LEARN AND GROW 29/12/2018

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Learn and Grow

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and

Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen

 (2 Peter 3:18).


Scripture Reading: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Objectives:  to understand that God provides the transforming power of His Spirit, yet leaves us with the responsibility to learn and grow.

 Introduction: Transformation begins as an event (rebirth) and continues as a process (growth). When we give our lives to Christ, He gives us a new nature, but He doesn't take our old nature from us. Instead, He leaves us with the responsibility to surrender our old nature to Him (Colossians 3:5, 6). We surrender our will to Him a bit at a time as we learn to trust His perfect will and follow His Spirit. That's the journey of faith. Our ability to respond to His love with our faith enables a loving relationship with our Creator and Redeemer.

 Peter describes the lifelong transformation process of sanctification in 2 Peter 1:3-i l . We start with faith (v. 5) and grow in His love (v. 7) as we partake in His divine, giving nature (v. 4). We become rivers of His love flowing from the fountain of life. However, Peter warns that those of us who have been forgiven will lose our gratitude for Christ if we don't actively allow His love to flow through us to others (v. 9). If we receive without giving, we can fall out of love with Jesus and become like the Dead Sea. That's not God's good will for us. Therefore, Peter says, we should make our calling and election sure (v. 10). By actively growing in His love, we're assured that we will never fall away from Jesus (v. 10).

 If our churches lack God's transformational power, it means His love isn't flowing through us. We're receiving without giving. if we're not growing, we're dying. The Transforming Vision into Reality plan focuses on Jesus and follows His plan. In our quarterlies this year, we've studied Jesus as our Savior and Jesus as our Lord. Next year we'll follow His plan: the Great Commission. Lf we're doing the right things, God will bless us. Our churches will be transforming environments filled with the presence and power of His Spirit in us.

Satan is a subtle deceiver. If we take our eyes off Christ. he can divide the harmony of grace and truth into opposing extremes. One extreme leads to a critical environment in which controlling attitudes rob us of our joy in Christ and His freedom from the slavery of sin. The other leads to a permissive environment in which cavalier actions rob us of our reverence for God's holiness. Both are unhealthy environments in which our love for Christ declines as the sick get sicker.

A church is a spiritual hospital that welcomes those who come to be healed. Like a hospital, the church always has sick people. but something is terribly wrong if the sick aren't getting better. A church that focuses on Christ clearly sees His perfect sacrificial nature. In His perfect standard, we see the vision God has for each of our lives. His love provides a healing environment so we learn to let go of the old nature through right attitudes and actions. A vibrant 21st century church focuses on Jesus and grows through the power of His Spirit as we participate in His giving nature. That's His plan.


Questions for Study and Discussion

I What does Scripture say Christians should grow in? 2 Peter 3:18. How does this relate to our transformation? Romans 12:1, 2.

2 Explain how Christian transformation is both an event and a process, a divine gift and a personal responsibility John 3:5, 6; Colossians 3:5, 6.

3 How does transformation understood as an event and a process   relate to Jesus as Savior and Lord? How is this shown in 2 Peter   1:1-5?

4 Identify the eight steps of growth in 2 Peter 1:5~8. Discuss how each is an attitude and action. What warning, and promise, does Peter give about this process? Verses 9-1 1.

5 What is the goal to which Christian growth and transformation point, and how dedicated are you and your church to it? Romans 8:29; Ephesians 4:15,16.

 Conclusion: Jesus wants to purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). If we are willing to give of ourselves the way Jesus gave Himself for us, He'll fill us with compassion for the lost. When we look past their sin and see the peril, when we look past their profanity and see the pain, when in their despair we see ourselves, our hearts will ache for Jesus to use us to rescue the perishing. Let’s grow in His grace and knowledge and follow His plan, the Great Commission.

Apply This Week

Reflect on the eight steps listed in 2 Peter l :5—8 and how responsible you are in participating in this process of growing in grace every day. Consider how to "add" one upon the other to your life, with God's help. 

1 Replies | Last update 2018-12-28
2018-12-28   #1

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