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2 Peter 1:5... beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
We begin with faith:
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
Faith is a reasoned belief in the plan and purpose of God as revealed in the word of God – the Bible.
Romans 10:17... faith cometh by hearing [and by inference understanding], and hearing by the word of God.
From the Bible we understand that as children of Adam we all fail to live by God’s commandments. To break God’s commandments is to sin. The penalty for each and every sin is death.
Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death...
God has provided a way of escape from death through his son Jesus Christ. Jesus voluntarily sacrificed his life so that we could have all our sins forgiven. With all our sins forgiven we will be raised from the dead to eternal life when Christ returns to establish the kingdom of God upon earth.
Romans 5:8... God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
This briefly is the gospel. When we understand the gospel, God requires a response from us.
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved...
Following baptism we are to live by the commandments of Jesus Christ as revealed in the New Testament.
Romans 6:3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
Matthew 7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Faith without works (of faith) is dead and will not save us.
James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
We begin with faith in 2 Peter 1:5 and our aim is love (charity).
1 Timothy 1:5... the end of the commandment is charity (love) out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
The Greek word (agape) translated ‘charity’ is love divorced from emotion. We are instructed to show love to those for whom we can have no emotional feeling.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Without this love we are nothing and faith is in vain.
1 Corinthians 13:2... though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
Paul goes on to describe the attributes of the love we must strive to attain to:
1 Corinthians 13:4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, 5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth...
We will still sin, because with Adam’s nature we cannot live a sinless life; but we have the assurance that our sins confessed in prayer will be forgiven.
1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
In conclusion, to become a better person (in the sight of God) we must humble ourselves to understand and obey the gospel preached by his son and the disciples, live our lives by his commandments and strive to attain unto the self-sacrificing love for others that is exemplified in the life of Christ.
I hope you have found this helpful.
God bless you,