- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
REQUISITES OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE: PREREQUISITE - 2
(2Pe 1:4 from vss. 3-10) 7-29-12
Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming
Pastor Daryl Hilbert
I. PERCEIVE THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S POWER (3)
II. PERCEIVE THE SUFFICIENCY OF GOD’S PROMISES (4)
A. The second requisite that the believer must fulfill is to perceive that the Scriptures reveal and enable the believer to have Christian Virtue.
B. It is on the basis and agency “through” (dia - by or through agency with the genitive) God’s glorious and virtuous moral excellence that God “granted to us” (perfect middle indicative - dōre,omai grant or bestow, same root as vs. 1) the Scriptures.
1. The Scriptures have been granted to the believer. Being in the perfect tense they were given at a point in time at the writing of the NT by the apostles.
2. However they continue to be granted as the believer studies and is enlightened by them.
C. The Scriptures are explained as “His precious and magnificent promises.” They are “precious” (ti,mios) in that they are honorable and valuable to the believer’s Christian Virtue.
1. They are “magnificent” (me,gistos, Eng. mega) in that they are immensely critical and glorious in contributing to the believer’s Christian Virtue.
2. How is it that the Scriptures are unparalleled in importance to the believer’s Christian Virtue? Because God’s Word has quite often been revealed in “promises” (epa,ngelma). God declares and assures the believer that He has been given everything he could possibly need to live life with godliness and virtuous moral excellence.
3. According to Herbert Lockyer in his book called “All the Promises of the Bible” there are some 8000 promises found in Scripture. In addition, God's commands are also His enablements.
D. Through the Scriptures the believer perceives and becomes a “partaker of the divine nature.” The believer has become a “partaker” (koinōno,s - sharer) of God’s divine nature the moment he was saved through God’s divine power (vs. 3). Furthermore this divine “nature” (phu,sis - qualities, characteristics, or disposition) is realized as the believer comes to the full knowledge of its reality and its quality in his regenerated soul. Note this relates to the communicable divine nature (holiness, righteousness etc.) not incommunicable (omniscience, omnipresence etc.).
1. The unsaved man’s nature is inherently sinful (Eph 2:3).
2. A believer is made a new creation in and after Christ’s nature (cp. 2Co 5:17; Gal 6:15).
3. The believer is to experience and live out Christian Value because of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1Co 6:19-20) and his new nature (cp. Eph 4:24; Col 3:10).
4. Though he possesses a sinful nature, the believer has become a partaker of a full and complete divine nature (cp. Col 2:9-10).
E. Peter’s language refers to the believer’s present reality because he positionally “escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
1. “Having escaped,” apophugo,ntos is an aorist participle meaning a completed action in the past (i.e. the moment of salvation).
2. The believer has escaped the inward “corruption” (phthora, - here depravity and moral decay) of the sinful nature observed in the world by its “lust” (epithumia - here sinful passions) because the believer is now a partaker of the divine nature. The believer is to work out that divine nature which has been worked into him (Phil 2:12-13).
III. OBSERVATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
A. Christian Virtue is divine in nature and revealed in Scripture.
1. Christian virtue is not pulling oneself up by his bootstraps. Rather it comes from God’s own power and nature infused in the believer at the moment of salvation.
2. The believer comes to realize what this new nature is by the revelation of God’s promises in His Word. God’s promises are the believer’s realities and enablements for life and godliness and Christian Virtue.
B. The Scriptures are sufficient for all of life’s problems, difficulties, and temptations.
1. Some, even Christians have claimed that the Scriptures are not totally sufficient to deal with all of man’s difficulties in life. Therefore, they erroneously incorporate psychology, spiritualism, and other solutions.
2. However, the Scriptures are sufficient for “everything pertaining to life and godliness” because the Scriptures reveal God’s power and promises for the believer.
3. The believer must live out His Christian Virtue based on a trust in God’s power, not the world. He must live solely rely on the expositional interpretation of God’s divinely inspired, infallible, and powerful Word (2Pe 1:20-21; 2Ti 2:13; 2Ti 3:16; cp. Col 1:28; 3:16; 1Th 5:14; 2Th 3:15).
C. Christian Virtue differs from self-help organizations.
1. There certainly is a degree of diligence and determination in gaining Christian Virtue. But it is based on what God has exclusively provided for the believer.
2. Any attempt at virtue without this basis is often erroneous, incomplete, and merely a pseudo form of godliness denying God’s divine power and Scripture (cp. 2Ti 3:5).