The Results of Growing by Bill Echols (Evangelist)

Growth  Growth #2    imagesCAMTQGVY

Scripture Reference: 2 Peter 1:1-11

Introduction: From the time one is born into the kingdom of God they are to grow (1 Pet 2:2). Each is to grow spiritually strong and knowledgeable enough to teach others (Heb 5:12). What if one does not grow?

I. The results of Not Growing (2 Peter 1:9)

A. The manifestation of growth is pointed out (1:5-8)

1. If we do not grow, we lack these and become spiritually blind. To be such is to have no clear understanding of the nature of the gospel or its requirements and     obligations.

2. The very fact that one does not have these qualities shows one has no eye for them.

B. No growth results in spiritual nearsightedness.

1. Such cannot discern truth from error because his eye is on worldly things. Spiritually short sighted people have only a hazy apprehension of the objects of belief and how they bear on life.

2. They only see they are a member of a religion, but not the life to live as one purged from sin.

C. Such has forgotten he has been forgiven.

1. This forgetfulness is the inevitable result of wilful neglect. Forgetfulness does not cause nearsightedness, but is a part of it. He does not remember the obligations which grew out of being forgiven.

2. Our appreciation of God’s grace should motivate us to greater effort (I John 4:19).

D. The supreme example of this blindness can be seen in Israel.

1. Israel fell when they ceased to grow in knowledge (Hosea 4:2). The answer for them is the same for us (Hosea 4:1). Without knowledge of God there can be only one result (Hosea 4:2).

2. Israel’s tragic story is well summed up (Isa. 5:13).

3. There is no growth without pains, but it has rewards. As the world goes further and further from God, we must be more diligent (II Tim 2:15).

II. The results of Growth (II Peter 1:8)

A. Peter is speaking of the qualities in the verses before (1:5-7). One will never stumble and be granted an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom (1:10, 11).

B. First, the life of a Christian can never be one of idleness.

1. Even prior to sin Adam had to be active (Gen 2:15). The O.T. is filled with warnings about idleness (Prov 6:6, 10:4).

2. Idleness is not natural, it is learned (I Tim 5:13). The early church was told to discipline the idle (II Thess 3:6-15).

3. Being a Christian is a vocation of sweet labor (Mt. 21:28). We were recreated spiritually for good works (Eph 2:10).  Faith divorced from works is profitless, dead, demonic, barren and imperfect

(Jas 2:14-26).

C. Next, fruitfulness is an effect of growth as a Christian.

1. As one pursues the upward way, he is walking in the light of the Spirit’s instructions (Gal 5:16). Then he develops the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23).

2. Fruitfulness is connected with winning souls (Prov. 11:30). The principle is clear (Mt 7:17).  Those in union with Christ bear much fruit (John 15:2). We are joined to Christ to bear fruit (Rom 7:14).

D. The third result of growth is prevention of stumbling (II Peter 1:10).

1. God is able to keep His children from stumbling (Jude 24). God prevents our stumbling by means of the strength inherent in the word.

2. It is only when we apply the word and add the qualities that we are assured of not stumbling. One who fails to develop these is blinded and will stumble. Jude stresses our individual responsibility (Jude 20, 21).

E. Finally, the faithful servant will be granted a rich entrance into the eternal kingdom.

1. “Kingdom” is used several ways. The reign of God among Israel was called a kingdom which would be taken away from them and given to another (Mt. 21:43).

2. The Lord’s church, as to its government, is a kingdom (Mt. 16: 18, 19; Col 1:13; Rev 1:5, 6).

3. Also, the final state of the faithful is called a kingdom (II Tim. 4:18). This is the kingdom Peter has in mind as the reward of spiritual growth. It is “richly supplied.”

4. While the entrance is rich, we still enter through tribulation (Acts 14:22). There are tremendous rewards for those who mature and remain steadfast in the faith (I Cor. 15:58).

III. What We Must Do (II Peter 1:10).

A. Those to whom Peter wrote at a fork in the road. They could turn away, fail to add and become spiritually near-sighted. They would then fail. If, they added these characteristics, they would have a heavenly home.

B. Thus Peter exhorts, “Give the more diligence… make your calling and election sure.”

1. Peter had begun his enumeration of these characteristics with an exhortation to diligence (1:5).  Diligence is earnestness, zeal and carefulness. Living for God is serious business.

2. Our calling is made secure through our instrumentality. We play a part in our security. God calls and we respond. God commands and we obey. imagesCAFN5C8C


Scriptural References for Prosper/Prosperity in the (KJV):

Ge 24:40 And he said unto me, The LORD, before whom I walk, will send his angel with thee, and prosper thy way; and thou shalt take a wife for my son of my kindred, and of my father’s house:

Ge 24:42 And I came this day unto the well, and said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, if now thou do prosper my way which I go:

Ge 39:3 And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand.

Ge 39:23 The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the LORD was with him, and that which he did, the LORD made it to prosper.

Nu 14:41 And Moses said, Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD? but it shall not prosper.

De 28:29 And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness, and thou shalt not prosper in thy ways: and thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore, and no man shall save thee.

De 29:9 Keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that ye may prosper in all that ye do.

Jos 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. {prosper: or, do wisely}

1Ki 2:3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: {prosper: or, do wisely}

1Ki 22:12 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the king’s hand.

1Ki 22:15 ¶ So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

1Ch 22:11 Now, my son, the LORD be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the LORD thy God, as he hath said of thee.

1Ch 22:13 Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfil the statutes and judgments which the LORD charged Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.

2Ch 13:12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

2Ch 18:11 And all the prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramothgilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.

2Ch 18:14 And when he was come to the king, the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go to Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And he said, Go ye up, and prosper, and they shall be delivered into your hand.

2Ch 20:20 ¶ And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

2Ch 24:20 And the Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people, and said unto them, Thus saith God, Why transgress ye the commandments of the LORD, that ye cannot prosper? because ye have forsaken the LORD, he hath also forsaken you. {came…: Heb. clothed}

2Ch 26:5 And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper. {in the visions…: Heb. in the seeing of God}

Ne 1:11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king’s cupbearer.

Ne 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Job 12:6 ¶ The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.

Ps 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. {wither: Heb. fade}

Ps 45:4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. {ride…: Heb. prosper thou, ride thou}

Ps 73:12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

Ps 122:6 ¶ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.

Pr 28:13 ¶ He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

Ec 11:6 In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good. {shall prosper: Heb. shall be right}

Isa 52:13 ¶ Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. {deal…: or, prosper}

Isa 53:10 ¶ Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. {thou…: or, his soul shall make an offering}

Isa 54:17 No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Isa 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Jer 2:37 Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head: for the LORD hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.

Jer 5:28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.

Jer 10:21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.

Jer 12:1 ¶ Righteous art thou, O LORD, when I plead with thee: yet let me talk with thee of thy judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously? {talk…: or, reason the case with thee}

Jer 20:11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten.

Jer 22:30 Thus saith the LORD, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days: for no man of his seed shall prosper, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah.

Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

Jer 32:5 And he shall lead Zedekiah to Babylon, and there shall he be until I visit him, saith the LORD: though ye fight with the Chaldeans, ye shall not prosper.

La 1:5 Her adversaries are the chief, her enemies prosper; for the LORD hath afflicted her for the multitude of her transgressions: her children are gone into captivity before the enemy.

Eze 15:4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work? {Is it…: Heb. Will it prosper?}

Eze 16:13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.

Eze 17:9 Say thou, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up the roots thereof, and cut off the fruit thereof, that it wither? it shall wither in all the leaves of her spring, even without great power or many people to pluck it up by the roots thereof.

Eze 17:10 Yea, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind toucheth it? it shall wither in the furrows where it grew.

Eze 17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?

Da 3:30 Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, in the province of Babylon. {promoted: Chaldee, made to prosper}

Da 8:24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. {holy…: Heb. people of the holy ones}

Da 8:25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. {peace: or, prosperity}

Da 11:27 And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. {hearts: Heb. their hearts}

Da 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

3Jo 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. {wish: or, pray}