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

Daily Diligence

Daily Diligence

“They came round about me daily like water;
they compassed me about together”
Psalm 88:17

The unseen world is filled with confrontations between Light and Darkness. Temptations and persecutions assail the righteous as flooding waters; a battle that is waged daily. Many of these battles are far from sight but are fought in the thoughts and imaginations of our inner life. It is here where victories are won and we are afforded greater vistas of the Grace of God.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”
2 Corinthians 10:5

Often our victory in casting down these thoughts will come as we lift Him up. The Holy Spirit has one mandate in this world and that is to bring all things into the obedience of Christ. It is in our thoughts that life is defined, victory known and our confidence in Christ arises. Authority in the inner life will culminate in victory in our daily life.

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

The persistence of the temptations of the world and the weakness of the human heart require a diligent and continual drawing of grace from Him. In our victories we find ourselves “hid with Christ in God”. He is to become our dwelling place with the intent that He will be at home in the sanctuary of our hearts.

Purity is the path to seeing Him,
Faith is the hand which holds Him,
Humility is the grace which draws Him.

Ω

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb,
and by the word of their testimony;
and they loved not their lives unto the death”
Revelation 12:11

Brian Troxel