I – The Promised Fruit of ”These Things”
”Godly Living is Rewarded”

A) Our Inspiration – Bareness (8)

1 – Excelling Fruitfulness ”Abounding Work”
2 – Eliminated Fruitlessness ”Attentive Words”

B) Our Vision – Blindness (9)

1 – Thankful for our Future Destiny
2 – Mindful of our Past Deliverance

C) Our Inspection – Boldness (10 – 11)

1 – One’s Confident Salvation
”Needful Facts – Secured Forever”
2 – One’s Concrete Salvation
”No Falling – Stumble Free”

D) Our Foundation – Blessedness (12 – 13)

1 – These Things will Establish Us
2 – These Things will Excite Us

E) Our Obligation – Blamelessness (14 – 15)

1 – His Leaving and Death
2 – His Legacy and Desire

II – The Personal Finding of ”These Things”
”Godly Living is Required”
A) Virtue
B) Knowledge
C) Temperance
D) Patience
E) Godliness
F) Brotherly Kindness
G) Charity

Introduction:

In this passage we find Peter nearing the end of his journey and he is going to prompt his audience to grasp the importance of his teachings. He is going to give them some insightful teachings on how to live an excellent Christian life.

Success is usually not something that just happens or is just stumbled upon. In football success can usually be attributed to those that make the less mistakes, namely in the fewest amount of turnovers, penalties, and interceptions.

I like how Vince Lombardi defined success, ”Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect”. He also had this to say, ”

In this passage Peter is going to define seven key traits when added to our faith can lead us to a life of excellence. In this text Peter lists the seven traits, and then he tells us five different times about ”these things”. I find it interesting that in eight verses he uses the phrase ”these things” five various times. If it is that important we should surely find out what ”these things” are and how to add them to our faith.

2Pe 1:8 KJV – 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.

2Pe 1:9 KJV – But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

2Pe 1:10 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

2Pe 1:11 KJV – For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2Pe 1:12 KJV – Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2Pe 1:13 KJV – Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

2Pe 1:14 KJV – Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

2Pe 1:15 KJV – Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

What are these things? Let us list them here, and then we will define them in a clear manner.

Virtue
Knowledge
Temperance
Patience
Godliness
Brotherly Kindness
Love

I – The Promised Fruit of ”These Things” (8 – 15)
”Godly Living is Rewarded”

Peter is going to give us some insight on the importance of adding those seven traits to our faith. If we will add them to our faith and make them to be a part of our daily lives, then he offers us some distinct rewards.
A) Our Inspiration – Bareness (8)

2Pe 1:8 KJV – 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.

If we add them to our faith we will not be idle and barren in our servitude. We will not be unfruitful in knowing about Jesus Christ as our Lord. This is an awesome blessing to know if we add ”these things” to our faith, we will be productive and knowledgeable.

1 – Excelling Fruitfulness ”Abounding Work”

(Idle, free from labor, lazy, leisure, shunning the labor
we should perform, slow)

The real meaning of barren is that we will be free from laziness and idleness. If we are saved and we strive for excellence in our lives, we will be active and available to serve God and to serve our fellow man.

This is very notable in our churches during this age, many are idle, lazy, and leisurely. They live only for themselves and will not lift one hand to enhance the kingdom of God, nor will they ever offer to help their fellowman. The word barren implies one that shuns the labor that is scheduled for them. As a Christian God has a distinct place for each of us to labor in and its up to us to find and to fill that place.

2 – Eliminated Fruitlessness ”Attentive Words”

(We are to be fruitful in the precise knowledge of Him)

The more that we learn of God, the more we will fall in love with him; and sell out to him. Peter informs us that if we add ”these things” to our faith it will enable us to have more knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This should be the buring desire of each of us, to learn more about him.

B) Our Vision – Blindness (9)

2Pe 1:9 KJV – But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

If we lack ”these things” then we can become spiritually blind. Our vision will become clouded and unclear, affecting our walk. The true Christian will strive to add ”these things” to their faith so that they can see clearly.

1 – Thankful for our Future Destiny

Peter says that if we don’t add ”these things” to our faith we will be blind and won’t be able to see afar off. This is the life that many live today, they choose to live for now, not for eternity. It might be that they haven’t added ”these things”. It is extremely important that we look well ahead and keep our eyes focused upon eternity.

2 – Mindful of our Past Deliverance

If we don’t add ”these things” to our faith we will become forgetful about the past purging that the blood of Jesus done in setting us free. We are free due to his precious blood being shed for all of our sin. In applying ”these things”, the seven traits of excellence, we can have a vivid memory of how much God done for us on Calvary.

C) Our Inspection – Boldness (10 – 11)
2Pe 1:10 KJV – Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

2Pe 1:11 KJV – For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

If we would be honest, there is not one of us that have not at one time or another doubted our salvation. We all need to have the blessed assurance that we sing about, but many do not have it and many have never had it, I wonder why. It may be that you have not added ”these things” to your faith. In these verses Peter assures us that by adding ”these things” to our faith we will have assurance of our salvation.

If we apply the seven traits of excellence to our daily walk we can find eternal assurance of our salvation. I hope you are not living hoping you will get to heaven. I hope your salvation is not based upon maybe making it. If you can do ”these things” then you can have divine assurance that you’re saved.

1 – One’s Confident Salvation (12a)
”Needful Facts – Secured Forever”

Peter says that by ”doing” ”these things” your salvation can be assured. I need to hear that every now and then. It is a blessing to know that by trusting in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I can have complete assurance about eternity. In this text Peter says that we can make it sure, we can know that it is sound and settled.

2 – One’s Concrete Salvation (12b – 13)
”No Falling – Stumble Free”

This salvation is stumble free if we do ”these things”. This is not my sayings; this assurance comes from the lips of Peter. He assures us that if we do ”these things’, then we will not fall. If we apply the seven traits of excellence, then there is a divine reward that will keep us from falling. We can live a life that is free from spiritual stumbling. In the bible we read of many that disgraced their names by stumbling or falling.

Peter stumbled
John Mark stumbled
Demas stumbled

In verse 11 he assures us that those that are saved have an entrance right into heaven, that’s secured by Jesus himself.

D) Our Foundation – Blessedness (12 – 13)

2Pe 1:12 KJV – Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2Pe 1:13 KJV – Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

Peter tells us now that if we remember ”these things” we can be established in the word. This is something that we all should strive for in our Christian walk, to know more and more about his wonderful word. The word will make us become more like him, which is our ultimate goal.

1 – These Things will Establish Us

In remembering ”these things” we can apply them to our life and become established. This word established has the meaning of being stable, placed firmly, or set fast, to be fixed. It means that we will be as solid in our walk as anyone could expect. This is exemplified in our life once we grasp our assurance of salvation. The moment we grasp our assurance, then we can become firmly established and confident.

2 – These Things will Excite Us

Peter says that as long as he is alive, he will stir up his audience concerning their memory. The word stir you up implies to awaken, to arouse, it’s like when the sea is calm and it suddenly becomes boisterous. The intention is to awaken someone and to render them as active. Once we grasp the importance of the seven excellent traits, then we can honestly become aroused and active in our walk.

E) Our Obligation – Blamelessness (14 – 15)

2Pe 1:14 KJV – Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

2Pe 1:15 KJV – Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

The end is near for Peter and he again is emphasizing the importance of the seven traits of excellence. It is our obligation to be faithful to those that have mentored us and invested in our lives.

1 – His Leaving and Death

The old saint is nearing the end and he knows this due to Jesus showing him. It is awesome to see how Peter is dealing with this information, he is actually displaying one of the seven traits of excellence; namely brotherly love. It is good when someone can grow old and still be a loving person, not consumed with hate and bitterness.

2 – His Legacy and Desire

The concern that Peter has for his audience is that when he is dead and gone, they will in turn remember and apply ”these things” to their lives. Peter is mimicking the very words of his master, maybe he remembered Jesus telling the twelve, if you love me keep my commandments. The old saint is asking his membership to diligently do ”these things”.

II – The Personal Finding of ”These Things” (5 – 7)
”Godly Living is Required”

2Pe 1:5 KJV – And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
2Pe 1:6 KJV – And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2Pe 1:7 KJV – And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Peter asks his audience to give all diligence to the following things, the seven traits of excellence. If you want to live a life that is excellent and pleasing to God, be diligent in adding these traits to your faith. The word diligence has the meaning of doing something like it is your business, do it with haste, and do it with care and earnestness.

I find it appalling that many Christians spend their lives becoming experts at golf, fishing, hunting, shopping, sports, economics, education, and the list is unending, but they give no time to perfecting their faith.

We live in such a nauseating age, one that literally is sickening to our Lord. We are interesting in everything under the sun other than excelling as Christians. I find this thought to be indicting and convicting to our society.

I we are serious about becoming Christians of excellence all we have to do is add the following seven traits of excellence to our faith. This can and should be done by all of us.

A) Virtue

(Moral Uprightness, Excellent living in all areas)

The first trait of excellence is virtue, the decision to live a life that is upright and moral. This is convicting to the people of this age. We live in an age of moral intolerance. The mere mention of religion and morality is upsetting to this age. As Christians we need to be on a virtuous course, one that is predetermined and one that is excellent and beneficial to our lifestyle.

It is still acceptable for people to display virtuous living, especially in the area of modesty and purity. Our society disowns anyone that has biblical moral standards. The day is coming where ministers will be prosecuted for preaching against immorality, immodesty, and impurity.

B) Knowledge

(Understanding the truth and living it)

It should be our goal to learn all that we can about the word of God. This knowledge is not only informational but it is also inspirational in that it will affect our walk. We have to many historians that can tell you how Christ was and where he once was, I want to know him now and where he is now. The very information we have can be detrimental to our lives if all we do is use it for mental knowledge, it needs to affect our walk.

This is our second trait of excellence, that of knowledge. This knowledge will be intertwined with our virtue and it will help us live a life of excellence. This goes along with the teachings of James, we are not to be just hearers of the word, but we are also to become doers of the word.

C) Temperance

(Self control, tongues, temper, temptations)

The third trait of excellence is temperance, this involves becoming a master of ones desires, ones passions, and ones sensual appetites.

We should be men and women that display self control in all areas of our lives. How many times have you observed another person and you placed great confidence in them until you learned that they had no self control in specific areas?

If you cannot control your tongue, do you have self control? If you cannot control your temper, do you have self control? If you cannot overcome your temptations, do you really have self control? This thing of temperance can only really become an affective tool if you add it with virtue and knowledge. The seven traits of excellence that we are observing will only help you live a life of excellence if we combine them together.

D) Patience

(Endurance, doesn’t swerve in storms, suffering, or in
sorrows)

This is number four in the seven traits of excellence, the trait of patience. This word implies one that is steadfast, one that is consistent, and one that is unswerving in his deliberate purpose. We will be patient in the midst of storms, sorrows, and in the midst of suffering and fiery persecution.

This trait is so needful for all of us due to the hardships of life. If you think because you are saved your troubles will soon vanish away, you are in for a hard fall. In reality due to our being saved often life is even harder. It is during these times of hardship we need to display patience and not throw in the towel or raise the white flag.

E) Godliness

(Reverence, walking in view of his greatness)

This is trait of excellence number five and it is awesome, we need to display reverence and respect to our God. The very idea of respecting God can and will lead to godliness. The world needs a good dose of respect and reverence. As believers it is needful that we add this trait to our faith. In adding godliness to our faith we will become fearful and reverent.

F) Brotherly Kindness

(Plain old brotherly love)

This is the sixth trait of excellence and this one hits us where the rubber meets the road. We are to add brotherly love to our faith. We cannot say that we are excellent Christians and not love our brothers and sisters. It is impossible to be a Christian of excellence and leave this trait out.

Mat 22:36 KJV – Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Mat 22:37 KJV – Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Mat 22:38 KJV – This is the first and great commandment.

Mat 22:39 KJV – And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Mat 22:40 KJV – On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

1Jo 4:20 KJV – If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

1Jo 4:21 KJV – And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.

G) Charity

(Love, love that puts God first, others will be second,
and ourselves will be third)

This is trait of excellence number seven and it is the simplest trait of all, love. We are to be people of love; we should be people that display true affection for others. As believers we ought to be people of good will and good deeds. It is expected of us to become benevolent people. The final trait of excellence sums up all of the other traits. If we are truly born again Christians we will be loving people. We will have love flowing from every area of our life. This sums up our discovery of how to live a life of excellence.

Conclusion:

If we add the seven traits of excellence to our faith we can confidently enjoy the following:

We can be fruitful
We can have spiritual discernment
We can be knowledgeable of Christ
We can have salvation assurance
We can be stable and not fall
We will have an entrance into heaven

The seven traits of excellence will do you no good if all that you do is look at them and then leave them unattended. It is like someone buying a nice treadmill and setting it up in their home but never turning it on. You know it is affective and will help you get in better shape if you use it, but it’s useless if all you do is look at it.

If you want to become Christians of excellence, please learn these seven traits and apply them to your life. They can and will work, that’s a guarantee from the bible.

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About The Author

Donald Cantrell is a native of Chatsworth, Georgia. He was saved on October 14th 1979 and began to preach the Gospel in the spring of 1980. He has pastored several churches throughout the years in the North Georgia area. Pastor Cantrell has an earned Doctorate Degree in “Designing Alliterated Expository Sermons”. He is a well known author and speaker due to his skills in designing alliterated sermons. He has authored over 32 books on sermons or preaching and his book on “How to Design Alliterated Sermons” is popular with many preachers desiring to learn the art of alliteration. Pastor Cantrell has a heart for helping other pastors and understands the rigors of those that are bi-vocational pastors. Cantrell’s material is alliterated and written with a few things in mind, his sermons are true to the scripture, expository, practical, and very preachable. Cantrell is currently writing a series of commentaries “Sensational Sermon Snapshots” that offer simple alliterated sermon outlines on every book in the New Testament. He has completed Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts; and just completed Revelation and Daniel. He has just written a book with 50 alliterated sermon outlines for Christmas. He also has a very popular 365 page daily devotional, with 365 mini-sermon devotionals. Pastor Cantrell has written a series of courses for those that want to become better at designing alliterated sermons. The courses have been used by pastors and preachers all over the world. He often meets with pastors on a one on one basis to offer mentoring classes on how to design alliterated sermons. If you would like to contact him and discuss his numerous sermon and preaching books, or his alliteration outline courses, he would love to talk with you. All of his books are available online at Lulu Publishers and with Word Search Bible Software and with Logos Bible Software. Pastor Cantrell would like to hear from you, especially if you are interested in learning the art of alliteration through his mentoring or consultation program. You can reach him at dcantrell2@charter.net or the church website, www.antiochbaptistdalton.com

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