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Making One’s Calling and Election Sure July 19, 2014

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
Tags: , , , ,

Here are my thoughts on 2 Peter 1:3-11.

Summary: Peter begins by telling his readers that since they are in union with God, they have received His free and full gift; thus, they can begin, continue and complete the Christian life. He reminds them of God’s means of bringing them into union with Him – allowing them to partake of His divine life and be fully delivered from their former experience.

Since they have received God’s free and full gift, they should make haste to respond to His divine provision with diligence; in particular, they should grow in terms of their:

  • manly energy
  • intellectual and experiential knowledge of Him
  • power over that which is within
  • power over that which is without
  • reverence
  • special love for other believers
  • love for unbelievers.

Indeed, if they have these qualities abundantly and permanently, then they will have spiritual power, perception and privilege. On the other hand, those who are not diligent in response to God’s divine provision will lose their spiritual power, perception and privilege.

Given this stark choice, Peter makes a personal appeal to his readers to be diligent in response to God’s divine provision; in this way, they will be steadfast, and God will spare no expense in welcoming them into His everlasting kingdom.

Thoughts: In verses 5-7, Peter lists several qualities that all believers should have in abundance. Thomas offers some insights on this point:

As there is this necessary connection between each one, we should note that each and all are expected to be in every Christian, not some in some Christians and others in others (see Galatians 5:22). “Fruit of the Spirit,” not “fruits.” The nine elements constitute one cluster to be exemplified in every Christian life. So it is here with these seven marks of diligence.

Clearly these qualities constitute the Christian life. Now I cannot claim to possess any of these qualities in abundance; even in terms of “knowledge,” while I apparently possess a strong intellectual understanding of God, my experiential understanding of Him is fairly lacking. The fact that Paul basically stresses the importance of the same list of qualities in Galatians – as Thomas notes above – is a further incentive for me to respond to God’s great gift with diligence. One thought is that I should continue to wrestle with the connection between love and seeking the good of others; if my “knowledge” of this connection improves, I will be able to make progress in this regard.

In verses 10 and 11, Peter states that if believers respond to God’s great gift with diligence, then He will welcome them into heaven. Thomas offers some interesting thoughts on this point:

Not a bare entrance, but “sweeping through the gates.” Compare verses [sic] 5 and verse 11. We supply, and then God will supply. The phrase here has been aptly translated, “God will spare no expense” concerning your entrance into the everlasting kingdom.

Thomas’ thoughts remind me of the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Now it is simpler for me to conceive of the Final Judgment as a nerve-wracking time where God sits on a massive throne and I bow before Him, trembling at His feet. I can hear God announcing – in a loud, booming voice – “your name is written in the Book of Life,” and I can see myself rising, still trembling, experiencing a mixture of residual fear and sudden joy. I have difficulty seeing God displaying His passion to me at that time by richly welcoming me into His house forever. Perhaps I need to regularly reflect on God’s dual roles of Righteous Judge and Loving Father, as that would help me eagerly anticipate the Final Judgment.



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