Because “all things are of God,” the very faith that we have now as Christians is not innate. We were not born with a belief in Him and His plan and purpose. It did not come up into our consciousness one day after we heard of the gospel. We received it from Him. We have “obtained like precious faith.” For the Christian life is lived “by the faith of the Son of God” which He has given us. We are now believing what He believes. He calls many, but chooses [elects] a few to fully walk in His faith (2 Cor. 5: 18; 2 Pet. 1: 1; Gal. 2: 20; Mat. 22: 14).
He has promised us through His faith now in us that we can walk with His “divine nature” coursing through our spirit. But we are admonished that we must diligently add to our faith seven aspects of His divine. By adding them we will make our “calling and election sure” (2 Pet. 1: 10). The first one to be added is virtue, or moral goodness.
But why do we need to add this moral goodness? When we first come into God and His ministry on earth, we are like babes. We do not know how to come in (to God’s plan and purpose) or go out (to do His will). We are, nevertheless, elated. We feel great joy and immense gratitude for the way our Father has with open arms welcomed us back into His presence.
By faith we have taken the plunge and have renounced our old life by submitting our selfish lives to the death of the cross with Christ (Rom. 6: 1-12). It is a stepping out there into the unknown, trusting our Father to protect us and sustain us on our new pilgrimage.
As we begin to walk in our new spiritual life with Christ, we experience a lifting of the burden of sin-guiltiness. New freedom flows in and around us. We exult in the liberty as Christ breaks the chains from off of our hearts.
It is here in this spiritual child’s playground that young Christians want to stay. They reason, “Why leave a good thing? I have always just wanted peace and love and joy, and Christ has granted me that. I am happy in this new life.”
And they stay right there. But God wants us to grow. So the joy and the elation begin to wane. And so at Christian gatherings pastors and church leaders try to drum up the spiritual reverb to simulate the initial joy that the “babes in Christ” first felt.
And so what started as God’s deliverance into His new way of living with joy and peace, turns into habit and ritual. Worship services turn into attempts to recapture that first moment of euphoria when they came into Christ. And the new flush of freedom becomes a carte blanche to act on whatever thought comes to mind. But spiritual children cannot discern which thoughts are from God and which are not. They do not “have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Heb. 5: 14).
Because they have taken the faith of Christ and in the end used it to secure more joy for themselves, they must be admonished to “use not your liberty as an occasion to the flesh.” And because the child of God seeks a church house where members are like minded, there is no one to guide them away from the pitfalls of that kind of fellowship. They do not know that this spiritual environment just enables young Christians to stagnate and not grow. Ironically, the flow of the Spirit is blocked.
Some may be wondering, “Well, what else is there? I have given my life to Christ and have walked in the joy and freedom that He provides. So, what more is there? What do we need to do?
Peter gives the answer. We are not to remain spiritual “babes in Christ” forever. We are to grow and become full grown men and women of God like the early apostles. To remain as little children of God always seeking more stimulation in order to receive more joy is not the plan of God for any of us. He wants us all to grow spiritually. He wants us to “make our calling and election sure.” And to do that, we must add to our faith these seven attributes of the Spirit’s divine nature (2 Pet. 1: 3-12).
This is so crucial for our growth unto full maturity. Let me put it another way. If we do not heed what the Spirit is teaching us through Peter, we will remain children, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Eph. 4: 14). Little children will be deceived by false teachers, thereby stunting their growth.
So the first step to spiritual maturity is to “add to your faith virtue [moral goodness].”
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Yah Is Savior: The Road to Immortality explores the deeper meaning of our Savior’s Hebrew name Yahshua, which means Yahweh is the Savior.
The Unveiling of the Sons of God explains how the whole creation is waiting and longing for the manifestation (the unveiling) of the sons of God for these latter days. Christ will be totally formed in His elect as they will have grown and matured spiritually into His likeness and power.
The Royal Destiny of God’s Elect. It explores God’s vision for us, to be kings with Christ and how He will use us to reproduce His nature of Love.
My latest book is The Apostles’ Doctrine. Their doctrine was Christ’s teachings. And the early church walked in those teachings. This book reveals just what they are and how to walk in them.
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God bless you and your family, and thank you for taking a stroll with me on Immortality Road.] Kenneth Wayne Hancock
Kenneth Wayne Hancock