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November 24, 2020 7:00 pm
BJU President Steve Pettit preaches in Chapel from II Peter 1:3-8.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who served as an evangelist for over 29 years before becoming president of Bob Jones University of Alaska. Take your Bibles and turn with me please to second Peter chapter 1 I was probably about maybe 25 or 26 years old. I was serving as a youth pastor at a church that I worked in the first five years that I started in the ministry up in Michigan in the mornings I would go in early and have my morning devotions about 7 o'clock in my office and I was studying through this passage in second Peter chapter 1 and as I work through this passage. It's almost like if you when you start really doing serious Bible study is just it just so awesome. It's just it's just so thrilling to get to really understand God's word and as I got in the second Peter chapter 1, I began to realize as I work through this that this is actually I didn't know it at the time of this is actually what Christian education is all about. Most of you have grown up in homes. Many of you, especially if you want to Christian school or home school and and and in cases of public school where you had parents that were committed to Christian education.
They wanted their they wanted you to get a particular education and so as I was working through second Peter chapter 1 it really really is, like the lights turned out, this is really What Should Be Taking Pl. in Christian education and it was during that Bible study that I began in my own mind just thinking through the ministry that I wanted to be involved in that that did this that that did what second Peter 13 through eight says, I didn't realize of course how that that would lead in my life as I was involved in evangelistic work in camp work in working with young people and discipling them that eventually would give me the privilege to come here to Bob Jones University and after I was here for about a couple of years I began to realize a really wanted us to to focus in on how do we best describe second Peter 13 through eight, and how do we split it in words that are simple and memorable.
What we call that is we call that in the University a tagline. We have a tagline here and that's the three words you see around campus. Learn love and lead basically comes out of a commitment that we are committed as University providing for you and outstanding Christian liberal arts education that is designed purposefully to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning loving and leaving. We then choose those three words because the first letter of each word starts with L or we just all that they would be really cool words and though there memorable, and though there compelling and though I think they are simple and authentic their clear and their concise and there's something behind it. What I want to do is actually show you in the Scripture where comes from because second Peter chapter 1 verses three through eight is really what I think is foundational for understanding what Christian education is all about and what it is that were hoping that you will experience while you're here at Bob Jones University. So let me begin reading a second Peter chapter 1 and I want to start in verse three, and I'd like to read down to verse eight according as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that if called us on the glory and virtue whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue and to virtue knowledge and knowledge temperance and the temperance patients in the patient's godliness and to godliness, brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity.
For if these things that is these seven qualities be in you and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ know what we read here this morning is really what I believe is foundational for Christian education and is actually what Bob Jones is all about. That is BJ you is a Christian university and so therefore to be a student here. We ask that you give a testimony of your own salvation experience, it is we could say this. A is for regenerated people.
People who know the Lord and therefore what we want to do and all that we do here is to have an atmosphere or an environment that is conducive for the spiritual growth of that new life so that it can thrive and grow.
So you would expect that the campus atmosphere. Bob Jones University. If it is for the nurturing of the spiritual life of believers you would expect it to be different than, for example, a secular camp and I mean that's what we should expect so, Bob Jones University should be different than Clemson University doesn't mean that Clemson doesn't have Christians there, but is a secular university art would be different than the University of South Carolina because our goal is to take those who been born again and provide for them. This kind of an education that actually nurtures them and grows them in their faith and what we see here in second Peter chapter 1 verses three and four. Essentially, here's what he is saying, in essence, through the preaching of Jesus Christ, especially the knowledge of who is a human who he is is attributes and what he came to be, came to do to be arson our sacrifice for sin that through that preaching God called you to salvation everybody gets saved are called through the preaching of the word in the Holy Spirit and you have responded to that call and then he says, you have believed God's promises and as a result, you have a new nature. That's what he means when he says in verse four that you buy these promises have received eight you become partakers of the divine nature God the Holy Spirit is come to live inside of your body and this new nature is powerful because it frees you from your sinfully corrupt nature of your own heart. The new nature empowers you to overcome your sin nature so that sort of foundational. That's the starting point. That's why you have to be born again because how can you live out the Christian life. If you've not had it breathed into your heart and so now through Christ. What we have been given is every thing that we need to live the Christian life. That's what he means in verse one bit on the basis of God's power. He's given unto you. All things that pertain to life and godliness.
If I could say this way. It's like buying a cell phone or a computer and the moment you get your phone or computer. You get an operating system when you got saved.
God put with in you through the new nature of the new birth. He gave you every thing. In essence that you need to live the Christian life is not going to ask you to be something and not supply that need. So if you're here this morning you have with in your heart through the new birth and through the new life everything fundamentally you need to live the Christian life.
But then notice what he says at the end of verse five with the beginning verse five, he says. And besides this, that is on top of your salvation, giving all diligence. He says add to your faith know what is he talking about here. This is this is essentially spiritual growth. This is what we call sanctification, justification is the act of God declaring your righteous sanctification is the work of God where you actually put off the old life and you put on the new life it is a process, it takes your whole life and verse five is the beginning point of sanctification and notice what he says. And besides this, giving all diligence, diligence, add to your faith what he is saying is this, that in order for you to be a spiritually mature and growing Christian, you gotta put out a lot of effort if I could say this way. It involves hard work. That's not homework that is without God's power for the Bible says work out your own salvation with fear and trimming for God's work in you both are willing to do of his good pleasure.
In other words, God is given us the ability but we can't be lazy about it. The number one problem is spiritual growth for all of us is our own personal laziness. Let's just be honest we actually have developed primarily a lot of bad lazy habits about spiritual growth because a lot of us have gone the church all of our life and we've heard tons of sermons but spiritual growth doesn't come by hearing God's word, it comes by doing God's will. And so what I'm saying to you right now in order for you to grow spiritually. You gotta put out effort and notice what he says. He says, giving all diligence.
The idea is to be passionate about it if we should be passionate about anything, it ought to be spiritually knowing the Lord and growing a little and that passion puts puts out extra effort. I'm watching hard hard hard teams now getting in shape and in preparing for their seasons this year and so we have numbers of teams that are out running I saw the God soccer team running yesterday in front of the campus of Bob Jones University. They were running behind. I thought my first thought is, they look like Bob Jones guys some ice together the soccer team and they're out running and you're not going to get in shape to be able to run 90 minutes on the field under a soccer field that usually you end up running anywhere between five and seven or 8 miles for 90 minutes and you're not going to do that and not be in shape. In order to get a shady, gotta put it out got put out the effort, giving all diligence.
He says add to your faith, and that word add bear the best way for me to illustrated is this. When you get a phone and you get an operating system what's the first thing you realize you need to add to the phone. What you need to add tell me what you need to download. You need to download apps exactly and you begin to download all these apps because now the system as they are in place.
You add these apps to be able to do things and this is an absence what Peter is saying as a believer you need to add to your faith your belief your salvation, and he gives a list of things and there are seven of them here in it is from these seven things that came up with the tagline, learn, love and lead and you'll see it in the first floor have to do with things that we definitely have to learn.
Notice what he says in verse in verse verse five and giving all diligence, add to your faith, and he says virtue now as you look at these things, you could look at them like a stairstep you had virtue that you acknowledge that you had temperance. It's like you're walking up the steps upstairs or you could look at it, which is the way I prefer to it as adding parts to an orchestra so you add the strings and then you add the brass and you add the woodwinds you add the percussion you add the violins the violas the cellos the base and they all come together and then they create together a particular sound in harmony. I think that's the way that we should look at these qualities, though the first four are things you definitely learn in the next three are actually things that are a result of the so what are the things that we need to learn number one the first thing is virtue. The very third first thing out of the gate is moral excellence. Let me say this way you cannot be spiritual and be immoral at the same time because you cannot separate spirituality from morality. Colossians chapter 3. If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above that's called spirituality.
Verse five mortify therefore your members upon the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, that's morality, but God never separates the moral life of the believer from the spiritual life of the believer, you cannot read God's truth and go until about July's so the point of the matter is you cannot be spiritual if you don't deal with the immorality that is in your life. And so for every one of us. People are going to grow spiritually, we have to recognize that we must deal with the issue of moral purity in our life that has to do with sexual purity that has to do with the words that come out of our mouth. It has to do with the thoughts that we thing but virtue is actually even more than that because it means moral excellence and is not just talking about making right choices about sex, though that is really important because the right choice is no sexual activity prior to marriage because when we get married we become one flesh, not before. But moral excellence is actually much much more than that because moral excellence recognizes that everything that I have from God is a gift and therefore God deserves my theory best. So whatever I do I do it with excellence, as these young ladies were playing this morning the harp and the violin and I love I love the heart of violent so I mean I'm like sitting there going bonkers. They cannot create that kind of sound if they don't practice if the violinist never practice she would not create the sound she created.
She would a squall and it would been horrible to listen to. I've heard great violinist in my life and I've heard some that are really bad.
Excellence is doing things with quality and moral excellence means everything I do I seek to do my best, Bob Joe Singer said it is a sad to do last in your past. So, moral excellence means that I take everything I do and I do the very best I can with quality years ago I was a camp director and it took me two years to teach our camp staff team how to run games in a proper way. That said, the reason why we run games in a proper way. The reason we do that with excellence. Is it says something it says something to the campers. It says that they are so special that we want them to have the very best experience and were getting even make the games also so that when you come to the games. You are so fired up and you're going to give your best because we give it our best Bob Jones University. We want you to learn to do things with excellence so you should do your studies with excellence. You should do your activities. You should build your relationship your demeanor your parents the way you look at all will reflect the virtue of God, then the second word is the word knowledge the word knowledge here means the content of what people know, let me also say that this is not referring just to Bible knowledge because all truth is God's truth. Whatever we discover in the universe. It was already there in the wisdom of God. But what he is saying is that as we grow we actually see to be learners. The idea here is being diligent and not passive in learning. Learning is a discipline we call we call learning a discipline, the discipline of something and so your putting forth the effort to stretch your brain to learn is actually a process of maturity in the growth and the notice number three the word temperance toward temperance basically means self-control it means to learn to say no to what your sin nature wants to say yes to Jesus said if any man would come after me, let him deny himself typo take up his cross and follow me. Bob Joe Singer said the Christian philosophy is a philosophy of self-denial, self-control, self-restraint, the satanic philosophy is a philosophy of live as you please have what you won't. Don't let anybody tell you what to do. It's your life. You have got a right to limit, but God's philosophy is always to say no to what your your flash wants to say yes to and so self-control has to do with controlling what God has given you, and bringing it in alignment with God's spirit.
For example, your mouth.
Learning to control your tongue.
The words that come out of your mouth, your mind, your thought life. Learning to discipline your fault, and it is hard. Learning to control your time redeem your time because the days are evil.
It has to do with your finances because learning to control money is not something that you just naturally have. It's something you have to learn the importance of giving the importance of tithing the importance of saving the importance of spending money wisely and it is all about self control because if you bring yourself under then you're able to be able to serve God in the number for the word perseverance or perseverance means to be steadfast to endure to stick it out it means to go through hard times. Trial suffering temptations and yet God is helping you to get through this.
The very fact that right now we're in a trial is actually a way in which we can persevere stick it out. Don't quit Bob Jones Senior said the test of your character is what it takes to stop you. Anybody can stop but winners are finishers so it's for things here and these are things that we learn and I would say between the ages of 18 and 25 years old and especially between 18 and 21. These four things virtue, temperance, self-control, perseverance and knowledge are foundational. They are core to your life and you growing and maturing you're having to get over the harms of spiritual growth and I believe that you will learn these things at Bob Jones University.
If you stick with us the value of these things are immeasurable. They are the things that you have to have to become mature and there's no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. If you cut corners. You only go around in circles. If you look for the easy path you've already lost your way, these are things that you learn in the notice. The second word, the word love learn love and we see that in the next three qualities, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. Let me just say these are not things that you do. These are things you become.
You don't do godliness ill say what you do yesterday on its godliness.
That's not that's that's something you're becoming you're becoming this. So what's godliness, brotherly kindness charity. I would just explain a very simple godliness is somebody who learns to worship God will is exactly what the word means. It means worship is not Sunday morning from 930 to 11 o'clock worship is 24 seven and the only way to learn to worship well is to worship daily consistently and that's what we called devotions you ever wonder why we call it devotions because you're being devoted to God or how do I do that by reading the Word and the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart through God's word and through that word I learned to worship God in worship is more set than what I said yes, he is more than singing, though, that that's part of it worship as a whole life devoted to God. And the more that I read the word of God and the more that I understand the nature of God, the more I worship God in my life becomes a worship and praise to him. The Lord, brotherly kindness is it is at all similar to most people don't really know what it means it's more than being trying to Christian brothers. It's actually something that God creates within our heart. As we grow in worship and love for God and what it essentially means is I am attracted to a person who is a believer because I have Christ in me and they have Christ in them, and we are attracted to one another because of Jesus Christ. If I could say this way, brotherly kindness is what draws us to one another. It's the magnet that brings us together. It's not my culture.
It's not the color of my skin.
It's not my language is that you know Jesus and I see Jesus in you and you see Jesus in me and we are drawn together because of Jesus Christ.
That's why the church is called a body. That's why, in the midst of diversity there's always unity. What is it that unifies us.
It's Jesus. And that is why there should be an atmosphere, brotherly kindness if I've heard it once I heard it a thousand times. Here, Bob Jones University.
We have people who come and visit BJ you and they think they don't know what it's going to be like but it is never what they think it's going to be.
They always say we didn't know it was like this why I will tell you why is because of brotherly kind is because there are so many people here who have Jesus in them, and fats. What you see, it creates if I could say it this way a little bit of heaven on earth and in the last word is the word charity word charity is essentially God's God's love for us that is manifested in the sacrifice of Jesus and the end result of a life that is devoted to God in worship as well is it lives their life to serve other people, they become servants and service is not lipservice its life serve and the and that's what love is all about, learn, love, and than the last one is leave what qualifies a person to be a leader. My son Michael when he was a little boy said to me one day. He said that he only brought I would be just like you us at why son he said because you sit behind that desk if you tell people what to do. He said I want to grow up and tell me what to do as it was on the sun leader is it a leader is a servant I was preaching in Tennessee a few years ago in a girl.
He just graduated in the spring was at this teachers conference. She came up to me and she said Dr. Pettit.
I think I learned about Jones would means to be a leader.
A leader is somebody who serves others. I said you got a great education because if you come to Bob Jones University get an education, but you don't learn how to serve and we sort of missed the boat in the process and what the world is crying out for today.
The world is crying out for principled godly spirit filled leaders. Everything rises and falls on leadership and so learn love and lead is a nice tagline, but when you put it in the context of Scripture you go now I get and I hope that you will grow into learning loving and leading father, we thank you for this day. If we thank you for your grace in our lives. Help us to learn, help us to love and help us delete according to the pattern we find in your word in Jesus name, amen. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform. If you're looking for a regionally accredited Christian liberal arts university. I invite you to consider.
BJ you, which is purposely designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning loving and leading. For more information about Bob Jones University visit BJ you.edu or call 800-252-6363.
We hope you'll join us again tomorrow at the same time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform