Elements of Christianity
2 Peter 1:3-8: 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: 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. 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. 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.Divine Power
When God tells us to add one element to another it seems to me to imply a certain chronological order. It seems to imply that one is necessary before another, that the second one might be on shaky ground if it were acquired first. I have arranged some elements in an order that God didn*t. They make sense to me that way.
Divine Power comes first. Divine Power comes last. Divine Power comes everywhere along the way. Divine Power is the source of everything else. It is the cause of everything else. It is the guarantee of everything else. It is the arranger of everything else. It gets God*s will done through us and around us in spite of us. If you have never seen and experienced this thing that is above you, around you and in you, you are either not a Christian at all or a very new one or a carnal one.
A Christian will have been overwhelmed, almost steam-rolled by that Divine Power. And it is a wonderful experience. A Christian has had the sin and the misery that comes with it squeezed out of him. Anything that would cause him to go to Hell gets squeezed out. And then he gradually pops up and is re-inflated with the elements of Christianity. This getting steam-rolled is not just a one-time experience. The more often we sin as Christians, the more often we have to have it steam-rolled out of us and replaced with the elements of Christianity. Every time is a wonderful cleansing and renewing experience.
According as his divine power hath given unto us . . .
We are greatly benefited by being reminded often that salvation is a free gift, that we did not deserve it, that, in fact, we deserved eternal Hell. Being reminded that it was an undeserved gift can make us properly grateful to God and humble before Him. Being reminded of that will make us aware that we were changed by the gift. We did not change ourselves and therefore get the gift. Being reminded of that will help us know that we cannot change ourselves further. We must let the gift change us further. We must depend on God to work the changes. God is the source of the gift and He is the source of each element of the gift. The elements are manifested over and over and sometimes in greater intensity than other times. Sometimes our salvation and the elements of it will seem benign or dormant. Other times they will bubble up in us and sometimes they will even overflow to those around us. That is when we are most joyful.
I have heard the argument that faith must come first and then the life comes as a result of the faith. Then there is the argument that a dead thing can*t believe anything therefore the life must come first. I believe they are given to us by God at the same instant.
After receiving Jesus we are made alive unto God.
Romans 6:11: Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Bible teaches that both faith and life are gifts from God.
Hebrews 12:2: Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
1 John 5:12: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
Care to discuss Elements Of Christianity with Ron?