Review 2 Peter 1:2-11 NLT and the first 12 items from Part 1.
8 The more you grow like this the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
13. Growing in these steps will only make you more productive and useful. Knowing God more is not simply an end in itself since Scripture makes it clear that The Lord is looking for our fruitfulness.
9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
14. Failure to respond and develop this path of spiritual excellence leads to diseases of the soul.
When Christians (especially those who have been in church for some time) become blinded by self-importance, the cares of life, the bitterness/cynicism,pride or some other issue, it’s usually indicative that they need to see which step had a breakdown. Amnesia and Alzheimer’s are tragic conditions that rob people of the essence of their identity. Peter indicates how vital this commitment to excellence is since Christians can lose recollection of who they are in Christ, who their family is (the Church), or they lose sight of the harvest field of lost souls who need the same forgiveness they now have forgotten they even received. Spiritual forgetfulness can be as fatal (and sad) as Alzheimer’s.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
15. Work hard in terms of your intentional spirituality and serving. We are saved and empowered by grace through faith in Christ and not by our own efforts or strength. However, as James wrote to the church, Biblical faith is demonstrated by what we do (and why we do it). This is tough, but Peter challenged believers to prove they are truly God’s people by their commitment to excellence as doers.
16. These “DOERS”, not just hearers, attenders, and talkers, are told they will never fall away from God. This is an amazing Scripture to consider. “You will never fall away.” If that’s the case, how intentional am I about personally applying and mastering each of these steps? If I’m a parent, how intentional am I about training my children in these steps? How do I encourage new believers or those in my small group to grow in whatever step is a need area? This is so crucial and reassuring. Remember, everything begins and depends on the grace of God. We are only “doers” by His grace.
Anyone who has lived for God for any length of time has seen the tragedy of someone fall away from the Lord Jesus. The blame game is then common. Did someone offend him? Did they not like the church programs? Who was it that pushed them away? It’s true that some people suffer unjustly by the hand (or mouth) of other Christians. But honestly, that’s not enough to make someone fall away from God if they have ‘structural integrity’ in their spiritual lives. If they truly had faith in the Gospel but fell away from God altogether, a spiritual autopsy should reveal one or more spiritual integrity failures in the steps Peter listed. So let’s review Peter’s grace steps again:
Grace Steps: Faith—> Moral Excellence—> Knowledge—> Self-Control—> Patient Endurance—> God-Focus—> Kindness to the Church—> Self-sacrificial Love (that benefits all kinds of people)
11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter begins with God’s emphasis on knowing Him. This is a process, not simply an event. He continues with how the grace of God equips us to live in freedom from unholy lifestyles. Then Peter underscores that God has given us promises and gifts so that we can be productive and useful with our knowing God more. This should sound familiar:
Know God — Find Freedom — Discover Purpose — Make a Difference.
Specifically, make an eternal difference. Verse 11 reminds us that our commitment to spiritual and serving excellence is not just for the here and now, but it is also investing in an eternal reality.
Will you invest your life in God’s eternal kingdom and inspire others to do likewise? Will you invest to inspire?
Now which step will you intentionally work on this next week?
Which step will you work on with your family?
How intentional do you need to be about scheduling prayer time to position yourself for greater grace?