2 Peter 1:8-11 | Faith’s motive

  1. Intro
  2. Vs. 8-11A finished faith
  3. Vs. 8 Not Idle
  4. Vs. 9 Not lacking application
  5. Vs. 11 Home at last
  6. Intro

This morning we will conclude the reason Peter wrote this letter we call 2 Peter. In this letter Peter addressed his words to a church was very eager to grow in Christ and it was this that made them susceptible to false teachers. God has placed before the believer a “holy expectation” that the Christian will take His resources and obtaining the two objectives of: Knowing God and Being transformed into His likeness. Periodically we will need to do a self-examination as we:

  1. Define our ambitions
  2. Refine our goals
  3. Realign our efforts    

We are too: “Finish out our faith by applying what God has furnished”! What follows is Peter supplying further inducements to further encourage believers to practice his exhortation of “growing in grace” 3:18. The goal for Peter is not just that the believer is saved but that they would both know and act as they are saved. The result of this is that they prove to themselves that their calling and election is assured! It is clear that God wants the believer to understand that “The Christian will not be able to function as He has created them UNTIL and UNLESS they are certain of His lasting love”.

  1. Vs. 8-11A finished faith

Vs. 8-11There is an appeal by Peter for the believer to make the pursuit of holiness and daily quest and a lifetime goal. Yet with that said we must interpret such a quest li light of the New Testament as it is never an appeal from the position of the law, it is rather an appeal from logic not legalism! “If you claim you have received from God certain things, then you can do something far more then speak about it to others you can live it out before others!” “You are children of God, “partakers of the divine nature” because of this fact it is reasonable with respect to your holiness that you would want to be diligent and add to your faith virtue etc.” The opposite is also true…. there is nothing more unbecoming in the professing Christian that claims to have obtain like precious faith but objects to the biblical to be transformed more and more into the image of Jesus! The bible makes NO expectation to fallen humanity to live up to a standard of holiness that they could never in their efforts obtain. God is not surprised that fallen humanity is not interested in such an expectation, that they find such a suggestion confining, boring and generally detestable. It was Martin Luther who said that the Believer should always teach in such a way that, “If people are listening they will come to hate their sin and if they do not come to hate their sin they will hat you instead!”

            Ah but God does have an expectation for those who profess His name that if they feel the call to holiness is too stringent while claiming they believe that God has given them everything that pertains to godliness then they are a walking contradiction! There is no better way to test your profession than to examine your life in regard to Peter’s exhortation. Peter gives three reasons we should give all diligence to make our calling and election sure to “Finish out our faith by applying what God has furnished”. Two of the reasons are positive and other negative. The negative is found in the middle of the two positives.

  1. Vs. 8 Not Idle

Vs. 8 Peter will in verse 10 make the exhortation to the church that “WE” be “even more diligent” to make our calling and election sure. The motivation was so that we could enjoy an active and productive life of faith. Notice that Peter starts verse 8 with the phrase “For if these things be IN YOU and ABOUND”. It is interesting that the word “barren” in the Greek is “IDLE”, so Peter’s words are if these things abound you won’t be idle. The implication in reverse is that: If you are idle we can be certain that we aren’t being “more diligent to make our calling and election sure”! The state of being IDLE instead of being diligent cause the Christian to be unproductive in their faith! Hey saints, there is no autopilot in the Christian life it requires the believer to be diligent to add to their faith! I find that often the problems I’m having with my flesh or old nature is that I’m too idle with regards not just to wasting my time but not active in my faith in spending time in actively pursuing God! We are prone to assessing our maturity based upon what we can recite and remember instead of what we do with what we say we know! Oh, how dedicated and diligent we are when it comes to many parts of our life’s, but can we claim that we are as dedicated and diligent in our faith. What if God and Jesus were only as dedicated and diligent in their relationship with us as we are them? Let us each of us examine our hunger to be transformed into His likeness each and every day. Ah but this will require more than mere recognition of our idleness of faith, more than just confession and repentance. Peter’s exhortation is you must make a change. The Bible is not interested in exhorting Christians to be busy just to be busy it is interested in exhorting the believer to be busy in their faith to be more like Jesus! Notice as well that Peter’s exhortation is not on “church activity” but on holiness as Peter knows that a holy person will be active in the right things for the right reasons! We are to be diligent to cultivate the virtues and graces of Jesus, “If you do these things you will abound and won’t be idle”. Your activity will be determined by the Holy Spirit and NOT by your fleshly excitement or nervous pressure. Next Peter reveals what “kind of activity” will be fruitful and what we see is that it isn’t mechanical activityit isorganic activity”! That is to say that it isn’t to be machined and engineered by our efforts, but it should be natural to who we are! So much today in the church is “mechanical activity” people running around busy doing the right things but for wrong reasons which always leads up to burn out and self-interest. We see in this type of activity that maturity is lacking and that is compensated by looking to external results to justify the activity such as always emphasizing “How many attended the activity”! The only activity the church ought to be continually engaged in is the development of maturity in the life of the believer because when that is the focus then we are manifesting the right reason to be active!

  1. Vs. 9 Not lacking application

Vs. 9 Here the illustration is in the negative and Peter lets these believers know that what they lack in their maturity wasn’t lack of information or new special insight….NO what they lacked was application of what they already knew!!! According to Peter the person who isn’t actively engaged in their maturity is ignorant of the fundamentals of their faith. They are short-sighted as they can only see that which is front of them, they can’t see the distance…they are only concerned with the temporal and present. They want to enjoy life here and now as if it is heaven and they aren’t interested in life hereafter! That kind of Christian doesn’t know the objectives of the Christian life of Knowing God and being transformed into His likeness and believes that everything is about their temporal happiness and getting what they want when they want it as much of it as they want! They claim to have set out on a journey of faith but years later they are still in the same place in their spiritual maturity!  Saints we need to be constantly asking ourselves three things with regards to the journey of our faith. Notice that these directly point us back to the above three questions:

  1. Where are we going? Define our ambitions
  2. Why we went? Refine our goals
  3. What’s the purpose of our going? Realign our efforts   

The objective is to see God and enjoy Him forever and without the pursuit for holiness no person will see God. That is what the Apostle John said in 1 John 3:3 “And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” If our goal is to daily see “Him” then we haven’t a moment to waste, a second to spare and if you don’t want to see Him then you can only see the here and now. It is illogical for the Christian to say that they want to go to heaven and be with Jesus for eternity and not want to spend every moment with Him Now! Peter says that person can’t see what is in front of them, but neither can they see what is behind them. He has forgotten the purpose of the Gospel the whole purpose of our salvation was so we could “see God” which need our sin removed! In Titus 2:14 we are told that Jesus “Gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” 

  • Vs. 11 Home at last

Vs. 11 The last reason Peter lists to give all “diligence to add to your faith” is also in the positive is that: Not only does it enable you to enjoy a glorious life in ends in a glorious life that will never end! Again, the logic is why talk of longing for heaven when we do everything to avoid like we are their now? You start the right way; you continue the right way you can be assured that you will end the right! Another great test of maturity of faith is the way in which we face growing older and eventually the way we face death! We enter the stage that we are losing our fleshly ability to use our own efforts do we see that God has everything under control or do we become depressed at the possibility that life isn’t in our control? The word “supplied” in the Greek is the same word used else-where for “ministered”. So, the entrance will be “ministered” abundantly into everlasting life. What we wanted and gave our lives over to know God and be transformed into His likeness will finally be at the entrance of the door we have shown was our greatest desire throughout our life. The fear of death is gone then we are truly a victorious people that will “press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.