Monthly Archives: May 2012
”For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faithgoodness; 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.” (II Peter 1:5-7)
The Christian life requires you to practice each of the highlighted qualities above:
Faith: in order to be a Christian and to truly love others you must believe in God who created you, repent of your sins, and confess that Jesus the Son of God has died for your sins and been raised from the dead.
Goodness: Those who have been saved from their sins must do good works. If you do not do good works you are probably not be a true believer, but an imposter.
Knowledge: If you truly love God you will want to know more about Him. Therefore you will read your Bible and ask question of other Christians. The Holy Spirit which is inside you will help you learn.
Self-control: Now that you know what is wrong you must keep yourself from doing it. You must resist fleshly sinful, fleshly urges because you know they are wrong.
Perserverance: Now that you have started well, you need to keep living a holy life until you die, to show that the change inside you is genuine.
Godliness: Now that you have learned about God, and he has given you self control, you are able to act with the same love and goodness that God possesses. You must behave as a true child of God.
Mutual Affection: You need to care for others more than you care for yourself.
Love: It’s all about love. You need to love God, and love your neighbor as yourself. You are even commanded to love your enemies.
I have a simple request for Muslim leaders and devout muslims around the world: I want you to publically speak out against the mistreatment of Christians. I know that many of you will tell me that you do not support beheadings/rape of Christians worldwide. That is all very good, but that is not enough. I would like you to publically speak out against these things when they happen so that there will be pressure for them to stop.
I am a Christian. I believe that I belong to the right religion. However, this does not give me an excuse to beat or kill my family members if they stop believing in the Son of God and become Muslims. I would never hate them nor physically abuse them. Yes, it would make me sad, but I would still love them. I would try to persuade them to come back, and I would pray for them every day until they died.
Furthermore, I do not in anyway endorse abuse of someone for being a Muslim. Last year someone in my community through rocks at a local mosque. As soon as I found out about it I condemned this action on my blog and called for it to stop.
I humbly ask that you do the same thing. Please speak out against violence if a church in your neighborhood is burnt down, or a Christian is murdered, or his daughters are kidnapped.
You say that you believe in peace. Good! Then please speak up for peace so that our two religions can live side by side with out a struggle.
Whenever Christians mistreat Muslims, we Christians need to stand up and condemn it.
Whenever Muslims mistreat Christians, you should stand up and condemn that as well.
I have recently done some on-line reading about what it is like to be a Christian in Somalia. Information on the internet is understandably sparse since it is very dangerous for Somalis to convert to Christianity. However, the little bit that I was able to learn appalled me. I have read multiple reports about how Somali Christian men are executed wherever they are discovered, their children are forced into islamic schools and/or terrorist training camps, and their wives are forcefully “married” to devout Muslims.
I believe in sacrificing everything for Jesus Christ the Son of God, but it is difficult for me to imagine what it would be like to sacrifice so much. Us western Christians who live in peace and security must constantly pray for these brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering such horrible things.
You can learn more about the challenges being faced by Somali Christians my clicking on this link to somalichristians.org. I just finished listening to the story by “Hassan” and it moved me quite a bit.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;” (II Peter 1:3,5 NIV)
Nobody can be good by their own power. But those of us who are true believers are given divine power to live godly lives. Therefore, since we have this power, we should make every effort to use it by doing good. We have no excuse for not doing good.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” (II Peter 1:3-4 NIV)
The Bible teaches that you cannot live a good life if you do not believe in God’s promises. These promises include the promise to resurrect us to heaven if we believe and repent, and to rescue us from our sins.
If you do not believe God’s “very great and precious promises” you have not “escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
You cannot defeat the selfishness inside you by your own power.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (I Peter 1:3)
Human beings do not learn how to live a godly life by being extra smart. Rather, God is the one who gives us the power to live Godly lives.
If you want to learn how to be godly you must learn about the Bible. In it God has provided everything you need in order to learn about Him and what He expects of you. Ask the one true God to show you the truth, so that you my become a true believer through His power.
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those whothrough the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:” (II Peter 1:1)
All people are born sinners, but God will change true believers through the righteousness of Jesus. Nobody is saved by their own good works or their intelligence. Their salvation and righteousness is a gift that is given to those who believe in the Son of God and repent of their sins.
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (I Peter 5:10)
True believers in the Son of God will be granted eternal perfection and fellowship with God in heaven. However, God will allow us to suffer first while we are still on Earth. We should make the most of this opportunity to suffer for the one who first suffered for us.
The Bible warns true Christians about the horrible dangers of sin:
“Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NIV)
The Bible commands us to whole-heartedly resist sin:
“Be alert and of sober mind… Resist him, (the devil) standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (I Peter 5:8,9 NIV)
But the power to resist the devil never comes from us. It comes from God:
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.” (I Peter 5:10-11)
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” (I Peter 5:8-9)
I recently had a debate with someone on this blog who felt that it is OK for men to fantasize about women they were not married to in order to keep from doing the real thing. She seemed to be argueing that men who try to resist the urge to think wicked thoughts will ultimately fall harder than men who do not fight it.
I disagree. I think that when it comes to sin it is always better to keep fighting the urge. The more you give in, the more momentum the sin gains in your life, like a semi-trailer careening out of control down a mountain. Therefore, when Satan tempts us to do wrong we need to fight back. We have no power in ourselves to defeat Satan, but God can easily defeat him for us.