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Loyal
Saturday, August 20, 2016, 6:00 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Draw Me Close.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read 2 Peter 1:1-11 (ESV).

Equal with Ours (vv. 1-4)

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.

Peter’s letter was not addressed to a particular locale where believers in Jesus Christ were meeting, nor was it addressed to a specific gathering of the church. Instead, he addressed his thoughts here to a precise group of people who were probably scattered over many lands and locations. This group was described as “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

This faith he spoke of was a faith equal in value, honor and status as to that of the apostles’ faith. So, what made it equal? For one, it came by the righteousness of Jesus Christ. We don’t muster up this faith in our own flesh, but it is a gift of God to us (Eph. 2:8-10), yet one we must appropriate to our own lives. We can do nothing in our flesh to earn or to deserve such a great salvation. Only through the blood of Jesus Christ, shed on a cross for our sins, can we have such faith, be forgiven of our sins, be set free from slavery to sin, and become servants of Christ’s righteousness. Only in the power and working of God’s Holy Spirit within us can we die with Christ in death to sin and be resurrected with Christ in newness of life, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Only by the Spirit of God can we put to death the misdeeds of our human flesh and walk in the Spirit.

So, how else was it equal? It was also equal in benefits. When we have this kind of faith, which originates with God, we are all set free from slavery to sin, and we are all set free to become slaves (servants) of righteousness. Our sins are forgiven, our debt paid, and the Holy Spirit comes within us to dwell, and to empower, strengthen, counsel, teach, lead and guide us in the way God has planned for us. By the power of God, we are all able to now walk (conduct our lives) in the Spirit and no longer according to our human flesh. The benefit we reap leads to holiness, which results in eternal life with God (Ro. 6:22-23).

Lastly, I believe, it is equal in genuineness. In other words, he is not speaking to those who merely make a profession of faith in Christ, nor to those who merely attend meetings of the church on a weekly basis in a specific location, and so they call themselves Christians. He is also not speaking to those who have merely acknowledged who Jesus is and what he did for us, or who just prayed a prayer to receive Christ, but who never truly were born anew of the Spirit, because they were led to believe that merely repeating certain words guaranteed them an escape from hell and the promise of heaven when they die. No, he is speaking to those who, by faith, were crucified with Christ in death to sin, and were resurrected with Christ in newness of life, and who conduct their lives (lifestyles) no longer according to their human flesh, but who, by the grace of God, are walking (living) in the Spirit and to righteousness. He is speaking to those who have repented of their sins and who have turned to follow our Lord Jesus in obedience, and in surrender to his will for our lives.

Be Diligent (vv. 5-11)

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 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.

Now Peter makes it clear, though, that this equal faith does not mean equality of measure of faith or maturity in faith, nor does it suggest that we are all perfect, and that we have no room for improvement. We all do, I believe, have room to grow and to mature in our faith. It, as well, does not guarantee we will never fall into temptation or that we won’t ever get lazy or complacent about our walks of faith. So, that is why we must be diligent and persistent in our walks of faith, so that we don’t become disinclined (unenthusiastic or unwilling) to persist in following our Lord in obedience.

I believe a lot of people who profess to know Jesus Christ do not persist in their faith, i.e. they are not diligent in confirming their calling through the practice of goodness, integrity, righteousness, honesty, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, and brotherly love, etc., because they have been convinced that these are not necessary or required of them. They have accepted the notion that they can just pray a prayer and they now have their ticket into heaven, and that nothing can take it away from them, even if nothing in their lives ever changes. They forget, or else no one ever told them that Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, and that genuine faith is continuous faith.

We are not called of God just so we can escape hell and go to heaven when we die. We are called to his own “glory and excellence,” i.e. to his honor and praise, and that we “may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire” (vv. 3-4). In other words, God called us that we might become holy, set apart (unlike, different) from the world because we are becoming like Christ. In our new lives in Christ, God created us to be like him in true righteousness. Our new lives in Christ are to be for his honor and praise. He has called us to his own moral excellence, perfection, goodness, and uprightness, etc. And, he will give us all we need to live godly and holy lives, and to walk uprightly.

We need to be maturing in our walks of faith with Christ, growing in our understanding of who God is and all that he has for us to be and to do. Daily, by the Spirit, we must be putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh and walking according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. We need to be putting on these virtues listed for us here – all in the power and working of the Spirit of God within our lives, as we yield control of our lives over to God, and as we cooperate with the Spirit’s work of grace in our lives. If these qualities are ours and are increasing, they will keep us from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Draw Me Close To You / Donnie McClurkin

Draw me close to You
Never let me go
I lay it all down again
To hear You say that I'm Your friend

You are my desire
And no one else will do
'Cause nothing else can take Your place
To feel the warmth of Your embrace…

 
Loyal
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Of course God has given everyone the faith to accept Him. Some just choose not to.
 
Loyal
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Of course God has given everyone the faith to accept Him. Some just choose not to.
@B-A-C - I am not certain this passage can be translated this way. The Greek does not seem to render "every man," but rather "each one," and in context would seem to apply to only believers in Jesus Christ, and the point being that the faith comes from God and not from us, so we have no reason to be proud.
 
Loyal
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Of course God has given everyone the faith to accept Him. Some just choose not to.
Jesus died for everyone. All the sins of all the people of the world were placed upon him in his death, and those sins were put to death with him. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God has made himself known to everyone, so we are without excuse if we do not believe in him. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son, that whosoever is believing in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life. God has given his love to all people. Jesus died for all. Salvation has been provided for all. Some just choose not to believe. I agree. Thank you for sharing this. Be blessed!
 
Loyal
Amen!

If God gives some faith, and other no faith. Then we truly are not created equal. Then God is lying when he says He wants everyone to be saved.
(1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9; ). If God doesn't give all faith, then He must be a respecter of some people over others. He must have favoritism with some people
( which is not what Acts 10:34; and Rom 2:11 says) over others.

As far as boasting. If we are created equal, and created with the same faith. Then we have no reason to boast.
However if some of us have something other people don't... then we can boast. God picked me... but He didn't pick you. Nanny nanny boo boo.
Also those who don't get saved would also have a reason to boast.
It wasn't fair, I never had a chance. I did the best I could, but God simply didn't give me faith, so it's His fault I didn't get saved.
(I suspect there are some people who are already planning on using this excuse).

That wasn't my translation.. (blame it on King James)
But I believe "many" are called.... only a "few" are chosen. ( Matt 22:14; )
 
Loyal
So are you folks saying that we our selves determine if we become saved by our free will, and God does not??
 
Loyal
So are you folks saying that we our selves determine if we become saved by our free will, and God does not??
Nope! Not saying that! I believe that we must be drawn to Christ by the Father, that we must be called of God, and chosen to be his in order to be saved. Yet, I believe scripture also teaches that God has revealed himself to all people (Romans 1), so we are without excuse if we refuse God. The scriptures also teach that God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (See: 2 Pet. 3:8-10). As well, we read in John 3:16 that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever is believing in him will not perish but have eternal life. And, there are many more scriptures which tell us that Christ died for all, and that all have the choice to choose Christ or to choose death. So, I see at work here both predestination (election) and free will. I believe in both.
 
Loyal
Yes the way I see it as scriptures says we are chosen,

Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,


Ephesians 1:11
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,



and yet we have free will also.

Romans 10:9-10
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.



. How can we have free will if we are destiny is known before birth ?? I think in human flesh form we can not comprehend this, are minds are simply not capable of understanding this.
 
Loyal
Yes the way I see it as scriptures says we are chosen,

Ephesians 1:5
he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,


Ephesians 1:11
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,



and yet we have free will also.

Romans 10:9-10
because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.



. How can we have free will if we are destiny is known before birth ?? I think in human flesh form we can not comprehend this, are minds are simply not capable of understanding this.
I agree. We don't have to understand everything. I just accept it by faith.
 
Loyal
So are you folks saying that we our selves determine if we become saved by our free will, and God does not??
I'm not all or none. I think it happens sometimes. I think God calls us all. Draws us all.
But I have seen many church services, altar calls, missionaries, evangelists, etc... where people are invited to give their hearts to God, but they didn't.
So even though God draws us and gives us opportunity, in the end... it's still our choice.
 
Member
@Sue J Love

I really like what you have to say! It's funny, I read 2 Peter last night.

I was saved when I was young, but went away from Christ when some turmoil happened in my family. Jesus never left me, but I most certainly left him. Now I am in my 30s, I am so grateful that Jesus saved me when I hit rock bottom. I could've been lost forever.
Over the past few years as I read the bible and pray, everything points me to the points you've made, we are to be partakers of his divine nature! Diligence and to not be of this world are so important!
A verse to go with what you're saying that I always come back to is John 14:15-17
 
Active
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

" Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." (John 13:10)

"Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32)
 
Loyal
@Sue J Love

I really like what you have to say! It's funny, I read 2 Peter last night.

I was saved when I was young, but went away from Christ when some turmoil happened in my family. Jesus never left me, but I most certainly left him. Now I am in my 30s, I am so grateful that Jesus saved me when I hit rock bottom. I could've been lost forever.
Over the past few years as I read the bible and pray, everything points me to the points you've made, we are to be partakers of his divine nature! Diligence and to not be of this world are so important!
A verse to go with what you're saying that I always come back to is John 14:15-17
Thank you so much for sharing this testimony. I appreciate your thoughts so much. We need to keep sharing these biblical truths with others who are being deceived into thinking that how they live doesn't matter to God. I, too, am so thankful for God's grace. His grace is amazing!
 
Loyal
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

" Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all." (John 13:10)

"Remember Lot's wife." (Luke 17:32)
Thank you. I appreciate you sharing these verses. So appropriate!
 
Loyal
I think God calls us all. Draws us all. But I have seen many church services, altar calls, missionaries, evangelists, etc... where people are invited to give their hearts to God, but they didn't. So even though God draws us and gives us opportunity, in the end... it's still our choice.
Yes, we must choose to follow Jesus or to not follow him. We are not puppets on a string.
 

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