Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Letter For You

People don’t write letters any more. At least most people don’t.  I don’t. Most of my correspondence is via e-mail or a messaging system. I will not, however, abbreviate words. It’s hard enough to get a message across without eye contact, facial expression or body language, therefore I will be very careful about the words I select – especially here. I think Peter’s words are just as selected when he wrote to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: in 2 Peter 1:1

He was an eye witness to Jesus’ three years of ministry, and he wanted that witness to be available, so he wrote a letter to you and to me, and told us why he wrote:

Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. (2 Peter 1:15-16 KJV)

It was verses before these that our pastor used Wednesday night, beginning with 1 Peter 1:5 and continuing through steps of Christian growth.  I believe those words were specifically in order:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;

It is faith that saves us through God’s grace. Without that faith, we remain unsaved. With only that faith, we do not grow and we do not bear fruit. To bear good fruit we need to understand a virtuous life and attempt to live that virtue as we learn more. A Christian should continue to grow through the following:

and to virtue knowledge;

We need to increase our knowledge through God’s word. It holds the inspired memories of many people, written over hundreds of years, yet still describes a singular God. The more we learn about Him, the better we understand where we fit in His plan.

And to knowledge temperance;

There it is – and it does not pertain to prohibition – self-control. As our faith, virtue and knowledge grow, we come to understand that self-control, tempering our actions and reactions, leads to a more secure life here as well as preparing us for eternity.

and to temperance patience;

Sometimes patience is the hardest, for it responds to things beyond ourselves.  Up to this point, we could work on our own, but patience requires being with others. We need that patience to move on to:

and to patience godliness;

Wow, shouldn’t that be last?  Here it is with two more to follow, and it comes directly after patience. Hmmm. Think if we try to skip patience that it will be extremely difficult to work toward godliness? And, without godliness, we can’t move forward:

And to godliness brotherly kindness;

That truly is more difficult than godliness.  God is good.  Our human brothers, more often than not, aren’t. See why it follows both patience and godliness?

and to brotherly kindness charity.

As Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:13, Peter understands that the greatest, at the top of the list, is charity. He also knows that:

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. (2 Peter 1:5-8 KJV)

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Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)