1. (2 Peter 1:1-11) God has provided some special blessings for the benefit of His people. a. (vs.3-4) He has provided what we need so we can be "partakers of the divine nature," including "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" and "exceeding great and precious promises." b. (vs.5-11) He has provided "the Christian graces" to prevent His people from falling. 2. The 7 characteristics listed in vs.5-7 are to be developed with "all diligence." 3. In this lesson we are concentrating on some great principles revealed in Hebrews 11 because "faith" is the foundation upon which the graces are to be developed. Discussion: I. (vs.6) THROUGH FAITH WE CAN PLEASE GOD
A. (vs.6a) Without faith it is impossible to please God. B. (vs6b) We must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. C. Application: Without faith we will not be able to develop the Christian graces; however, true faith will lead us to develop the graces and to grow in them. II. (vs.1) THROUGH FAITH WE CAN KNOW THINGS THAT WE CANNOT SEE
A. Our faith is to be based on God's Word (Romans 10:17). B. With our faith based on God's Word we can understand: 1. things from the past that we were not able to see [illustrated in vs.3] 2. things that will occur in the future which no one has seen [illustrated by the patriarchs in vs.13-16]. C. This should help us appreciate 2 Corinthians 5:7: "For we walk by faith, not by sight." D. Application: Faith will lead us to develop the Christian graces, even though we may not be able to see how important they are. III. (vs.2) THROUGH FAITH WE CAN OBTAIN A GOOD REPORT
A. Three elders illustrated this principle: Abel (vs.4), Enoch (vs.5), and Noah (vs.7). B. Application: Faith will lead us to develop the Christian graces so we can obtain a good report (2 Peter 1:10-11). IV. THROUGH FAITH WE CAN FOLLOW GOD'S INSTRUCTIONS, EVEN UNDER DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES [illustrated by 2 events is Abraham's life]
A. (vs.8-10) Abraham followed God's instructions to leave his homeland and go to a place that God would show him. B. (vs.17-19) Abraham followed God's instructions to sacrifice Isaac. C. Application: Faith will lead us to develop the Christian graces, even when it may be difficult to do so. V. THROUGH FAITH WE CAN LOOK TO THE FUTURE WITH ANTICIPATION
A. Three men illustrated this principle: Isaac (vs.20), Jacob (vs.21), and Joseph (vs.22). B. Application: Faith will enable us to maintain a positive outlook while we develop the Christian graces. VI. THROUGH FAITH WE CAN OVERCOME OBSTACLES [3 illustrations]
A. Moses overcame obstacles throughout his life (vs.23-28). B. The Israelites passed through the Red Sea on dry ground (vs.29), and they conquered Jericho (vs.30). C. (vs.31) Rahab was spared when Jericho was destroyed. D. Application: Faith will enable us to overcome obstacles that might interfere with the development of the Christian graces. Conclusion:
1. (vs.32-38) Through faith many other people in the Old Testament accomplished great things that pleased God. 2. (vs.39-40) Surely we can develop these Christian graces with "all diligence!"