Wednesday, August 26, 2015

7 Christian Principles to Grow Your Faith:

Building a Stronger Trust Series

Part 8 The Fruits of a Stronger Faith:

Our journey through Disciple Peter’s message of faith (2 Peter 1: 5-7 NKJV) enhances our bond with God. This proven set of Christian actions embraces God with vigorous faith. Those principles have worked for centuries and at our disposal. The result of our labor is a maturing faith and an unwavering trust in God.

So, what can you expect from following Peter’s lesson?

Peter extended his message by saying this:

“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ," (2 Peter 1:8).

Every one of those spiritual attributes embraces Christ’s wisdom. The essence of salvation is understanding the truth of Jesus. Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension promise us eternal life.

To be neither barren nor unfruitful means Christ will deliver us God’s values. Alone we don’t have the mindset, heart or spirit to live according to God’s will. By walking with Christ our lives align with His guidance, and we prosper in spiritual matters. Reliance on God’s wisdom provides a strength beyond our own, and we stay faithful.

Peter warns us the penalty of not growing our faith.

He explains it this way:

“For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins," (2 Peter 1:9).

Here a perfect picture emerges of a barren and unfruitful life. The lack of virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love spells disaster. Never-ceasing sin is a persistent spiritual suffering filled with damaging results. And we see this happening around us daily.

I have personal experience living outside the kingdom. My life uses to be full of deception. Skepticism and coincidences were my outlooks on life events. Resentments, sexual immorality, and pride dominated my actions. I always expected something in return for my services since I was a self-seeker. My suffering from an unsaved soul was relentless. I wasn’t holy.

Blasphemy, terrorism, adultery, greed and other sins occur in the secular world. They are bonded to pride and blinded from God’s word. Their darkness blocks the truth of the Lord, and they indulge in the flesh. Self-deception prevents the Light of Christ from entering their hearts. They lack the foresight of eternal life because their focus is shallow and worldly.

Old sin brings the same results our ancient ancestors encountered. They continued losing favor with God’s mercy and grace. The Old Testament attests to God’s patience with His people on sin. Captivity and wise prophets weren’t enough to convince them to repent.

So, the Lord implemented a New Covenant through His Son Christ Jesus. It’s the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Salvation comes from Jesus and growing our faith through Peter’s inspiration leads to a faith strong enough to overcome temptations. Without this, we are doomed.

Peter’s testimony to God’s faithfulness is incredible. His next two verses promises God’s grace.

He shared this:

“Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (2 Peter 1:10).

Faith without works can’t sustain trials and tribulations. It takes persistent Christian actions to withstand the hidden problems life doles out. God has called us to partake in salvation. And Peter encourages us to stand firm on the Lord’s truth. Christ makes salvation desirable and faith holds us accountable to live holy.

Applying those 7 Christian principles to faith anchors an unshakable spiritual foundation. They give a solid footing on the eternal road. They complement each other and keep us balanced in our walk with Christ. We don’t stumble since we find Jesus’s courage to live according to God’s commandments. This doesn’t mean we won’t struggle for staying on the narrow way isn’t easy. Steadfast devotion is the key to spiritual discipline.

God used Peter to sum it up by leaving us this Scripture:

for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ," (2 Peter 1:11).

The Lord is faithful and follows through with His promises. God loves us unconditionally and provides a way to be with Him forever. Here our Father rewards our efforts with an endless partnership with His Son Jesus Christ.

God’s selfless giving is undeniable, and this scripture points it out. Our willingness to follow Peter’s message shows our faith in God, and He opens the door of eternity. Wow! Isn’t the Lord amazing? Now if this doesn’t excite you, then I’m sadden because I know you can have what I’ve found.

Well, this series ends, but growing our faith through Peter’s message is ongoing. Together we can radiate God’s truth to the world by living those 7 Christian principles.