Salvation Requires Growth #3
Friends welcome back to our discussion and study of 2 Peter 1: 3-11. We are discussing God’s expectation of us to turn our backs on the life we lived in the worldly lusts of sins. God has given us tools, traits that will ensure our lives to be different in character. A life that copies that of Christ’s life. As we have looked, this doesn’t happen overnight, but can and should be achieved.
We are told to add to our faith, virtue, then knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, as we have discussed so far. Verse 7 then says “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” The term “brotherly” denotes a near kinsmen. It concerns a close relationship causing a close concern for each other. We are people with a common interest, having a common calling. Revelation 22:9. “Kindness” relates to having goodness, love. So the two together means we have a close relationship working for the good toward another as brethren. It is directed to another because of the common interest in spiritual matters in serving God. We are brethren to Christ, our common calling. Ephesians 5:15-17 tells us to walk circumspectly, meaning we are watchful for each other’s souls. Brotherly kindness is the motive behind our watchfulness. We understand each of us are on the same mission, to obey God and serve our God. We are all given the same instructions by which we live our lives. While I might think it isn’t so bad to do something that would at best border on a sin, I have a brother watching, and encouraging me not to give in to the possibility. So that person warns me not to get close to sin, much less to enjoy sin.
Also, Peter says to add to that “brotherly kindness” “charity”. Charity simply means “love”. There are many types of love. This one comes from the greek word “Agape”, which was used to describe the attitude that God had toward His Son, Christ. The love expresses the essential nature of God. It has God as its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15, 21. 1 Corinthians 13 gives the character of this love. It doesn’t seek its own desire and needs, but that of others. Ie. Galatians 6:10 says, “As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” We as individuals have a love toward all men, but especially toward our brethren, having that common calling and interest.
Next week, we will look at verses 8-11, because we have a goal in our life, to serve God, being like Christ, and receive our home in heaven. We want to look at our fruitfulness and then see where I am on being fruitful.