AUSTRALIAN BIBLE CHURCH
MAY 1, 2005
THE POWER OF LIFE TRIUMPHANT IN CHRIST
AND ESCAPING THE CORRUPTION OF THIS WORLD, THROUGH ITS LUST
has this delightsome verse: and for an impact we shall this time use mostly the
“Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and saviour Jesus Christ:
may grace and peace be yours in abundance through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
His divine power has bestowed on us everything that makes for life and devotion, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and power.
Through these, He has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature, after escaping from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.”
I THE FAITH IS PRECIOUS
II THE FAITH IS THROUGH DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS
III THROUGH THIS, YOU KNOW CHRIST, HELD IN GRACE, GRANTED PEACE
IV DIVINE POWER HAS GRANTED ALL NEEDED FOR ETERNAL LIFE
V DIVINE GLORY AND POWER HAVE GIVEN VAST PROMISES
VI THESE HAVE TWO PRONGED RESULTS:
i) The Divine Nature can now be accessible to your own
ii) Thus you escape the corruption that festers in this world, through misplaced, evil desire.
If you want it, here it is!
Now we have
spoken on other occasions on the ADDITIONS to faith,
which this involves, as shown in II Peter !:5-11, namely those of
VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE, SELF-CONTROL,
GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS, LOVE.
Today, it is where you go to grow and where you leave to live, that is our focus. It is like a fighter pilot trainee: if the vast, fast movements are not to your taste, then this is not for you. Consider these additives which Peter has listed: do they appeal ? You will long for them if you are His, this is what He is like.
Do you live by promises ? Take John 5:24, if by faith you have in repentance come to Him as sacrificial Saviour and Lord, and heed His word, then you have passed from death to life, do not come into condemnation and have eternal life. If the one applies, then the other is granted. Do you live by His word ? Then you do not WORRY about money (Mat. 6:25-27): you work, you trust, you submit yourself wholly to His will and seek to please Him first in all things.
Do you TRUST in the LORD ? Do you DELIGHT YOURSELF IN HIM ? Then HE will give you the desires of your heart: this is a promise (Psalm 37:3-4).
There are many progress promises like these; but also there are ratchet promises, and right here is one of them. “Having escaped the corruption of this world”, one which comes by evil or lustful desires, intemperate, uncontrolled and carrying the thrust of ‘must’ to your heart which falls. It is not only where you are going that matters, but that you do not desire to dabble in where you have come from! Think of the lusts to return to Egypt with such nothings as garlic and leeks, swelling out of all proportion because the desert was dry and did not seem to offer much. In a few months, they would have been IN the promised land, but they lost it for forty years, the parents dying, because when the critical moment of entry came, they drew back, and so perished in the desert. If they HAD gone on and in, what a time as with Joshua and his sun’s slowed closure for the day of victory, with Jericho’s fall, they would have had. But faith not being present (Hebrews 4:1-4), so the joy of the Lord was absent.
SAMSON suffered because obvious folly was repeatedly engaged in; PETER suffered anguish because when the time, the moment for testimony came, his tongue failed him where his sword had not. DAVID suffered family tortures because he had allowed uncontrolled desire to make of him a walking puppet, and he fell into folly as a horse into a pit. STEPHEN suffered a death by stoning, because he held to faith, told them the truth, feared nothing, and even when dying, saw the Son of God by the Father, in glory, his own face shining like an angel: the loss of flesh was not to be compared with the glory of God which he sought and gained.
SUFFERING is of two types: first, the pain of sin, or secondly, the agony of truth, when lusts and fusses and iniquities of man seek to strike you down, to make you a worm and not a man or woman, to lead you on to show yourself a puppet of passion, not a person of godliness. There are only two paths, and escaping the corruption of this world, a thing of lust, is one. It means that money or personal satisfaction, pleasure, falling down to idols of government or culture, making your life a honey-pot for yourself, instead of bearing the gall and the vinegar for Him, is not even a consideration. It is as desirable as suicide, which in the end, it is.
Take up therefore your cross and follow Him (Luke 14:26). Do not be misled: the prosperity sort of ‘Christianity’ which some especially Pentecostals are now being noted for, is mere delusion. You can as well make the most of this world while you are in it, as Christ could be persuaded not to go to the Cross, by Peter when that apostle fell into folly, being told, Get behind Me Satan! by the Lord (Matthew 16:23). If you want to convert your cross into, say, a piece of jewelry, and then take it up that way, following the world, then you may; but it is mere self-delusion. FOLLOW Him, and you will find, drawing near to God, He draws near to you and what was impossible to consider, becomes impossible to neglect. It is this: Taste and SEE that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). You never know the taste if you spit it out. You must swallow it. Communion typifies this, and to this we look forward shortly.