“The Christian Life Requires Diligence”

René Malgo

The goal of salvation is to be conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus (Rom 8:29). Our heartfelt desire is for Midnight Call to be of real help to you on your path to this goal. In their letters, the apostles show us over and over again what this path looks like in practice. A noteworthy passage connected with this is 2 Peter 1:6-8.

The apostle explains that we believers, through God’s power, have received everything we need for a holy and God-pleasing life (v. 3). We become “partakers of the divine nature” (v. 4). In other words, we become more like Christ; namely, when we escape “the corruption that is in the world through lust” (v. 4). This means that we decide afresh every day, not to build on earthly things, but on God alone.

For this we should apply “all diligence” (v. 5). The Christian life requires diligence; there’s no place for the lazy or armchair quarterbacks. After all, we study intently for exams, or work our fingers to the bone for more money. In the same way (and much more so), we should sacrifice all that we have to gain Christ (Rom 12:1-2; Phil 3:8).

Through our faith, we should increase in virtue (v. 5). The more virtuous we are, the smaller a target we become; that is, when we put on the armor of righteousness. And the freer we are, the happier we are. According to Peter, the virtuous life enables us to grow in knowledge (v. 5). The Father expresses His will to those who love God and live for Him. The more we grow in knowledge of Him, the more intimate, deep, and pure our relationship with the living God Himself becomes. King David’s heart’s desire should also be ours: “As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Ps 17:15).

Increasing knowledge also leads to moderation (2 Pet 1:6). A spiritual person, who is full of virtue and knowledge and more and more like his master, is one who is content with what he has. Those who live temperately and modestly show that they do not depend on transient things. Such a person can say with Paul, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21).

All of this results in patience (v. 6). Holy people aren’t angry, short-tempered or hardened; they are patient and gentle. They are balanced and live in “godliness” (v. 6). In other words, they have a fear of God. Mature believers are not afraid that their earthly goods will be taken, or that their comfortable lives will become uncomfortable, but of sinning against God. We fear God, and no one else. That is godliness; that is freedom. For those to whom God has become one and all, for them happiness is a reality even in the darkest valley.

Godliness produces “brotherly kindness” (v. 7). Truly striving for holiness and for God Himself makes us brotherly. “Godly” people increasingly want to be there for their neighbors, especially those in the church. Of course, this brotherly kindness cannot be separated from love (v. 7). Nothing works without love. All our zeal would be in vain if we do not love (1 Cor 13). If we desire to be active in showing our love to other believers, then our Lord Jesus will reveal Himself more and more. Peter says it this way: “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 1:8).

We have been given “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Pet 1:4). God wants to make us like His Son, to give us a share in “the divine nature,” and pour out life in abundance over us.

Dear friends, if you want to experience this for yourself, apply all diligence to it; pursue virtue, knowledge, moderation, patience, piety, brotherhood, and love. Then you will taste and see how good the Lord is in your everyday life; how exuberantly great His power, which works in you through His Holy Spirit and can do more than you ask, understand, or imagine. To Him, our God and Father, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all ages, from eternity to eternity! Amen (Eph 3:20-21).

Midnight Call - 06/2018

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