Archive for the 'Matt’s Articles' Category

The last two qualities listed in 2 Peter 1 that are essential Christian character traits are brotherly kindness and love. These traits are some of the more visible/outward traits in the list. (The last article on this topic discussed godliness.)

I stumbled across the following article on 2 Peter 1:7a that does an excellent job of explaining brotherly kindness. Its main points are summarized below:

  • Without brotherly kindness it is impossible for us to claim that we love God or know God (1 John 4:7-8,20-21).
  • It is the distinguishing mark that tells people we are Jesus’ disciples (John 13:34-35).

I apologize for not finishing off the series on 2 Peter but hopefully we’ll get to that next week. I had the privilege to attend a benefit dinner for the Alpha Pregnancy Center Friday, March 30th. Back in my childhood/college days, I used to believe that abortion was a woman’s choice, and “proved” it using scripture too. (i.e. the fetus is like plant life because it doesn’t breathe. I know…that was pretty ridiculous.) Of course as a Christian who is now actually attempting to think about what I believe and investigate “things”, I realize abortion is the destruction of life…murder.

Last week we discussed self-control and perseverance. Next on our list in 2 Peter 1:5-7 is godliness. When I sat down to write this article I asked myself, what is godliness? Have you ever just used a word, having a sense or gut feel for what it means but not really capable of explaining it or giving a definition? This was certainly the case for me with this word. Initially I would have said something to the effect of “it describes a person’s reflection or demonstration of God’s character.” Having looked at “The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament” and a couple on-line studies I think that explanation misses the mark significantly.

It has been a while since we looked at the specific qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7. We left off with knowledge. Next on the list are self-control and perseverance.

Two weeks ago we looked more in-depth at faith and moral excellence from 2 Peter 1.  The next quality that needs to be added to the foundation of faith and moral excellence is knowledge.

There is a heck of a lot of “knowledge” out there.  What knowledge is this talking about?  Does learning about programming languages count?  (I think we can definitely rule that one out 😉 they didn’t have programming languages back when this was written.)  2 Peter 1:8 sums this knowledge up nicely as the “true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  It’s a great blanket statement covering everything that has to do with our Messiah. 

Continuing from last week, I wanted to look more in-depth at the first two characteristics given in 2 Peter 1.  The following are two definitions of the word “faith” from 2 Peter 1:5.

Faith (pistis)

On-line Bible defines the word faith as such:

Very often we need to do a little soul searching to see what is going on in our hearts and with our relationships with God and Christ. For me, without taking the time to let the Lord shine the searchlight of His word into my heart I can easily stray into exhibiting Pharisee like behavior by

  • having a hard heartedness that judges, condemns, and withdraws rather than Jesus’ offensive (the opposite of defensive) holiness which develops relationship, heals broken hearts and forgives sin
  • arrogantly looking down my nose at other people with the intent of “straightening them out”
  • whitewashing or putting a veneer on the outside to hide the hypocrisy and ugliness of sin on the inside

Today is a national holiday for the United States that is spent consuming turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and all kinds of special dishes that are family traditions.  For some this day is filled with football and food.  For others, it’s filled with cooking and time spent with family, or volunteering at a soup kitchen, mission, or church, serving those who do not have the resources to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal.  I wonder, however, if we really take the opportunity afforded us by the government, our employers, and families to be thankful, which according to Colossians 3:12-17 we are commanded to be. 

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