Summary: Sermon 18 in a study in 1 & 2 Peter
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.”
“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”
- F. Crosby
This second letter of Peter’s is about false teachers. It is a warning. It didn’t take the enemy long to insinuate his minions into the midst of God’s people with lies and heresies.
Jesus knew it wouldn’t, so He warned about them. Paul fought them, Peter and Jude both warn Christians about them. In fact, Peter saw the problem of false teachers as so important that, knowing he was going home to Heaven soon (1:14), he made this the primary topic of what was quite possibly his last communication to the church.
So it is fitting that Peter begins this letter with assurances, establishing the truths that if understood will give the hearer the foundation he needs to discern truth from lie and be able to stand when evil comes.
There are a lot of false teachers in our day, believers. They abound. They are often not recognized for what they are. Well-meaning Christians are flocking to hear them and they are making them rich by giving them their offerings and supporting their so-called ministries.
They are getting away with it because they use the name of Jesus and they talk of the Holy Spirit and they pray to the Father, and they talk about truth and the Bible, but they distort the scriptures to their own ends, they teach a shallow, one-dimensional gospel, and they leave many weak and foundationless so that when suffering comes, when testing comes, they are confused and ill-prepared and they fall apart and fall away.
The foundational thing they are lacking, and that the false teachers do not teach because they themselves do not know, and that very many sincere preachers of the word do not preach because they themselves have never learned, is the absolute assurance of salvation that comes from understanding the absolute and eternal security of the born again believer in Jesus Christ.
In the first 4 verses of this chapter Peter has established the truths that ought to give the believer that absolute assurance, and in the next seven verses he talks about the human side; the responsibility of the believer to apply the spiritual truth to his life.
Before we get into these verses of our text though, I want to reiterate some things to you that need to be repeated often regarding the assurance of the believer.
Fanny Crosby nailed it. She experienced an inner assurance she called ‘blessed’, and then cited the reasons. Jesus is mine! Heir of salvation! Purchase of God! Born of His Spirit! Washed in His blood!
Those phrases in her song are all based on passages of scripture, any one of which, if thought through, should convince even the self-doubting Christian that his salvation is complete and certain and everlasting.
Can what God has purchased at a precious cost be stolen from Him? Is He unable to guard that which is His? Can a spiritual birth be undone? If He has declared us to be fellow heirs with His Son to all the riches of Heaven and eternity, is He a liar that He would take back His promise? If the perfect and sinless God-Man poured out His blood in death willingly is it possible that His sacrifice would be for all but one or two? Or that it could be good enough for a while but not enough to take away the blackest sin or cleanse the worst of sinners?
Would you have the brazen, pride-filled audacity to believe that any sinfulness in you could be too great for Calvary’s sacrifice to atone? Can your sin be stronger than God’s mercy?
Would He send His only Son to hang on a cruel cross and while there pour out all of His wrath on those innocent shoulders if He knew that there was even one sin; any degree of evil, that would be left unpurged in the end?