Are You Remaining Diligent?

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By Matthew Fretwell

2 Peter 1:10-11 & Remaining Diligent

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” (V.10)

Diligent isn’t a word that is used very often, so much so, that according to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, it is in the top 1% of words looked up.[1] It means to be steady or to give an energetic effort. Most scholars have labeled the entire passage of 2 Peter 1:3-10 as, confirming a calling. For our understanding, verse 10 begins with the word therefore, or because of all the things spoken about so far. I was trained in seminary that every time I read the word therefore in the Bible, I ought to ask the question, what is it there for? It’s a connective word, just like the word and, or so, but it also implies to everything that has been written or spoken about to that point. And so, all of the Christian attributes (vv.5-8), all of the reminders of grace and redemption (vv.3-4), and all of the warnings (v.9), ought to continue to assist us in confirming our calling, and our election–they also ought to remind us to remain diligent (steadfast) in our faith. But not just steady or energetic…

Peter says, be even more diligent (Gr. spoude); having an eagerness, to tighten up any lose ends in our faith. This is a warning; if we live in Christ, we won’t fall, but if we neglect these things; assuredly, falling away will occur. The words “call” (an invitation by God) and “election,” or divine selection, illuminates a picture for us of how the apostles saw conversion, predestined and hand-picked. As Jesus said to His disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide…” (John 15:16).

Whether we agree or disagree with the term election, we cannot disregard it from Scripture. The term election has more to do with the work of God than man. No one can argue that God first prompted us to respond to His wooing of us—that He called us first. While we were walking in rebellion with God, He first loved us (Rom 5:8; 1 John 4:10, 19). However, Peter does not let us off the proverbial hook, but holds the believer’s feet to the fire, with staunch warnings—God may have rescued you, but do not relax and fall away—do not lose focus! If our faith is actively engage with all diligence, in the knowledge and sustaining power of the gospel then we will never stumble (fall from the faith).

“There is fine line between trusting in the power of God to keep us and living obedient lives—but that line overlaps both…”

Paul proclaims, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor 13:5). The Apostle John writes in 1 John 3:19, “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him.” Then Peter moves forward. 

“For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  (v.11)

Ah, how beautiful a picture Peter paints for us; an entrance into the everlasting kingdom with a righteous King! It’s almost unfathomable to understand the vast glory of His kingdom. But not only will we be invited, but this entrance is extremely generous, and supplied for us. The Greek word translated as richly is plousios, pronounced ploo-see-oce, which means generously, or a great amount and to a great degree. This same word is used by Paul when he writes in Titus 3:5-7, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

So, in all of this, we remain steady and committed in our faith journey, not only because we love Him, and because of the gospel’s sustaining power, but because we are called to do so. And like any good servant who awaits a reward, working on the things of the Master, we too will have a generous prize and reward–to live eternally with Christ.

Today’s Reflection

When you’re hired for a job, assuredly, you first begin with all eagerness. You’re thankful for the work and normally do it with all of your heart. However, over time we tend to lack that enthusiasm, that thankfulness, or the overall gratitude of work to provide for our needs. In the same manner, God has so richly blessed us, hand chosen us, and redeemed us—be we can’t take His kindness and grace for granted—we must press on. There is fine line between trusting in the power of God to keep us and living obedient lives—but that line overlaps both, as if two circles coming together—let’s not forget that we’re in the middle of those two circles.

[1] “Diligent.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2015. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diligent&gt;.

IMG_2682Matthew Fretwell is married, has three daughters, loves Jesus, being a dad, people, and coffee. Besides being an author (Denied Desires; Identity Theft, Sanctificagious, 30:1 Manhood), he’s Pastor of a comeback, church planting church (Oak Hall Baptist) in Sandston, Virginia, and is the founder of Job 31 Ministries. Matt’s an advocate board member of Living Bread Ministries, a global comprehensive Church Planting organization. He also writes for Church Planter Magazine. Twitter: @w84harpazo or Facebook

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One thought on “Are You Remaining Diligent?

  1. Reblogged this on God's group and commented:
    Excellent post by Pastor Matt Fretwell !! We as Christians must remain diligent in seeking the Lord…walking in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16)…and continuously being “filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18-20)…if we want to experience the rewards the writer of Hebrews pens in…Hebrews 11:6…
    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    Like

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