Conrad Mbewe continues his series in 2 Peter 1 Christian, Grow Up! The focus is on a string of imperatives for spiritual growth that Peter delivers to all Christians. Of course the first step is to have faith. But on this foundation we must build with quality materials in order to mature as Christians. Peter commands us to add virtue to faith. Then to add knowledge to our virtue. Today is about tempering our knowledge with self control. The series concludes with a call to add steadfastness to our approach.
At each stage we are growing and developing – all the better to serve our heavenly father and persevere in our walk with Christ.
The Purpose that Drives our Lives
Christians are instructed to grow in knowledge. We must study what life is really all about. We must drink in the reality of the God we serve. Our God governs the universe and His being and His purposes are written across history. As we explore all this we are inevitably overawed by the fact that He has been pleased to include us in the overarching work that he is doing in our world! It is in this way that the Christian begins to have a sense of purpose. A sense of purpose that the non-Christian doesn’t have. And it changes everything. This enables us to live lives of self-control.
He has been pleased to include us in the overarching work that he is doing in our world! It is in this way that the Christian begins to have a sense of purpose.
Our Hearts are Transformed
Pay attention to the transformation that Jesus has brought into your life and your heart, to make you a new creation, a person that loves righteousness and hates sin. A person that loves the worship of the Living God, that appreciates who this God is and consequently wants to live for him. Jesus gives us strength in our moments of temptation, in our moments of trials, in our moments of sorrow. He is the all sufficient one in the midst of all this.
Think also of the privilege that Jesus has given you to be a co-worker with him in the extension of his kingdom. That’s glorious. His is the one army in the world that will definitely win the war! And he has made you to participate in it according to the various gifts he’s given you. And it’s a victorious war!
Empowered by the Holy Spirit
When the Holy Spirit comes to take residence in us, it is by his power that we have the self control to say “no to all ungodliness and worldly passions” (Titus 2:12). This is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, the fruit of the Spirit. He is the one who enables us to be obedient. The more of Christ you have in your life the less opportunity there is to feed the fallen nature or to allow it to drive you. Self control is driven by your recognition of the presence of Jesus Christ within you. That only happens as you continue feasting on him as you study the person and work of Christ, enjoying all he is, the unsearchable riches of Christ in your life.
The more of Christ you have in your life the less opportunity there is to feed the fallen nature or to allow it to drive you.
Our Knowledge of Christ Enables our Self Control
This knowledge you have concerning God and the things of God, enables you to say “no” to a desire which tempts you to sin. Your mind says this is not right ethically, morally or spiritually and therefore you must not do it. That’s what self-control is. You think in terms of your relationship to God, “I’m a child of God. I must please God” and that’s what drives your engine. That’s the difference.
Text: 2 Peter 1:1-5
Date preached: 22 September 2019
Location: Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka, Zambia