THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS NOT AUTOMATIC 6/6/2010
We must remember that the Christian life is NOT automatic. We are told to REMAIN in the faith. We have things that we are to be about.
BUT, everything that comes from God is received by FAITH! This does NOT make it mental, spiritual or not able to be seen. The attributes that Jesus speaks of in the Sermon on the Mount become a REALITY in the lives of true believers BUT NOT by striving, not by their trying to make it happen, not by attempting to obey God or in some way controlling their behavior so that it looks similar to what Jesus taught in Matt 5-7.
Look at this passage and REMEMBER who wrote it and the way he originally lived his life before Pentecost.
2Pe 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2Pe 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2Pe 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
2Pe 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pe 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
2Pe 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
2Pe 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
2Pe 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2Pe 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
2Pe 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Look at the things Peter tells us we MUST DO in order to make our calling and election sure!
We add to our faith BY FAITH
brotherly kindness then
Then these MUST ABOUND in us and it all happens BY FAITH not by our trying to practice these things, not by trying to control our behavior, not by our striving to be "good" christians, BUT ONLY BY FAITH that we receive these things DIRECTLY from GOd.
Our hearts are changed so that these attributes are in our hearts just as they were in the heart of Jesus Christ. We cannot make our hearts like this. ONLY GOD can do this!
But it DOES HAPPEN BY FAITH!
If we do the above things, this is our job, our battle our fight if you will, our fight of faith to lay down our previous way of doing things and to receive BY FAITH these attributes of God that make their home within our hearts ONY BY FAITH!
It is NOT automatic. If we do not pursue this we will NOT live like this NOR will we be overcomers. We will NOT be people who never stumble or fall, as Peter said.
In order to be this kind of Christian that does NOT STUMBLE or FALL, we MUST be ABOUT this life of faith. If we do not actively do this, it WILL NOT HAPPEN!
How many of us have seen some person in a Church who says they have been saved for 30-40 yrs or even more and yet they still exhibit pride, arrogance, self-centeredness, selfishness, etc, etc, etc, in fact even more so than many young or new Christians?
WHY? Because they did not follow Peter's instructions. (this of course also includes the instruction Jesus, Paul and others also taught which are always in agreement with each other)
It is WHY so many people have a problem with JAMES, because he tells it like it is, FAITH without Works (that means corresponding actions that show our faith) is DEAD, it cannot even SAVE YOU!
It is absolute useless! In fact, it is not as good as the belief the demons have about God. At least they KNOW for a fact where they are going and that is why they tremble in fear.
This is why Jesus, when telling John to write to the 7 Churches said what He did about Overcomers and the rewards that they will definitely receive.
Now friends, brothers and sisters, according to Paul in I Cor 3, we are told that some people's works will all be burned up when they are tried and they themselves WILL BE SAVED by going through the fire. I am not sure what all of that means, BUT I DO KNOW that they will NOT have the rewards that the OVERCOMERS will all have. Nor do I know where God draws the line.
Jesus told us in Mat 7>>>>
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
Mat 7:23 And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
Mat 7:24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
Mat 7:25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
Mat 7:26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
Mat 7:27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
Therefore, we must encourage one another today as long as it is today (everyday) with these truths that we might always be growing in the faith in Christ Jesus and that we do not fall into deceit and possibly into apostasy.
This message is not welcome in many places for it makes us responsible for our own walk with the Lord, to submit to Him as HE directs and taught us. Most would rather live their lives as they desire subtly deceiving themselves that they can do what is right in their own eyes and still enter the Kingdom of God.
May none of us be offended by these words!
a bondslave in Christ Jesus, Dirk