2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJV)
We will conclude our series on the “things” which make you short sighted if you lack them. On the other hand, having these “things” allows you to live a life free of “stumbling” and rewards you with a “rich” welcome into the Kingdom of Heaven (v.9-11). Let’s remind ourselves of the “things” we have studied for 9 days:
2 Peter 1:5-7 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (NKJV)
Taking all of our studies together let’s summarize each part of these verses:
- “But also for this very reason”
- What reason? The fact that as a Believer in Christ you are empowered with His Divine nature and everything that pertains to “life and godliness” is now inside you and available through His Word (v.3-4; 2Tim 3:16-17)
- “giving all diligence, add”
- The idea is that we should make every effort to come along side of God and try as hard as we can to develop these godly qualities with all our heart and strength; all the while realizing that our own power is insufficient and that only God can truly increase these qualities in our lives. But God commands our effort in the process.
- “to your faith”
- This verse is written to Believers who by default already have a measure of faith to begin building on or they wouldn’t be Christians to begin with
- Moral excellence, godly courage, goodness
- “to virtue knowledge”
- Godly knowledge found through illumination of Scripture and asking God for wisdom (James 1.5)
- “to knowledge self-control”
- The “holding in” of our fleshly desires; reigning in our lusts; meekness is “power under the control of the Holy Spirit” (Matt 5:5)
- “to self-control perseverance”
- Patience, endurance, temperance; having an eternal perspective on suffering and trials
- “to perseverance godliness”
- Christ-likeness; having a continuous reverence and mindfulness of God
- “to godliness brotherly kindness”
- Selflessness; preferring others over yourself; an instinctive compassionate mindset of being helpful and kind
- “and to brotherly kindness love.”
- Agape love; seeing others through God’s eyes; showing kindness to those who you natural mind says don’t deserve kindness.
Remember, these are NOT a checklist of things to add to your life. They are an interdependent, natural progression of qualities that build on and lead to all of the traits in total.
What is the reward, the result and the culmination of these godly characteristics?
2 Peter 1:10-11 – Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (NKJV, emphasis)
The reward considers both this present life and the future. To the degree that you stumble and sin during this life, you are missing or neglecting some or all of these “things” we have learned about because Peter plainly states that if all these characteristics are true of you, you will NEVER stumble.
When you sin, examine the sin and determine which of these characteristics are missing or lacking in your life. Keep in mind that while you may identify one particular trait that is obvious, typically there will be a lacking in several of them that contribute over all to your sin.
What is the future reward for cultivating these qualities in your life? A welcome into the eternal kingdom. Oh, wait a minute! A RICH, ABUNDANT welcome in the eternal kingdom of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
I can hardly imagine what a “welcome”
will be like, much less an “abundant welcome”!
This is a foundational portion of Scripture. It is an encapsulation of our entire Christian walk. Learn it well and teach it to your family, friends and every new or lukewarm Christian you know. The conciseness, plainness, and clarity of Peter’s teaching here is of immeasurable value and depth in our effort to disciple and influence others for Christ.
2 Peter 1:12 – For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. (NKJV, emphasis mine)
Peter’s directive is to remind Christians “always” of these truths, even if they are already “established” (know) in them. Obviously he believed there is great value in revisiting these truths often no matter what stage of the Christian journey you are in.
When you come across a struggling or searching Christian, a passionate and zealous new Believer, or an apathetic and bored Saint, take them to this passage (2 Peter 1: 1-11), explain each portion and watch the Lord stoke the fires of their spirit through it.
Most Gracious Eternal God, help us to “never stumble”. You have told how us, but we need Your grace and power to accomplish it. Accept our effort as the offer of a living sacrifice even though we know we can’t do it ourselves. May You receive all the glory and honor, In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: Are you familiar enough with any portion of Scripture that you can sit and disciple someone in how to live well as a Christian? If someone asks you how they can overcome sin, can you answer them with anything more than a few nice Christian cliches?
Application: If you had to answer “no” to those questions, start by learning to explain 2Peter 1.9-11. They are not hard to learn, hard to explain or hard to communicate and there is hardly a person or situation that will not be blessed by hearing and applying these verses.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?