Some books of the Bible are more popular than others, and are quoted more often. One of the advantages of reading through the entire Bible on a regular basis is that you are reminded of enduring truths (or are informed of them for what seems like the first time). Second Peter falls into this category, and contains important promises that can comfort many who struggle with the consequences of their lives before Christ.
Repeatedly I hear from wives and mothers that they desire to be effective in the call God has placed on their lives. But they think that serving the Kingdom will be out of reach for them until they are purged from all the consequences wrought by their sins prior to conversion. Second Peter differs with such thinking:
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. (2 Pet. 1:3-4)
This promise of a new life in Christ should not be breezed over like some advertising slogan. Note that the wording is in the present perfect tense, rather than the future tense. Since faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1), to doubt the Holy Spirit’s power to transform and the clear teaching of Scripture, is an insult to the Almighty. What more does He have to do besides making propitiation for your sins and giving you new life in Him?
Second Peter goes on to tell us how to apply this promise to our lives:
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Pet. 1:5-7)
Our faith needs to be supplemented (built up) with virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Moreover, all these things build upon one another. Whether we are dealing with besetting sins of anger, gluttony, selfishness, discontent, laziness, or debilitating doubt, this Biblical prescription will do much more than drugs, self-help gurus, or the like. The power to live a victorious life is not something out of reach. But there are attributes that have to be consistently practiced.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. (2 Pet. 1:8-9)
In other words, those who do not practice these qualities, making them habitual in their lives, are so myopic that they are virtually blind. In that case, fulfilling the Great Commission is severely compromised, if it is emphasized at all. Not only does this mimic blindness, but amnesia as well.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet. 1:10-11)
How do we confirm our calling and election? By practicing these qualities. Moreover, if we practice these qualities, we will never fall. Time spent doubting, worrying, fretting, and feeling insecure is time spent in disobedience. Either you believe that Jesus is sufficient or you don’t. It boils down to faith. Since you did not create faith in yourself, and received it as a gift (Eph. 2:8), it is not a matter of producing it yourself, but making use of what you have been given.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. (Rom. 6:3-6)
Now that you know how not to fall, run with endurance the race set before you (Heb. 12:1b).