Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble…. (
2 Peter 1:10)
There is no substitute for obedience in the Christian life. If Jesus is Lord, then my duty is to submit to Him in all things. The trajectory of my life is to be more and more in alignment with His will. This is what is called for in
We have THE RESOURCES FOR OBEDIENCE (v.1-4). Some may protest that the expectation for obedience is too high. “I’m only human!” is the excuse. We are human—with all the fleshly frailties inherent—but Peter tells us we are not only human, we are “partakers of the divine nature….” There are supernatural resources at our disposal. Reliance on Jesus brings all He is to bear on our situation—the infinite power of God. There is promise after promise concerning these resources, and God is always faithful to His Word. Ultimately, Jesus indwells us to live out His life through us!
Next, consider THE REACH OF OBEDIENCE (v.5-7). God’s demand for obedience extends to every dimension of existence. It is to be our diligent pursuit. We are not to be passive, but passionate in seeking spiritual progress. Peter uses terms throughout the text that speak of an abundant life!
The abundant life begins with “faith.” Faith is the foundation upon which we build the Christian life, and is the cement by which we add each block of spiritual development. We add to our faith, “virtue.” This is moral excellence, which demonstrates the reality of our faith. Then to virtue, we add “knowledge.” We are called out of the darkness of ignorance about God into the light of knowing Him. Each step of obedience opens up new horizons of understanding and with new understanding comes new vistas of obedience. Knowledge leads to “self-control.” Fleshly appetites—God-given drives, perverted by sin—are mastered by us, rather than the passions mastering us. Self-control brings us to “perseverance.” We keep moving forward in faith. Even when we stumble, we get up and go on—pressing ahead in obedience. Perseverance then yields “godliness.” It is an attitude of reverence for God, which brings the action of response to God, resulting in our lives reflecting the image of God. Godliness is expressed in “brotherly kindness.” Devotion to the Father is manifested in a disposition of kindness toward His family. That brings us to the pinnacle of spiritual development: “love.” Since God is love, it is reasonable that those who follow Christ should have this quality in abundance.
Peter proceeds to show THE RESULTS OF OBEDIENCE (v.8-11). We reap what we sow—and an abundant application of obedience will yield a bumper crop of spiritual growth. There will be much fruit, and by that, we glorify God. Each step of obedience brings us into greater fellowship with Christ—the things of this fallen world receding, and the beauties of eternity beckoning. Our obedience furnishes a testimony of the reality of our faith—conduct giving credibility to our claims. Then, some day, we can cross the finish line in victory, winning the crown for steadfast obedience! Just do it!