Making our election sure a reminder from Peter (2 Peter 1:5-9)
Peter reminds us of seven things we should do to live a righteous, godly life. Let’s review and briefly discuss them:
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (2 Peter 1:5-9 NIV)
Start with Goodness:
Through Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have been shown the difference between good and evil. As He told the Pharisees, with His incarnation and ministry, we have learned truth. Live the truth of Christ Jesus.
Study the Word of God. God reveals to us progressively. Each time we return to His Word, even if we have read the passage hundreds of times, we learn something new. Our strength in His majesty is renewed.
We are all faced with temptations. One element of self-control is to reject (or better yet, avoid) temptation. Another element is self-control or self-discipline. It is often in the little things that we do, like setting aside time each day for Bible Study and prayer. Self-control includes doing those things we must do even when we don’t want to.
I often read here “keep on keepin’ on.” This is perseverance. There is a season to sow and a season to reap. Patience is also a part of perseverance. We also must continue in the face of adversity.
Act as Jesus would have you act.
Add Brotherly Kindness:
Show kindness to others in need. “As you have helped the least of these, you have helped Me.”
Learn to love your neighbor as yourself. Choose to forgive. The greatest commandment: Love God. And second, love your neighbor as yourself. This includes Agape love, love of the unlovable.
Essential qualities for Christian living, according to Peter:
8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. (2 Peter 1:8-9 NIV)
All of these are important qualities for the Christian. None, save perhaps the last, love, is more important than the others. And we really can’t do the others without Christian love. And a part of the wonder of these qualities is that we can grow in them, “increasing measure.”
Are these things new? Peter addresses this:
12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. (2 Peter 1:12-14 NIV)
10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:10-11 NIV)