2001-05-08 - Diligence and Duty
2 Peter 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.
I recently read 2 Peter 1 and found this verse and the verses preceding it interesting. I would like to dive into these verses a little today.
2 Peter 1:3, 4 are real verses of encouragement for the Christian. Peter takes note that we have been given, "everything pertaining to life and godliness." He goes on and says that we have also been granted, "precious and magnificent promises," and have "escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." These verses really spell out some of the blessings of being a Christian. All these extras come with our being saved from the wrath of God.
In verses 5-7 Peter admonishes us. He says, "applying all diligence..." and then gives a list of character traits and habits that we ought to have and cultivate. It is a great list and guide for all of the Christian life. Then he sums this thought up in verse 8 by saying that if you make it your habit to grow in grace you will never be unfruitful or useless, but rather you will be thriving in God.
The verses above are the words of encouragement to us, but Peter also gives us a warning in verse 9. He says if we lack these qualities or if we are not growing in grace, we are blind or dim sighted. The conclusion is found in verse 10. Since it is best to grow in grace and practice and seeing the evil there is in neglecting this duty, "Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble."
The Greek word that we translate diligence in verse 10 really has a little more force behind it than diligence would signify. The word there means to do something with industry, vigilance, or unwariness. To what end do we do this? To make our calling and election sure. There are two kinds of calling. The first is the general call where we would say that when the minister preaches the gospel, or anyone for that matter, there is a call to respond given to the person who hears the message.
The calling in mind here in the text is the internal call of the Spirit. By making our calling sure we gain assurance that we are children of God. So Peter is saying that we should strive to have a real and grounded faith that has a sure foundation. It is that inward persuasion in our hearts that Peter is seeking to make stronger. It is this persuasion that is so freeing for the Christian. If our foundation is sure, and we are sure of it, then we are free to live a life that flows completely from the motivation that, "We love, because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19
Soli Deo Gloria,