Making Our Calling and Election Sure (2 Peter 1:1-5)
1. Our lesson is based on an important responsibility mentioned in vs.10 that we are to undertake with diligence -- "making our calling and election sure." 2. Much has been said about our recent election. a. Many words have been used to describe it, but no one has described it as being "sure." b. Florida illustrates how steps can be taken to make an election "sure." 3. These verses deal with something far more important -- our spiritual calling and election. 4. We are taught how our spiritual calling and election can be made "sure." 5. As we study this text of Scripture let us first consider several . . .
I. INTRODUCTORY MATTERS (vs.1-2)
A. (vs.1a) Simon Peter was the inspired writer -- he was "a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ." B. (vs.1b-2) Peter wrote this letter to Christians -- his primary purpose was to encourage Christians to maintain a proper relationship with the Lord (3:14, 17).
II. (vs.3-7) PETER SHOWED HOW GOD HAS GIVEN US WHAT WE NEED TO BE "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE"
A. (vs.3) He has given us "all things that pertain unto life and godliness." B. (vs.4) He has given us "exceeding great and precious promises." C. (vs.5-7) He has given us certain characteristics ["the Christian graces"] that we must develop. 1. Each Christian is to develop these graces with "all diligence." 2. "Faith" is the foundation upon which we are to add these special graces (Hebrews 11:6). 3. The graces include: a. "virtue" 1) In general, virtue is "moral goodness." 2) In this passage it refers to "courage and the determination to do what is right." b. "knowledge" 1) In general, knowledge is "being aware of facts." 2) In this passage it refers to "moral wisdom, such as seen in right living." 3) It enables us to know what is right so we can put it into practice. c. "temperance": self-control, self-discipline d. "patience": endurance, perseverance, steadfastness, the ability to bear up under trials e. "godliness": reverence or respect toward God, piety f. "brotherly kindness": brotherly love, love that Christians cherish for each other as brothers and sisters (Romans 12:10a) g. "charity [love]": a special kind of love that "seeks what is best for other people in all situations" (John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 13).
III. (vs.8-11) PETER SHOWED WHY DEVELOPING THESE GRACES IS ESSENTIAL
A. (vs.9) Those who fail to develop the graces have: 1. a vision problem -- they are spiritually blind and shortsighted 2. a memory problem -- they have forgotten they were purified (1 Peter 1:22-23). B. Those who develop the graces with all diligence: 1. will be fruitful in the knowledge of Christ (vs.8) 2. will make their calling and election sure (vs.10) 3. will be blessed with an eternal home in heaven (vs.11).
IV. (vs.12-15) PETER TAUGHT US TO REMEMBER THESE THINGS
1. Peter knew about denying the Lord at the crucifixion. 2. He wrote this information so we can avoid his mistake and maintain a proper relationship with the Lord -- let us follow his instructions "with all diligence."