Salvation Requires Growth #4
Today we wrap up our study on 2 Peter 1:3-11. To recap, we’ve learned that to please God we must serve Him in obedience and produce fruit favorable by God. He’s given us certain attributes of character He expects us to acquire and to add them to our faith. Again, “without faith we cannot please God” (Hebrews 11:6), but evidently this text says faith itself is not enough to win the battle we fight against sin, and God expresses there is more we can do to ensure our home in heaven, as He’s promised. So we are told to “Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity.”
Verse 8 says that if these abound in us, we will not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ. So these things being a part of my character will help me be more like Christ. We will live like Christ and adapt our life to be like Him. As we have looked at these traits, we’ve discussed how these frame our life, and if we look at all now as an overview, and look at the life of Christ, we can see and understand how they prompt our life as being His. The concept of bearing fruit is symbolic of having offspring for Christ. Have we helped others participate in the “new birth”? (John 3; Romans 6) In Luke 13:9 and John 15:4< Jesus warns that without our bearing fruit for God in Christ, we are not fit, but should be cut down and burned. To bear fruit, the right kind of fruit, I must abide in Christ’s teachings and example. Abiding in Christ is discussed in John 17, and also 2 John 9 and implies that we follow and keep His commandments, the doctrine of Christ. We abide in He, the Father, and each other as we abide in His vine. We feed off His nutrition.
If NOT, verse 9 says we are blind and can’t see afar off, or see ahead. We are focusing on the present needs, which would be of the flesh, because the list above focuses our minds on spiritual matters and these are absent, and we are now barren and unfruitful. We lost the focus on our life, to live without sin. We have forgotten that we had our sins remitted through His blood in baptism through our faith, and now are back where we were beforehand, now in sin again. What a terrible state for one who had hope in Christ, and now has lost that hope, living in sin. We need to wake up! And see where we are, again lost in sin.
Verse 10 says that IF we have these traits and are focused verses 8-10, that we shall never fall! I’ve heard people refer to the yo-yo concept of salvation. The text warns us that we can return to the lost state again, having had the promise of salvation, but this verse tells us IF, a condition of choice, I do these, there isn’t this yo-yo concept of salvation. It’s up to me, just like my faith is up to me. Some have faith one day, and not the next, because faith is a choice also.
Verse 11, when these are accomplished in my life, I am like Christ, and I can trust that I have an entrance to my heavenly home. God views me as His child and a brother/sister to His Son. So Peters continues that he is reminding up these things, so that I am committed to my mission of serving God, by His commands.