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Becoming a Fruitful and Effective Christian

27 Sep

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18)

‘Don’t get carried away’, that seems like a fairly general statement. Remain steadfast, don’t get blown around by every wind of new teaching, that sort of thing. But how is it that we can remain (and not be carried away); How can we stay steadfast?

First, how can we obey what Peter has just told us? … Seeing as we’re incapable.

For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)

It’s not actually us obeying, therefore it’s possible; It’s Christ though us. But however it happens, the point is that we remain steady against false teachers (Muhammad, Buddha and several others). – Pretty simple really.

You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17-18)

On the other hand, this admission by Peter is different. He tells us to grow in the Gospel. But how can someone do that? By growing in(to) Christ. To quote from myself:

For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:29)

Obviously it’s not possible for us to suddenly turn into the physical Jesus, Paul isn’t talking about that, he’s talking about us growing spiritually into the likeness of Christ. He’s talking about a Spiritual transformation, which is an entirely different thing than psychical transformation, and for that matter, is much easier for us to do. Speaking of which, how again do we grow into the likeness of Christ?

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Our Spiritual life is much like our physical life, in both we grow, in both we need to “eat”, and in both we mature. However, is our Spiritual life we are also transformed into the likeness of Christ.”

— https://goldenbible.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/the-image-of-god/

Stick with me please, this all does have a purpose and will eventually fit together. – As we learned in my last post, if we have self-control, we need steadfastness and if we have steadfastness, we need godliness (i.e. we need to grow in the Gospel). Peter is first telling us to be steadfast and now he tells us to also grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord (in the Gospel). First he told them (and us) the characteristics, now he’s giving them (and us) practical ways to apply them.

We are steadfast, by not being, “blown around” by every false prophet that comes our way. We grow in Godliness by becoming more like Christ. We have knowledge by growing in the knowledge of Jesus (which is the Gospel). Same with virtue:

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. (2 Peter 3:13-14)

Same with all the characteristics. Paul is giving us practical ways to be, “fruitful and effective”. – The point? Through Christ’s power, we’re able to stay steadfast in him, able to be spotless in God’s eyes, able to have virtue, faith, godliness and the rest. In short, the way we become a fruitful and effective Christian, is by growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

 

 

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Delivered Through Love

 

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2 responses to “Becoming a Fruitful and Effective Christian

  1. writinggomer

    February 9, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Very good, I like this! Keep writing, you certainly have a way with words!
    Blessings

     
    • Joshua Cleveland

      February 9, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      Thank you, I always appreciate the encouragement :). Give all glory to God though, after all, I wouldn’t even be alive (physically or Spiritually) without Him. As you said in a recent (and fantastic!) post, lets keep things in perspective ;).

      Thank you,

      Joshua

       

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