Text Verse: 2 Peter 1: 1-9
Oftentimes when we go out Soul-Winning we become focused on leading the lost to the Lord; and we should be! But along the way we come in contact with Christians that have 'fallen out of the way.' Spiritually speaking, these Christians are blindly going through this life. They are willfully out of the way steeped in sin and living an anemic Christian life. Unfortunately, we live in a day when anemic Christianity is all around us. Apathetic Christian living is the norm. If you have been Soul-Winning for any length of time you have probably had this dialogue take place on the doorstep of one of these poor Christians:
Soul-Winner: Do you know 100% if you were to die today that you would spend an eternity in Heaven?
Apathetic Christian: Yes.
Soul-Winner: Can I ask you, how do you know that for sure?
Apathetic Christian: Because I am saved, I trusted in Jesus Christ as my Savior.
Soul-Winner: Well where do you go to church?
Apathetic Christian: I don't go anywhere, I know I should, but I don't feel much like a Christian.
Our responsibility as a fellow brother or sister in Christ is to try to help this Christian. We should endeavor not to leave them in their blind state, but rather show them from the Bible how they can return to a path of fruitfulness in the Lord. Let me encourage you to mark out this passage of Scripture that covers this very topic: 2 Peter 1: 1-9. In this passage Peter gives us some eye-opening things that will help us to understand why it is this Christian has fallen out of the way.
First of all this passage explains to us the Gift of God.
v1-3 "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
Peter makes it clear to us that God has not left us in the dark after Salvation, but rather has provided us with "all things that pertain unto life and godliness," We could say it this way, that as Christians we are without excuse. God has given us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16) God has given us His precious Word. (2 Peter 1:19) God has given us the ability to come before Him in prayer. (Hebrews 4:16) God has given us a local New Testament church. (Galatians 6:2) God has also given us each other, brothers and sisters in Christ to exhort us unto good works. (Hebrews 10:24) This truth is plain that God has given us a gift, it that he has provided "all thing that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who hath called us..." The Him of course is Jesus Christ.
Not only do we have the Gift of God, but secondly we have the Goal through God. Just what is the ultimate goal of the Christian life?
Romans 8:29 tells us this, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
We see in our text passage this same goal (to be conformed to the image of his Son). Notice what verse 4 states in our passage, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." So the goal through God's working in us is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ; partakers of the divine nature.
So we have the Gift of God, which brings us toward the Goal through God, but thirdly we have the Growth with God.
As this passage continues, Peter gives us a running list of building blocks or growth points for the Christian life:
v5-7 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."
There are seven growth points listed here after our initial faith in Jesus Christ. Each of these have great significance. But what I want you to see here is not necessarily the specifics on the seven areas of growth but rather that the normal Christian life is one of growth. Notice that verse 5 starts with this phrase, 'add.' Addition signifies an increase. When you add, unless your adding the wrong things, you should end up with growth. These areas of growth are a necessity as we will see in a few moments to the Christian life. In my garden, I typically grow one or two cucumber vines. These vines once they start going grow at an immense rate. Oftentimes there are so many cucumbers on the vine that my wife and I cannot eat them fast enough. But as the season continues something starts to happen. The vine stops growing, cucumbers start to form dwarf size or misshaped. Then starting from the bottom of the vine moving forward the vine begins to die. You see the vine stopped growing. Pretty soon the vine has to be taken out of the garden because it is deteriorating and producing foul fruit.
So far we have:
The Gift of God - God has provided us everything we need in our Christian life.
The Goal of God - To be partakers of the divine nature, by being conformed to image of our Lord.
The Growth with God - Those seven growth points in our Christian life that we are to be adding.
Notice lastly, what it all comes down to, the Guarantee of God. The next few verses give us not only a warning, but a guarantee. In other words, you can mark it down, what is listed next will come to pass. There are two conditions that are given here. The first we find in verse 8:
"For if these things be in you, and abound, [What things? the seven listed above]
they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Notice the verse says 'if.' This gives us an indication that these are not automatic. That word 'abound' give us the idea of continual moving forward(think of leap frog). Or we could say it this way, growing, an abounding Christian life. If these be in you and abound you will neither be 1) barren nor 2)unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is perhaps one of the saddest failures for someone to get saved, having great opportunity to serve the Lord before them, and yet they are barren and unfruitful. By the way, this is not God's fault, because He has given us 'all things that pertain unto life and godliness.' The unfruitful barren Christian is that way because they stopped somewhere along the way in the growth process, the addition that is supposed to be taking place in their life. But glory, hallelujah! The Christian that abounds in these will never be unfruitful and barren.
But watch what happens to the one that has stopped moving forward in the Christian life:
"But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins."
There are two sad results from the Christian that has stopped growing. First, they are blind. They cannot see spiritually speaking. Not only are they susceptible to falling in the ditch, running headlong into sin, and falling for the trap of the Devil, but they cannot see the wonderful promises of eternity ahead. They can only see the temporal beggarly elements of this world. Oh to be blind is to be shortsighted indeed! But secondly, we find for the one who has quit on church, quit on reading their Bible, quit on praying, they "hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins." Quite simply, they have forgotten what it is like to be saved. "They do not feel saved anymore." Perhaps you have run into a few people in this way. I know I have, they no longer have spiritual discernment and have no assurance of their salvation. What a terrible state to be in.
The cure for this plight is simple, the one who is blind and feeling distant to God needs to do a complete 180 and get back to church, back to reading their Bible, back to prayer, and experience the wonderful growth that comes as we have a vibrant fellowship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It all starts with an repentant heart toward God and then a move toward abiding in Him with the aforementioned things.
Let me encourage you, the next time you come across a Christian that makes the statement, "I don't feel saved." Do not leave that Christian in the dregs of apathy and Laodicean Christian living, but rather exhort them back to growth in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Pastor James Grandinetti, Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Revival Message from Monday PM April 9th at 7:00 pm
Don't miss Revival tonight at 7:00 pm
You can listen to the live stream recording here:
You can listen to or download the audio recording here:
Context- The Amalekites had attacked the children of Israel shortly after they left out of Egypt. And in doing so they attacked them from the rear; cowardly going after the weakest of the large group being led by Moses. It was during this battle that Joshua fought, as Moses was on the hillside having his arms propped up by Aaron and Hur. (Exodus 17: 8-16) It was after this God decreed that He was going to utterly destroy the Amalekites. As time moved on the children of Israel inhabited the promised land, led in by Joshua. Then after some time, under the spiritual leadership of Samuel, the people demanded a king. God had told Samuel that they had not rejected him (Samuel) but that they have rejected Me (God). God allowed Saul to be their king; God was going to give Saul an opportunity to do something amazing for Him. The greatest goal of the Christian life is to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren."
Text: 1 Samuel 15: 1-26, 35, 16:1
Oftentimes we miss oppourtinities because we fail to do what God has already revealed for us to do. We look for some "secret" will of God when God has already revealed to us what we are to do. Saul in this passage missed his opportunity.
Notice that when God gives us instructions:
I. It is Understandable
II. It is Unmistakable
Saul and the people's actions were:
Saul and the peoples actions were:
IV. Darting (throwing, as a dart in other words on target, with intent)
Maybe we should come before God and be broken about our failures and ask to help us not to miss what He has great for us to do for Him.
- Evangelist Dr. Richard Harper, Determined Ministries, www.determinedministries.org
Don't miss out on Revival tonight at 7:00 pm!
Perhaps you have missed this first morning service of Revival; it’s not too late. Check out the live stream recording or listen to the audio recording here:
Live Stream: http://www.sharonbaptisthamptonva.com/live.html
Audio Recording: http://www.sharonbaptisthamptonva.com/revival-2018.html
Be back tonight at 7:00 pm and don’t miss anymore of the Revival!
Here are the notes from Sunday AM’s service:
“In the midst of the terrifying circumstances, David is fleeing from Absalom his son and pens the 23rd Psalm. In this Psalm, David’s thoughts turn from Himself and focus on the Great Shepherd. It is in this Psalm that we learn what a Great Shepherd we have! Unfortunately, to those that are lost, none of these things apply.
I. A Particular Shepherd
II. A Perfect Shepherd
III. A Present Shepherd
IV. A Personal Shepherd
V. A Providing Shepherd
Psalm 23:1 “I shall not want.”
He leads us to:
VI. A Protecting Shepherd
VII. A Permanent Shepherd
- Dr. Richard Harper Evangelist, Determined Ministries
Maybe it is you would want the Lord to be your Great Shepherd, click the button below to learn more about having Jesus as your Great Shepherd:
Acts 8: 26-36
In Acts chapter 8, we find a familiar story that gives us some great biblical instruction on Soul-Winning. In this passage, Philip the Evangelist is called to a secluded desert area to encounter a proselyte of Judaism who was making his way back to Africa. The Ethiopian Eunuch, of whom we are not given his name, is a man of great authority and happens (by God’s providence) to be reading out of Isaiah chapter 53. What unfolds is God’s hand of providence. But notice the events leading up to this passage; first there was the obedience to go.
The Obedience to Go
While this may seem elementary to most this is the stumbling block that trips up most Christians from being Soul-Winners. Please don’t ever take for granite the power and blessings of being obedient to the Lord. Two times in this passage we are told that Philip was obedient to the Lord. In verse 26 the Bible declares, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go” and notice the response in verse 27, “And he arose and went.” In verse 29 we find, “Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot” and in verse 30 the response of Philip is recorded: “And Philip ran thither to him…” Interestingly enough though in verses 4 and 5 of this same chapter, even before Philip went to the desert, he was found faithful preaching in Samaria even amid persecution! Further, before this in chapter 6 we are told that out of the thousands that were part of the church at Jerusalem, Philip was selected along with six others because they were men of ‘honest report,’ ‘full of the Holy Ghost,’ and full of ‘wisdom.’ (Acts 6:3) I wonder how many of us would be selected in the face of thousands because we were full of the Holy Ghost, of honest report, and full of wisdom? It is obvious that Philip was obedient to the Lord long before he was called to the desert to witness to the Ethiopian Eunuch. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2) So we see that Philip was obedient to go, but notice also the ordering of Philip’s steps.
The Ordering of Steps
Many times, in our Christian service we are tempted to feel as if we have spun our wheels and wasted our time. But grab a hold of this truth; if the Lord is ordering your steps, you are certainly not wasting your time! Whether you are preaching a revival to a city (Samaria) or whether you preaching the Gospel to one person in the middle of nowhere if God direct, you have not wasted your time! In the book of Acts one of the greatest church planters in the New Testament, Paul the Apostle gives us a great example of this. In Acts chapter 24:22-25 we find him preaching the Gospel to Felix the governor; Felix trembled but did not get saved. Did Paul waste his time? In Acts 26: 19-28, Paul again preached the Gospel to King Agrippa, Bernice, and Festus; none of which to our knowledge accepted Jesus Christ. Did Paul waste his time? I don’t believe so! In Proverbs 3: 5-6 we are given a promise concerning the Lord directing our steps. This promise though has conditions, notice what it says, “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The epilogue, if you will, is stated in verse 7 with some ‘warning labels.’ It states, “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.” The components or conditions are as follows: – (1) Trust in the Lord with our whole heart [there is a fullness of trust required] (2) Not going in your own understanding, (3) Acknowledging God in all things = [the result] He shall direct Thy paths (Steps). The epilogue is this – (1) Be not wise in your own eyes, (2) Fear the Lord, (3) and Depart from Evil [This epilogue is almost a reverse of the steps mentioned in the previous verses). You see, if we are following God’s formula for direction, we will never be found wasting our time. We see Philip’s obedience to go, the ordering of his steps and then finally the crux of the whole matter, the opening of the mouth.
The Opening of the Mouth
Our purpose here upon this earth after salvation is bound up in the command that God gave us to ‘preach the Gospel to every creature’ and our goal is to preach Jesus. We find at the end of this lengthy narrative Philip simply preached Jesus. “Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.” (Acts 8:35) All throughout the book of Acts this same theme can be found, preaching Jesus. In Acts 8:4 we see, “… they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” In verse 5, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.” In Acts chapter 7, at the end of his lengthy sermon Stephen was preaching Jesus to those who stoned him. You see we need a fresh revival of Christians simply preaching Jesus. Let me encourage you to be bold in your witness and preach Jesus Christ! I will leave you with this quote from Charles Spurgeon in his 1859 sermon (of which he apparently was quoting someone else but agreed with the statement), “I have never yet found a text that had not got a road to Christ in it, and if I ever do find one that has not a road to Christ in it, I will make one; I will go over hedge and ditch but I would get at my Master, for the sermon cannot do any good unless there is a savour of Christ in it.”
Pastor James Grandinetti - Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
Showing People the Way to God
- Personal Evangelism
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