What Does It Mean to Add to Your Faith? (2 Peter 1: 5-11) – Larry Fife

  • Virtue (Joshua 1:9)
  • Knowledge (2 Timothy 2:15)
  • Temperance (Titus 2:2)
  • Patience (James 1:2-4)
  • Godliness (1 Timothy 6:6)
  • Brotherly Kindness (Ephesians 4;32)

What does it mean to add to your faith? can we add to something that we already have the Bible tells us without faith that it’s impossible to please God we understand that our faith comes from hearing the Word of God Romans 10:17 so then faith cometh by hearing hearing by the Word of God the Bible also tells us that we are to grow in our faith but how do we add to that which we already have we know that when we become Christians that step that we take towards salvation is built upon faith in a trust in understanding what God has done for us it helps us to put forth that trust and walking forward right that we’re walking in faith and knowing that God is present and walking with us well there’s a particular verse that we can look at that we looked at in our scripture reading 2nd Peter chapter 1 verses 5 through 11 and Peter says that we can add to our faith and we can build upon our faith that will help us to walk worthy in Christ and so that’s what I want us to focus on for just a few moments today as we understand what it means to add to our faith there are 8 of those these forming this perfect spiritual kind of concept that called the the Christian Grace’s that we can add upon these things to increase and walk forward and our faith is what Peter’s explaining to us and the individual who possesses all of these things Peter says remembers where he came from remembers what Jesus Christ did for him and that’s why in Matthew 5 and verse 48 it tells us to be ye therefore perfect even as your father in heaven which is also perfect so in understanding these things Peter says if you don’t forget where you’re coming from and who you used to be it helps us to never forget and it helps us to increase in that faith so what we need to fully understand in adding these Christian Grace’s to our faith is what Peter says at the beginning verse five that giving all diligence add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and a knowledge temperance and temperance patience and to patience brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love or charity depending on the version that you have so in understanding these things these are going to build one upon each other and so let’s walk through these for just a few moments that we have together today and knowing what it means to fully understand and aiding us in our Christian Grace’s what Peter means to give all diligence and adding that to our faith so there’s no amount of effort time or money that Peter says that should be spared and adding these Christian Grace’s to our faith and increasing our faith so when Peter says giving all diligence to add to your faith these specific concepts for these ideas or these Christian Grace’s as they’re often referred to Peter says there’s no amount of energy amount of money amount of time that you have to put into it to increase your faith because on that you’re building upon a foundation that Jesus Christ says is steadfast ensure that you’re not going to lose your face so all of these Grace’s are virtues the Bible says in verse 8 are to abound in our heart giving all diligence adding to our faith the constant and giving effort in that so the attitude of how little must I give or how little must I do has to be thrown out the window there’s no procrastination really as what Peter is saying here because the problem with procrastination is if we procrastinate too long we don’t know when the Lord is going to return let me ask you this question if the Lord were to return right now would you be on a shadow of a doubt go and be with him well if you’re struggling in your faith here’s the premise and the idea is that you can add these things to help increase your faith through trying times through difficulties even through good times that you can add and build upon these things to strengthen your faith because the thing is the stronger we are in our faith the more tools we have to fight off that who and those individuals who are against us that being the devil and so we can’t also ask the question how how you services can I attend or how little can I do is all of these things are virtues of faith that Peters talking about here so notice again in verse eight if we cultivate these virtues Peter says then we’re going to be fruitful that we’re going to increase in what God is calling of us that will be making our calling and election sure because that’s what we want to build upon making our calling and election sure and so however we fail to develop these Christian Grace’s were spiritually blind and have forgotten that we’ve been purged from our sins Peter says so if you’ve forgotten and adding these things to your faith of knowing that where you came from Peter says you forget what Jesus Christ did for you and so this results in us falling back into our old sinful practices and that is something of which we have to be careful and so for us to add these virtues we want to look at these individually but first let’s understand the concept of grace now faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen the Bible tells us again Hebrews 11 and verse 6 but without faith it is impossible to please him for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and then he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him our faith is the rock of our salvation it’s putting a complete and total trust in God and Jesus Christ His Son it’s what everything else is built upon and to have the proper foundation we must have faith in our God because of what he did for us and so he can who thinks he can we’ve used to hear my basketball coach say that all the time he can who thinks he can so if we know and walking in this life as we Traverse whatever we’re going through whether it’s good or bad I know that I can do these things because the Bible tells me in Philippians 2:13 that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me why because I have faith I’ve put my faith in God Christians are to have a high estimate of what they can do through Christ because of Christ so as I’m building upon that faith the first thing that Peter talks about here in 2nd Peter chapter 1 beginning verse 5 and giving diligence and zeal and effort towards that is virtue well today this word virtue means purity but here’s the thing in 2nd Peter 1 in verse 5 that’s not what Peter’s talking about what Peter’s talking about is a moral courage we know the Bible tells us and the the Sermon on the Mount that Jesus records for us in Matthew chapter 5 I think it’s around verse 9 or verse 8 that says we’re to be pure and harmed or that were to be pure in the word Ephesians 4:29 or that were to be pure indeed first Peter 2 verses 1 & 2 but what it means to have virtue and moral courage is what’s used here in Joshua when in verse 9 it says be strong and of good courage remember who Joshua was talking to during this time they just lost their leader Joshua was stepping up in his place you know that had to be a difficult time for him but as we see Joshua grow in his faith and strength and courage because he knew that God was walking with him what is Joshua saying Joshua 24 he knew who he served he knew he would he was going to continue to serve because he had the virtuous understanding he had courage a moral courage because of God he said be strong and of good courage be not afraid neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee wherever you go and so in understanding that I have courage as I walk this life that I know that God is with me as Jesus said that he was the Good Shepherd and that we don’t have to fear what man can do unto me knowing that God is with me that he’s walking with me every step of the way gives me courage to build upon my faith to have those virtuous that virtuous concept of what it means to put our trust in God Peter goes on to say that not only having a good moral courage and understanding in your faith we also have to have knowledge knowledge is extremely important for us because knowledge of Bible truth makes us free John 8:32 and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free the only thing that frees us from our past is not only Jesus Christ but also using his word to direct us in our steps and in our past psalm 119:105 and through knowledge we come to know the father right john 6 verses 44 through 45 one of the things we have to remember is that ignorant is tragic it really is remember what what Jesus Bible says in Isaiah and he says that his people were destroyed for a lack of knowledge he goes on to say because you rejected me I’ll also reject you his people were destroyed because they didn’t have a knowledge of who their God was and unfortunately we see the same thing happening in society today don’t we our knowledge is being our society is being destroyed because they lacking knowledge a basic understanding of knowing who Jesus is there was a Pew Forum survey that was done several several years ago with some graduating seniors I think this was maybe the late 90s or early 2000s and that most graduating seniors I think if I remember correctly the Pew Research said that seventy that 80% didn’t even know the Gospels couldn’t name the four Gospels or that they thought that Joan of Joan of Arc was was married to Noah so when we think about some of these basic things that were supposed to understand and know it’s sad that most of society doesn’t know the Bible most unfortunately leaned upon their so-called pastors or priests or whatever the case might be but what we have to know is that God gives us the answer and his word that we can know the Bible alike that we can understand his word and so ignorant will cause one to err from truth Matthew 22 and verse 29 the only way that we prevent ourselves from earning is through knowing God’s Word 2nd Timothy 2:15 tells us the study to show ourselves approved unto who man know study the self to show ourself approved unto God a workman that needed not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth so study means a diligent effort again going back to what Peter says in 2nd Peter 1 verses chapter 1 verse 5 my brethren giving all diligence all effort putting your courage putting forth the F with zeal and knowing that you have to have good moral courage as you’re adding to your faith but you’ve got to be knowledgable in knowing that and so in understanding this ignorance helps us to not err and to walk away from God again we talked about in Hebrews chapter 2 and verse 1 and in our Bible class today that we’ve got to give a more earnest heed to the things that we’ve heard because if we don’t we’re going to slip and fall away from God we’re gonna walk backwards rather than walking to him and so I’ve got to add knowledge I’ve got to know what God’s Word is not only do we have to have a knowledge and understanding of God’s Word we also have to add temperance well maybe perhaps your version says self-control giving all virtue adding to virtue knowledge and a knowledge temperance or self-control self-control is applied and should be applied in every area and in every aspect of the Christians life and sometimes we know that self-control is difficult most people know from the Carey congregation that I have an affinity for Oreo cookies and so to avoid that temptation I don’t keep them in the house but saying something in short like that is not to negate the problems that we do truly struggle with when it comes to self-control maybe it was the sin that you left behind to become a Christian maybe it’s something that you continue to struggle with right now that you’re struggling with some form of self-control but the Bible tells us that we can have courage with temperance we can determine how strong our faith is and better adjust and evaluate those things that we need to work on to ensure that I don’t fall backwards into that sin and so when I add moral courage and virtue when I grow in God’s Word right inward indeed when I add upon those things that God wants me to learn I can go to his word when I’m struggling with self-control and it helps me to build up my faith it’s going to help me to increase my faith the next thing that Peter says we’ve got to add to our faith or work on to increase our faith is is patience and so when we think about patients we think about James 1 verses 2 through 4 and perhaps you struggle with patients just as much as I do or anyone else we struggle with patients when we’re sitting in traffic when we’re dealing with our children perhaps when we’re dealing with customers or we’re dealing with our jobs patients it’s something in which God always wants us to work on but the reason God wants us to work upon those things is because we have to have patience and knowing that God is going to send Jesus Christ that God will return and call us all home in 2nd Peter 3 and verse 9 you recall that Peter said in relation to those individuals that were struggling and wanting to know when God was going to return Peter said the Lord’s not slack concerning his promise he’s not going to negate what he told you he’s not going to go back on his promise but it’s not going to be according to our schedules you see we run by schedules in our society don’t we where we want everything done not now we want it done yesterday we have instant coffee and we can pay for things instantly now it’s so fast and in many ways it’s certainly convenient but at the same time we long for things to go faster well we don’t know when the bots when in when Jesus is going to return the Bible says that that G that the Bible or the rather that God will return as a thief in the night so we don’t know when that day is going to come but we also have to ensure that we don’t lose patience in knowing that he’s going to return so when Peter says my you know not to count slack those things that God promises that he doesn’t work upon our timetable God wants us all to be saved but we got to remember that God has a plan and so when we’re building upon our faith patience is important again in James 1 verses 2 through 4 it says brethren count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations knowing that the trying of your faith that upon which your wanting to build and add to knowing that the trying of your faith works patience but let patience have our perfect work that you may be perfect and entire wanting nothing there’s several areas that we need to exercise patience and I know this is true for me certainly in our homes perhaps we’re inpatient with things such as our spouses or our children or your dogs or whatever the case might be and I can pretty much say that we’re probably struggling with patience right now with what we’re having to deal with worth having to stay at home and not being able to get out as much as we would like and being confined to a particular area I’m sure we struggle with understanding patience but it’s something that we have to work on maybe perhaps we’re struggling in patience in soul winning maybe it’s not happening as fast as we want someone to understand the truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ we’ve got to have patience sometimes it takes a while for people to fully grasp but they’ve got to understand the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ maybe you’re struggling with patience when it comes to being persecuted maybe it’s in a particular job or position or something you’re dealing with in your family because you’re a Christian we’ve got to have patience and staying steadfast and true to stay the course so we don’t fall away or maybe you’re just struggling with yourself maybe you’re struggling with your faith in trying to increase that that you don’t think you have the patience to stay the course but I promise you if you add these things if you continue to grow in these things then you also never forget where you came from remember the person that you used to be most of us can look back to who we were before we became Christians and go I don’t want to go there that’s not the person I want to be if you’re watching today and you’ve fallen back into who you used to be remember that you can continue to walk forward it’s going to take time and patience perhaps to get out of the hole that you’re in now but it doesn’t mean you can’t get out of it it just means you have to have patience and knowing that it’s going to take time Peter says then we have to have godliness this is means God likeness to be like God to be like Christ Jesus is the one who personified God right to have ever to have even seen Christ was to see God John 14 and verse 9 and so we are to live godly lives the Bible instructs that we are to be men of God to be godlike that is the best we can we’re not God we’re never going to be Christ we’re not perfect like Christ but that’s to be to walk and to have those virtues and knowledge of understanding who God is to have the self-control that Jesus had and the patience that Jesus had when he dealt with those individuals who denied him or who rejected him or who didn’t believe in him and so to be like Christ to have that mind of Christ Philippians 2 in verse 5 to think like him is what it means to have godliness Peter also says that we’ve got to add brotherly kindness the church is God’s family first timothy 3:15 and being members of God’s family we are all brethren therefore we should practice brotherly kindness but maybe we need to understand first the definition of kindness kindness is being gentle kindness is being benign and gracious and mild and pleasant not only in our brethren in the Lord’s church but also to the world it’s the opposite of being harsh hard or bitter the Bible says that love is kind first Corinthians 13 and verse 4 be kind to one another tender-hearted it says in Ephesians 4 and verse 32 so the Bible is instructing us what it means to be kind but the fruit of the Spirit is gentleness Galatians 5 in verse 22 sometimes we have to dig deep within ourselves when we’re struggling in this life to be kind to other people but certainly it says to add brotherly kindness and because we are God’s family again first Timothy chapter 3 and being members of it we’re all brethren therefore God instructs us that we’ve got to continue to practice brotherly kindness we’ve got to treat each other gently and compassionately and lovingly because when we think about what charity is or love that Peter talks about this is an extremely important concept the final thing that Peter instructs us to add to our faith after adding all of those other Christian graces the last thing that he mentions is the word love this is the crowning virtue of those Christian Grace’s first Corinthians 13 in verse 13 says but the greatest of these is love 1st Corinthians 13 we know is the chapter of love right love is patient kind it doesn’t boast itself it’s not pretentious all of those things that the Bible talks about about everything we are to have certainly were to have love among ourselves were to express the concept of love because we love each other the Bible tells us by this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another the world is going to see you reflect Jesus in the way that we love each other and so love is an extremely important aspect to add to our faith areas in which love is to operate first and foremost the Bible tells us in Matthew 22 and verse 37 that we are to love God we know that God loved us first right John 3:16 for God so loved the world that He gave he offered his son to stand in our stead that we might be forgiven he was that propitiation that perfect sacrifice for us that we might be relieved from our past sins Ephesians 5:25 tells us that we’re to love the church why because Jesus Christ is the head of the church because we are the body of the church of which Jesus Christ is the head over so love is important for us to add to our faith we’re to love God’s Word 2nd Thessalonians 2 and verse 10 why because it instructs us it guides us God is talking to us he’s penned a love letter to us so why would we not want to read that which God has given because we know it’s instructing us every step of the way the Bible also tells us in Ephesians 5:22 through 33 that were to love our families the whole concept of church is family and so the core of what the church is is family and so we have to make sure that we’re loving our family that we’re teaching our children the paths of righteousness right that we don’t let them sling a slip away and fall away and being perverse generation that we read about in the Old Testament the Bible tells us that we’re to love the Brethren Hebrews 13 and verse 1 says let brotherly love continue so even if that brother says something or hurt you in some particular way you have to express you have to show love towards them why because it’s something upon which our faith is built but the Bible also tells us that we’re to love the Lost were to seek those that are lost the Bible tells us in Luke 19 and verse 10 that Jesus came to seek and to save those that were lost Jesus loved lost souls it’s evident by the way that he treated individuals that came to hear him those that came to sit down when the Pharisees accused him of eating with sinners jesus said these are the individuals that need the Great Physician and so obtaining these Christian Grace’s determines the difference between eternity in heaven or eternity in hell and so we make the choice the Bible says we stand in that fork in the road that Jesus records for us in Matthew 7:13 and 14 we make and determine the path that we want to walk if we choose to walk the wide way you can cast all of these Christian Grace’s and forget anything that I said why because none of these things are going to matter if you choose to walk the way of the world because the world doesn’t care about these things on the surface maybe perhaps it will give you an idea but the world doesn’t care what you’re adding to yourself and growing the world says you have to be all about yourself forget everybody else well if you’re going to add these Christian Grace’s it means you have to love other people it means you have to be patient with human beings and mankind it means you have to love your brother or sister even perhaps when they’re not loving you back and so when we think about standing at that fork in the road if we want to take the narrow path that Jesus is talking about the difficult way for us to walk that path we’ve got to add these things to our faith we walk by faith and not by sight we don’t always see and understand that which God is doing things for us in this world perhaps we’re not understanding what’s taking place right now perhaps it it makes us anxious perhaps we want answers but in adding to our faith helps us to put our faith in God knowing that God is in control have you obtained these have you added these things to your faith are you lacking any of these which Peter speaks of if you are I encourage you to stay in God’s Word to add these things to work on these things but I can also tell you this it’s it’s not always easy it requires time it’s not going to happen overnight these are things upon which you have to continue to work that you have to continue to build upon these things we don’t become Christians after we stand out of that come out of that watery grave of baptism we don’t automatically have all of these things remember Peter said giving all diligence add to your faith a constant effort so I pray that you continue to strive and adding these things to your faith if you’re struggling with these things stop and ask yourselves why are you struggling in that particular area what is it that’s causing you to struggle in adding more of that to your faith that building block that you need if you’re struggling with something and you need prayers if you want the prayers of the church here at Carey if you need support we certainly ask that you call us I ask you can email me at minister at Carey Co Co org I would love to pray for you but also that if you’ve never experienced what it’s like to be a Christian you have to add these things to your faith as you begin your new walk in Christ and if you choose that today if you’re making that decision if you have questions about what you need to do let me tell you the steps of salvation that God gives us those things that help us to begin walking and adding to our faith we first have to have a faith in a belief in what God is talking to us right so then faith comes by hearing hearing by the Word of God so you’ve heard God’s Word today and if you believe that word mark 16:15 in 16 the Bible says then you must take that step towards choosing to be a different person the idea of repentance is changing who we used to be which brings about the change of our heart for as a man thinking then heart so is he proverbs 23 and verse 7 so if you’re ready to repent the Bible says Jesus demands and says we’ve got to confess who he is as the Son of God Matthew 10:32 but jesus also says because we have the choice that we can choose to reject him and in Matthew 10 33 jesus said if you reject me then I’ll reject you before my father in heaven I will deny you but you see because you’re taking that step towards your eternity the Bible says that we’ve got to be washed in that watery grave of baptism have our past forgiven Peter stood up and said if you want to be forgiven as they ask the question what must we do to be saved Peter said repent every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins not only do we repent but we also have to be washed in that watery grave of baptism so Peter said repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of those sins 1st Peter 3:21 that says the like figure went to baptism is what saves us and so today if you want to be saved if you want to be forgiven if you want to walk down that path to build upon your faith I encourage you to do that so if you need to do that please contact us here at the Kerry Church of Christ you can email me at minister at kerry CO CO org or you can call us here at our church building and we’ll be happy to assist you in any way that we can I pray you continue to walk with God I pray you continue to stay strong in these times but I pray you also continue to stay strong and adding to your faith knowing that it’s not easy but that you can do it thank you for tuning in today and may God bless you [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] 370 370 [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] [Applause] [Music] brothers and sisters let us pray Heavenly Father would come to you now in the best manner we have to us we ask that you watch over all of us scattered as we are we ask that you watch over those who are seeing us through this epidemic watch those treating the sick watch those looking for solutions to it grant them your wisdom and your strength they all need it desperately please father watch over all of us we need your strength to get through this time when we can’t be together when he hit more than ever father please watch over Larry as he tends to our needs in this challenging time watch over his family please be with him as he delivers his lesson today father please forgive us of our sins well we know we sin daily and strengthen us help us endure until we can be back in each other’s company again go with us always and she Jesus name Amen you

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