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Why divisions – Part 2

Why divisions – Part 2: “There must be also divisions among you
(Updated February 14, 2016)

The underlying source of divisions in the church was introduced in its scriptural context in the first part of this series, Why Divisions – Part 1. The matter was summed up by Paul, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, when he pointed the Corinthians to their carnal nature and how it had, through its leavening influence, caused envying and strife and ultimately divisions among them.

For ye are yet carnal; for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? For while one saith, I am of Paul, and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal? (I Corinthians 3:3,4)

Jesus Christ also spoke of divisions among us, in particular the division He came to give.

Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, nay; but rather division. For from henceforth there shall be five in one house, divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. (Luke 12:60-62)

Why would our Lord give the world division instead of peace? In a word, the division He came to give serves His eternal purposes.

I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. (Isaiah 13:12)

…I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things … (Isaiah 45:5-8)

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of body and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12,13)

… For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons (Hebrews 12:5-7)

… this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality, and eternal life of man. (D&C 22:23a,b)

There must be also divisions among you

We read in the scriptures that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the scriptures have concluded that all of us are under sin. One might expect, then, that divisions are inevitable and will remain among us as we await our Lord’s return. In the meantime, how may we expect the Lord to work among us in the midst of the divisions in His church? Can such divisions serve His purposes?

From the scriptures we learn that God’s plan of salvation does indeed take into account the divisions which are present among us. To understand how, it is important and helpful to consider, for example, such divisions in the light of God’s divine justice and mercy. And while it may be tempting to blame all such divisions on Satan, we must come to appreciate that Jesus often caused divisions among the people to whom He came to minister, including among His disciples (Matthew 10:28-35, Luke 12:58,59, 14:25-28, John 6:59-67, 7:12, 7:25-31, 7:40-44, 9:15,16, 10:18,19, 15:18-21, 16:1-4, etc.). We may conclude, then, that divisions do indeed hold a special place in God’s plan of salvation. In fact, as we review the scriptures we learn that our Lord is intent on bringing divisions among us is for the benefit of the world.

For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you, that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life, that he may draw all men unto him. (II Nephi 11:95,96)

Consider, for example, how Paul wrote, “there must be also divisions among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you” (I Corinthians 11:19). Divisions are not just a natural consequence of people responding differently to God’s movement among His people (e.g. either accepting or rejecting, etc.). Those who are approved are made manifest in the church by way of divisions which arise among us.

For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it. For there must be also divisions among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you. When ye come together into one place, is it not to eat the Lord’s supper? (I Corinthians 11:18-20)

Please also note that these words were penned by Paul in reference to divisions stemming from the manner in which the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper was observed among the Corinthian saints. It is important to understand that this precious ordinance has served and continues to serve the Lord’s purpose in multiple ways, including in serving as a watershed among His disciples. We can see this clearly in Matthew’s account of the night Jesus inaugurated this special ordinance. Here is the text:

Now when the evening was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. But the Son of Man goeth as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, who betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and brake it, and blessed it, and gave to his disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is in remembrance of my body which I give a ransom for you. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it. For this is in remembrance of my blood of the new testament, which is shed for as many as shall believe on my name, for the remission of their sins. And I give unto you a commandment, that ye shall observe to do the things which ye have seen me do, and bear record of me even unto the end. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall come and drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. Then said Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. (Matthew 26:16-29).

Note the several references to divisions in this passage of scripture. First, it was during this unique observance of the Passover that Judas was separated from the other disciples. Jesus also spoke of the flock being scattered because His followers would be offended by Him as a result of His being taken away from them to be crucified. Jesus further described the time interval which would pass before He would again drink the fruit of the vine with them in the kingdom. Such divisions served defining purposes in our Lord’s work among His disciples. But why are the divisions which this ordinance brings to bear so significant? Recall to memory how Jesus Christ is, in fact, God’s incarnate word.

And the same word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)

God caused His word to be made flesh and to dwell among us for an exacting purpose: to give us a source of eternal food. Simply stated, we must partake of the flesh and blood of God’s word (Jesus Christ) to actually receive God’s word within ourselves. This is a hard saying, but nonetheless, this is the testimony Jesus gave of Himself.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. … He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. … This is that bread which came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead; he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. … Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? … It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. … From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:53-66)

Jesus Christ is the Word of life. Thus, it is only by feasting upon Him as God’s Word that we may know how to come unto God and live eternally by Him.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (John 14:6,7)

Brethren, this is the testimony which we give of that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. (I John 1:1-3)

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (I John 5:20)

Since Jesus is, in very fact, God’s living and abiding word among us, we are to eat of His flesh and drink His blood by feasting upon His words. Only in this way may we receive and have eternal life abiding within ourselves. Those who are offended by Jesus and His sayings, and therefore do not feast upon Him as God’s words, do not have eternal life abiding within themselves.

And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may continue to believe on the name of the Son of God. (I John 5:11-13)

Remember, we have been called to partake together in one body, to eat the same spiritual meat and drink together from the well of living water. And we can do so only through partaking of the Word of Life, the One who is the Bread of life.

I am that bread of life. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. (John 6:48,49)

And we must do so worthily lest we bring ourselves under condemnation and sickness (manifest, for example, by divisions and disunity). For without the Word of life living within us, we cannot discern His body, the church, and the unity unto which He has called us in Himself.

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh condemnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. (I Corinthians 11:27-33)

Simply stated, to partake worthily of the body of Christ (His flesh and blood), we must partake of the words of Jesus Christ by faith, for faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Doth this offend you?

As noted above, the words Jesus spoke about Him being the bread of life caused a great division among the people, even so much that there were many among His disciples who turned back from following Him (John 6:66). Instead of trying to win them over to His words, however, Jesus had simply asked, “Doth this offend you?” (John 6:61). Then to the twelve Jesus said, “Will ye also go away?” (John 6:60-67). It seems rather apparent that Jesus was intent on separating those who love His words (which are spirit and life) from those who were offended by them.

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, or husband, yea and his own life also; or in other words, is afraid to lay down his life for my sake, cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. Therefore, settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you. (Luke 14:26-28)

It is worth noting at this point that Jesus Christ is called the Rock of Offense in scripture (Romans 9:33 & I Peter 2:7,8). Why this title? He is the truth and He speaks only words of truth (i.e. He cannot lie). Consequently, Jesus has taught and said more things that have offended people than anyone else could possible do. If we were to use, therefore, divisions as a test to decide whether or not something comes of God, Jesus would be disqualified by the many statements like the ones referenced above about His being the bread of life. In particular, His words about how we must partake of His flesh and blood in order to have eternal life still offend those who have yet to receive the love of the truth through receiving the Spirit of truth (see also John 6:53-58 with Deuteronomy 8:3). Therefore, according to their choosing to remain outside of the truth, God promises to send upon them a judgment consistent with their choosing.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men; who love not the truth, but remain in unrighteousness, after that which may be known of God is manifest to them [i.e. His Word]. (Romans 1:18,19)

Yea, the Lord, even Jesus, whose coming is not until after there cometh a falling away, by the working of Satan with all power, and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie; that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (II Thessalonians 2:9-12)

The carnal mind cannot discern the spiritual meaning of our Lord’s words. Such teachings are both offensive and foolish to the worldly person who relies upon it.

For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, except he has the Spirit of God. … But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (I Corinthians 2:11,14)

Yet, by receiving the gift of the Lord’s Spirit of truth (John 14:15-18), we may come to know God through His incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.

For this caused I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:14-19)

These truths are particularly important in the times in which we live. Consider again the words of Jude who tells us there will be those in the last days who separate themselves because they do not have the Spirit of God dwelling within themselves.

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. (Jude 1:17-19)

This passage of scriptures brings us full circle to the beginning of this discussion. Like Judas, division born of the flesh ultimately comes of individuals separating themselves from the Lord because they do not have His Spirit dwelling within them.

So then they that are after the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:8,9)

As stated in the sacrament prayers, this is the chief reason we partake of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. The prayer on the bread concludes with “…that they may always have his Spirit to be with them…” The prayer on the wine concludes with “that they may have his Spirit to be with them.” (The difference between the closing lines of each prayers is significant and is discussed in “We are marching to Zion.”) Thus the wording of these prayers makes it clear that we partake together of the Lord’s Supper for the express purpose of abiding in Jesus Christ as the Word of life. Otherwise we may become separated from Him and His body, the church. Paul’s message to the church in Roman – an established and thriving church – emphasized this need to put on Jesus Christ.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not is chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to gratify the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:12-14)

While this was an established church, yet Paul spoke specifically to the need to put off the works of darkness (all that is outside light and truth) and to put on Jesus Christ. Similar words were spoken by Alma to a people who belonged to a church, yet worshipped in a way that deprived them of receiving the Holy Ghost.

And now my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ; that ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth… (Alma 16:237)

We would be wise to heed this counsel given by these two ministers, notwithstanding it was given so many years ago and to peoples distant from our life’s circumstances.

For if ye do these things, ye shall never fall

Recall how Paul wrote to the Romans:

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are after the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8)

From Paul’s letter we are given to understand that at the very heart of divisions in the church – now, as then – is what Paul identified as the old man or natural man (which is carnal or earthy, not spiritual). In laboring for the unity of the body of Christ, Paul therefore has exhorted the members of the church to put off the old man and put on the new man.

And now I speak unto you concerning the former conversation, by exhortation, that ye put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the mind of the Spirit; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

How exactly are we to put off our old man and put on this new man whom Paul assures us is created in righteousness and true holiness? His instruction is to cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. Stated another way, we are to put on Jesus Christ through repentance and faith on His name.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not is chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to gratify the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:12-14)

Truly amazing changes occurs within a person when he or she actually does put on the Lord Jesus Christ. According to the injunction, “And be renewed in the mind of the Spirit, their minds are, in very fact, renewed through the Spirit of God dwelling within them.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discernedBut we have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:12-14,16)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God is. (Romans 12:1,2)

Likewise, the Lord strengthens and expands each one’s heart through the gift of the testimony of Jesus.

I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you of Jesus Christ; that in everything ye are enriched of him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 1:4-8)

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (II Corinthians 4:6)

This renewing of our minds and hearts is to come about as a result of our entering into our Lord’s death to sin in baptism followed by our coming forth out of the watery grave in the likeness of His resurrection and newness of life.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin… (Romans 6:3-14)

This is not all. John the Baptist, who was called to prepare the way before our Lord, testified of how Jesus had come into the world to baptize us with the Holy Ghost.

And John bare record of him unto the people, saying, This is he of whom I said; After me cometh a man who is preferred before me; for he was before me, and I knew him, and that he should be made manifest to Israel; therefore am I come baptizing with water. And John bare record, saying; When he was baptized of me, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him; for he who sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me; Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he who baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. (John 1:30-33)

It is through this baptism of Jesus that we are grafted into Him and thereby become the children of God, even members in particular of the household of God.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption; whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God; And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:14-17)

Please note that to put on the Lord Christ Jesus is to be in Christ Jesus. Therefore, when Jesus Christ abides in us and we abide in Him through faith, then and only then are we freed from sin and death.

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his <Christ’s> death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead to sin is freed from sin. (Romans 6:5-7)

For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:19,20)

Our becoming a new creature in Christ is a process that produces its own unique evidence (spiritual evidence; see Hebrews 11:1). The vitality of the graft between ourselves and Jesus Christ is evidenced by the spiritual fruit we are led to bear (Ephesians 5:9). This, which is the evidence of our faith, reveals that we are indeed alive and thriving in Christ.

Therefore if any man live in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and receiveth all the things of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (II Corinthians 5:17-19)

For the grace of God which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared; Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:11-15)

The conversion process and subsequent season of bearing spiritual fruit (good works designed by God) will positively identify us as it takes place within us (John 13:34,35). That is, we will be known by the good works that come of Christ dwelling in us.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me; or else believe me for the very works’ sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:10-12)

I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (John 15:5-8)

Therefore, let your light so shine before this world, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:18)

Instead of bearing works of darkness, everyone who has a healthy and productive graft in Jesus Christ bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in abundance.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (Ephesians 2:10,11)

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not continue in sin; for the Spirit of God remaineth in him; and he cannot continue in sin, because he is born of God, having received that holy Spirit of promise. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil; whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (I John 3:8-10)

To help us in bearing Him the fruit He desires of us, God – as the “husbandman” – has designed His scriptures in such a manner to be helpful to us in doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness. With this in mind, then, and by applying the scriptures in and to our lives, we may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

And all scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (II Timothy 3:16,17)

By becoming doers of God’s word according to His instruction and plan – rather than fashioning ourselves after the old man – Peter, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, assures us that we shall never fall from God’s presence. Instead, as Peter has testified, we will be filled with God’s Spirit and thus become partakers of the divine nature.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue; whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye 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 to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. (II Peter 1:3-12)

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1:13-16)