reflection

If you truly know Christ you will change


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.

How Christians should appear to the world


Titus teaches us many things. The most important is that we are to follow the laws made by governments as long as they do not counter those given to us by God. However this is not where I wish to go at this time.
This is about how we are to appear to those about us. Those of the world and those that say they are “Christian” but their behavior says otherwise. The behavior we are about to review:
Titus 2:12 – Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Worldly – kosmikos – earthly, worldly (belonging to the present earthly world as opposed to the heavenly and future)
Lust – epithumia -desire, eagerness for, inordinate desire, lust
Now I have keyed into these words for a reason. What is “belonging to the present earthly world” really mean?
The answer is very wide-ranging. This is the problem.
There is an example that I live with daily at my job. The main topic on the lips of my fellow co-workers is something that I would not doubt happens in all offices, shops, or plants. It is sports. Any sport. How this player does this; how that team is doing; who is in the gaming pool this week. This is the world. As is television shows as well as various other things. This was even more emphasized by the way folks acted about the “Super Bowl.” This is “worldly.”
What is sad is I was alone. I could find no others like myself that gave little interest in this event. It has become the great event. Parties everywhere, the only thing you hear talked about. This is “lust.”
People that call themselves “Christian” have also embraced this. Even having parties at this pastor homes to watch this earthly spectacle. Now I know we are to have moderation in our lives, but this is extreme, beyond reasonableness.
How are we going to correct this though? This is something that each person may ask themselves and deal with. They must pray and think hard about how they wish to live, for now we must consider the next verse that I showed from Titus.
Waiting for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Something that is becoming more and more prevalent in the world today. A world that is looking more and more like Sodom and Gomorrah than a world of God fearing people that place others before themselves.
I really wish I could offer something to help each person come to realize that where they are in their lives, but this is something in each person’s heart. Many that think themselves prepared and ready to follow God into heaven are not. For they are placing more of their desires on their homes, their possessions, which are destine to decay. They care more for cars, movies, television show, and their looks. All of which the Bible states is something those of the world seek after but not what true “Christians” seek after.
Does this make you wonder? Does this make you question where you stand with God?
If the answer is Yes, good.