A favorite tool of Peter is to remind these scattered abroad of what they already know. It is a powerful motivation for them and us (2 Peter 1:12-15). Most of the time it is not a new thing that we need to motivate us but simply remembering what we already know. Remembering is intended to make us better. Reflecting on our past helps remind us of where we have been, who we were, where we are going, and who we want to be. It also teaches us valuable lessons we never forget. Failure to remember can make us shortsighted, even to blindness (2 Peter 1:9). Therefore, Peter encourages them, and us, not to forget who we are. It is thrilling to come to the faith but we also need to recognize our progress in our faith.
In order to see our spiritual progress we must remember what we have received (2 Peter 1:1-4). God has made it possible for people to be in a right relationship with Him. The divine power of God and Jesus Christ make it possible for us partake of the divine nature. God has given us information to be transformed. He has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, godly living. He did this through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory. That is what makes our faith so precious. We must always remember the preciousness of our faith is because our Creator chose to become our Savior. He has given us the precious provision to partake of His divine nature. Therefore, we received precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). They have been given to us exceedingly. They are sure. We have God’s sure word. They come as a result of the precious blood of Jesus which cleanses us of our sins. We must always remember what we have received. Remembering helps us progress in our faith.
However, precious gifts demand a response, so how do we respond to these great gifts given to us? Our response must be done with diligence: “Give all diligence…” “be even more diligent.” God gives and we respond diligently. What should we be diligent about? We must be diligent to add to our precious faith. “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 perseverancegodliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 2:. 5-7). People who partake of the divine nature grow in their faith. They are not “short sighted, blind or forgetful.” They remember what it means to be cleansed of their sins. The new life in Christ is not an end, but a beginning. We diligently develop daily in knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love for our brothers and sisters. This is called transformation. Partaking of the divine nature involves personal transformation. Our precious faith is the beginning of that transformation. It grows in each of these attributes.
Peter does not stop there. He then says, “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure” (2 Peter 2:10). He says this diligent progress of our faith is proof it is genuine. We can be sure we are called! We can be sure we are part of the elect! How? By demonstrating growth in our faith producing in us virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. Faith that is growing is alive and will produce fruit. If it is inner it will be seen outwardly. People who receive precious promises, who have a precious faith and are being made into the divine nature diligently grow and mature. That is how we make our calling and election sure. As long as we diligently practice these things we will never stumble.
Therefore, what will be the results? Notice, God will do something for those who respond to His precious promises. “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 2:8). If we diligently pursue these characteristics we will have a useful and productive life. We may not have the most talent or ability or the most exciting personality, but as we become more and more like Jesus we can be effective. God promised to make us fruitful.
There is a second result, Peter says, for those who respond to what they have received, “For if you do these things you will never stumble” (2 Peter 2:10). We will never fall. If these things are growing and increasing in measure; if we are constantly responding diligently to what we have received in Christ, then one thing we can be sure of, God will be shining a spotlight on our way and we will see the potholes and know how to avoid them. We will never stumble. What a tremendous result. We can have confidence about our eternal life. God has promised!
And the final result that’s too good to miss is an acceptance into the Kingdom of Christ. Peter uses these beautiful words “and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 2:11). Heaven is ours! And “abundantly supplied,” “richly welcomed,” that doesn’t sound like we make it in the courts of glory “by the skin of our teeth.” It’s the glorious result of a life lived diligently responding to the precious gifts we have received.
We want to make sure our life is effective or productive. We want to succeed morally and spiritually. We want to be sure that we will enter heaven with a rich and abundant welcome. God’s precious promises have the divine power to guarantee our salvation! So, let’s remember what we have received and remember how to respond, “in all diligence.” Remember the results that come from God. “For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
By Rickie Jenkins