To risk the situation on God, to do God’s will no matter what, and to leave the outcome with him. That’s faith.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again my radio friend. How in the world are you? Doing Alright? It’s your good friend, Bob Cook, and you and I are back together again looking at the Word of God.
We’re studying the second letter of the apostle Peter. We call it 2 Peter. Chapter 3 verse 11, “What kind of people ought ye to be in all holy lifestyle and godliness?” You and I have been talking about godliness. The miracle of it, God manifest in the flesh, God walking in your shoes, the work of it, “exercise thyself rather unto godliness”, something you work at day after day.
The profit of it, profitable in this life and in that which is to come. The basis of it based on what you really believe; doctrine is what you really believe, what you’d be willing to do die for, and then the process, it can be added by faith, add to your faith godliness. How do you do this? Number one, make sure that you do belong to the Lord Jesus Christ as a born-again believer. All that I’m telling you along this line is useless unless you have committed yourself to Christ as your Lord and your Savior.
That’s the first step. You don’t get anywhere until you’ve been there. Then Paul says to us in 1 Corinthians 1:30 that Christ is made unto us; wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption. The fact being that the faith that saved you is the same faith which can transform you. Colossians 2:6 says, “As you have therefore received the Christ Jesus as Lord, so live every day” – he used the verb walk, walk means live every day – “So live every day in him. As you’ve received Christ Jesus, the Lord, so walk in him.”
The same faith that saved you is the kind of faith you exercise in modifying your character and your lifestyle and your relationships here on earth. Christ is made unto us wisdom. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what you know. God will never do your homework for you. I mean, you have to do that, but He will guide you on the basis of what you do know; wisdom.
Righteousness is the quality if spontaneously making the right decision. God can program the computer of your mind through the indwelling Holy Spirit so that spontaneously you will be desiring good instead of evil, right instead of wrong, God’s will instead of your own will. Righteousness, Christ does this when you exercise faith, active committed faith to Him.
Faith is no good without a commitment. You know that, don’t you? “Do you believe?” said the tightrope walker that I could go back again from where I came and the crowd roared, “Yes.” He said, “Do you believe that I could push a wheelbarrow in front of me and still do it?” And the crowd roared back, “Yes.” He said, “Do you believe that I could put a person in that wheelbarrow and go back successfully from where I came on the tightrope?” And the crowd roared, “Yes.”
And so, then, he said to someone standing nearby, “Hop in the wheelbarrow and we’ll go.” Oh, there were no takers. That’s different. Faith is a commitment. Do you believe? Yes, I believe. Alright, jump in. See? Faith means commitment, risking the situation on God. I have received letters recently from people who said that that phrase helped them in their own lives. To risk the situation on God, to do God’s will no matter what, and to leave the outcome with Him. That’s faith.
Faith is no good without a commitment. But when you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus Christ, the change that He makes occurs and you are blessed; righteousness. Sanctification is being set aside for God to use and you nor I can presumptuously say now I’m going to be yielded to God in all of this. There is a sense in which you don’t get anywhere unless God puts you there.
Sanctification is a work of the indwelling Holy Spirit of God, such were some of you, Paul says, when he gives the awful listing of sinners in the church at Corinth, “Such were some of you but you are washed. But you are justified, but you are sanctified in the name of our Lord Jesus.” God does the sanctifying when you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and your savior. And that, of course, it uses the word redemption, which means the continuing miracle of a redeemed life starting here and going on through at all the eons of eternity, redemption; bought out of the sin market, out of the slave market of sin and forever free to serve the one to whom you owe it all, your Lord Jesus Christ.
Now godliness then can be added by faith because Christ becomes these things to us when we commit ourselves to him. You understand me? This is more than a point of your opinion. I believe it may rain. We say that’s your opinion. I believe he is a communist. That’s your opinion. But when you commit yourself to the Lord Jesus, that is taking your whole life and turning it over to Him so that He can become to you what He is.
It’s what Wendell P. Loveless used to call the exchanged life, the exchanged life, you exchange your weakness for His strength and your failure for His victory, and your human error is for His divine character, and your sin caused ugliness for His beauty. Moses prayed, “Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands.” Christ becomes to you all that you want, like faith. Godliness can be added by faith. It’s great truth, isn’t it?
Well, then, we go on. What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation– that’s lifestyle and godliness? Holiness, heavenliness and hopefulness, verse 12, “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing you look for such things, be diligent that you may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
Now, hope, looking for and hasting – you know that our Lord Jesus Christ said if I go away I will come again. He said, “Behold, I come quickly and my reward is with me to give to every man according as his work shall be.” You know that there is more said in the New Testament about the second coming of Christ than there was about his first coming. All these things are true. Now, do you have, therefore, a working hope concerning Christ’s second coming?
Preaching about the second coming of Christ goes in cycles I observed. Back in the ’20s, people were preaching about the second coming and identifying Mussolini as the antichrist. Someone asked the great preacher and said, “Doctor, why did you preach that Mussolini is the antichrist?” And he said, “At that time, he was just too good to miss.”
Well, laying aside the foibles of those of us who are preachers, the fact is that preaching about the second coming seems to go in cycles. And when folk are prosperous, the idea of forfeiting truth seems to die away. And then, when catastrophe or depression or war comes upon a society, you’ll find that that doctrine of Christ’s second coming seems to reemerge, and we hear again the word that Christ is coming.
Now, what is your own personal attitude toward the second coming of Christ? Is it something theoretical about which you think maybe only occasionally? Or is the fact that He could be here anytime one of the great motivating factors in your lifestyle? This is something I wish you would think about just for a little while. If I really believe that Christ will return anytime, that is, you know, before I finish this broadcast, I’m going to be careful what I say or what I do, what my attitudes are and what my relationships are.
Why? Because if He were to come this second, I want to be right with Him. You understand how that is? Looking for, looking for. What is the attitude that God wants us to have? He wants us to be looking for the Lord Jesus. “Watch therefore,” Jesus said “for you know not when your Lord cometh.” He wants us to be looking for Him. Would you therefore evaluate in your own life the elements that make for this matter of looking for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ?
Now, the other verb that Peter uses is “hasting.” That is, to say doing something about it. What is there that anybody can do that would hasten the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? Well, you know the Bible says, “God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” The coming of our Lord Jesus is delayed according to the teaching of the Word of God because God is waiting to see more people come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“God is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward,” says 2 Peter 3:9, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” So he said, what should we be doing? Looking for and hasting the coming of the day of God. What does that mean? That means do all you can to win all you can to the Lord Jesus Christ so that the day of his appearing will be hastened.
When I was a student at the Moody Bible Institute they used to sing a song, I believe, that was written by Dr. Gray. “Why say not a word of bringing back the King. Bringing back the King, oh bringing back the King”, and how they used to sing it.
Well, to bring back the King, one of the things you and I can do is to win all we can to the Lord Jesus Christ to get the Gospel out to everybody we can. World evangelization is a one generation job. If you and I fail at it, somebody else has to start all over again. And so, beloved, let’s haste toward the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. And he says, “We look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
Now, what should be our attitude? Now, I won’t be able to get into this very much because time will run out. But he says, what should be our attitude, “Seeing that you look for such things.” If you’re looking for the second coming of Christ, if you’re doing all you can to hasten his coming, then he said, “Be diligent that you may be found by him in peace without spot and blameless,” and account that the long suffering of our Lord is salvation. He goes back to that same theme that he had in verse 9, “God is not careless about his promise, but his long suffering to us, not willing that any should perish.”
Okay. Now what should be my attitude in the light of Christ’s second coming? Diligence in three areas – peace, without spot, and blameless. That’s what we’re going to talk about the next time we get together. And you be there, won’t you? And meanwhile, don’t forget to pray for yours truly.
Dear Father, make us people who are working in the direction of the second coming of Christ. I ask in His name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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