by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. – 2 Peter 1:4-7 ESV
Jesus has made us promises and those promises, when understood and focused on- create IN US the ability to grow into the MIGHTY OAK OF FAITH that God desires for us. We are dualistic creatures, just like our LORD, Jesus. Just as Jesus was FULLY man, and FULLY GOD- seems dichotomous (dividing into two parts, a division into two especially mutually exclusive or contradictory groups or entities) – we are fully capable of being FLESH, AND partakers of the DIVINE NATURE. In Genesis 1:26, IN THE BEGINNING, The Trinity spoke and said we are putting man in the GOD CLASS, lower than the angels, BUT…: “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us….” We will still be PULLED BY THE WORLD, however, when we UNDERSTAND the promises of GOD, through HIS WORD, then we CHOOSE TO ESCAPE the corruption that is in the world! We can die to our OLD NATURE and LIVE as BORN AGAIN- NEW. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Leader, we are dualistic creatures, just like our LORD JESUS. We can walk and chew gum. We can be safe and get back to work. We can believe there is a virus that is harmful and still understand that dark forces are using this as an opportunity to look to government, like we should be looking to our GOD. We are called to be different than the dwellers of the earth, we are called to have GOD be our portion, for GOD to be our SAVIOR- not some elected official or government entity. Politicians are human beings, they LIE; But GOD CANNOT LIE, God’s promises are KEPT. God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19) Peter gives us a list of how to chart our GROWTH in the faith, this is a bit of a ‘litmus test’: an effective way of proving or measuring the quality or success of something. John recalls Jesus giving a litmus test for His followers: By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
Conduit, Peter says you can know if you are GROWING INTO a real relationship with the SAVIOR by these qualities: VIRTUE; Goodness, uprightness, moral excellence. Knowledge here is GNOSIS; doctrine, wisdom- study your word and ask the HOLY SPIRIT to illuminate the WORD so you can understand, and apply the Word in your life. From ‘egkrates’; having power over, possessed of (a thing) mastering, curbing, controlling one’s self, temperate, self-mastery, self-restraint. Personal mastery is about understanding exactly how you think, why you do things the way you do, having clarity around your purpose and direction in life and taking steps towards continual learning and development to evolve and enhance oneself into who God has called you to be. Steadfastness is better understood as ENDURANCE, the ability to take the blows of life and Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and hit it again! For though a righteous man may fall seven times, he still gets up; but the wicked stumble in bad times. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Proverbs 24:16, Matthew 24:13) Godliness is just like it is written- LIKE GOD. God’s qualities are: Long-suffering, Forgiving, Grace- giving to others the goodness they have not merited, Mercy- NOT giving to others the punishment or consequences they deserve. Which then makes us have brotherly affection and LOVE. Love is a VERB; for God so loved the world, HE DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT! For you so love your spouse, your kids, your country- you do something about it! It is time to GET BACK TO WORK! The Master is returning soon, and this litmus test shows us all- WE HAVE MUCH WORK TO DO! Here we are LORD- CHANGE US! They will KNOW we are Christians by our LOVE, by our love!