Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

05/20/2018 A.M

 

Living With Determination

Making Sure Of Our Salvation

2 Peter 1.3-13

 

It was Jesus who said... I came that you might have life... And have it more abundantly...

 

The Greek speaks of... Life above the common... Life above the ordinary... Life at its best. Jesus is telling us that the best life possible is... A life in Him... Patterned after Him.

 

Our Sunday Morning Series is about perseverance... Not giving up...Living the good life Jesus came to make possible with... Patience...Perseverance... determination.

 

This morning... We start with two questions...

 

First… Can we know we are saved?... I believe the Biblical answer is yes…

 

1 John 5.13 has John saying… I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life…. If they could know… We can know!

 

2 Peter 1.10 & 11 reads… Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

For those of us who are striving to be God’s person... There is no good life... if we are unsure of our salvation... Unsure of where we stand with God... There can be no abundant life if we are forced to live and die with our fingers crossed.

 

Listen to Paul…

2 Corinthians 5.6-8…We are always confident… knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord… We are also confident that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

 

Philippians 1.23-24… I am torn between the two options: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far… But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.

 

2 Timothy 4.7-8... I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith... There is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day--and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

 

Church… If Paul was not sure of his salvation… And that of the early Christians… How could he make such statements?

 

He could make them because he was both…

   • Confident of His salvation…

   • And was being led by the Holy spirit to present truth on the subject.

Indeed… The New Testament teaches us that... We can know... we can know!!

 

Second question… Can one fall after being saved?... Again the Biblical answer is YES.

 

Paul tells us that he had to discipline himself… His flesh nature… In order to maintain his walk with the Lord… I must beat… discipline… train…my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

Paul understood that even as an Apostle he could fall.

 

Jesus instructed John to write seven letters to the church of Asia Minor. In these letters Jesus gives a strong warning that…

• They must repent of their straying…

• That they must hold on… persevere… Keep-On-Keeping-On…

• That they must... with determination... overcome the world.

In order to obtain the promised reward

 

Listen to Peter in this Second Letter… Chapter one...

• Verse 10… If you do these things you will never fall… Falling is possible!

 

• Verses 20 & 22 of chapter two.. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

 

• Then there is His conclusion of this Second Letter in 3.17 & 18… Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Even Jesus spoke of those who once received the Word of God… But allowed the cares and pressures of this world to cause their fall in the parable of the Seed and The Sower.

 

Indeed...After being born again... We must with perseverant determination... maintain our walk with God by...

• Becoming a different person...

• Living a changed life...

      Onlythen can we be... Confident... Assured... Of our salvation...

• Paul indicates that... We must work out our salvation...

• Peter puts it this way... Make your calling and election sure.

 

Access a Worship Bulletin and let’s listen to what Peter has to say on our subject...

Second Peter chapter one… I wait on you at the verse numbered three… His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is short-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.  I think it is right to refresh your memory.

 

Let’s see what we can learn about

making our calling and election sure…

Being sure of our savation

 

First… God is supplying everything we need to maintain our salvation.

His Divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through Jesus.

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it… As we know Jesus better… His Divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life.

 

John 1.12 reads… To all who received him… Jesus… To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Our King James says… He gave them power to become Children of God.

 

Listen to Paul from Colossians chapter two… For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him... Your fullness is in him!

 

These verses tell us that… In Jesus… We have everything we need to live godly lives…How?... Through knowing Jesus.

• No… Not just knowing Him intellectually… But knowing Him… intimately…relationally… Having a relationship with Him.

 

• No… Not just by believing in His name... With mere mental assent… But by faith…Trusting Him and His precious promises enough to submit to His will through the Word.

 

I hope you believe in God’s power is at work in your life and mine.

 

Listen to Paulfrom Ephesians 3.20…Now to him whois able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.

 

Hebrews 13… May the God of peace… That great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ.

 

Philippians 2.13 tells us that... It is God who works in us to will and to act in accordance with His... God’s... Good purpose.

 

No wonder Paul is found saying… I want to know Jesus… And the Power of His resurrection.

 

Indeed!!!… The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available in my life and yours… Enabling us to… Say no to ungodliness… Worldly lust… And to live self-controlled… upright…Godly lives in our present culture.

 

God’s power not only produces a new person when we are born again… It also enables us to live a new life… A godly life... The abundant life... afterward… Amen?

 

Paul tells us how His power works in the matter of temptation and trials.

They will come… But we will not be… Tempted or Tried… Beyond that which we are able to resist… He will provide a way for us to deal with both temptation and trials.

 

And when we do stumble… He provides cleansing forgiveness…

• If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

 

• If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

 

Indeed…These verses affirm that God has given us all we need to escape the corruption of this world.. And live for him.

 

Here it is church… There’s not a spiritual need we have… That God’s power has not provided for…This ought to give us confidence and assurance… Right?

 

There’s a story told of a woman living in the backwoods of our country… that had no electricity. In the forties... When rural electrification came… She had it installed. Three months later her power consumption was practically nothing… Zero.  When asked about this she replied… Oh yes!...I switch it on every night to see to light my coal-oil lamps… Then I quickly turn it off.

 

Are we like this spiritually… We believe in His power… But fail to use it except to ignite an occasional spiritual flame within us?

 

Indeed... God has supplied everything we need to make our calling and election sure.

 

Secondly… We must participate in His divine nature.

He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

 

You see…

• From baptism…

• From being born again…

• Born from above…

• Born of water and Spirit…

We are raised a new creature… A new person.

• Sins have been forgiven...

• We have a fresh start and a new beginning...

• We’ve crucified the old man and we’ve been raised to walk in a new life...

• Old things have passed away… All things have been made new.

 

To maintain this pure sinless state… and escape the ultimate destiny of the sinner…

• We must walk in the light of truth…

• Strive to become like Jesus… Take on His nature.

And Paul tells us how in Philippians chapter two… We must have His… Heart…His attitude... His mind… His disposition… And behavior.

 

Well…

• What is the mind of Christ?…

• What attitudes must we hold?...

• What kind of disposition must we have?...

• What behavioral patterns must we possess?

 

First... Paul tells us that we must become a servant... Not a CEO... But a servant!!

 

Listen to me church... Paul is telling us that a Western Mindset does not lead to the good life... The abundant life.

 

Jesus didn’t come to enable us to climb corporate or church ladders... But to become like him... Become servants... Who, being in very nature God,did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant

 

Read Peter again... Verse five beginning… make every effort to add to your… Faith… Goodness… And to goodness… Knowledge… And to knowledge… Self-control… And to self-control… Perseverance… And to perseverance… Godliness… And to godliness… Brotherly kindness…And to brotherly kindness… Love.

 

Church... Did you notice… How similar this list is to Paul’s fruit of the Spirit list in Galatians chapter five… The fruit of the Spirit is… Love… Joy… Peace… Patience… Kindness… Goodness… Faithfulness… Gentleness… And self-control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful flesh nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

 

You see… these... attitudes… attributes… and behavioral patterns… are a part of God’s nature.

 

They are a sign that God is living in us...

• Indeed... If God is living in us... Then we are producing the Fruit of His Spirit...

• We are participating in His Divine Nature.

• We’re replacing our… Flesh… Sinful… Worldly… Nature with His nature.

And in doing so… Peter says… we make our calling aND election sure… Amen?

 

Thirdly… We learn the rewards of cultivating such a nature.

Verse eight… For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is short-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 

Number one… If we want to become effective and productive in the Lord’s Kingdom… We must become like Jesus… Participate in His Divine Nature.

 

We cannot be… Mean… Ugly… Hateful… Gossips… Biting… Morally loose…On-and-off-again Christians… And be effective and productive in His Kingdom… It won’t happen!

 

The First Century Christians turned their world upside-down because they were like Jesus.

And we’ll impact our culture today… ONLY… ONLY…

• When we are willing to be like Him…

• Walk as He walked…

• Talk as He talked…

• Have His heart and disposition...

• His purpose and goals in life.

 

I gotta tell you this morning... We can’t be sure of our salvation when we will not walk as He walked... Live with His purpose and goals...

 

What were His goals and purpose?...

• I came to do the will of My Father...

• I came to seek and save the lost...

• I came to call the sinner to repentance...

• I came that you might have life and have it more abundantly.

 

Church we can and will be effective in the Kingdom of God... When our... Purpose... Goal... Ambitions... Are the same as that of Jesus... Amen?

 

So... I gotta ask this morning... What’s the purpose... The goal... In your life and mine?... What do we really want to accomplish in life?...Does our... Purpose... Ambitions... Goals... have any resemblance to those of Jesus?

 

Reward number two… We can be... Will be... confident… Assured… Of our salvation.

 

The Christian life is not just a list of thou shall and shall NOT’S.  It’s not just a list of propositions or a tight theological system that merits our salvation.

• It’s about a relationship with Jesus

• It’s about our participating in His Divine Nature…

• It’s crucifying our… Fleshly… Worldly… Sin nature and being formed into the image of Jesus by adding and abounding in these Christian Graces.

 

Indeed... It would be arrogant to think that we are saved by our own... Goodness... Sinlessness.  We are saved and can know we are saved by the continual cleansing power of the blood of Jesus.... As He lives in us through the Spirit He gives us.

 

In fact... Paul says in Romans 8.7-16... Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.... However if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies throughhis Spirit... Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. If we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ.

 

This leads us into reward number three… We gain... Access...entrance into His Eternal Kingdom.

 

I believe Peter is referring to Heaven.

 

Question... Are we ready to live the Good Life... The Abundant Life Jesus came to make possible?... Are we ready to make our calling and election sure?

 

Make sure of your salvation this morning… By becoming a child of God by… Faith…Repentance… Confession of Jesus… And New Testament Baptism.

 

Make your calling and election sure by accepting the challenge to add and abound in these Christian Graces… Allowing God to produce theFruit of His Spirit in your life

 

Determine to accept this invitation and challenge as we stand and sing this invitation song.