Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Power is Readily Available

As I was studying Galatians 5;22, 23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV)
After I finished studying Galatians 5:22-23, I decided to see what other verses used the same words. I don't think I ever noticed how often God tells us to live — the "Fruit of the Spirit". I think that God knew that we needed many reminders and explanations of how He wants to live our lives. 

Today, I'm studying 2 Peter 1:5-7. It starts with "for this very reason" — for this very purpose.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NKJV)
I've been thinking about the meaning of "for this very reason". It's not haphazard. There is a very specific purpose that we are — giving all diligence.

Giving all diligence: from speudo; "speed", with eagerness, earnestness.

But before we get to 2 Peter 1:5-7, we should stop and look back at the very specific reason we should quickly with earnestness proceed.
2 Peter 1:1-4
Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The two thoughts that stand out to me in these verses are: 1. I owe my live to Jesus Christ. I am his bondservant — because without Him, I would be left in my sin and separated from God. 2. God gives me the power and wisdom needed to live the life He asks me to live. I don't have to do it alone. 

Because of those two facts, for that very reason — and am to speedily with earnest, ADD........ 

Add: "bring deeply into," to carrying through with real personal involvement (energy). This strongly stresses the need of the believer's deep, personal involvement in the faith-life
Faith: Faith is only (exclusively) given to the redeemed. It is not a virtue that can be worked up by human effort.
Virtue: moral excellence, which is displayed to enrich life
Knowledge: moral wisdom, such as is seen in right living
Self-control: dominion mastery, proceeding out from within oneself, but not by oneself — only be accomplished by the power of the Lord.
Perseverance: steadfastness, constancy, endurance, the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
Godliness: reverence, respect, piety toward God
Brotherly kindness: the love which Christians cherish for each other as 'brethren'
Love: love which centers in moral preference;  typically refers to divine love = what God prefers

There is a theme that runs through the meaning of these words — moral. And that morality is not based on feelings, or what I perceive to be moral on any given day. No, these are all based on what God says is morality. 

And since they are each based upon the Holy and Upright God, God Almighty, there is no way I, as a sinner, could even begin to achieve or live out any of these characteristics — EXCEPT for the fact that God says that HE gives me the power and wisdom needed to do so! 

The focus for this particular study is "self-control". Before I can have dominion mastery, I just first make sure that I'm accepting God's faith, virtue, and knowledge. For those are the foundation necessary to having self-control. 

Dominion Mastery — can only be accomplished by the power of the Lord. And that power is readily available. The question is, am I willing to accept it? 

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