29 May 2009

A Gospel Paradox

Week 9 in our series "People for His Own Possession" from 1st and 2nd Peter.  2 Peter 1:3-11 

Limitations
Legend has it that Alexander the Great wept after defeating his final enemy because there were no more worlds to conquer - he had everything and nothing at the same time. All this world had to offer wasn't enough to make Alexander truly happy. I find myself weeping because, to the detriment of myself and those close to me, I can’t conquer my own little internal world and change. 

If we're honest, we all experience these limitations and they lead us to despair.

Hope
In the midst of Nero’s persecution and awaiting his own execution, Peter gives us some weighty words to pierce through this despair. Life (peace, joy, satisfaction) and godliness (the ability to live more holy and selfless lives) are offered to us in a place we don't often look; the Gospel.  

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, (2 Peter 1.3-4)

So Make Every Effort
But, while justification and salvation are secured for us by grace, life and godliness require our participation. The Christian Gospel does not call people to passive, lazy faith. Peter urges his readers to make every effort to participate in the life and godliness afforded to them in the Gospel. To do otherwise would be unfruitful and damaging to the "sure-ness " of our calling and election - it would be to waste our life.
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1.5-10)
The Gospel Paradox
How do we find life? How are we changed? Is the power from God? Is it from us?
This message explores Peter's "Gospel paradox". We find joy, peace, satisfaction and the ability to change through God's divine power AND our every effort.

1 comment:

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