A Fruitful Christian Life II Pet 1:1-8 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
All of us want to have a fruitful Christian life and this passage gives us the recipe. I like recipes because if you follow them you are sure that your meal is going to turn out right. Likewise, if you follow this recipe, you are assured that your Christian life will be fruitful.
First, you have to have the right ingredients – they are:
- Faith – belief in God and in the words of God
- Virtue – morality – the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong
- Knowledge – v.2 knowing God and knowing what he says
- Temperance – moderation with regard to the appetites and the passions
- Patience – the power to calmly and contentedly wait for something
- Godliness – God-likeness – conformity to the Lord not the world
- Brotherly kindness – kindness in dealings with others – Lk 6:35, Jesus was kind to the unthankful and the evil
- Charity – 1 Cor 13 – basically the love of God shed abroad in your heart Rom 5:5
Second, the ingredients have to added in the right order – You start with faith and then you add virtue – to virtue and faith you add knowledge – if you leave knowledge out, then you are going to have trouble with the rest of the recipe, because knowledge is necessary for the rest of the ingredients to work properly.
- So, you start with believing God’s words – you become a new creature and grow
- Then those words begin to change your life and character – they change who you are and that changes what you do
- Then as you believe and change, you get to know God much better
- And as you become content with knowing God, you lose your appetite for fleshly desires and begin to have affection for things above – your spirit is nourished and your flesh is denied
- Then you begin to realize that you have to wait till you get to heaven for the fullness of salvation and you have to wait for God to form in you certain elements of himself – this takes time and you calmly wait
- Then you actually begin to resemble and reflect the Savior
- And that affects your interactions with others – your kindness increases and you become more Christ-like
- And that causes you to love God more and the folks to whom you minister more – and with charity, you are set to be profitable to the Lord and to those to whom you minister
Third, the ingredients have to be added in the right quantity – the measure recommended by Peter is that they need to abound, v.8 – so the more of each of these you have the more fruitful you will be – and you need to add them in equal proportion to each other
You have seen Christians who have left out some ingredients – just notice some of the chaos that has taken place among Christians when they pretend to be kind, for instance, or put on a fleshly kindness and them blow it all when they are crossed. The trouble is that they didn’t add all of the ingredients.
You’ve also seen it when someone adds too much of one and not enough of the others – if he is heavily weighted to knowledge, for instance, he gets puffed up – if he is heavily weighted to morality he becomes a Pharisee – if he is heavily weighted to love, he becomes touchy feely and may be easily offended
Now, if you add these in the right order and in the right quantity you will never be ashamed of your fruit down here or of your fruit inspection at the judgment seat of Christ. However, if you leave some of these ingredients out, you run a serious risk of being barren.
Add them all and don’t worry about being in a hurry to get them in there. Just be steady and diligent to keep adding these ingredients and keep adding them in the right quantities.