4 Ways Paul Encourages Us to Love the Church (Even When It’s Hard)

Beauty on the Inside Around the corner from where I live, a house is for sale. In bold green letters, the lawn sign reads: “I’m Gorgeous Inside!” The message is surprising. From the street, the house is thoroughly ordinary, even run-down. It’s a seventies-era raised...

Gently and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers by Dane Ortlund

The most important thing about us is what we think about God. What do you think of when you think about the Son of God? Some might first think about His miracles, the work of atonement, or His teaching. Others may think about His person. Christ is one person with two...

Authentic Christians Are Progressively Sanctified, Part 2

Join Andy as he continues his series through 1 John looking in more depth at 1 John 1:7-2:1.

Repentance and Leadership in the Home: What It Means to be the Chief Repenter in the Home

On today’s Warriors of Grace show continuing season three, Dave discusses what biblical repentance is and why it matters, persistent sins and biblical repentance, and what it looks like practically for men to be the chief repenter in their home. What you’ll hear in...

A Christian Reading Manifesto

Modern technology has launched us into the stratosphere of learning. With the click of a mouse or a few keystrokes, we can access information from around the world and gain a treasure chest of knowledge. Smartphones are at the forefront of the new technological...

How Paul Led from a Distance: A Model for Pastors Leading From A Distance

The apostle Paul led from a distance. His letters demonstrate deep affection for his readers, a longing to see them again, and his ongoing burden to lead well, even while apart. For example, Paul wrote to the Philippian church from a prison cell in Rome.  But his...
Unfruitful and Blind

Posted On September 27, 2018

2 Peter 1:8-9, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”

As we’ve been opening up 2 Peter we’ve already discovered that Peter has a lot to say about sanctification and the need for Christians to grow in holiness. The Lord Jesus Christ grants to His people all they need for life and godliness, and in turn, He has done this so His people may supplement their faith with a host of godly characteristics (2 Peter 1:3-7). The Lord God Himself is the One who makes His people holy and does this through the efforts of His people so they will pattern their lives after His.

In 2 Peter 1:8-9, Peter explains that qualities like self-control, virtue, godliness, and love are increasingly ours, they will keep the people of God from being ineffective and unfruitful (2 Peter 1:8). Peter does not merely suggest having a faithful walk is a good thing; he explains it is essential to saving faith. Later in his epistle, Peter gives warnings about those who will not pursue godly virtues (2 Peter 2:17-19). Those with genuine saving faith will and must bear good fruit because of Christ. The Scripture confirms that only those that bear fruit for the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus are genuinely saved (Jer. 21:14; Matt. 7:15-20; Matthew 13:1-23; James 2:26).

2 Peter 1:9 teaches that those who lack these characteristics are not only unfruitful they are also blind. Peter’s point here is those who profess faith in Christ and who show no desire for spiritual growth may have forgotten how they have been cleansed from past sins and given a new identity in Christ. These people have failed to understand the redemption offered to them in the finished, sufficient, and costly forgiveness offered to them in Christ alone. After all, those who have genuinely received the Lord Jesus know they must live in gratitude to the Lord Jesus for all He has done for them by striving to live in a manner pleasing to Him. Those unconcerned though with the gospel of the Lord Jesus have not correctly understood the costly nature of the work of Christ on their behalf. John Calvin explains, “it then follows, that those who do not strive for a pure and holy life, do not understand even the first rudiments of faith.”

You and I as genuine Christians may at times forget the significance of Christ’s work and sin, but our lapse into moments of sin and rebellion is never permanent. If someone does though finally fall away and apostatizes they have not only forgotten the work of Christ; they demonstrate they never trusted Him at all (1 John 2:19).

Today there is much discussion about this program and that program being the most effective way to minister to people. Peter here has in mind something much more significant than programs but how the gospel is shaping our lives so that we are becoming men and women of godly character. Programs can be a helpful tool, but when used as a replacement for helping people grow in grace they are a poor substitute. We are to be men and women of godly character growing in the character qualities Peter has described this far in this epistle. Please take some time to consider the qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7. Ask yourself, whether you are involved in ministry or not, is your life increasingly characterized by these qualities? As you answer that question, please be honest with yourself and where you lack and what is keeping you from growing in holiness and being as fruitful as you may be for the Lord Jesus. As you are answering that question also ask the Lord to enable you through the Holy Spirit to persevere in this quality, so you may continue to repent and to grow in humility. Please also find someone to hold you accountable for practicing and growing in that character quality and permit them to speak into your life as needed to encourage you and correct you.

Related Posts

4 Ways Paul Encourages Us to Love the Church (Even When It’s Hard)

4 Ways Paul Encourages Us to Love the Church (Even When It’s Hard)

Beauty on the Inside Around the corner from where I live, a house is for sale. In bold green letters, the lawn sign reads: “I’m Gorgeous Inside!” The message is surprising. From the street, the house is thoroughly ordinary, even run-down. It’s a seventies-era raised...

A Christian Reading Manifesto

A Christian Reading Manifesto

Modern technology has launched us into the stratosphere of learning. With the click of a mouse or a few keystrokes, we can access information from around the world and gain a treasure chest of knowledge. Smartphones are at the forefront of the new technological...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share22
Tweet9
Reddit
Pin
Share