Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Verse for Today - 2 Peter 1:5-8 (click to read explanation)
"For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Read all of 2 Peter 1
These verses from 2 Peter are pretty direct. He is not describing how we can or might be saved, but rather how we as believers--who've been redeemed by the grace of God through Christ's death on the cross-- should strive to live.
First off there is a string of qualities that becomes our bulls-eye in living out the Christian life. These don't just happen. They are the result of earnest prayer and effort. Will we do these perfectly? Not likely, but it does become the standard by which we measure ourselves. This is where the second sentence comes in... that if we see these qualities growing within ourselves, we will know we are on the right road and making progress in living for Christ. The big word that describes this process of becoming more faithful and fruitful is sanctification.
However, we should not go too easy on ourselves... you know right a way thinking that mediocrity and half-hearted devotion is OK. Peter follows these verses with a pretty sharp warning:
9 "For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."