Monday, January 7, 2013

reverse engineering with Jesus

2 Peter 1:3-11

10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you
Here's where we want to go.
How do we get there?

Let's rewind to verse 3 and plow through until we arrive back at verses 10-11.
I want you to see how this passage builds and crescendos into this glorious finale’.
3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.
So much good stuff here.
HIS DIVINE POWER – Jesus has power in Himself. It is omnipotence. There is no power greater than His.
HAS GIVEN US – Jesus has provided us something by His power. Does His power fall short? No. He CAN do whatever He desires. Where there is His will, there is a way paved by Christ.
EVERYTHING REQUIRED – We have been given the whole package. There is nothing God is holding back. Do not fall for the lie of Satan first thrust upon Eve in the Garden. God has not withheld any good thing from us in Christ.
FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS – For this life and the life to come. For security of salvation and direction for today’s duties. To save our souls and to become more like Him. We can live instead of die. We can be living instead of dying. Do you see the importance of the distinction being made? Both are beautiful gifts we have because of Jesus.
THROUGH KNOWLEDGE OF HIM – This is eternal life: knowing God by faith in Jesus. We have everything we need to live if we have Him. The one who has nothing but God has everything. The one who has everything but God has nothing.
WHO CALLED US BY HIS OWN GLORY AND GOODNESS – This bookends this brilliant truth. He has called us and used His power to give us His everything for the sake of His glory and by His goodness. Do you see a theme developing here? He is the Pioneer and Perfector of our faith. He starts and ends it. In other words, “I am the Alpha and the Omega.” That’s “A to Z” in Greek for those playing at home.
4 By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires.
BY THESE - By His glory and goodness, He has given us a promise. On what firmer foundation could a promise stand? We take oaths by swearing on our mother’s graves or placing our hands on a Bible. God confirms His promise by writing the Bible and backing it up by His glory and goodness. If you can find fault in His glory or goodness, you may have reason to worry that His promise may not come to pass. But if He is Who He says He is, then His promises are as sure as He is God.
SO THAT THROUGH THEM - Through this promise, the fulfillment of salvation in Jesus alone, we share in holiness. Because we share in holiness, we should separate ourselves from the dirt in which we used to play so freely before. We are not less free now. We are freer. Freed from a former life and free under God. Before we were slaves of sin and enemies of God. Now we are freed from sin and sons of God. Live as children. Free under the Father and faithful to Him as God.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge,6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness,7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.9 The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.

FOR THIS VERY REASON – You have to have been paying attention in order for these verses to be applied accurately. If you have not been paying attention, you will see a long list of chores you fail at regularly. If you are not anchored to the foundation Peter has so beautifully laid down, you will float away into despair or pride. You will drift passed the essential and turn the effect into the cause.

These verses tell us how to BE the people we already ARE in Jesus. These are not instructions on how to become a child of God. That would be like giving an embryo instructions on how to become born. The baby is passive in the act of childbirth. Ask any mother. If anything, the baby is an obstacle to their own birth. They do more to make the process more difficult than more pleasant.

BE who you ARE. Why do you live again in slavery to the old man who you put to death in Christ by crucifying that old man on the cross with Jesus and drowning him in the waters of baptism that you may arise one reborn and renewed. Do not live like you did. Live like you’re His.

After all of this, we finally arrive at the verses with which I opened our time together today:

10 Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble.11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you

Today we can live for God because Jesus died for us We were chosen and elected to eternal life by Jesus. He pulled us out of who and where we were to make us something else somewhere else. We do not force God to choose us. We do not run for office. We are not elected as a result of polls or politicking.

Blessed assurance is found in being today who you are in Jesus before God. If you do these things, you will confirm your calling and election. You will rest soundly in the rest of Christ. You will find strength and hope and joy to serve and love your neighbor because their response is not your aim. You can be mistreated and unappreciated because Your Savior overlooked your mistreatment of Him and the unappreciative life of ingratitude you led and still lead. You can be taken advantage of because God has forgiven your attempts to take advantage of Him. Be who you already Are. Do not try and work harder to become. Surrender in faith to Who He is and is for you in Jesus.

 11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.

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