As forgiven followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, diligence is not needed for us to grow in grace, to make our calling and election sure and to keep us from stumbling.
” IT IS REQUIRED”
In the Apostle Peter’s second short letter to the scattered churches, the first chapter speaks volumes. Basically Peter was exhorting and instructing them to grow in grace as Christians. He gave 7 virtues to add upon their faith.
2 Peter 1: 3-11 says
v3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
- He has given us everything we need to live in this present, natural life and increase our spiritual life–because we have the knowledge of the saving grace of God through the Jesus Christ. It’s not by godliness we obtain life, but life by godliness. He also “called us” (wow…me a mess of a sinner) by His glory (literally) unto virtue! Virtue being Christian morality.
v4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
- Because we have the knowledge of the Creator God, through Jesus Christ, we are “gifted” GREAT and PRECIOUS promises~! (wow again!) These promises are so far above our human understanding, yet He gave them to us. Why? That through these promises we are able to share in His Divine glory-being in His Holy presence for eternity. Plus He provided the way for us to escape this corruptible, evil world that lives by lust of the flesh, the pride of life!
v5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence*, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,
- “..this very reason” : Because we are freely given salvation through Jesus Christ by faith; are promised “exceedingly great and precious promises”; and having escaped the corruption of the world (flesh, lust) we are “REQUIRED” to be diligent in adding the following virtues (moral characteristics) to our lives as Christians. In my words–giving it “all you got no matter what”. The addition to our faith is virtue (understood thus far), then to virtue knowledge. Knowledge of Him, from the Word! Not haphazardly, whenever we feel like it, only at church but with “conscientiousness in paying proper attention to the task!” So we have a practical understanding of God’s will for our lives and to be able to discern that which is evil.
v6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,
- And in our knowledge of the Lord’s will, self-control regarding an acute awareness of our own lusts and passions. Self-control strengthens us. Adding to that control patient endurance (perseverance) Adding to perseverance, godliness–manifesting the virtues with all we do. Never forget that Peter said, all this needs to be done with “diligence”.
7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
- And adding to godliness, brotherly kindness–caring for other believers (and the lost as well) with the kindness we ourselves would like to be shown, in any way the Spirit of the Lord leads. Finally, love@!
- It is impossible to share the unconditional love the Lord has given us with others without first, 1) faith in Him personally as our own Savior; 2) next diligently adopting the moral characteristics of Christ–leaving the lusts of the flesh behind; 3) then growing in the knowledge of Him and His will for our lives, daily, in a one-on-one setting, (alone quiet time); 4) learning to practice self-control in the matters of everyday living…we will face the temptations of the flesh daily, but we must be committed to saying no (we make these choices everyday); the wording of each virtue becomes stronger when Peter writes using perseverance–the attitude that we are not giving in to what we know is right…just keep on keeping on!
Peter’s concluding remarks are important. I pray you meditate on these words! May you be blessed by the precious Word.
v8-11 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.