Tag Archives: additions to our faith

Additions to the Faith to Make Our Calling and Election Sure–To Be Like Peter, James, John, and Paul

We are admonished by the apostle Peter to “make our calling and election sure.” You mean that we have to do something? I thought it was all God and His grace that helps us to be what He wants us to be. It is, but there remains things we must do in order for the spiritual growth to take place.

We must study and pray and eventually fast that the culprit Unbelief might skulk away out of our spiritual lives. For it is unbelief that hinders our growth. But the Spirit has left us a roadmap, a way of cutting through the haze of phony doctrines about God.

Peter tells us in his second letter the steps we should take. He explains that to grow to full maturity, we must add seven attributes to our faith.

Peter writes to those who “have obtained like precious faith with us” (2 Peter 1: 1). The elect, God’s chosen ones for this high calling, have received the same exact precious faith that the early apostles received.

Now this comes about in our lives “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ (Yahshua)” (v. 1). After we were convicted of our sin-guiltiness, and after we stepped out and laid down our old sinful self on the cross and died in revelation with the sacrificial Lamb of God, we, by believing that Christ was raised from the dead, receive a newly resurrected life by faith.

It is His faith that we have received. God believed in His own power to raise up the Lamb of God, and when we believed that, then we obtained that very same belief in the form of a “new heart” and a new spirit. By believing in His resurrection, we also believe that we were raised from the dead, for we were definitely dead in our sins—the walking dead, as it were. But now we are  alive from the dead, and we bear God’s very own faith in our bosom. As Paul said, “Old things are passed away,” and all things “are become new.” It is no longer the old Adamic man, writhing in the guilt of sin, that now lives, but rather the new man Christ, who has now begun His growth within our new hearts.

This is the faith we have obtained with Peter, Paul, James, and John. Faith is the foundation that must be added to, just like a builder adds walls, a roof, windows and doors to the foundation of the new house he is building. And it is this faith—God’s faith now in us, not our faith in Him—that must be added unto.

Adding Seven Spiritual Attributes Insures Three Things

We are to add to our 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 [agape love]” (1: 5-7).

Peter writes that adding these seven spiritual attributes to His faith in us yields three major things in God’s plan for these latter days. First, they insure that we will not “be barren nor unfruitful” (1: 8). God wants us to bear “much fruit” and is glorified when we do (John 15: 8).

Second, the additions to our faith are how we solidify our standing as one of God’s elect; it is how we “make our calling and election sure.” Walking in these seven attributes of God’s nature insures our place in the elect. Or better put, those destined to be part of the elect will build their spiritual house with these attributes (1: 10).

Furthermore, it is through them that “an entrance shall be ministered unto [us] abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior” (1: 11).

Adding them is how we “partake of His divine nature” (1: 4). It is how we make our calling and election sure, how we never fall, how we will be full of spiritual fruit, how we will receive an entrance into His kingdom, and how we will “partake of His divine nature.” That sums up what spiritual growth is about. That is how important these things are as outlined by Peter in his Second Epistle, Chapter 1.

A Serious Assignment

Adding these attributes is a serious assignment that only the Spirit of truth can teach, for it is He that leads us into all truth. Truth being the key word.

“Truth is fallen in the streets,” says the prophet. And there is a famine in the land, a famine of the word of God. Because of this dearth, adding these seven attributes is a formidable task. Why? Peter in the very next chapter forewarns us of how the devil will hinder our growth in becoming God’s elect. He warns us to beware of false prophets and false teachers who “shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them.” And many will follow these hypocrites, who will “speak great swelling words of vanity” and will “promise them liberty” while they are “the servants of corruption” (II Peter 2:1-19).

And how does this second chapter tie into the first? These false “Christian” teachers will spew out false teachings that will hinder a young Christian’s spiritual growth. Peter gives his stark warning to us so that we would not be hijacked and taken away by the enemy, thus prohibiting us from making our calling and election sure. Bluntly put, false teachings will thwart the children of God from growing into fully matured Christians, fit to sit on the throne with Christ. Getting rid of these false concepts about God is where the study and prayer come in after true knowledge comes to us.

Isaiah wonders, “Who hath believed our report?” Who will answer the call to go all the way to the throne of God? Only the adventurous. Only the unafraid. Only the rebels who refuse to come under the yoke of the god of this world. Only those who trust in the Spirit of God within themselves, as He helps them separate the good teachings from the bad.

But man’s wisdom cannot teach this truth to the elect. Old Adamic man just cannot teach it to us, nor the well-meaning manna-gatherers of yesteryear, who fed the flock of God with the spiritual bread that they had one hundred, five hundred, or one thousand or more years ago. That cannot sustain the elect of God for these latter days. For these elect must have the “present truth”—food convenient for them.

God is doing a new thing; He is pouring out new light as to His plan and purpose. The Spirit is pouring out His truth today all over the earth. He has seven thousand unbowed to Baal, and they are like river bed conduits of His living water. Those who thirst will drink. The rest will with parched throats persist in scratching moisture out of broken cisterns of the waters of the past, repositories of the damp shadows of truth.

For God is doing a new thing in the earth, a thing that men will not believe though God Himself tells them. For He has already, even though He has blinded all but the remnant, the elect. But they will prepare and do and put on these additions to the “faith once delivered to the saints.”   Kenneth Wayne Hancock

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under additions to our faith, agape, apostles' doctrine, belief, calling of God, elect, eternal purpose, false prophets, false teachers, glorification, kingdom of God, manifestation of the sons of God, princes and princesses of God, sons and daughters of God, sons of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

Christian Growth–Additions to the Faith (Part Two)

Those of us who believe in the God of the Holy Bible have faith that He created the millions of galaxies and has a guiding hand in His creation. He made us and knows us and has instituted His plan and purpose for us and this earth. We have to believe that much.

Is it then a stretch for us to believe that this all-powerful Supreme Being has left us the map to find the treasures of His Spirit which is to grow up in our hearts? Christ is the truth, and now, if we are His, then His Spirit of truth is in us. Are not then the scriptures of truth, the Holy Bible, a book of written clues to help us find the treasures of His grace, mercy, and pleasure? He did say, Seek and ye shall find. So we have to believe that the Creator God is powerful enough to make sure some of His created human beings would preserve for us in our day a book that contains God’s treasure map.

For the scriptures contain for posterity the clues to the ultimate desire and longing of mortal man–immortality, eternal life, everlasting life. This is the reward Christ promised His followers.

It is all there in the Bible. Why then can’t we see clearly the clues to spiritual growth? Could it be unbelief that we can grow into having the same spiritual power as the early apostles? Like the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. They like Peter saw that the tomb was empty, but they just did not believe that Christ was actually raised from the dead. And that unbelief blinded them so much that they did not recognize Christ Himself when He joined them on their walk. And after Christ showed Himself to them, then they believed and “their eyes were opened.” Before, “their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” And when He opened their eyes, they said, “He opened to us the scriptures” [1].

God Is the Only One that Can Open the Scriptures to Us

It is all Him, brethren. He opens the door that no man can close. And this door is the door to understanding and enlightenment as to the spiritual growth in His Kingdom. And this door that He opens is the opening of His written word that speaks of Him, the Word, the Logos.

Why are we not walking like the early apostles? It is because we have 2,000 years of false doctrines  and false concepts about Christ super-imposed on top of the initial truth. The early apostles literally saw Christ in action. He made them to be solid in their belief, for He needed witnesses to write the clues down that we would be pondering in our era.

They had the pure doctrines of Christ after He showed Himself after the resurrection. But now we have the traditions of men. That is why we do not grow very much. The mud of man’s traditions have been smeared on the eyes of the sheep of His pasture. And now He is crying to His people, Come home to Me! Leave your old concepts about Me behind. Cut off the traditions of men from your thinking. Repent of your sins, once and for all, and return to Me, and I will show you the new and living way.

Yes, what if the clues to the mysteries of spiritual growth are clearly given to us in the scriptures, and we have but to listen with fresh ears and hungry believing hearts the new thing that God wants to teach us.

For, brethren, there is so much more than what churchianity is teaching us. Let me put this in all capital letters. I hardly ever do this, but what I am about to write is so important. IF THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUR INFORMATION ABOUT GOD IS IN ERROR, THEN THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH IS NOT SPEAKING THROUGH THEM TO YOU.

That is why our Savior says for us to “prove all things.” Test everything. Examine all things. All things includes also what you think to be false. Prove it out from the scriptures, asking the Spirit of truth’s guidance. Seek and you will find the answers as to what is true and what is false. Getting this right is huge, and every one must bear their own burden of proof. And remember what the apostle John wrote to us: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many  false prophets are gone out into the world.” Test the teachings, for there are many false teachers out there (I Thes. 5: 21; I John 4: 1).

Once the old leaven teachings about Christ are purged out of our minds, then we are ready to add to His faith that “was once delivered to the saints.”  For it is His faith now in us. Seven attributes of His divine nature are to be added–not to just blind faithof ours in something about Christ. But added to His faith that was delivered to us. For there is only one faith, not many (II Peter 1).

Adding more of His divine nature is what spiritual growth is all about. But we must get rid of the false concepts before the Spirit of truth, which is God Himself, will come to take up His abode in us more fully. Which is the definition of real spiritual growth [2].        Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

1. Luke 24: 13-32

2. For more on this, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/false-prophets/

[For more on the additions, check out these articles: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/category/additions-to-our-faith/ ]

5 Comments

Filed under additions to our faith, apostles' doctrine, belief, children of God, eternal purpose, false doctrines, false prophets, false teachers, immortality, old leaven, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle

Adding Agape Love to Our Faith–The Greatest Love

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” *

Those Christians chosen by God to answer the “high calling” in being His manifested sons and daughters in these last days must add seven things to their faith “obtained” from Him. The apostle Peter clearly lines them out in his second letter. The last one is agape, the divine love that is God Himself [1].

When added, these seven attributes make us “partakers of the divine nature.” They insure that we will never be “barren nor unfruitful” in Him. Adding them is the way to “make [our] calling and election sure.” In other words, they are extremely important to study out and incorporate into our being.

Adding “godliness” is adding an increased love and appreciation of God. Adding “brotherly kindness” is loving your fellow man as God does. Adding agape love to them is when the very essence of God’s divine nature, which is Love, is placed by Him into His temple, you and me.

“Love, Love, Love”

The poets and writers know that “love is all you need,” that “love is the answer,” that “nobody gets too much” of it. They herald love’s necessity  today as they have since mankind first spoke of their inner feelings. They know that “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.” We hum the tunes and whisper the words of this ancient truth, but how do we tap into and receive into our hearts that divine entity, that attribute of the divine nature that eludes us?

We first look to family for love, to our dear mothers who innately gave of themselves to us. Then to friends and acquaintances we go searching for love and acceptance. Then on to our search for “the one,” the one we will marry, the one who will love us surely; surely they will.

Natural mankind is filled with this longing to be loved. But the very people that he wants love, respect, and admiration from do not know how to give it really. Unconditional love is not man’s forte because it is the divine love that mankind is really craving. For only divine love is strong and selfless enough to forgive  mankind’s sins and shortcomings. Besides, the very person that we seek unconditional love from is limited, also, and doesn’t have the capacity to love like that. Most are bogged down in their own pursuit of love for themselves from others in this world.

And so this unrequited love on all sides seethes oftentimes into a bitter bile of dissatisfaction and dismay. The swirl of perceived rejection and angst can begin to flush one’s mind down into the pit of despair.

Consequently, the real need for us all is to forgive those who have not loved us like we thought they should have. But forgiveness only issues from a heart of love.

Alexander Pope, the 18th Century English poet, was right. “To err is human; to forgive divine.” The water of forgiveness can only be drawn from the divine well of Love. Agape love is the fountain of forgiveness. I cannot forgive you unless I love you because forgiveness is fashioned only from a heart of love.

Where Is This Fountain of Love?

But where do we get that divine love? Where is that rarefied pool of love, the “living waters” that we sojourners may drink and fill our hearts for our journey through “the valley of the shadow of death”?

It comes from God, for “God is love” [2]. Everyone knows that; it’s been repeated over and over down through the millennia. Yet, repeating it will still not fill us with this most ethereal of elixirs, agape love.

The Key

The key lies in answering this question: How is it that “God is love”? How is He agape love? Why is He love? We begin to sip this life-giving love when we finally see it in action. But not just see it. We must believe it, believe in it, trust it, breathe it, and live it.

For God, who is Divine Love, poured His essence of love into a man. Agape love is the Word, and the Word was God, and Love “was made flesh and dwelt among us” [3]. This Divine Love was incarnated in Christ and dwelt with mankind in the form of our Savior.

When we believe Christ’s story of God’s great love displayed when Christ laid down His life for the salvation of the world, we begin to add His nature of divine love to our spirit. When we believe in His death, burial, and resurrection, then through faith (belief) in Him and this very action of love, we begin to tap into that flow of the Spirit of love. He begins to love that hard to love person in our life through us. It is God who is loving them through us. He is the actor, we are the medium.”

Our belief in His resurrection in us localizes God, who is love. Our belief in His resurrection raises up His Spirit of love in us, the divine Spirit of love. This is how God magnifies and multiplies Himself. He reproduces Himself through His spiritual nature of love manifested through us, His offspring.

Christ showed the greatest love in the universe when He willingly laid down His life for us. Meditating on this revelation of the greatest love witnessed on earth in Christ is the key to exponential spiritual growth. It is the key to understanding the Holy Bible. It is the key to solving all the mysteries of God.

It is when we follow Him in His baptism, when we willingly lay down our selfish lives on the cross with Him, when we are buried with Him, and when we believe that we are risen with Him–then that very same Love–the greatest Love of all–flows through us from Agape Love Himself. Our belief in the greatest Love of all is believing in Christ’s laying down His life and taking it back up again. When we follow Him in this, we tap into that Spirit of Love and add it to His divine nature in us [4].     Kenneth Wayne Hancock    [For more information on this topic, I invite you to peruse these articles found here: https://immortalityroad.wordpress.com/?s=additions ]

*John 15: 13

1. II Peter 1: 4-11; Eph. 1: 4.  [Agape is the Greek word that is translated in many versions as “charity.” Because of “charity’s” obvious modern connotation, it clouds the true meaning of the passage.]

2. I John 4: 8, 16.

3. John 1: 1, 14.

4. Romans 6: 1-12

*John 15: 13

Leave a comment

Filed under additions to our faith, agape, apostles' doctrine, belief, crucified with Christ, death of self, elect, faith, forgiveness, love, Love from Above, old self, unrequited love, Word

Adding Patience–Enduring All Things

We are admonished by the apostle Peter to “add to our faith” certain divine attributes, calling this procedure, “partaking of the divine nature.”  Yes, right now, we are to do this.  When would he expect us to add these things–after we die?  No, “now is the acceptable time.”  Now is the only time.  Whatever we humans are going to do in our fragile fleeting existence on this planet, we better do it now.

And some of us have been called to “partake of the divine nature.”  “Something (or Someone)” is pulling us, leading us, and yes, even commanding us to seek a higher path.  And so we seek that better way.  And some of us begin to see that that better way is Christ, for He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14: 6).

And some of us now are seeing that we are to become like Him.  That is right.  For we are told by the apostles to “let this mind be in you that was in Christ” (Phil. 2: 5).  And, “Let us go on unto perfection” (Heb. 6: 1).  In fact, the Savior Himself commands us to “be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5: 48).  “Perfect” here is from the Greek word meaning “full spiritual maturity.”

Our perfection, our maturity in the Spirit, is the main reason that the scriptures of truth have been preserved for us.  “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…that the man of God may be complete (perfect), thoroughly equipped for every good work” (II Tim. 3: 16-17 NKJV).

So how do we arrive at perfection (completeness)?

Our completed growth in Christ is brought about by adding to our faith the attributes of the divine nature that Peter admonishes us to do.

Compared to instant messaging and world wide telecommunications and instant mashed potatoes, the steps toward full spiritual growth and ultimately maturity in Christ take a long time.  “Instantly” is not in God’s vocabulary.  That is one of the main paradoxes in this modern age.  Everything happens in the blink of an eye, except the growth of God’s Spirit in a human being.

We are given but a short space of time here on earth.  Our time on the planet is short lived.  The older we get the faster our allotted time runs out.  And most fritter their precious moments away on ludicrous pursuits.  But those that Christ has chosen will redeem the time, “that they may be made perfect in one (John 15: 16; 17: 23).

Spurred on by the Spirit, they will study, dig, and search out the truth as to what this life is all about.  And when they find out that life is Him, His plan and purpose, and His ballgame, then they will commit themselves to Him–though it take a lifetime.  They will endure any hardships along the way.  That’s the way the elect are built; it’s in their spiritual DNA.  They will endure all things.

And their studies will lead them to that attribute of the divine nature called in the English language “patience.”  But in the Greek (G5281), the word means “endurance, steadfastness, constancy…a patient enduring; sustaining; perseverance” [1].

This word is from the verb (G5278) “to endure.”  I Corinthians 13 lists the attributes of  agape love, God’s nature that is to be matured in us.  It “endures all things” (v. 7).

What things?  We are admonished to “endure to the end” and be saved (Matt. 10: 22; 24: 13).  Trials and tribulation will be endured by the elect.  Christ describes the treachery of the world at the time of the end of this age.  “Brother shall betray brother to death and the father the son.”  Children will betray their parents unto death.  And ones He has chosen to become fully matured in His image–they  will be “hated of all men for My name’s sake–but he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved” (Mark 13: 13).  This is the patience/endurance that Peter is telling us we need to add to our faith.

Because this patience, this endurance, this perseverance that we must maintain speaks of a time of trials and tribulations, and persecutions and betrayals.  As God begins to squeeze the evildoers, they will lash out at the righteous.  We have to know that this is coming.

“Tribulation Worketh Patience”

“Tribulation worketh patience.”  Or, tribulation brings about patience.  Or, more clearly put, trials and tribulations are the very thing that fashions endurance, which is definitely a big part of God’s nature.  Without trials, patience/endurance will not be formed in us.  And without this endurance factor in our spiritual lives, we will not fulfill our calling as His sons and daughters.  For the law of harvest reads, Each seed bears its own kind.

After we are “illuminated” by the light of God’s truth, He has the adversary, the devil, present trials and persecutions to us, to which we will endure “a great fight of afflictions” (Heb. 10: 32).

In fact, Peter warns us about these afflictions.  “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you” (I Pet. 4: 12).  It is not a strange thing at all, but part of the plan of God for our perfection.  It is in the script.  Already conceived by Him and written down.  After all, Christ is “the Author and Finisher of our faith.”  And all the additions to that faith (Heb. 12: 2).  Yes, and in that same verse, it tells how Christ “for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.”  As our example, He has endured all the sufferings before us.

These “fiery trials” that will try us will come, and we must endure it, for we are “partakers of Christ’s sufferings” (I Pet. 4: 13).  These sufferings are those trials we endure for His sake.  These are “also the afflictions Christians must undergo in behalf of the same cause for which Christ patiently endured” (Thayer’s Lexicon).

So we see that “patience” is much bigger and much more profound as we discover its meaning in the inspired scriptures of truth.  We now see that it is an attribute of God’s presence, and we should seek to understand it according to God’s thought of what it truly is.

Patience is enduring the sufferings needed to bring God’s plan to full fruition.  Enduring at all costs in the face of hardships–God did that first.  It is His “divine nature” we are to add, after all.  He did it first.  He endured the insolence of one of His created angelic beings to provide the sufferings for us all.  He endured the old nature, especially of His chosen people Israel (12 tribes), witnessed in the Old Testament.  He endured the shame of their sins and whoredoms.

And now He asks us, the little flock, who He knows will answer the call, for He has chosen us–He asks us to add this part of His wonderful divine nature–patience, endurance.

Us enduring, enduring, enduring the sufferings entailed in these finite earthly decaying mortal bodies.  As one of their own poets said, enduring “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

We now have been called into the “fellowship of His sufferings,” taking part of the same things He endured (Phil. 3: 10).

Agape love endures all things.  Like putting up with the evil men in control of this world system–that’s part of enduring the sufferings.  Wanting to do something immediately to banish the evil and injustice from this earth, and knowing that we now must wait on Yahweh–who will do this–but in His own time, according to His timetable.  That’s part of the sufferings.

Enduring.  Continuing undaunted in our pilgrimage to the City of Immortality.  Unwavering.  Stedfast.  Unswayed by the temptations to tarry here or take respite there.

Enduring by faith, entrusting our whole earthly existence on the seemingly impossible assumption and belief that somewhere an invisible Creator has life all mapped and charted for all of us.

And that He has sent us out on this dangerous dark sea, as we trust this invisible Spirit as our Captain to guide our hands on the rudder and sails, believing that He will somehow lead us through the angry storms and deposit us in a warm protected harbor where a wave is a mere warm froth lapping at our toes.

And so we wait.  And endure all things, trusting the Captain by trusting His word, which is the blueprint, the Plan and Purpose.

Kenneth Wayne Hancock

1.  Thayer’s Lexicon (http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G5281&t=KJV).

Leave a comment

Filed under additions to our faith, calling of God, elect, eternal purpose, faith, glorification, immortality, manifestation of the sons of God, perfection, princes and princesses of God, spiritual growth, Spiritual Life Cycle