christ. They’re excited about that moment in time when they are washed clean from their sins. But the Bible teaches us that we have to continue in that same level of excitement. We have to continue in diligence. We have to continue being earnest and caring enough about what has happened to us that we will grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches us that we need to be diligent in hearing the words of God and obeying them.
The great passage of scripture in Proverbs chapter 4 and verses 20-27 where the writer wrote, “My son, give attention to my words. Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes. Keep them in the midst of your heart for they are light for those who find them. And health to all their flesh. Keep your heart with all diligence for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put perverse lips far from you. Let your eyes look straight ahead and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet and let all your ways be established.” Listen to verse 27. “Do not turn to the right or the left. Remove your foot from evil.”
We need to be diligent about listening to God. We need to be diligent students of the Bible. We need to read and study and try to apply those things in our lives so that we can obey them.
I want you also to consider the importance of diligently loving one another and serving the Lord. Paul would write in Romans chapter 12 verses 10-11, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love. In honor giving preference to one another, not lacking in diligence, fervent in spirit serving the Lord.”
You know it is easy to be nice to one another when one another is nice to us. It is easy for us to love others when they first love us, but the Bible teaches us we need to be the ones who are diligent concerning this care. We need to be the ones concerning sharing and demonstrating and living a loving relationship with others. We need to put our first step forward so that we can then be pleasing in the eyes of God, and that helps us to serve Him as well. Giving honor to one another also helps us to fulfill the honor that we give to God by respecting His Word and His wishes for our lives. We are not to, as Paul would write, “lag” or fall behind or slow down in diligence, but just the opposite. We need to speed up. We need to grow up in His ways. The Bible also teaches us that we need to be diligent in faithfulness and hope until the end.
Hebrews chapter 6 verses 11-12 read, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end so that you do not become sluggish but imitate those that through faith and patience inherit the promises.”
Now think about that. Think about the desire that the Hebrew writer would mention here. Think about this desire that each one of you that every Christian be diligent, not just at the beginning of your salvation, but all the way through your life as you enter into that eternal salvation one day. Don’t become sluggish. Don’t slow down. Don’t give up. Don’t give in to the pressures of the world but rather be consistent and try as the Lord will help you to be even better in the attitude that you have and the actions that you have and even the words that you speak day after day. Be diligent.
2 Peter 1 and verse 8 will read, “For if these things are yours and abound, you will neither be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Let’s don’t give up. Let’s be diligent each and every day.
(SONG # 3 - “Give Me The Bible!”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this worship to God!
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Are we diligently committed to living as God commands and to obeying His perfect Word? If not, let’s do our best to get right with our Creator today, that we might receive His promised blessing and rewards.