The Book of Second Peter

Lesson 3 - "This Family Possesses 'These Things'"

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

2 Peter 1:1-12, “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.”


We started a new series from II Peter entitled “The family of like precious faith.  We already talked about the power, the promises and the partakers of this precious faith, and we looked at adding to our faith seven things, today we want to look at this family of like precious faith possesses “these things.”


God’s word has provided a list of “these things” which ought to be present in the lives of His children, and not only that, He has attached to “these things” His guarantees. Let’s look at them today.


#1) “These things” produce fruit in our lives.

The Lord is not keeping any secrets from us here. He is saying that if you want to be fruit bearing Christians, then you must have “these things” in your life. Look again at II 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.”


The word “barren” used here does not mean what you might think it means. It means to be idle. In other words, if you have “these things” in your life, you are not going to be “idle” or unfruitful! Most people are the exact opposite of idle. We are all too busy doing things, but the problem is that while we may be very busy, we are oftentimes unfruitful when it comes to the work of the Lord.

Many people are content to be saved and never do anything with the rest of their lives on earth for Christ. They’ve never witnessed to another individual or shared their faith in Christ. They are unfruitful even in all their business. You see folks if we have “these things” in us, God says we will neither be barren (idle) nor unfruitful. We are to be busy in the Lord’s work and fruitful at the same time.


These things” are the seven things that Peter said we are to add to our faith. They are virtue (speaking boldly), knowledge (obedience to God’s will), temperance (yielded to the Holy Spirit’s control), patience (waiting on God), Godliness (Christ-like behavior), brotherly kindness (loving the brethren), and charity (unconditional love). And so what Peter is saying is that if “these things” are in us, we will not be idle and we will be fruitful!


Remember John 15 and God’s divine prescription for growth in the Christian life to be a fruit-bearing believer. John 15:1-8, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”


#2) Lacking “these things” prevents sight.

2 Peter 1:8-9, “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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”


While having “these things” produces fruit, lacking “these things” prevents sight. Usually when the Bible speaks of a “blind” person, it’s usually talking about someone who is without Christ. Here in this context, to be “blind” means something quite different. It’s talking about believers who have trusted Christ and been “born again” but have not added “these things” to their faith.


These people have lost the joy of the Lord. They are unfruitful and idle for Christ. They have even come to the point where they have forgotten what Christ did for them on the Cross. It’s like a form of temporary blindness having forgotten that they’ve been forgiven or “ ” from their old sins.


These are those folks who you visit and they say that they are believers and when you ask them if they go to church or when was the last time they attended church, they can’t even remember because it’s been that long ago. How sad!!!!


That’s why Peter says in II Peter 1:3-5, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith “these seven things.”


Peter is saying that God has “given unto us” all that we need to live the Christian life and “given unto us” exceeding great and precious promises and that we are partakers of the divine nature escaping corruption of the world! And because of all this that God has provided freely for us, “Giving all diligence, add to your faith “these things.” In other words, he is saying, “This is important, this is vital, this has got to be done and be done with all diligence!!!!!!!”


If you add “these things” to your faith, you will be fruitful and glorify God. If you add “these things” to your faith, you will not be blind and not forget all that God has done for you!!! Not only will you not be blind but you will be able to see afar off and see that your victory is sure in Christ. It keeps us from being overcome by the troubles of this world when we can see ahead to the next life with Christ.


The song says:

Oft-times the day seems long, our trials hard to bear,

 We’re tempted to complain, to murmur and despair;

 But Christ will soon appear to catch His Bride away,

 All tears forever over in God’s eternal day.

 

It will be worth it all when we see Jesus,

 Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Christ;

 One glimpse of His dear face All sorrow will erase,

 So bravely run the race till we see Christ.

 

We said that “these things” produce fruit in our lives and that lacking “these things” prevents sight,

#3) “These things” prepare us for the right entrance into heaven.

2 Peter 1:10-11 says, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”


Peter is saying that if you add to your faith “these things” it affects your entrance into heaven. He is not saying that you must work your way into heaven, because we know that you are saved by grace through faith and not of works but as a believer who has added “these things” to their faith, it does have an effect on the type of entrance when we get to heaven someday.


When Paul talks about the Christian life, he often compared it to a race. He said that everyone in the race finishes but only one receives the prize or first place. The Christian life promises us that we are all going to be in heaven with the Lord but how we enter heaven is affected by whether we add “these things” to our faith.


How are you going to enter heaven? Will you have as Peter says here “An abundant entrance?” We should all desire an abundant entrance! Do you think Paul had an abundant entrance when he arrived? I believe a great host of people met him there. The fruitfulness of our lives determines the abundance of our entrance into heaven. Adding to your faith “these things” determines the abundance of our entrance into heaven.


While some are content just to be going to heaven, we should not. After all God has done for us, we should desire an abundant entrance because we have diligently added to our faith “these things.”


Let’s pray.



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