Lectionary Thoughts: II Peter 1:1-11

The lectionary reading for today includes the opening of the second epistle of Peter:

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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. 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. 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. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, 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. (2Pe 1:1-11)

In recent years, I have heard this passage used over and over for one message: make sure that you are elect.

The idea that election- something surely a secret in the mind of God- ought to be the focus of the Christian’s “quest” for assurance is discouraging. Peter does say that there is evidence of election in Godliness; evidence that we have “partaken of the divine nature.”

The “quest” isn’t a search for evidence a la CSI.The evidence that we are elect starts with one thing: “To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ…”

In fact, these qualities of Godliness are not the cause of our knowing God. “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. ” These qualties are valuable only to the extent that they allow us to “fruitfully” know Jesus Christ.

Advent is the time we realize God has chosen. He has chosen us who believe, and he invites everyone to believe. Like a good seed, the Christ child bears fruit in those who receive him. He is God as a tiny baby, but he will one day fill the universe with his glory. Now, he should fill our lives with the fruits of Godliness.

Michael Spencer

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~ by Michael on November 29, 2005.

No Responses Yet to “Lectionary Thoughts: II Peter 1:1-11”

  1. Bro Michael
    I’m a 51yr old Christian man. I’ve been studying II peter 1:1-11 for a long time. I use the NASV. It is one of the few passages in all of new testament scripture that encourages/promises an abundant entrance into the eternal Kingdom of God/Lord Jesus Christ. I would love to study how the virtues listed in vss 5 through 7 compare with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. What do you think?
    Sincerely in Christ,
    Steve

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