Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Second Part

The first part is faith. Visit yesterday’s blog if you’ve arrived here without “getting” the first part. We’re spending time with Peter’s second letter. In the first verse he introduces himself, and those to whom the letter is addressed:

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: (2 Peter 1:1 KJV)

Peter addresses the faithful, those who have expressed publicly their faith in God and have accepted the gift of salvation through His son, our savior, Jesus Christ. Without that faith, the rest of this instruction might not make sense:

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;  (2 Peter 1:5a KJV)

Changes come with the acceptance of God’s gift of grace through faith. If not, there is no growth. That thread runs through the entire Bible. Our relationship with God sets us on path that diverges from ourselves and leads to Him.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Others will notice the changes we make:

That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: (1 Peter 4:2-4 KJV)

Jesus refers to this as being born again, back to yesterday’s visit with Nicodemus:

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. (John 3:3-7 KJV)

Paul, for all of his long discourse, puts this succinctly in one verse:

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV)

The changes come from the inside and are seen by others. If no change:

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (James 3:14-15 KJV)

If there are no changes following a profession of faith, how will people know we follow Jesus? How can we know what needs to be changed in the first place? That’s The Third Part.

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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)