Keeping Your Balance

KEY VERSE: “Brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” —II Peter 1:10


THE APOSTLE PETER’S words in the beginning of his second epistle are well-known by God’s people everywhere. They describe a progression that must take place in the Christian life. Not only can we maintain a spiritual balance by heeding his words, but they assure us of an abundant entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”—vs. 11

In Peter’s first epistle, he describes the recipients of his letter as being the “elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.” (I Pet. 1:2) This is also true in this second letter, because he mentions that these should be eager to make “their calling and election sure.” (II Pet. 1:10) To do so demands faithfulness. Therefore, to have the privilege of being with Jesus as rulers in his kingdom indicates that we must meet the requirements of being “called, and chosen [elect], and faithful.”—Rev. 17:14

When God called us and drew us to Jesus (John 6:44), we realized that he was showing us the way to attain life and godliness. (11 Pet. 1:3) Our minds were enlightened further to see that by consecrating our lives to God—wherein his will became our will—we could become “partakers of the Divine nature.”—II Pet. 1:4

This was a goal that could be reached, although it was beyond our comprehension. The first grace of character which God seeks is that of faith. “Without faith it is impossible to please him [God].” (Heb. 11:6) To faith we add virtue. Strength of character must be manifested to endure opposition from foes of the Christian.

As the Apostle Paul said, “Be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Cor. 15:58) To this fortitude we must add knowledge of God, of his character, and of his will. All this wisdom is found in God’s Word. Jesus said, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”—John 17:17

With these foundation principles as a start, we are then to add to knowledge, temperance or self-control. The flesh is ever present with us, and though we were admonished to ‘crucify’ the flesh, it continually comes to life and can cause us problems. As the wise man has said, “He that ruleth his spirit” is greater than he “that taketh a city.” (Prov. 16:32) To this self-control we must add patience or cheerful endurance, preparing ourselves for the long battle against our opposition. After patience comes godliness. By this time others will see God’s likeness manifest in us, as we continue the work of developing his character through devout attention to his Word. This is followed by brotherly kindness or love for our brethren—those endeavoring to climb this Christian ladder.

Finally, we are to achieve the love of God, called charity—a translation of the Greek word ‘agape’ denoting God’s love, and described by the Apostle John: “God is love.” (I John 4:8) Peter wanted all of us to know this necessary progression so that we could enter the kingdom with ‘plenty of room to spare’.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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