1. Every Christian should desire spiritual growth! (Heb. 6:1; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18)
a. We are to make definite progress in the Christian life (steady moral & spiritual advancement).
b. But, how do we achieve spiritual growth in our lives?!
2. 2 Pet. 1:5-7 - By adding these attributes to our lives we become more like Christ!
3. We must see the inter-linking nature of these attributes. They do & cannot stand alone, but form a chain of spiritual strength & a stairway to heaven!
I. GIVE ALL DILIGENCE TO GROW - 1:5, 10.
A. Earnest Zeal, Exertion, To Endeavor.
1. Christians are not called & elected to a lifestyle of lethargy! (Eph. 4:1; Rom. 12:11)
2. Growth requires work Þ Time & patience! Cf. Rev. 3:2
3. v. 5 - Without diligence we will not grow.
4. v. 10 - With diligence we secure our salvation.
B. We Must Choose To Make Our Calling Sure (firm) - v. 10; cf. Phil. 2:12.
II. INCREASING IN SPIRITUAL QUALITIES IS SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:5-7.
A. Faith Is The Foundation Of All Other Spiritual Qualities - Heb. 11:6.
1. Firm persuasion, absolute trust - Heb. 11:1.
2. Without faith the other qualities of spiritual maturity are unattainable! (2 Cor. 5:7).
3. Faith can only be anchored in word of God (Rom. 10:17).
B. Add (Supply) To Your Faith:
1. Virtue: "Moral goodness," excellence. Courage (manliness, 1 Cor. 16:13) of faith.
a. The moral courage to live your faith, to do what is right!
b. Positive area of growth to combat the pressures of sin! - cf. Jno. 12:42-43
2. Knowledge: Understanding of truth.
a. Hosea 4:6 - Lack of knowledge destroys (2 Tim. 2:15; 1 Pet. 2:2; 2 Pet. 3:18).
b. Knowledge required to know when/how to exert moral courage! - Eph. 5:15-17
3. Self-control: Temperance, self-government or regulation.
Needed to do what we know is right (1 Cor. 9:25-27) & to avoid what we know is wrong (Jas. 1:13-15)
4. Perseverance: Patient, endurance, steadfastness, (Jas. 1:3-4; 5:7-8; Heb. 12:1, 3; cf. Mk. 4:16-17).
-To continue self-control, knowledge & virtue!
5. Godliness: Piety, reverence, devotion.
a. Implementing a lifestyle of respect for Gods will - Tit. 2:11-12 (2 Tim. 3:4-5).
b. Through previous "steps," we increase in our reverence for God, seeking to please God in everything!
6. Brotherly kindness: Brotherly affection, love.
a. Brotherly respect & concern (Rom. 12:10; Eph. 4:31-32; 1 Pet. 1:22; 2:17; 3:8).
b. As we grow inwardly (1:5-6) we must grow outwardly, too!
7. Love: Active goodwill, charity toward others.
a. "Unconquerable benevolence, undefeatable goodwill" (Barclay).
b. A deliberate desire (w/ corresponding action) for the greatest good of its object (Matt. 5:43-48). Cf. 1 Jno. 4:7-11; 3:17-18
c. 1 Cor. 13:1-8a, 13 - Love must motivate our actions, define our character & permanently abide in our lives!
d. Capstone of all other spiritual qualities, love is found in all of them! - Matt. 22:37-38
III. THE BENEFITS OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - 1:8-11.
A. Christianity Will Be The Enthusiasm Of Our Lives! - v. 8 (Rom. 7:4). -Active & fruitful-
B. Greater Awareness Of Our Spiritual Blessings - v. 9.
C. Protection From Falling (security) - v. 10.
D. Abundant Entrance Into Heaven - v. 11.
If we will supply (fully add, v. 5) these attributes to our lives, God will supply heaven to us (v. 11)!