I love it when the Bible lays
out things in a particular order. It is
always for a reason and when I start to try and uncover that reason, God’s Word
takes on a whole new dimension. In today’s
study, the word picture is of a train with eight cars, each in its proper
place, on the way to The Eternal Kingdom.
2 Peter 1:5-7 - For
this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to
goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge,
self-control; and to self-control,
perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual
affection; and to mutual affection, love.
Things to think about:
· The idea is
of a train on its way to The Eternal Kingdom of Jesus
2 Peter 1:11 – “For if you do these things, you will never
stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into
the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Each of the cars is in a very specific order. Each one connects perfectly to the one before
it and the one after it. Getting them
out of order would lead to a derailment!
Car 1 – FAITH
The first quality mentioned is faith - “make every effort to add
to your faith…”
The first step in becoming a follower of Jesus is to step out in
faith, faith leads the way to everything else
Hebrews 11:16 - Without faith it is impossible to please God
Why do you think this train is led by faith?
Car 2 – GOODNESS
We come to God in faith because we know we aren’t good in and of
The impetus for faith is the conviction we aren’t good and need a
Romans 3:23 - All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
Through faith, God imputes Jesus’ goodness on our behalf
§ Romans 3:22 -
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus
Christ to all who believe.
Car 3 – KNOWLEDGE
Through faith we understand we fall short of God’s standard. By His grace, He counts us as righteous. But we are still babes in the faith and must
now learn from Him.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - "All Scripture is given by
inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for
correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be
complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Before our conversion we grew up learning the world’s instruction. We need to not just want to do better, we
need to learn how to be better and that can only come from the divine revelation
found in God’s Word.
Car 4 – SELF-DISCIPLINE
Now that we are beginning to understand what God would have us do
(and NOT do), we need to put it into practice.
James 1:22-25 - Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive
yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to
the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in
a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets
what he looks like. But whoever looks intently
into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it—not forgetting what
they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
Titus 2:11-12 - For the grace of God has appeared that
offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to
say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live
self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age,
Car 5 – PERSEVERANCE
We can all be motivated for a while to try and do better, just
look at dieting, working out, or even reading the Bible. It’s when we are weak
or tempted to indulge in sin that reveals the measure of a man.
Galatians 6:9 – Let us not weary in doing good, for at the proper
time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Car 6 – GODLINESS
It is said that character is really the sum total of many small
decisions over time.
1 Timothy 4:7 – Train yourself for godliness.
All of the steps thus far have focused on getting ourselves right
with God and preparing ourselves to be of use in His service
Car 7 – MUTUAL AFFECTION
o Now we are
ready to show and share God’s love with others in a consistent way that will
stand the test of time.
13:3-8 - Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went
out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the
seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some
fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly,
because the soil was shallow. But when the sun
came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other
seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still
other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or
thirty times what was sown.
o John 17:22-23
- I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we
are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may
be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent
me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Car 8 – LOVE
o John 13:35 - By
this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one
15:12-17 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater
love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You
are my friends if you do what I command. I no
longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s
business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned
from my Father I have made known to you. You did
not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and
bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the
Father will give you. This is my command: Love each
world is not our final destination, just a country we are passing through on
the way to the Eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ.