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In the opening greeting of 2 Peter. A book that has been argued was not written by him for the mere fact that the content within in places a large burden upon those that call themselves “Christian” and yet do not reflect the lifestyle requirements placed within this letter. Peter lays out how things change within someone as they “escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
So having left the desires of lust behind, what begins to take its place? First of you become more diligence in your pursuit of godliness. This is done through faith in Jesus Christ, which gives you virtue. Form the virtue you gain knowledge. With this knowledge you gain temperance, which also instills patience. From this patience rises godliness which leads to brotherly kindness which leads to charity.
What is listed above is covered in 2 Peter 1:3-7, but we need to take a look at each of these items listed of how when you accept Jesus as your Savior you will see and act differently.
First off is “diligence,” for with your love for Christ you will seek to be a true reflection of Jesus and to do that you must be hardworking in your faith.
Diligence – spoude – diligence, earnestness, enthusiasm.
So you should in your faith have enthusiasm and earnestness in seeking to be a better image of Christ, which is faith and belief in Him or like I said above, hardworking.
Now since you have gained strong faith in Christ it leads you into “virtue.”
Virtue – arête – virtue, moral excellence, perfection, goodness, a gracious act, uprightness.
So with strong faith you seek to avoid sin and strive toward perfection which is Christ. From this reflection of Jesus you are striving to achieve you gain knowledge, which is taught within the Bible.
Knowledge – gnosis – knowledge, doctrine, wisdom.
From what you have learned from reading the Bible this leads you into “temperance.”
Temperance – egkrateia – self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, continence
With temperance you learn to limit your exposure to those things that can distract and turn you for your enthusiasm and makes it so you do not let the world dominate you with its lusts. It lust for those things that are the world. Examples: sports, television, alcohol, material possessions. For when you spend more time with these things than with God through His Son Jesus Christ you cannot achieve the goals we are studying in this article.
Once you accomplish getting into a temperate life you learn “patience.”
Patience – hupomone – endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for.
Then once you are steadfast in your faith this leads to “godliness.”
Godliness – eusebeia – piety (towards God), godliness, devotion, godliness. Piety – the quality of being religious or reverent.
With your devotion toward God solidly in place this allows you to have “brotherly kindness.”
Brotherly kindness – philadelphia – brotherly love, love of Christian brethren.
This leads toward a love of your fellow Christians, not of those of the world, but of those that are like yourself, which causes you to be charitable to them.
Charity – agape – love, benevolence, good will, esteem.
A charity that is love for those that wish to strive to seek God as you do.
This is not how this is taught in many places. Many say we are to love all, but that is not what is taught in this message. We are to seek out our fellows in Christ and in love help them to achieve these changes so that they may become a more pure reflection of our Savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 1:8 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. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
It can only change if you change the way someone thinks.
But how is this done?
In the book of Mark it is made clear that the heart of humans is corrupt and that only evil can come from it.
Then how can you change the way someone thinks if only corruption can be found within them?
They must be willing to ask something better than themselves into their hearts, but what is it that can be better than a human?
Other people? No, for all humans are corrupt.
Laws made by humans? No, for it came from humans.
At this point many say then there is nothing left.
Sorry, wrong answer.
God is real, His teachings are real, His Son is real and He walked amongst us so that He could first hand understand just how corrupt we humans are.
He never sinned even though He felt their temptation. He died in our place. For every single person that wishes to accept Him as their Savior, and once they have done so we change. We are born again. Not into a new body, but within our very soul.
No longer is the self the top priority, but those about us are and only after God. For placing God first we understand that we must place all others before ourselves and when doing so the self becomes unimportant.
And so the world can start to change.
What is sad is that more and more refuse to listen to this. More and more embrace their own desires, their own lusts and so in some cases terrible thinks to place. Murders, theft, the killing of the innocent. All because most only think of and care only for themselves.
Selfishness is as the core of all the evils humans are capable of, and only Jesus Christ can change that and thus the world.
Turn from your sins, repent and turn away to live in sin no more and learn how to think in a new and glorious way that give honor unto the creator of everything — God.
When you ask Jesus to come into your life you change. This is something many have not experienced yet they say they have Jesus into their life.
There is a singer songwriter I once met. He was in a world famous hard rock band. He used drugs, he drank alcohol and he enjoyed the company of many a groupie. One day he reached a low point in his life and upon that day He asked Christ into his life. The next day when he awoke he no longer was addicted to drugs, alcohol made him want to vomit and he became faithful to his wife. He now writes and sings about God and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the most extreme example I know that shows how instantaneously and complete Jesus coming into your life can be.
In my own life I remember entering into the age of accountability at thirteen and seeing the boy I had been no longer exist. I become a liar and I lusted after women and thought only of myself and my own needs and desires. Not caring if I hurt anyone. When I accepted Jesus into my life I knew form the moment it happened to this very day that the boy I had been to the age of twelve was now the man I am today. I could really see the change in my personality back to the one I had before the age of accountability came upon me.
If you think you have asked Christ into your life and yet you are exactly the same. Still living a life filled with sins as they are called and described within the Bible. Then I must ask: “Are you really saved?”
When a farmer grows the same crop year after year in the same field it soon refuses to allow this crop to grow. If planted once again it withers and dies. This is the mentality of many throughout the United States. They have done the same thing over and over that they are walking dead. In a way you could call them zombies.
Those that say I will support this group because that is the way it has always been are living in this dead ground that offers nothing but death and destruction.
It is through change that life is renewed and given a foothold upon that which is nourishing and good. When a farmer starts to rotate his crops is when the ground become fertile once again and is able to give a good and bountiful harvest.
All life requires change. Even within Christianity it requires change. In John 15 even Jesus uses the growing of a plant to show this point. It clearly states that God Himself prunes the branches so that they will bear more fruit. It is this pruning that is change.
You do not sit there and say I accept Jesus into my heart and then do nothing else. Yet this is the mentality that is being given throughout this nation. Not only within the Church but other places as well. For example the welfare system is infertile ground and is causing nothing by death and destruction to rise out of it. Why? Because in many states they took away the time limits on which you could use these aids. They were never meant to be a permanent step, but a temporary one as you moved on to your next stage of change and growth.
There is one party out there that wants this not to change. They what people permanently on welfare which is nothing more than a new type of slavery and yet many willfully and gleefully walk into this lifestyle living under the delusion that they are owed something when in reality they become owned to the system. Slaves to a dead and infertile ground. Used as tools to cause riots, frustration and mayhem and yet they are so use to this lack of change that they do not see they are pawns to their new masters. Fodder in their war against change which will cause those that do change to see the truth and that the truth is found within God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ
Overcoming what one can call an overwhelming sin is one of the toughest things any person can face in their life. But what is an overwhelming sin? It is a sin that can change your life. The most extreme example I can think of is murder. Taking the life of another human being changes your life as well as the life of those that loved the one that was taken away. It also affects those that would have been influenced and helped by the person that is no longer there. So as you can see in this example an overwhelming sin affects you, as well as anyone that could be affected by its presents in your life. Overwhelming sins are those sins that change your very nature.
I have no doubt that all struggle with an overwhelming sin. I know I have had to deal with one since I was a teenager. A sin that rears its ugly head in times when my spirit is at its most vulnerable. It occurs in a time when other events in the world take up most of your time and effort. Then suddenly it appears, unexpectedly. At times, the sin over powers you to a degree, but soon guilt starts to hit you, then remorse, then repentance. This is how all sins work, but the overwhelming sin as mentioned above can affect your entire life as well as those about you. It is not a minor sin like saying a curse word. But one that reaches deep inside your very soul and causes the person that you should be in God’s eyes into someone that is not even recognizable.
The core of the problem I have found in my own personal experience is selfishness. It all boils down to this one simple fact. I was thinking only of myself. I gave no care to anyone or anything. I must satisfy myself and I do not care what anyone says, thinks or feels. It is this one feeling that dictates all. The very fact that all must revolve and be only for me is the foundation to all sin, especially the overwhelming one.
We are to be humble. We are to make ourselves the servant, especially those that are in a place of leadership. We are to place everything ahead of ourselves. It is this, which is one of the biggest struggles that any person has to go through. When someone finally realizes that they are not the focal point of the world. That they are merely one of the cogs inside the watch and not the watch itself that true change can take place. It is here that the overwhelming sin can be driven back and bury. If not forever for at least long enough to allow you to grow into what God wants you to grow into.
Many in today’s world are surrendering to selfishness. In many cases, even the government is encouraging this behavior. All need to think, all need to realize, that we are not here to satisfy only your own selfish wants or desires. We are here to address the needs of others. We need to be humble and not seek to please ourselves, but to help those in pain and suffering. Pain and suffering that in many cases was thrust upon them by the act of someone thinking only of themselves and their own satisfaction. Someone who has lost the battle to overcome their overwhelming sin.
Since Jesus made Paul his thirteen disciple, we have witnessed more than once the rebirth of the church. Sometime it changed by the simple posting of doctrines on a door. Other times with blood being shed.
This was not the promise to Israel though. They have been promised to be the first children of God and so they have not had to go through a true rebirth. Have they been through trials? Yes, and many would say they still are.
Since we Christians have been given the blessing of becoming the thirteen tribe of God. The true essence of free-will has been reinstated.
Within Revelation in the second and third chapters are letters to seven churches. Each reflects the acts of free-will and their results. Be they good or bad.
This is why the Christian church as a whole has gone through these rebirths. Now we can learn from the trials of Israel. Within this nation, there have been intercession. Usually by their leader or prophet. We within the Christian church have those that have intervened. For example Martin Luther. He intervened due to the corruption within the Catholic Church and as a result, the church was reborn. Once again focused on God and His Word. This rebirth is seen in Israel as well, but it is not manifested as highly as it has been for those of the Christian faith.
It is now once again time for rebirth with in the Christian church on whole. We have pedophiles hidden and protected within the Catholic Church. We have churches that support same sex marriage, abortion and greed. Many teach that we are too seek reward from God now. That God is our servant not the other way around. Many just sit by waiting for someone to say something. Mostly though when someone does say something they are ignored and called troublemakers. Seems I have heard many in the Old Testament called the same.
It is now that there is a need for a rebirth of the church. Once again, we need to return our focus unto God and His Word. Stop burying your heads in the sand as the world falls to the minions of Satan. It is now that we must shout our faith and stand for the teachings within the Bible.