Praying through the Psalms

Praying through the Psalms

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

How to Keep from Being an Ineffective and Unproductive Christian!

5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This would be a very confusing passage if we don't take this passage in context, and in the light of the rest of the bible. Peter says, "make every effort to add to your faith". One might think that to be an effective Christian, they have to add something to faith. Meaning it is faith plus something we do. But if we remember from yesterday, Peter said that through God's promises we have every thing we need to be sure of our salvation in Christ. And through faith not works, we participate in God's nature to be able do what He has called us to do.

With this in mind it might be that to add to one's faith is to exercise our God-given faith. This kind of "adding to your faith", results in character transformation evidenced by things like goodness, knowledge, and self control. Meaning as we are formed by faith, we start realizing the qualities Jesus had in increasing measure. We also call this spiritual growth. Notice spiritual growth is not about doing more stuff but a changed life.

What is the purpose of putting this transforming faith being put into action. Peter says, "it will keep us from being unproductive and ineffective in our knowledge of God." Meaning we can know things about God, but if we do not put this knowledge into action through faith, it will not be useful. So what does all this mean? It means someone can be a Christian and be saved and still lead an ineffective and unproductive life. Through God's calling and election we can't lose salvation, but how do we, "work out our salvation with fear and trembling", as Paul says in Ephesians.

I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to realize after being given this great gift, is that I have been ineffective and unfaithful. Faith is a gift we can't earn it. What we do with faith is what we give back to God. God wants us to make every effort to be faithful with the gifts we have been given. And when we reach the end of our lives and meet our Lord, we can hear the words, "Well done my good and faithful servant, welcome to my eternal kingdom prepared for you and all who call on my name!"

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