#7 in the series, Second Peter and Reconstruction
Peter didn’t want his disciples to miss out on an eternity with Christ.
God doesn’t want us to miss out on the joy of a lifetime of loving and serving the Lord, followed by an eternity with Christ. So, after defining the importance of gaining the knowledge (epignosis) of Christ, coupled with our growth in character and love for one another as we seek to know Him better, Peter turns us toward another task.
“Make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10 NIV).
To “confirm“: Koine Greek: βέβαιος bébaios; Fixed, sure, certain. Figuratively that upon which one may build, rely, or trust (see Rom. 4:16; 2 Cor. 1:7; Heb. 2:2; 3:6, 14; 9:17; 2 Pet. 1:10, 19).1.
“Those whose consciences are clear toward God do not have to be looking back over their shoulders. They can be bold as a lion. Why? If your sins are covered by God’s grace (Psalm 32:1), then your past will not be pursuing you (Numbers 32:23) but only God’s goodness and mercy (Psalm 23:6)” Timothy Keller.
Do we have clear consciences toward God? Are we diligent, eager, and earnest in our pursuit of Christ? Do we care for the needs of others in the world, whether near us or far away?Do we have clear consciences toward God? Are we diligent, eager, and earnest in our pursuit of Christ? Do we care for the needs of others in the world, whether near us or far away? #bgbg2 #faith Click To Tweet
Have we truly been called to Christ, chosen by Him?
If so, Christ has pursued us, we have repented, committing ourselves to Christ by faith, or we are in the process of doing so. We then gradually become more like Christ.Have we been called to Christ, chosen by Him? If so, Christ has pursued us, we have repented, committing ourselves to Him by faith, or we are in the process of doing so. We then gradually become more like Christ. #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
Are we fixed, sure, and certain of our faith? Are we growing in Christlikeness?
The evidence that Christ’s power is at work in us is revealed as we grow and advance in our pursuit of Christ and in loving our neighbor as ourselves.The evidence that Christ's power is at work in us is revealed as we grow and advance in our pursuit of Christ and in loving our neighbor as ourselves. #bgbg2 #LoveYourNeighbor Click To Tweet
The confirmation of our election is our progress in becoming more like Christ.
God predestined all those He has called to gradually be conformed to the image of Christ. (Romans 8:29) The more we become like Christ, the more certain we become that we are truly saved.
Peter wants his readers to make every effort to confirm that we are truly believers, to pry into our faith to ascertain whether or not our calling and election are solid? Are we truly saved?The more we become like Christ, the more certain we become that we are truly saved. #Faith #LovingJesus #KnowingGod #bgbg2 Click To Tweet Peter wants his readers to make every effort to confirm that we are truly believers, to pry into our faith to ascertain whether or not our calling and election are solid? Are we truly saved? #bgbg2 #KnowingGod Click To Tweet
Peter has sent us on a journey through deconstruction and then reconstruction.
A typical action involved in deconstruction is to examine the foundation in order to ascertain where we truly are with Christ, whether we have faith to believe, whether our faith needs nurturing, and how we may have drifted or turned away from the Lord.
And then, once we have assessed how we got to where we are and have rekindled the burning embers of our faith, our return to Christ involves reconstruction. Investigating the Scriptures once again verifies the solidity of our faith in God’s Word and in Christ Himself. We are then able to rebuild on His foundation, for it has proven to be solid.
Why question our faith?
Many of us can stumble through a lifetime of church attendance never realizing that we have no relationship with Christ personally. We may not even know Him at all, only knowing of Him from a distance. If we truly know Him, love for Him and lovingkindness toward others will be a normal response.
Do we love Him? Do we love others? Are we truly Christians? We must ask ourselves.
Has there ever been repentance, turning from sin, believing in God’s Word, asking Christ to save us, to be Lord of our lives, and then a true change toward godliness? Have we grown to be more like Jesus?
We may have been hurt by church people at some point, and so we walked away. Damage done by these others reflects on them, not on us. And yet, they would never have been able to shatter our faith if we had been solidly anchored to Jesus Himself, rather than to these flawed individuals in the church.
Are we Christ’s? That is the question. This is deeply personal. Do we love Jesus in spite of these harmful people? Do we place our faith in Him? Now is the time to seek the answers.Are we Christ's? That is the question. This is deeply personal. Do we truly love Jesus? Do we place our faith in Him? Now is the time to seek the answers. (2 Peter 1:10-11) #LovingJesus #bgbg2 Click To Tweet
“For if you do these things [investigate the validity of your calling and your election — deconstruction, followed by reconstruction], you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:10b-11 NIV).
Reconstruction must follow deconstruction for those who believe
We want confirmation of these realities. If we have deconstructed and have found our foundation in Christ to now be solid, we can turn back toward Christ and reconstruct, affirming yet again the truth we have learned in His Word, living our lives for Him. The Lord never leaves even one of His sheep behind, for He is a gentle Shepherd, the Great Shepherd of His sheep.
We seek to confirm that our eternity with Christ is secure. God Himself invites us to question our faith, attempting to discover if it is true, as Peter has stated. The Lord has called us to Himself. Are we His?We seek to confirm that our eternity with Christ is secure. God Himself invites us to question our faith, attempting to discover if it is true (2 Peter 1:10-11) #Faith #KnowingGod #LovingGod Click To Tweet
My father died recently. Death weighs heavy on my mind.
“You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1: 11 NIV) is an exceedingly important reality in my mind.
My father and his faith grew increasingly strong throughout his entire lifetime. I was a witness. When I was born, he was only twenty-four. He came with lots of baggage. Often it was hard to be the feisty oldest kid with a Dad who still had hard losses and injuries dragging at his psyche every day.
BUT, over my lifetime, he grew, he changed, he softened, he became kind. He apologized when he made mistakes that hurt. In the past, he never had. He told us the secrets of the horrible car crash. He grew to have deeper faith.
Clearly, he knew the Lord. Each year it was more obvious.
His theology grew increasingly solid, causing growth in kindness and love. Clearly, he was a man of faith.
We must question ourselves. Ask yourself, is that true of me?
I, myself, turned away from God after a severe harm occurred at age thirteen in 1972. I then made disastrous mistakes and engaged in risky behavior.
And yet, the Lord gently led me to true salvation in 1977.
In 1994, I was mad at God after a disaster that harmed our family.
This time, the Lord brought me back through solid theology and a Jacob-like wrestling match.
Both times I returned to Christ, for I am His. He wooed me the first time with gentle thoughts, kindness, and mercy extended. The second time, He wooed me with the beauty of solid theology.
The Lord invites me to check out the condition of my soul. When calamity hits me or my family, I now turn toward Christ, rather than away from Him. I pray, believing I can trust the Lord. I have grown, but I can still be stubborn and argumentative.
Christ reforms me, day by day.
“So I will always remind you of these things,” Peter says, “even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me” (2 Peter 1:12-14 NIV).
“I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1:15 NIV). They could read it, and so can we. And thus, we can remember it.
Now, we must make every effort to confirm our calling and election. How have our lives changed as we’ve come to know Him more deeply and intimately?
If these disciples of Peter needed to make every effort to confirm this most important truth of our lives, then we certainly need to do the same. They were discipled by the Apostle Peter, who walked with Jesus.
Make every effort, right now, to confirm your calling and election. We don’t know when our time on this earth is up.
- Zodhiates, S. (2000). In The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). AMG Publishers. Strong’s #949.
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