Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The Christian Life: God’s Power, God’s Promises, Our Effort

2 PETER 1:3-9 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness,7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being in effective 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.”

So, imagine a young believer coming up to you with the question, “How do I live the Christian life pleasing before the Lord?” What advice would you give? What practical steps would you share? Or let’s turn the question around–“How do you live the Christian life?” or allow me to join the conversation, “How do I live the Christian life?” This is an important question and cannot be easily dismissed. The Christian life demands action, demands purposeful steps, and demands we engage our hearts, minds, and wills by intentional acts of obedience to commands of God. We are not saved to sit. We are not redeemed to rest. So, how about it? How do we live the Christian life? Let’s allow the Apostle Peter to direct us from his words in today’s scripture.

As he does, we must remind ourselves the Christian life is not a “Let go and let God” life. No, there is a cooperative effort between God and us in the Christian life. However, and this is a big however, we cannot do our part–obey–without God doing His part and that is where the Christian life begins.

In today’s scripture, there are two words beginning with the letter “p” that reveal to us God’s part enabling us to live the Christian life. They are “His divine power ”and “His precious and very great promises.” God’s power revealed in His Word of promises is the foundation for all Christian living. For instance, we read, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”(Philippians 4:13). Within this verse is a promise, power, and our effort. As we read our Bibles look for this three-fold occurrence–God’s power, God’s promises, our effort. Here is where all we need to live the Christian life. But make sure we don’t start with our effort. That is simply morality or religion resulting in no acceptable obedience in the eyes of the Lord. He is not glorified by our effort alone but our faith in His power and promises enabling our effort. As for the effort part? Spend time and read the remaining words of the Apostle Peter AFTER he mentions promises. The list is what describes and directs our efforts under the power and promises of God to live the Christian life.

PRAYER: “Father, I praise You for Your power, promises and through both, enabling me to obey You.”
QUOTE: “We live the Christian life by God’s promises and His power–both necessary to obey Him.”

Because of Him,
Pastor Jim