Photo by Aaron Burden
As Christians, we can sometimes feel defeated as we seek to live a godly life. But more times than not, we feel defeated because we are not holding fast to the truths of God’s Word. We finish this month’s 31 Days Thoughts from Quiet Times in the book of 2 Peter.
For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted, and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins. Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. 2 Peter 1:3-10
Peter opens his second letter with an encouraging exhortation to the churches of Asia Minor. He reminds them and us that we have already been given everything we need to live a godly life. Forgetting God’s promises and seeking to draw nearer to Him through His Word leaves us discouraged and hopeless. We don’t believe we have the strength or the know how to do what God has called us to do and that is a lie.
There are two important concepts that we should be able to identify as we read the Scriptures: gospel truths and gospel pursuits. Gospel truths are facts that have already been accomplished in Christ. Gospel pursuits are imperative instructions (commands) that flow from life in Christ. Gospel truths (God’s love and acceptance of us, sonship, etc.) should motivate our gospel pursuits (holiness, sanctification). Otherwise, we will stand on shaky ground and become insecure when we fall short. If we do not see the difference, we risk pursuing things that are already secure in Christ. (STEPS: Gospel-Centered Recovery)
God’s Word tells us that through the knowledge of Christ Jesus, we have everything we need. We are exhorted to walk out our faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. As we strive to live these out, we will not be useless or unfruitful, and we will know Christ more and be prevented from stumbling.