Spiritual Supplements

 

Spiritual Supplements
II Peter 1:5-11
 
If I had to give a title to the book of 2 Peter, I would call it “The Growth Book." I do it because when you come to the last verse in chapter 3 of the entire book, Peter says, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." It is the book which is intended to tell us how to grow in the Christian life. In the course of that, we come to this fifth verse and in the verses which follow, which the Apostle Peter gives us a series of what I would call spiritual supplements, some things that we are to add to our faith. 
 
He has just talked about faith. In the opening verses he has said that we have obtained like precious faith. He is talking about our salvation, our experience of the Lord Jesus Christ. Now he says in verse 5, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith," some spiritual supplements.
 
There is a beautiful balance of Bible truth. You will notice that every doctrine in the Bible is balanced by another doctrine. For instance, he has said in verse 3 that God has given us all things that are necessary to life and godliness to live a godly life. In other words, God has provided every thing necessary for us to be the kind of Christian He wants us to be. Then in verse 5 he comes right along and says, "Add to our faith." Do you see the balance there?
 
In the Bible, for instance, you will find this balance between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. There are some passages in the Bible where the emphasis is upon the work of God. 
It shows us that it is all of God, divine sovereignty. That's where you get into the areas of calling and election and predestination.
 
That doctrine is balanced in the Bible by human responsibility where it tells us that there are some things that we are intended to do. The problem comes when people get that balance out of kilter in the Bible. If you lean too heavily in any one direction in some of these doctrines in the Bible, then you get yourself off into extremes or into error. Even the attributes of God, as beautiful as they are, must be kept in balance. You do not put all of the emphasis upon the divine sovereignty of God without placing also a proper balancing on the love of God. 
 
The Bible gives us this balance between what God has done for us and what we are to do for ourselves. It's kind of like what I read about a very wealthy man who took an interest in a poor boy. He provided for the boy and he met many of the needs of the boy and cared for the boy. When he came to be of college age the wealthy man provided a university education for that boy. The boy was able to go without charge to a university. But you see, the gift of the wealthy man had to be balanced by the hard work of the boy. A university education would be no good if it were provided for you if you on the other hand you did not do the hard work necessary to take advantage of it.
 
I've been thinking about all these NFL athletes who are in town. God has provided to them the ingredients in their body. They have the bone structure and the muscle mass and all of these kinds of things that are necessary in order to be a world class athlete. 
But on the other hand, they must avail themselves of everything necessary in order that what God has provided them can be what it is at a professional level.
 
Unfortunately, many feel like they have to supplement in unhealthy and even illegal ways to develop. That can happen in the spiritual arena as well
 
God resources us with salvation. We respond and act in accordance with that, and then He gives us a series of spiritual supplements. There are about seven of them in all that we're going to see as we move quickly down through the passage this morning, which will help us to live the Christian life to the fullest and be everything God has saved us to be.
 
The first thing I want you to notice in these verses is that these spiritual supplements will
 
I. Equip Your Faith.
 
Verse 5 says, "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to our faith." Then he begins to go down and list them.
 
Whether or not you use these supplements and put them to work in your life will determine whether or not you will be a growing Christian or a groping Christian. 
 
He says in verse 8, "For if these things be in you, and abound." He's not saying that they are not in you, but basically he's saying that because these things are in you, then abound in these things. 
They are already there. The spiritual DNA is there, but now what he's saying is to abound in these things. Grow in these things.
 
He talks about what it means to be a growing Christian. Let's just hit the highlights of some of these. He says first of all in verse 5, "Add to your faith virtue." The word virtue carries the idea of moral excellence. In other words, give yourself to excellence in the Christian life. Don't be satisfied to be just an ordinary, run-of-the-mill Christian. Commit yourself to excellence.
 
The excellence of a thing is when you fulfill the purpose for its existence. For instance, the excellence of a knife is to cut. The excellence of the Christian life is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ. Our goal should be to live a life of virtue, a life like the life of the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
Then he says to add to that knowledge. The word here carries the idea of spiritual education. He's talking here about the importance of God's Word, getting knowledge into your life. 
 
I don't know of anything more important to a Christian than knowledge of God's Word. Get into God's Word. Read the Bible. Get that spiritual knowledge. You say, "The Bible was written many years ago." Yes. But the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible contains information that will help you to live the kind of life you ought to live on a daily basis.
 
 
 
 
Then he says to add to your knowledge self control. The word literally means to hold in. The idea there is learning to get hold of your passions, to learn to get a hold of your desires. This is especially important for young people who are Christians. There are certain passions and desires which are in your life. What it's saying is that you need to learn early on to get hold of your desires before they get a hold of you.
 
Paul said one time, "I keep my body under. I keep my body in subjection," that is, spiritual self control. We need self control in our Christian life.
 
Then he goes on and says to your self control add perseverance. The word means to endure in difficult circumstances. There are some hard times that come along in the Christian life. There are some days of difficulty and days of trial as a Christian. It's not going to all be smooth sailing. It's not all going to be rosy.
 
Patience, endurance.
 
Then he says to add to godliness. That means to live a godly life, to live a life like God, to so live that people would be reminded of the Lord.
 
Then he says to add to your godliness brotherly kindness. What he's saying here is that as a Christian, one of the things you need to do is to learn to love the brothers and sisters in the Lord. That means that you get involved in a local church. It's important to have a local church.
 
 
 
He says to add brotherly love and then he crams it all by saying, "And to brotherly kindness, love." The love is already there. What he's saying is, "I want you to develop this. I want you to ask God to help you have love in your life.
 
He says in verse 8 that if you will do these things, "They make you that ye shall neither be barren," that is, useless, "nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." That's what it means to be a growing Christian. Equip your faith.
 
If you don't add these things, he also warns us on the other hand what will happen in your Christian life.
 
 
Verse 9 says, "But he that lacketh these things." Not that the potential is not there, not that the spiritual DNA is not there, but if you don't supplement these things into your life. If you lack these things, basically he says that you become a groping Christian. 
 
Two things he says that will take place. He says first of all, "But he that lacketh these things is shortsighted, even to blindness. . ." 
 
That little phrase, "short-sighted" is a rather interesting phrase. It's where we get our word myopia.
 
Christians who do not grow develop a spiritual blindness. They develop eye problems. 
 
 
 
Peter says, if you don’t take these supplements and add them to your faith, you develop a spiritual myopia. You develop a spiritual shortsightedness. You get your eyes on the things in this world and you get to the point that all that really matters is this world.
 
That’s first: you develop spiritual myopia, but the second thing he says is, "And has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
 
Some Christians develop not only spiritual myopia, but they develop spiritual amnesia. They forget from where they came. They forget about those old past sins that they were cleansed from. 
 
Do you remember when God forgave you of your sins? Do you remember when you were under conviction for your sins and realized that you were lost and going to a devil's hell and you heard the good news about the cross of Jesus Christ and how He shed His blood on the cross of Calvary for your sins and you were cleansed from your sins? There are some Christians today who have forgotten they were purged from their old sins.
 
When Christians lapse back into the old habit patterns and when Christians lapse back into the old sins of their life, they have forgotten the cross. Have you forgotten the cross this morning, child of God? Have you forgotten the pain Jesus went through? Have you forgotten the suffering that Jesus Christ endured for your sins? Don't go back into the old life of sin. Add to your faith these spiritual supplements and go on with the Lord and grow with the Lord.
 
 
Here's the second thing I want to say about these spiritual supplements. Not only will they equip your faith, but they will
 
II. Establish Your Faith.
 
Look at verse 10. 
 
Calling and election means to make sure you are saved. The word sure was a word that was used for a legal contract. It meant to confirm. It meant to establish. He's saying, "Establish your faith. Make sure that you are really saved."
 
If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you are going to heaven when you die whether you have assurance or not. But it's a whole lot better journey if you've got assurance of your salvation. 
 
There are a lot of people who are saved, but not sure. They are always doubting and wondering and hoping and moping. Others are enjoying the trip. One day both will be in heaven, but one will have enjoyed the trip a whole lot more than the other. 
 
He's saying that you need assurance of your salvation. Do you know that you are saved? Do you know that you know that you know that you are saved? If you do not know that, then you need to establish that before anything else. 
 
Assurance of salvation is not for God's benefit. It's for ours. We are the ones that need assurance. God's not the one. Do you think God is up in heaven right now saying, "I wonder if Terry is saved? It really troubles me." 
He knows whether or not you I’m saved. It's for our benefit.
 
He shows us one unusual way of getting that assurance. Look at what he says in the rest of verse 10. "For if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble." That doesn't mean that you will lose your salvation. Nor does it mean you will be perfect. 
 
What he's saying is that your lifestyle is one indication that you're truly saved. The way you live, the things you do, those become some basis of assurance that you are really saved.
 
Let's just reverse it for a minute. When is it that we tend to doubt our salvation more than any other time? It's when we do things that we ought not to do. That's when the devil comes in and says, "Wait a minute. You claim to be a child of God? Look what you've done. If you were saved you wouldn't do that."
 
The Bible says, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things are past away, behold all things are become new." 
 
Sometimes we lack assurance because we are not living the way God wants us to live. But here is the key: 
 
Back up to verse 5ff. Add these things to your life. Make up your mind that you are going to be a growing Christian and you are going to supplement your life with these kinds of lifestyle characteristics.
 
Add virtue and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and kindness and love, and guess what? You’ll find you’ll be living a whole lot more like a Christian than you used to. And when you do that, you’ll not be in those situations nearly as often where the devil can accuse you. Therefore, you won’t be living your life in doubt. Instead it will establish your life. 
 
Then he tells us these spiritual supplements will
 
III. Enrich Your Life
 
Verse 11
 
The everlasting kingdom is a reference to heaven. He turns our attention now to the future. He talks about the fact that we can have some things that will enrich our entrance into heaven.
 
"An entrance will be supplied to you. . ." He's talking about going to heaven.
 
Two thousand years ago Jesus said, "I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus has gone up there, and for 2,000 years He's been getting heaven ready for you. He's getting it ready for you. The question is are you getting ready for it?
 
He says that an entrance shall be supplied. The interesting thing is that word translated supplied in verse 11 is the same word translated add in verse 5. "Add to your faith." Verse 11, "An entrance shall be supplied to you." The word literally means to be lavishly supplied with. Abundance.
 
The background of the word is very interesting. At the very heart of that word is the word for choir, chorus. 
In those days with Greek dramas they would have choirs. They were elaborate productions, these plays and these choirs. They had lavish costumes and they were paid salaries. It was really a rather expensive situation. What would happen is in many Greek cities there would be wealthy patrons. These patrons would underwrite the expenses of the chorus, the choir. They would provide everything that was needed, the cost of the costumes, everything was provided by this wealthy patron. 
 
The word came to mean to lavishly, extravagantly, abundantly supply. He's talking here about our entrance into heaven. He's saying that you can have supplied to you, lavishly supplied unto you, an abundant entrance into heaven.
 
There are two ways you can have an entrance into heaven. This way or there is another way. In I Corinthians 3 I'll show you another way you can have an entrance into heaven. In verse 15 it says, "If any man's work shall be burned," that is, he doesn't add to his faith these spiritual supplements, "he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet as by fire."
 
There are some people that are going to make it into heaven, "so as by fire." They are going to get pulled into heaven by the little tug boat of grace. Just barely saved. No works to show for it. No life consistent with their Christian testimony. They are like a ship just empty and just barely getting into the shore.
 
You can go into heaven like that, and I think there will be some who will. But you've got another choice.
 Peter says in this passage that you can have an abundant entrance supplied unto you, lavishly supplied. 
 
How do you want to go to heaven? Do you want to just barely get in or do you want to go to heaven and hear the Lord say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant"? "I'm proud of the way you lived. I'm proud of the way you witnessed. I'm proud of your testimony. I'm proud of the child of God that you became." That is an abundant entrance.
 
Entrance is a beautiful word too. It's talking about our going to heaven. It was a word that was used to describe an Olympic athlete who had won the gold. He was coming to his home town. They prepared a great celebration for him. The victorious athlete didn't go through the gate where people normally went through. Do you know what they would do? They would take out a section of the wall of the city and he would go in that specially prepared entrance.
 
"An entrance shall be supplied unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." Think about it. One of these days when this old world is over, one of these days when we go into the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the gates of heaven are opened up to us and the Lord says, "Come on in My child. I'm proud of you."
 
I'm so glad I'm a child of God today. I'm glad that I am saved. I'm looking forward to going to heaven one of these days. The best is yet to be. Did you know that? 
 
It's going to get sweeter and sweeter. An old saint of God was dying and the doctor said to his family gathered around him, "It seems that I'm afraid that his best days are behind him." The old man heard it and he opened his eyes and in a strong voice he said, "My best days are behind me? Doctor, you are wrong. My best days are not behind me. My best days are just ahead. I'm going to have an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ." 
 
That's what it's all about to me. That's why I'm so happy. In fact, I’m so happy that sometimes I get to feeling guilty that I'm not unhappy more often.  I look at some people always on the down side of life; negative and bitter and angry. Maybe I ought to be that way more. But I’m not. Know why? I'm saved and I'm going to heaven when I die. Why? I've got a reason to live now. Why? I'm enjoying life. Praise God.
 
Are you saved? Are you sure? Are you satisfied? 
 
Let's bow our head in prayer.
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