Time For Spiritual Arithmetic
- Nancy Baetz Contributing Writer
- 2007 1 Jan
Ok, Class. Time for Arithmetic!
Get out your books, please. We are going to have a math lesson. Not algebra, not "new" math, not "fuzzy" math (that one doesn't exist here----except sometimes in the early mornings before coffee.)
Today, we are going to do God's math lesson. This is a very important lesson. How do I know that? The Lord has brought this lesson to me on two consecutive days. So, I believe it must be of utmost importance---or He wouldn't keep reviewing it for me.
Turn now, in your math book to page.....I mean, 2 Peter, 1:2-10, in your Bible. We are going to learn some multiplication, addition and some other concepts today that will give you an end product of abundance and growth. It will completely change your bottom line.
Let's begin by carefully reading the directions aloud together:
Ahem. "(1) Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: (2) Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, (3) as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, (4) by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
(5) But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue,
to virtue knowledge,
(6) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
(7) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
(8) For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(9) For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
(10) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
(11) for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." (NKJV)
So, there you have it!
Faith (in Christ) + Virtue (which we can only gain FROM Christ in us,) are the first steps. Once you have added these together, then you can go to the next level---according to your own pace and God's timing, not the institutional scope and sequence. This is not based on age, or amount of time in the Church, or as a Christian. God's timing is not our timing.
Next, add the knowledge of Christ. Get to KNOW Him personally. (You must have Faith, the first step, before you know Him, or it wouldn't be called "Faith" to begin with.)
With that knowledge, the Holy Spirit will begin to show you that you have self control, a fruit of knowing Jesus, and you will begin to see perseverance in your life. Continue to add each component, and you will soon see what the end result is. As you persevere in times of trial and times of blessing, you will see how Godliness in your life is the product, the quotient, or even the common denominator in each and every "problem" that comes your way.
If the answer is not Godliness, then erase---and start over. His mercies are new every morning!
As you add these up in your life, you will find an end result will be brotherly kindness---which is especially important in your home. Even when you might not feel like it, you will be able to show brotherly kindness, then ultimately Love.
Start with the basics, and work your way step by step up this ladder of life, incrementally gaining each new skill, or shall we say "gift" or ability from the Lord. He is the one who leads you step by step. Add, subtract, and multiply where needed. Let God do the fractions---He may have to take something away from time to time. (We have to be divided sometimes, just like a plant has to be---in order to take the next step of growing.)
So dear friends, those are all the math facts that you need to memorize for this session. Be prepared for daily tests, and occasional reviews of the material. So let us look at that equation one more time:
Faith (The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, and it comes by HEARING the Word of God.)
Faith + Virtue = (Righteousness of Christ)
Faith + Virtue + Knowledge = (Growth in Relationship with Christ)
Faith + Virtue + Knowledge + Self Control = (Maturity)
Faith + Virtue + Knowledge + Self Control + Perseverance = (Fruit of the Spirit!)
Faith + Virtue + Knowledge + Self Control + Perseverance + Godliness = (Brotherly Kindness - becoming like Him!)
This all adds up to: Love.
And the greatest of these are LOVE.
Any questions? Here are the notes for the entrance exam:
Review verses 10 and 11: "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Nancy Baetz is a Homeschooling Mother and support group volunteer who delights in helping families get started Homeschooling their children. She is a contributor to The Old Schoolhouse Magazine. You can find her on the Homeschool Blogger Front Porch on Thursdays and be sure to stop by and say hello at her personal blog at: www.homeschoolblogger.com/byhisgraceincolorado.