Oct 29, 2021
Welcome back to the Follower of One podcast. I'm Mike Henry Sr., and we've been talking through the first chapter of 2 Peter. We're in verse 5 today. "Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge". The title of today's post is about “Why is faith first?” What we're talking about here is growing into the God-life. I mentioned the God-life in the previous episode, where it says that we become partakers of the divine nature in the New American Standard. We actually get to start living the God-life. That's our salvation.
And it's God's divine power in verse 3 that grants us everything pertaining to life and godliness. We get everything pertaining to life and godliness through the knowledge of God. That's in verse 2. And all of this begins with faith. In verse 1, Simon Peter says, "to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours." We get the faith first.
Faith is the down payment. It's what God gives us when He gives us the Holy Spirit, and He gives us faith, and as we exercise that faith, we grow into this God-life. And that's what I think this whole exercise - these next four verses - are about. They're about how we grow into the God-life. I want to put it on like a jacket, or I want to grow into it.
I want to learn how to use the professional tools instead of just the amateur tools or the kids' tools. I want to grow up in my faith. I want my faith to be something that is applicable and makes a difference in the lives of my family and myself and the people around me. And so I have to grow up in my faith.
We come to our faith in the Lord from death. Remember in Ephesians, it says we were dead in our trespasses and sins. And what we've done is we've come to the life. We've come to this new God-life through faith. Faith is first. And he says that he begins this verse, "Now for this very reason, also". He's tying together those first four verses.
And then he challenges us to apply all diligence. Diligence is "persevere with careful or painstaking attention and effort." This is hard. We broke the world, and restoring these- this God-life, rejoining the God-life requires effort and work. God summoned us. He's given us this responsibility. He brought us to this challenge.
Our work is to grow into it. And that's where we supply moral excellence. That's the first thing that we apply to our faith. We get our life right. We get morally excellent. We live as if we believe God. Moral excellence is this idea that I abstain from certain things. I do other things that I might not do if I were not a follower of Jesus.
In doing these things, we start to grow up. It's like doing practice. When you start, when you first begin to golf or when you first begin to take part in any sport, you take the baby steps first. You do the small things first. The small things first are moral excellence.
Moral excellence is where we are called to line our lives up with God and with His life. We want to live according to what we know about God. I want to talk about this more in the next episode. So we'll continue in 2 Peter, 1:5. We'll continue in that verse tomorrow, as we go through these different characteristics that we bring to this God-life and grow up in the God-life.
Today I want to challenge us as followers of Jesus. Let's ask God to show us where our own life doesn't line up with the things that God wants in us.
Let's supply moral excellence by lining our lives up with what we believe about God. Ask Him to show you where your life doesn't line up with what you know is consistent with your beliefs, and then do something about it. Take some action, and do something about it. Let's not let another day go without pursuing moral excellence, because it's the first step in growing into the God-life.
Thank you for being a marketplace minister, and thank you for making a difference in the lives of the people that you interact with every day. Our job as ministers is to help other people move one notch closer to Jesus.
I'm excited that you listened to this podcast, and that you consider how you might be able to help other people move one notch closer to Jesus. Your actions make a difference in our world. And I'm grateful for that. Thank you very much.