- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -
RESULTS OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE
(2Pe 1:8-10) 10/7/12
Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming
Pastor Daryl Hilbert
I. REQUISITES OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE (3-5a)
A. Perceive God’s Power in You (3)
B. Perceive God’s Promises for You (4)
C. Possess Saving Faith (5a)
II. REFINEMENTS OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE (5-7)
A. Add Moral Excellence (5)
B. Add Knowledge (5)
C. Add Self-Control (6)
D. Add Perseverance (6)
E. Add Godliness (6)
F. Add Brotherly Kindness (7)
G. Add Love (7)
III. RESULTS OF CHRISTIAN VIRTUE (8-10)
A. You Will Not Be Spiritually Ineffective (8)
1. After giving his list of crucial Christian Virtues, Peter summarizes the results of having them in the believer’s life.
2. Emphatically, these virtues must be truly present (“are” yours, present participle of hupa,rchō - from ei,mi, to be present, exist, or possess) in the believer’s life.
3. It is not enough to just have some resemblance of these virtues. They must be continually “increasing” (present participle of pleona,zō - have more than enough, grow, abound, 1Th 3:12; 2Th 1:3) in the believer.
4. Peter writes that when theses Christian Virtues are in the believer, they will “render” (kathi,stêmi - lit. put down, make) him “neither useless nor unfruitful” (ou,k …oude, - neither …nor) It is the sense that if the believer desires not to be ineffective and unfruitful, having these virtues will keep those conditions from him.
5. To be “useless” (argo,s - inactive or ineffective, Mat 20:3; Jam 2:20) is to be ineffective for the Lord in our Christian walk. To be “unfruitful” (a,kartos - without fruit, barren, unproductive, 1Co 14:14; Tit 3:14) is to be unproductive in the Christian life.
6. Specifically, the believer will not be unfruitful in the “full knowledge” (epi,gnosis - complete or true knowledge, 2Pe 1:2, 3; cp. Col 1:10; Col 3:10) of Christ. Fruitful in the full knowledge of Christ is the essence of truly knowing Christ and living out His character.
7. So if the Christian possesses and grows in these Christian Virtues he will not be spiritually ineffective.
B. You Will Not Be Spiritually Blind (9)
1. Peter goes on to explain (“for” gar) that the one in whom these Christian virtues are not “present” (pa,reimi - lit. is beside, is present, i.e. posesses) will be spiritually blind.
2. Some commentaries say that Peter is referring to an unbeliever, but the context is better understood referring to believers.
3. Peter says this one will be “blind” (tuphlo,s - without sight) spiritually. He qualifies it with the description of being short-sighted. “Short-sighted” is the Greek word muōpa,zō and means to be near-sighted as with the English diagnosis “myopia” where the eye has difficulty focusing on distant objects. Figuratively it would refer to someone who lacks discernment and foresight. This is not a description of a completely spiritually blind unbeliever who has no understanding (Rom 3:11 cp. Eph 2:1), but of a believer who lacks discernment.
4. This lack of spiritual discernment causes a believer to have spiritual amnesia. In fact, the one without these Christian Virtues “has forgotten” (lê,thê - receive forgetfulness) important spiritual truths and understanding.
5. Specifically he has forgotten “his purification from his former sins.” This means that he has forgotten or is unsure that he has been cleansed” (katharismo,s - ritual or spiritual cleansing) from his sins. He lacks the assurance of salvation.
C. You Will Make Your Calling Sure (10)
1. In order for a believer to have spiritual sight and assurance of salvation, there are a number of truths of which a believer must be cognizant.
a) He must trust in Christ according to the Gospel (1Co 15:1-4).
b) He must trust in the promises of salvation from God’s Word (Heb 6:17-19).
c) He must evidence the fruit of a new creature in Christ (2Co 5:17; 1Jo 2:6).
2. It is this last truth that Peter deals with next. He concludes (“therefore” - dio, - for this purpose of reason) that because of his assurance of salvation, the believer is commanded be all the more (ma,llon - comparative adverb) “diligent” (aorist imperative - spouda,zō - make every effort with a sense of urgency) to have these Christian Virtues.
3. When the believer has these Christian Virtues, he will make his salvation “certain” (bebai,os - to confirm, assure, steadfast, Heb 6:19; 2Pe 1:19) and gain assurance of it. Peter is not saying that having these Christian virtues earns salvation, but that these Christian Virtues are the evidence and assurance of salvation.
4. The believer’s salvation is described as “calling” and “election.”
a) Though it is God who does the “calling” and “choosing” (NASB), the pronoun “your” (humō,n - of you or yours) emphasizes that the believer is the recipient of the “calling” and “election” of God (NET, KJV, NIV).
b) “Calling” (klê,sis - calling or invitation) is the specific divine drawing of the elect for salvation, which God makes totally effective (Rom 8:30; 2Ti 1:9; 1Th 5:24; 2Pe 1:3; Jude 1:1). There is also a general call to all men, which can be and is resisted (Mat 22:14; Joh 6:44) but God’s call to the elect will not (Joh 6:37).
c) “Election” (eklogê, - act of choosing out or selection) is the exercise of God’s divine choice (1Th 1:4) beforehand (Eph 1:4) of those who would receive salvation (Rom 8:33; 2Ti 2:10; Tit 1:1; 1Pe 1:1; 2:9; 2Jo 1:1). Election guaranteed that an individual would come to Christ at God’s appointed time (Act 13:14).
d) Perseverance (of the Saints) is God’s sanctifying work in the elect, who have been called to salvation, to persevere in their faith and virtue until the day of redemption.
D. You Will Not Stumble in Sin, Apostasy, or Doubt (10)
1. Furthermore, when these Christian Virtues are growing in the believer’s life, he will not stumble (ptai,ō - lit. to stumble against or over something; figuratively to fail to do God’s will and err or sin).
2. This does not mean that a true believer will always exercise these Christian Virtues or will never sin. Rather it means that a true believer will make a habit of practicing (present participle of poie,ō - make, do, perform) these virtues. When he is convicted of not practicing them, he will once again continue to practice them more frequently in his life and mature.
3. It means that a true believer will “never” (emphatic double negative - ou mê,) stumble in the sense that he will completely fall into sin and totally fall away from the faith without recovery (Pro 24:16).
4. In addition, when the believer continually grows in these Christian Virtues, he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, questioning but continually enjoy the assurance of his salvation.
E. OBSERVATIONS AND APPLICATIONS
1. The Bible expects believers to make every effort to grow in Christian Virtue.
2. The Bible expects believers to grow in Christian Virtue and stumble less and less.
3. The Bible expects believers to grow in effectiveness through Christian Virtue.
4. The Bible expects believers to grow and enjoy the assurance of their salvation.