Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Results Of Not Growing Spiritually

Temple Baptist Church - 6-9-2013
2 Peter 1:5-13
A. In the epistles of Peter, Peter is trying to indoctrinate the Jewish believers in the reality of what salvation is and what it brings. In the first few verses, we find 7 things that every believer has in common. These things are INHERIENT: inborn, a right or privilege that comes WITH salvation.
1. We Have A Like Precious Faith – vs. 1a
2. We Have An Unquestionable Standing – vs. 1b
3. We Have The Grace To Endure – vs. 2a
4. We Have The Peace To Trust – vs. 2b
5. We Have The Power To Overcome – vs. 3
6. We Have The Reality Of A Changed Life – vs. 4a
7. We Have An Eternal Home In Heaven – vs. 4b
B. Salvation is by grace and is uniform in its nature and attributes.
1) Every believer is saved the same way – Acts 15:11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. (This verse speaks of Gentile [Galatian] believers, Old Testament believers, and Jewish believers.)
Romans 10:12-13 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. (13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
2) Every believer is eternally saved – John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (Eternal life is the only kind of life that God gives!)
3) Every believer is instilled by God with all that they need to both grow and prospers spiritually. 2 Peter 1:3 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: (Therefore, there is no excuse of remaining a babe in Christ.)
C. Spiritual growth is different because it is left up to the individual believer. In these verses, we find some things that must be ADDED! These are things that come AFTER salvation. We have both obligation and opportunity to come to spiritual maturity. Some do and some do not! Some have less opportunity than others in some areas because of a lack of biblical teaching in many pulpits.
1) Two of the most prevalent problems concerning a lack of spiritual growth are:
a) Many spiritual babes oppose themselves by choosing carnality over spirituality - 2 Timothy 2:24-26 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. (According to this verse, the teaching and opportunity are there but are not teachable.)
b) Many spiritual babes willfully reject the Word of God by not hearing or heeding it - Hebrews 5:12-6:1 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God. (The key word here is “useth.” Babies do not “use” milk, they need milk. I get the impression that these babes in Christ want nothing but “milk” or light sermons that never get into the meat of God’s Word.)
D. There is a positive proceeding that leads to spiritual growth. Vs. 5-7
1) It takes Desire – “besides this” (Individual responsibility)
2) It takes Discipline – “all” (Not just those things that are convenient.)
3) It takes Diligence – “diligence” (It is hard work.)
4) It takes Discernment – “add to your faith” (Saving faith is not enough.)
E. Results Of Not Growing Spiritually.
1. You Will Be Unfruitful – “unfruitful”
a. Fruitfulness should not be optional - John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
b. Fruitlessness is dangerous - John 15:2 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.
2. You Will Be Spiritually Blind – “blind . . . cannot see afar off”
(Lack Of diligence in growth brings about carnality)
Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Matthew 6:20-24 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
3. You Will Lack Assurance – “hath forgotten that he was purged”
Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
4. You Will Eventually Fall – “fall”
Acts 20:22-24 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
5. You Will Have No Reward – “so an entrance”
Hebrews 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
2 John 1:8 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward.

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