Transformation Requires Love

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There are eight steps in 2 Peter 1:5-7 that you can follow to look more like Christ. The last step of your transformation requires love. That makes sense because Christ has demonstrated His love for us through His death, burial, and resurrection. Are we going to learn to love as He does?

You have heard and seen the first three steps: faith, virtue, and knowledge. Those are the Learn phase. Now, you are ready to proceed with the last five - self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. The first three of that list are the Apply phase, and the last two are the Serve phase.

Apply

Self-control is the ability to “hold yourself in,” control your passions and rein in your improper desires and lusts. The best way to get self-control into your thinking is to reverse the words to “control self.” That’s what this step is about. You can still operate in your sin nature, your flesh, because God allows us to trust Him or ourselves or something other than God.

Perseverance is constant and steadfast endurance under adversity, with no giving in or giving up. Others will scoff, and your sin nature will scoff, but don’t tire of doing what is right! This part of the process requires both your choice and your trust in the energy of the Holy Spirit to continue the transformation.

Godliness is the transition point from the internal to the external application. You trusted in Jesus, adopted one of His virtues, learned about it, applied it to yourself, persevered, and began to see life differently. Godliness is when you start seeing life the way God does. You begin rising above the petty issues of life and see things through God's eyes. It is exceptionally practical because this is where you start seeing the fruit of the promises in verses 2 through 4 – participating in the divine nature of God, benefitting from the exceeding great and precious promises, and escaping the corruption that is in this world through lusts.

Serve

Brotherly kindness is genuine care and concern for others’ needs—the first external application of how you are beginning to look more like Jesus Christ. Dr. Marlin Howe would say that you could always know that you are being transformed when you start to serve others through what God is teaching you.

Finally, your chosen virtue makes you look more like Jesus because you are willing to love, to pursue their best patiently, kindly, sacrificially, and unconditionally. Your transformation is not complete, but this part is a clear milestone. In this one part of your life, you look more like Jesus and willingly serve others through what you are learning.


Tags

brotherly kindness, Godliness, looking at things through God's eyes, love, perseverance, rising above the petty issues of life, serving others, TV0074


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