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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Things Christians are Commanded to Add to Their Faith - 1 Peter 1:6-7, Galatians 5:22-23

God's grace teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness

Second Peter 1:3-15 says we must add to our faith: Goodness, Knowledge, Self-control, Perseverance, Godliness, Brotherly kindness, and Love. 

Galatians 5:22-23 offers a similar list – the Fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.  

Both lists highlight character traits Christ produces in His children. 

Second Peter says we grow in these areas through an increasing knowledge of Christ. To know Christ is to love Him. 

Galatians 5 says we grow in these areas as we deny our fleshy desires. To Love Christ is to obey Him (John 14:23).   

Our character is transformed by God’s Word (Romans 12:1-2) and forged in trials and self-denial (1 Peter 1:6-7). 

If we are not increasingly growing in godly character, or if we find our faith lacking in an area, some would tell us not to worry because God loves us anyway. That’s not Biblical. God’s love offers transforming grace, not cheap grace (Titus 2:11-13).

To know Him is to love Him. To love Him is to obey Him. 

Bible Study 

God's Grace Changes us
Galatians 5:16-26: So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

Do you know the meaning of “flesh” as it is used here? The Greek word means carnal, making decisions according to selfish desires apart from faith.

19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. These acts are obviously wrong, but that doesn’t keep them from being approved and promoted by fallen man. Which of these fruits of the flesh are readily accepted by our modern culture? 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

In fact, most of these things are commanded. Can you think of Bible verses that command them? 

For example, Philippians 4:4 for Joy. http://biblehub.com/philippians/4-4.htm 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. No one is good enough to become a Christian, but once we become one, we have God’s Spirit to help us overcome the deeds of the flesh. 

If someone claims to be a Christian but continues to live a sinful life, Scripture says they don’t really know Christ (1 John 3:6).

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