Diligence and the Kingdom of God

Diligence and the Kingdom of God

An Exegesis on 2 Peter 1:4-12

“And beside this,
giving all diligence, add to your faith…”
2 Peter 1:5

2 Peter 1:4-12
(Read these passages
prayerfully and truthfully!)

Peter knowing “his departure was at hand” was setting forth specific truths in his last Epistle to the church to ensure that their faith would continue to abound. He sets forth with utter clarity the growth required to enter the Kingdom of God.

In this fatherly display of love for God’s people, Peter speaks calmly and truthfully of his own approaching martyrdom. His concern is not for himself; his burden is for their continued growth and vitality in the diligence required to enter the Kingdom of God. He presents a “ladder” for them to continue to add the steps necessary to receive an “entrance” into the Kingdom of God. Without this divine diligence they would fall into “barren and unfruitful” living. Peter exhorts God’s people to give “ALL diligence” to add to their faith the virtues and graces necessary to fulfill the purposes of God.

“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity…”
2 Peter 1:5

Why does Peter so powerfully exhort God’s people to this diligence?

“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 Peter 1:8

The cultivation of these graces in our lives is the source of our fruitfulness! Any knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ which leaves us “barren and unfruitful” is the result of a spiritual blindness and a forgetting of the marvelous love which accompanied our salvation.

“But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins”
2 Peter 1:9

Fruitless living is a testimony of our blindness and forgetfulness, in the loss of the wonder of our salvation. The diligent in heart must bear fruit; anything less is a contradiction of the nature and the ways of God (John 15:2).

Peter goes on to declare:

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall…”
2 Peter 1:10

Many speak of election and of being the called of God. Peter here exhorts us to give diligence to “make our calling and election sure”! It is foolish to glory in being called while failing to live diligently; it is a deception of those who hear but do not obey. Read these scriptures carefully, prayerfully, and honestly, for there is no greater delusion than the sin of presumption!

Peter, in the power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, lays before God’s people the secret of entering into the Kingdom of God: by giving all diligence to the things of God. It is important to read this in the full context for our learning…

“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”
2 Peter 1:10-11

Salvation is free and is the result of faith in the mercies and wonder of God in Christ. Entrance into the Kingdom of God requires something far more than a simple confession. Until we realize the difference between an initial salvation and the entering into Kingdom of God, we will continue to see the apathy and the blindness of the Laodicean Church ethos! A gospel which does not make the distinction between these two, where mere confession alone replaces the necessity of diligence, will leave us blind and indifferent to our own condition.

“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”
Revelation 3:17

When confession becomes the standard of the church, when men are satisfied in what they know rather than in what they walk and many are content to live lives which do not impact those in the world around us we can be sure of our desperate condition before God.

Barren is the life which rests upon something other than the development of Christ within.

“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”
Revelation 3:16

Lukewarm living and lives devoid of the works of Faith are the revelation of the Laodicean “spirit”.

The two deadly sins of religion…

1. Faith without works
2. Works without faith.

In Hebrews the Holy spirit declares emphatically…

“And we desire that every one of you
do shew the same diligence
to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
That ye be not slothful…”
Hebrews 6:11-12

For more on “Diligence” Click Here

Brian Troxel

The Blood Speaks of Forgiveness – Excerpt From New Book

The Blood Speaks of Forgiveness

Excerpt from the Law of the Leper

“Then Jesus said unto them,
Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you”
John 6:53

We cannot eat of Him and drink of His Blood yet walk in unforgiveness. It is impossible to drink of that blood which “speaks of better things than that of Abel” and walk contrary to what it speaks. The blood is the power and life to forgive others. In order to remain in a relationship with Him, and for us to receive His forgiveness into our lives, we must forgive others. If we withhold forgiveness from others our ability to drink of Him is cut off. Many Christians become stagnant in their life with the Living Vine because of envy, unforgiveness and bitterness. The flow of His life will always be to the degree by which we live in harmony with His life.

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses,
your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses,
neither will your Father forgive your trespasses”
Matthew 6:14-15

How little we realize that the New Covenant is a law of life and its ministration is to bring us into a vital and living relationship with the risen Christ. My ability to partake of its ministration will be to the degree to which I have co-operated with the law of His life. If I hold on to bitterness, envy and strife, how can I expect to grow in my relationship with Him? I cannot hold onto these things and expect my relationship with Him to develop.

“Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies,
and envies, and all evil speakings,
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby
1 Peter 2:1-2

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God,
whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour,
and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted,
forgiving one another,

even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you
Ephesians 4:30-32

Forgiveness is a quality of the Divine Nature; it is only ours by abiding in Him. On a human level we can forgive to varying degrees depending on the level of hurt and the circumstances involved. The forgiveness that God would bring us into leaves no lingering scar, no lasting memory or reliving of the event; for the forgiveness which He desires to bring us into is nothing short of the same forgiveness that we receive from Him. These things are impossible without His Blood flowing through our own lives enabling us to live and walk in a dynamic beyond the resources of self.

We see all around us the broken wings of men and women who will never know the freedom of the released bird without the blood of the slain bird (Leviticus 14:5-7) being applied to their lives. The blood not only works in us to set us free, it must also work through us to experience the true freedom we have in Jesus. Truth received is never really ours until we can give it to others in the power of God Himself.

“On account of this, brothers,
rather be diligent to make sure of your calling and election;
for doing these things, you will not ever fall into sin.
For so will be richly furnished to you
the entrance into the everlasting kingdom
of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ”
2 Peter 1:10-11

Forgiveness is not just a nice teaching; it is a truth which only has value through the medium of doing. It is in the operation of it we are free from the sin which always accompanies unforgiveness. It is a part of the very armor of God. It frees us from bitterness, sorrow and anger for in the holding of unforgiveness the stain of sin cannot be removed. It is in the doing of truth that we are set free. In releasing others we ourselves will partake of the freedom we give.

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

It is heartbreaking to see the divisions and strife that currently exist in the true Body of Christ. It is through the flowing of the Blood of Jesus into each of our lives, and its life becoming the life of each member, that the healing and wonder of God’s Love will transform her into the beauty of all that He has purposed. Failure by any member to be exercised in this grace will result in stagnation not only in this life but will have eternal consequences.

Note: It is here that God’s people reveal the degree to which they know and walk in the Fear of the Lord. The Fear of the Lord is a necessary component to walking in the life and vitality of the Son. They who refuse to forgive know not of the Fear of the Lord.

“Then had the churches rest
throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified;
and walking in the fear of the Lord,
and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied”
Acts 9:31

When the Church walks in the fear of the Lord we see the fruit and the power of God revealed in corresponding measure.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info