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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Dr. Tony Evans » Tony Evans - Preparation For Glory

Tony Evans - Preparation For Glory

Tony Evans - Preparation For Glory

The apostle Peter over the next number of weeks wants to tell you and I how to enter heaven with a celebration. He calls it in verse 11 entering heaven abundantly, entering heaven victoriously, entering heaven excitedly, entering heaven joyously. Not entering heaven regularly, not entering heaven barely, not entering heaven as a loser. See, everybody doesn't go to heaven the same way. Not all God's children enter heaven the same way. He's gonna take us on a journey. I call it the triumphant trip to heaven. And in this journey, if you will go on the ride with me, you and I will learn, in spite of the losses along the way, and we will all have them, in spite of the failures along the way, and we will all have our fair share of them, in spite of the things that have knocked you down, beaten you down, the things you are ashamed of, the regrets that you have, he will show you and me how to take the rest of your journey and to arrive at the point of destination abundantly, victoriously, joyfully. He begins his epistle in 2 Peter by saying, "Simon Peter, a bondservant".

Today, we will only get to the first four verses. "Simon Peter, a bondservant". A bondservant means a slave. Peter says, "I am a slave of Jesus Christ. I'm not just a Christian, I'm not just a saint, I'm a slave". God's goal for every Christian is to become a slave, because every slave has a master. So, Jesus is my Master, and I am his slave. A slave is obligated to the instructions and obedience to his master. He's also an apostle, a sent one, to deliver God's message to the people. And he's the apostle of Jesus Christ. He's a slave and the messenger of Christ. In verse two he says, "I'm speaking to all who have received the same kind of faith". So, I'm talking to all fellow Christians right now. I'm talking to the people I'm writing to and the people in generations to come. Peter is saying, "To all fellow saints I'm speaking. By the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ".

Let me just pause here. He's in his introduction, because I want you to notice something. "By the righteousness that's in our God and Savior Jesus Christ. By our righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ". Please notice Jesus has two titles, not just Savior, but God. Because Jesus is God and Savior. He is the God Man, the second member of the Trinity. Our God is triune in nature. He's God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit, one God composed of three coequal persons who are distinct in personhood, yet one in essence. The Father is not the Son, the Son is not the Spirit, but the three make up the one godhead, which is why the Bible can say God is love, because he's always had someone to love, because he's always lived in a triunity with the other members of the Trinity.

So, he says, "Based on the righteous standards of Jesus Christ, who is both God and Savior, I'm going to speak to you now". He now wants to share Jesus as the provider for your journey. He's your AAA guide. He's the one who wants to guide you on this trip to your abundant glory. He says, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you". Verse three, "Grace and peace be multiplied". Please don't miss that word, not grace and peace be added. "Grace and peace be multiplied". Grace. Grace is God's favor rendered to you. Grace is all that God is free to do for you because of what Christ has done for you. Grace is the goodness of God dispensed to you that you do not deserve, could never repay, and could not earn. It is divine favor. And God says he not only wants you to have divine favor, he wants to put it on the multiplication table of your existence.

So, he wants to multiply favor, and he wants to multiply peace. "Grace and peace be multiplied". He wants you to experience the calm in the midst of the chaos that surrounds your life. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:8 these words. "And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed". In other words, he's got so much grace to show you, you can't use it all. And when you use what you have, you're still gonna have leftover, because there will be an abundance of it. So, God not only wants to be favorable to you, he wants to be so favorable you can't use it up. You gonna need a doggy bag, because you will not be able to take it all in. Grace and peace be multiplied to you. Well, how does it get multiplied?

Notice what he says. He says, "In the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord". Grace and peace gets multiplied based on what you know. He says, "In the knowledge of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ". He says grace and peace are going to be multiplied to you, tied to your full knowledge of God and Jesus Christ our Lord. So, let's play with that word for just a moment. Epignosis. Epignosis has to do with knowledge by experience, not knowledge by information alone. Now, you need information in order to have experience, but you can have information and not have experience. Let me say it another way. You can come to church on Sunday and get gnosis, but that doesn't mean you've had epignosis, that you have come into the experiential knowledge of Jesus Christ.

So, when he says grace and peace get the multiplication sign and not merely the static subtraction or plus sign, it comes because you and I enter into the epignosis, the experiential knowledge, of God. And without that, you will not experience grace and with a multiplication sign attached to it, being multiplied in your life and mine. The more you know about him and the more experience you have with him, the more supernatural experience you have from him. So, let's start off, because we've only just begun. He's only introduced it because he's gonna tell you how to take the trip to heaven and arrive there abundantly. Verse 3, "Seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness through the true knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence".

So, we've dealt with he is the provider, he's the AAA guide for the trip, now he's gonna come to the provision for this journey. Please notice seeing his divine power has granted to us everything. Somebody say everything. So, get this. Everything you need to live the Christian life as God has designed you to live it, you already have. Everything you need to live the Christian life the way God has designed it to be lived, you already have. And it's been dispensed to you by his divine power. Everything for you to be an adult Christian was in your conversion. So, if you are here and you are saved, what you need to become a spiritual adult, you even have if you're a baby kid Christian. Everything. Unless you understand that you already have it, here's what you and I will do. We will go outside of it to get it.

Stay with me now. If you don't understand, you already have it, you'll go outside of God to get it. And when you go outside of God to get it, you'll cancel what you have to have it. As Colossians 2:10 says, "You are complete in Christ". Complete, just like a conceived baby has all the ingredients that you can't see for full life. You are complete in him. So, if you are a believer and you have Christ, you do not need to add anything outside of what Christ demands and expects, and we'll see those, in order to live victoriously. Let me say a brief word about this calling, the salvation. You've been called by his glory and his excellence. Let me say it another way. You've been called by his deity and his humanity. His glory, that speaks of his divinity. His excellence speaks of his life on earth, his moral perfection. You have been called by somebody who has the nature of God and the nature of man, so he understands God above and he understands humanity below.

That's why the Bible says he's touched with the weaknesses of your infirmity. He knows what it feels like to be you, because he became a man. But he knows what it feels like to be God, because God became a man. So, he can relate to God and relate to you at the same time. Okay, now how do I work this thing? How do I get this thing clicking? How do I get this thing rotating within my soul? How do I get this thing acting on my behalf? Verse 4, "For by these," his glory, his excellence, "he has granted to us," every believer, "his precious and magnificent promises". He hasn't given you just promises. He says they are both precious and magnificent. He says, "With these magnificent promises, so that," now here's where it gets nasty, nasty, he says, "You may become partakers of his divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust".

Now watch this. The way this stuff is gonna happen to me and to you, because we all need it, is because if you will operate based on this, you will become a partaker. The word partaker means sharer, somebody who shares something, holds something in common. You will become a partaker of the divine nature, hm. The divine nature is the nature of God, divine. So, you will be able to, let's put it another way, piggyback on God, okay? You will become sharers, you'll be able to piggyback on God. You'll be able to take from him to help you. You will be a partaker, a participant in who you are with who he is. You'll be able to steal from him and use for you. You'll be a sharer in the divine nature. The nature is the essence of a thing. Yeah, it is the core definition of a thing. We have human nature because we're people.

So, let me break down nature for a moment. Nature determines a number of things about us. First of all, nature determines your appetite, what you're hungry for. When you were saved, you received the divine nature, here it is, in seed form. Peter calls it in 1 Peter 1, he calls it you receive the incorruptible seed. He's talking about the divine nature. You did not receive it fully developed. You received it like a pregnant woman who conceives. She conceives, but you don't see the hands and the feet. You don't see the ears and the eyes. They're all there, because everything is there, but it has not been formed, which is why Paul says, "I won't be satisfied till Christ is formed in you".

So, you got the new nature, but in seed form. So, if the appetite's not right, the environment's not right, if the behavior is not right, that's because the seed has gone undeveloped. Because you have the seed, but the seed must be developed in order for the new nature to be manifested. That's where the world comes in. Satan uses the world, stay with me here, to get us so attached to it that it stifles the seed. He uses the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, that is, the world is that system that wants you to operate independently of God. That's what the world is. Anything that wants you to leave God out is the world, okay?

The appeal of the world is not just that the world is enjoyable, it is that it is seeking to stifle the movement of the seed, because if the world can interfere with the seed, you'll never show the hands, the feet, the ears, the nose, the eyes, you'll never see the growth take place because the seed has been stifled by this world order that wants you to make decisions, live your life independently of God. And if you do that, if I do that, when we all do that, you have to understand that the seed has been stifled, interfered with, and diminished in its growth potential. He says, watch this now, he says in verse 4, "Having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust". The world's strength is in its ability to create desire. Lust means desire. Watch this. Anything you do outside of God is because you want to. It's a desire. There is an appeal. There is an appeal. Now, the seed of the Word or the new nature is inside and surrounded by your flesh, okay?

Now, I'm gonna explain something now that if you catch this, it will be the single most transforming thing from this standpoint of sanctification and spiritual growth and all of that that, that you can understand. Now, watch this. The seed is surrounded by the flesh. The flesh is that part of you that desires to be satisfied independently of God. The world is the system that appeals to the flesh. Satan is the God who controls the world. So, watch this, Satan controls the world, the world sends out signals to the flesh, creating desire to be satisfied independently of God. But because you want it, you desire it, so we give into the flesh, whatever area it happens to be.

Now, this is what you need to understand. The flesh cannot be changed or tamed. Let me say this again. The flesh cannot be tamed, because all the flesh knows how to do is be fleshy. That's all they can do. The flesh cannot become un-flesh. Oh, but watch this. He says, and this is what a lot of people misunderstand, when the new nature, you become a partaker of it. You borrow from God for you to feed the new nature. Watch this. You will escape the world by its lust. Ah, the word escape the corruption, corruption means garbage. The garbage of the world, you will escape it, that is being driven by desire, hm. Let me tell you what it's not saying. It is not suggesting you may lose the desire.

Let me say that again. Let's say you've been taking drugs for 20 years and your flesh craves it, demands it, because the flesh has just gotten so used to being satisfied with it that the flesh says, "I gotta have it, I gotta have it, I gotta have it, I gotta have it, gotta have it". You go to 12 step programs, you go to this program, you go to that program, and yeah, you manage it for a little while, but then it shows back up another way and you back at it again, and you go on. It wasn't because you weren't sincere, it was that you were trying to talk the flesh into something the flesh has no obligation to receive, because the flesh operates that way. So, it sucks up, it sucks up all that you throwing at it, because its desire has been stitched into it, and it can never change. Never. Manage it for a while, but it never changes.

So, the desire doesn't go anywhere. He's not talking about your desire. He's talking about your action. That's why Ephesians 5 says, "Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh". He didn't say you wouldn't have it, because the flesh is the flesh. So, even though you may have trained the flesh in a certain area, and the flesh is resisting changing how it feels, the Bible says in Galatians 5 that you will no longer feel obligated to yield to the lust that the world keeps throwing at you that the flesh may still wanna take. Your ability to say no will grow because you just build up the muscle of the new nature. You just build up spiritual muscle, and as a result, you will know that you're growing. You get growing hands and feet. "Now, for this reason," because you got this new nature all ready to go, just ready to go, "apply all diligence".

You can't always control the desire. Sometimes desires come to you. You don't wanna know where it came from. You feel bad it's there. You crave this, you crave that, and you wonder why? Why is it there? You getting all mad at yourself. No, God's issue is not trying to tame that flesh. He's trying to build muscle in the nature so that your decisions change. And that's how you'll know you're growing. You will know that you're growing not because the flesh doesn't want it, but because you're no longer doing it. The flesh no longer has decision making power over your life. So, he's gonna tell you to give all diligence if you really want this new nature. Because now, see, this is the kind of stuff when God becomes real.

See, God becomes real when you begin to change. He says give all diligence. Don't play with this thing. You know, for this weekend, I didn't have my great-granddaughter with me. I ain't got my great-granddaughter with me. I'm surprised she been quiet this whole service, because this is a little job. This is a job. This is a job, because there is no peace. There's no peace, no peace. I mean, the girl's worrying me, worrying us with that. I mean, every four hours, crying, screaming, just screaming. A few hours later... You know what she's doing every time she does that? Obeying scripture. 1 Peter 2:2, "Like a newborn babe, desire the sincere milk of the Word that you might grow". She's saying, "Give me some more, give me some more, give me some more. I don't wanna stay a baby. Give me some more, give me some more". She is not satisfied to stay a baby.

Well, let's wait a minute. Let's say I go up to Church's Chicken, because I know where that's located. So let's say I go up to Church's Chicken, and I say, "I want me a leg and a wing," and I come back to the baby, and I offer her a leg and a wing. That is not gonna work, because I've gone outside of what she can take to try to force on her something she can't use. And I would have wasted my time. My intentions were good, but what I did was bad because, to put that on her is to make her sick, because she is not able to receive it. What a lot of us do is we go out to the world and buy its chicken and buy its food and buy what it has to offer, try to take that and wonder why we're not growing, because the new nature is not designed to receive it. And only by feeding the new nature will you become its partaker, build the muscle to experience the transformation that will deliver the victory to let you know your God is real.
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