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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Living From Within"

Date published: 01/23/2018

2 Peter 1:8 “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  

   If your boss said there are seven things that would assure great success in your job, you would find out what they were and respond with great effectiveness in doing them. Peter, similarly, claims the seven qualities in the prior verses 5-7 will lead you to be more effective and productive. You might determine that you could be more effective, if you read the Bible each month, memorize 500 plus Scripture verses, attend three hours of Bible study each week, attend church each week, attend Sunday school or small group each week, attend a two day conference each quarter, fast one day a week, and fast 40 days straight each year - NOT!! God’s ability to make you effective and productive is not dependent upon what you know or do for Him, but your willingness to give the Holy Spirit the freedom to transform your life. The more fertile the soil of your life for receiving God’s truths, then the greater freedom the Holy Spirit has in cultivating a life of righteousness.  

   What God does looks quite different from what we would do. The seven qualities (goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love) Peter gave were not meant to be produced by your good efforts, but by God’s transformative work in you. The key to God’s transformative work is given in 2 Peter 1:5a: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith. “ These seven qualities are so foreign to your human fabric that to have them, you must step out in faith by trusting God. Many of these can be done in the flesh, but real transformational change occurs by God producing them through a changed heart, motivation, and desire. The question is do you have the faith to allow God to act by believing His promises? 2 Peter 1:4 promises to help you step out in faith to break free from the principalities of this world: “Through these he has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (NIV)  

  This type faith moves beyond the realities of this world to what Hebrews 11:1 says is to move past taking up what is seen to embracing your hope in Christ: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”(NIV) The activities humorously mentioned earlier could be helpful in transformation, but ultimately each Christian has to find the balance of spiritual disciplines that help take them into God’s presence for refreshment, filling, and transformation. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says: “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (NIV) 

2 Peter 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.” 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “Transformation – Part 1” and “Your Life in Christ.”