Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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March 1 – Fruits Of Faith

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”  2 Peter 1:5-9

Devotional Thought For The Day

Faith not only brings one into possession of justification in the sight of God, eternal life, and salvation [Eph. 2:8,9; Rom. 3:28-30; Jn. 3:36], but faith is also the gateway into a great and wonderful way of life, one that is productive in many different ways.  Of course, of critical importance is remembering [not forgetting] what God has promised and provided for us, what we believe – that we have already been cleansed from our “former sins,” and that “if we walk in the light as He is in the light . . . the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” [1 John 1:7]  Those who truly know and believe the wondrous love that God has for us are eager to “supplement” our faith with all kinds of virtues – the goodness of love.  Peter mentions some of the more important things that we are oriented toward growing in our lives – virtue itself [what is good, loving, conforming to God’s Word], knowledge [of God, His love, His loving will], self-control [over sinful impulses, and good impulses that can become corrupt], steadfast endurance [in both faith and commitment to good], godliness [being and behaving like God], brotherly affection [philadelphia – friendliness and real friendship], and love itself [agape – selfless, sacrificial caring and serving of others, as God loves us].

We seek these things not because we do not have salvation and eternal life!  Rather, faith keeps us informed of God’s blessings – that we already have been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus, including life and salvation! [Eph. 1:3]  We seek to supplement our faith with virtue because of what God has already given us and promised to us, not to get something from God.  We rejoice that these are the natural fruits and fruitfulness that knowing and believing God’s love for us brings into our lives.  The one not seeking these things has forgotten and is slipping in his faith – and needs to be reminded of the great gifts of life and salvation that God has supplied to us in Christ Jesus.  The one who knows where he is heading, where God is leading him, delights in participating in as much of that goodness and light even now in this life, as he can.

Lots of things can make us “nearsighted” and “blind.”  The cares and riches of this life, the pleasurable things of this world, the corruption of our sinful nature, even guilt and shame, or hypocritical self-righteousness, can choke out and snatch away the good seed, the good news of the kingdom of God, that He has given us forgiveness, life and salvation in Christ Jesus. [Luke 8:5-15]  It is this erosion of faith and blindness to the gracious blessings of God which causes “unfruitfulness” and ineffectiveness in our lives – capitulation to evil and spiritual sloth.  So we must ever keep our eyes on Jesus, on His cross and empty tomb, on the promises and assurances of God’s Word, so that our faith grows stronger and stronger.  Then we will also have great eagerness and zeal to add all virtues into our life of faith, so that our lives are fruitful in love.  This is the principle purpose of church, of worship – to build faith and trust in Jesus, and knowledge of His great love for us, for when this is happening God’s love is building all kinds of good things in us, to the praise of His glorious grace.  No wonder we are encouraged not to forsake or neglect “the assembling of ourselves together.” [Heb. 10:25]  May God grant all of us continued growth in faith, the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, and all things truly virtuous!

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, thank You for the great virtue that You have poured out upon us in Your redemption and atonement for our sins.  Thank You also for the rich blessedness and fruitfulness that Your love produces in our lives.  Continue to strengthen us in faith, steadfastness, godliness, self-control, and love – that we fulfill Your good and loving purposes.  Amen.