Blessings and Burdens of Spiritual Independence

Text: 2 Peter 1:3

Through the provisions He has given, God has made it so that each of us can faithfully serve Him, regardless of what others might choose to do. This is not to say that we should not work together, or that we cannot help one another, but rather that we must take responsibility for our own actions in our spiritual lives.

Independent in Our Service to God

  • Though we are to “act as free men,” we must use our freedom to serve God (1 Peter 2:16)
  • God’s provisions — instructions (2 Timothy 3:16-17), commands that are able to be carried out (1 John 5:3)
  • Blessings — we can be faithful, even if all others forsake Him (Matthew 26:33)
  • Burdens — we cannot blame anyone else for our actions (Ezekiel 18:20)

Independent in Appealing to God

  • We are instructed to pray to God (Philippians 4:6)
  • God’s provisions — through Christ we have access into heaven itself (Hebrews 9:24)
  • Blessings — we can come boldly to the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16); not dependent upon any human intermediary
  • Burdens — must take time to pray & develop the habit (1 Thessalonians 5:17), learn how to pray (Luke 11:1)

Independent in Studying the Bible

  • Without faith we cannot please God (Hebrews 11:6); faith comes from the word (Romans 10:17)
  • God’s provisions — He revealed His word (1 Corinthians 2:10-13); did so in a way that we can all understand (Ephesians 3:3-4)
  • Blessings — we have access to everything God wished to reveal to mankind (Deuteronomy 29:29); there is nothing hidden to us that is only knowable to an elite few
  • Burdens — individual responsibility to understand (Ephesians 5:17); therefore, study (2 Timothy 2:15)

Independent in Standing Against Opposition

  • As Christians we will face opposition (1 Peter 4:12)
  • God’s provisions — Christ’s example (Hebrews 12:2-3), His promise to be with us (Hebrews 13:5-6), the promised reward (Revelation 2:10)
  • Blessings — we are never helpless in time of opposition; we can stand (2 Timothy 4:16-17)
  • Burdens — takes preparation, courage, and a willingness to face opposition

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