Christ The Foundation Of All Salvation

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Please turn with me in your Bibles to 2 Peter chapter 1:

Introduction: I hate most of the commercials that come on television, but occasionally I see one that is creative, comical, and compelling. The AT&T and State Farm commercials are pathetic, but I really like the newest commercial for Zillow, a real estate internet site. In that commercial a woman named “Susan” walks into a conference room filled with “Susans” – and begins talking to her different “Susans”. She asks “Negative Me” her thoughts on buying a new home, and gets a frown and a reply “Nooooooo”. Susan said, “I shouldn’t have asked you first”. Then she calls on “Spontaneous Me”, who cheerfully says, “I’m already ordering new drapes”. When she calls on “Paranoid Me”, her reply is “Why are you asking me?” Calling on “Anti-Social Me”, she just turns away from the conversation. The funniest “Me” that Susan addresses is “Lazy Me”, who when asked about a new home says “We’re going to sell our place, sort out finances? Bluhhh.” She calls on several others, which gives several humorous, then calls on “Resourceful Me”, who suggests they go to I love it because it’s creative.

It is also a reflection of life. Each of us has a different “Me” inside, several “Me’s”. There are days when I get up and, like Susan’s “Lazy Me” did, I go “Bluhhh!”. As humans we are emotional creatures, up one day, down the next. But one thing is constant for the Christian. Jesus never leaves us nor forsakes us. He is there whether we are on the mountaintop, or in the valley.

With all the different “Me’s” inside, how do I KNOW that I am saved? There are times, quite frankly, when I don’t feel good, nor even feel saved. So how do I know? I know because Jesus is present.
He is with me.
And I want to please Him. I want to obey Him.

The Apostle Peter tells us:

2 Peter 1:10-11 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Word Study: We as professor of Christ are commanded to “give diligence to make your calling and election sure”. The word “diligence” is the Greek σπουδάζω spoudázō, {pronounced spoo-dad’-zo}, which means “to quickly move, to strive, to endeavor, to study or concentrate on, to do diligence”. The believer is commanded to examine their “calling and election”. Have you been saved? Are you genuinely saved? How do you know you are saved?

Salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. Our Lord Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. This New Covenant was prophesied in the Old Testament in passages like

Jeremiah 31:31-33 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS; AND WILL BE THEIR GOD, and they shall be my people.

Though the New Covenant is a free gift from God, it effects a change on those who are under it’s call.

Under the Old Covenant God was far away, but the Law was near, ever condemning, ever judging. Under the New Covenant God is near, ever aiding, ever loving and writing His Law in our hearts. His Law is near!

If you are under the New Covenant, saved by faith in Christ, then God says to you “I WILL PUT MY LAW IN YOUR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN YOUR HEART; AND WILL BE YOUR GOD, and YOU shall be ONE OF my people”. Under the Old Covenant the Law of God was written on stone, and on scrolls. Under the New Covenant God’s Law is written in our hearts by the One Who saved us.

Jesus is the Mediator of the New Covenant. At the first Lord’s Table Jesus said:

Luke 22:20 (KJV) ….. This cup [is] the new testament (New Covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.

How does one know that they are under the New Covenant? We know by the Presence of God in our daily lives. I am saved – not because some doctrine or denomination tells me so, but because I have the Divine Witness. Jesus is there. God is there. He is in my daily walk. I am not perfect by any means, but God is faithful. Jesus is with us.

The Saved Follow Jesus For The Saved Belong To Jesus

A saved person follows Jesus because saved people belong – not to themselves – but to Jesus. Our Lord said:

John 10:27-28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

When Simon first met Jesus, he followed after fish. His brother Andrew, a follower of John the Baptist, was there the day Jesus was baptized by John. Andrew believed Jesus was the Messiah, and ran home to tell his brother Simon:

John 1:41-42 {Andrew} first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messiah, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld {Simon}, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone {a petros, or Peter}.

When God made Adam and put him in charge of the world, the Bible says that “God brought {the animals} unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.” When Andrew brought Simon his brother to Jesus, Jesus named Simon “Peter” or “The Rock”. From that point onward Simon became Simon Peter, or just Peter. Peter belonged to Jesus! Peter writes:

2 Peter 1:1 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 Savior Jesus Christ ..

Word Study: Before he was saved, Simon would have written, “Simon, a fisherman”. Now that he is saved, he writes “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ”. Simon is owned by Jesus. Simon is a “servant”, the Greek δοῦλος doûlos, {pronounced doo’-los}, “a slave, one who gives himself up to another person’s will, one devoted to another’s interests”. As Peter writes, he says he is writing “to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ”. He is not addressing the lost, but those who have the same saving faith that he has. The precious faith that saves us comes to us “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ”.

When we received Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior, God imputed His righteousness to us. Because we love and revere Jesus, we too are children of God, made right by the shed blood of our Savior. We are not “righteous” because of animal sacrifices, nor because we adhere to clean and unclean standards set up in the Book of Leviticus. The Bible says:

Romans 3:20-22 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Receiving Christ, we receive His righteousness. But we are not ours. We belong to Jesus, to God and His Kingdom. The Holy Spirit indwells us because of Christ. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). We belong to God our Savior. We are servants of the Lord Jesus!

We are not just servants of Jesus, though. We are works in progress. The Apostle says:

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

As you study God’s Word, and your “knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord” grows, “Grace and peace” grow in your lives. A Christian is a child of God, and children GROW. Children that stay the same either physically or mentally are abnormal children. Salvation is by grace – but true grace is always multiplied. The Bible says:

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Every believer in Christ, just like Peter, should be living a dynamic life. We should all be growing daily in both faith and works. Some might say, “But I don’t have all I need to grow as a Christian”. Peter says that you are wrong. Read on:

2 Peter 1:3 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:

If you are a Christian by faith in Christ, you have “all things that pertain unto life and godliness”. You are saved by faith in Jesus. The same Jesus that looked over and guided Peter, is the same Jesus Who looks over and guides you. The same Holy Spirit indwells both you and Peter.

The Saved Do Not Follow The Lust Of The World

2 Peter 1:4 …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.

The saved person does not follow the lusts of the world. The saved person follows Jesus. The saved person imitates Jesus. The saved person is a “PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE”. We are partners or sharers of the DIVINE nature. Jesus Christ saves us from sin, from the evil ways of this world. Is it possible to feel same sex attraction, and yet be a Christian? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible to feel illicit heterosexual feelings and be a Christian? Yes, it is possible. Is it possible to fall into habitual and repeated homosexual or heterosexual activities and be saved? No, it is not possible. When we received Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God the Holy Spirit came to indwell us. Our old man died. We are partakers, sharers or partners of God’s nature, not of the world. The Apostle Paul wrote:

Romans 6:11-14 reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

Temptation is not sin. The drawings of the flesh are not sin. The Bible says of Jesus:

Hebrews 4:15 {Jesus was} in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

The Christian is destined to be like Jesus. Jesus Christ died to make you more like Himself. The writer of Hebrews wrote:

Hebrews 2:9-10 (KJV) But WE SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. [10] For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

God wants to bring you to glory, to make you like His dear Son. The Apostle said:

Romans 8:29 (KJV) 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.

God the Father wants you to be just like Jesus. God the Son wants you to be just like Jesus. The indwelling God the Holy Spirit wants you to be just like Jesus. This is the target that you should shoot for, the goal that the Almighty wants to see you reach. We turn away from the world, but toward God.

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

When you ask some professing Christians how they know they’re saved, they talk about what they don’t do rather than what they do. Christians are to be builders, partners with God. We are not to be one with the world. The Bible says:

Ephesians 5:1-8 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:

We belong to God. We are “workers together with God” (2 Corinthians 6:1). The Apostle says:

vs 5 add to your faith virtue

Word Study: “Virtue” is the Greek ἀρέτη arétē, {pronounced ar-et’-ay}, which means “moral excellence”. Earlier we read that (2 Peter 1:3) “God hath called us to GLORY and VIRTUE {arétē}, moral excellence. The Holy Spirit Who indwells us empowers us to add moral excellence to our faith. The Bible says:

Galatians 5:22-23 the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

All of these characteristics are what the Spirit of God will produce in the genuine believer. If you have faith, ask God to develop these characteristics in your Christian walk. This is the Way of Christ.

A faith that does not work for Christ to make you more Christlike is a faith that will ultimately not work to get you to Heaven! Heaven is for the children of God.

The Christian is not to be swept up in the sinful fads of this world, no matter how “politically correct” they may be.
Jesus never “slept around”.
Jesus never broke God’s Law.
Jesus never excused those who broke God’s Law.
Jesus never lied or cursed.
Jesus was never mean spirited.
Jesus spoke the truth in love.
Jesus adhered to the Word of God.

The stepbrother of our Lord Jesus, James wrote:

James 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

Reject sin, and seek moral excellence. This is what Jesus gave His life for. The Apostle goes on to say:

2 Peter 1:5 (KJV) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue KNOWLEDGE;

• Add to virtue KNOWLEDGE. Learn of Christ. Study Him. Study His teachings. Do what Jesus says. 

Matthew 11:28-29 Come unto me, all [ye] that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

We usually read the comfort part of this text without reading that “and learn of Me”. Jesus said “come to Me and learn from Me. Do what I did. Follow My examples. Walk in My shoes.”

2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

• Add to knowledge TEMPERANCE (ἐγκράτεια enkráteia, eng-krat'-i-ah), also known as SELF CONTROL.  The word “temperance” refers to how you control your body, your passions and your expression of passion. Christians are to be self controlled as temperance is within the Fruit of the Spirit. Jesus was self controlled. He controlled His anger, His tongue, and His appetites in a way that glorified God. 

• Add to temperance PATIENCE.  We are impatient people, but God is patient. He allows the world to make bad decisions day after day without dropping the hand of judgment on the earth. 

2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is LONGSUFFERING to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

God waits because He wants as many saved as possible to enter into His family of faith. James saw patience as a worker in our lives when he wrote:

James 1:2-4 (KJV) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh PATIENCE. 4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

God uses trials to form us, to mold us. So we must be patient, trusting the Lord as we go through this life. Never give up, never give in, but always give God the glory! Learn the art of silence & waiting.

Psalms 27:14 (KJV) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

• Add to patience GODLINESS.  To be godly is to seek to please God. 

We are saved Sons of God who should want to please our God. Godliness means to have a personal attitude toward God that asks before doing “will this make my Father happy?”

2 Peter 1:7 (KJV) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

• Add to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS.  Be kind to others. When they mess up, be kind. If you must correct someone, be kind. To be kind is to be gentle.

Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

Jesus was always kind – though He could be harsh. If a kind word would do, this was His way. And finally, to our faith we are to add one more ingredient.

• Add to brotherly kindness CHARITY. Love all. Let love rule your lives.  

Hebrews 10:24 (KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Love one another. Lift one another up. Jesus said,

John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

The faith that is “added to” is a growing faith. The Apostle says:

2 Peter 1:8-9 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

The Christian who seeks moral excellence, knowledge of Jesus, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and love is the growing Christian. The professing Christian who does NOT do these things in service to the King, is “blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins”. That person may not be saved! One of my commentaries notes:

“Believers’ ultimate hope is in the character of the Father, the work of the Son, and the wooing of the Spirit. However, these are confirmed in individual believers by their lives of faith, godliness, etc. (2 Peter 1:5-7; Philippians 2:12-13). God deals with humanity in a covenant relationship. He sets the agenda, He initiates the encounter, He draws us to Himself, but we must initially and continually respond in repentance, faith, service, obedience, and perseverance. The gospel is a person to be welcomed, a truth to be believed, and a life to be lived! If any one is left out, mature, biblical salvation is impossible.”

We as believers are desperately needed in America and around the world today to stand firm with Jesus Christ our Savior. If you are saved, ACT SAVED. Obey Jesus. Add to your faith moral excellence. Do not compromise with the world of darkness – for you are to be the Light of Christ. May God the Holy Spirit move you toward spiritual growth and maturity, for Christ’s sake and the glory of God our Father. Amen and amen!

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in 2 Peter, Sermons Preached and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.