Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Friday after the Twenty-Sixth Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on November 23, 2018 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: 2 Peter 1:1-15 (NKJV)
1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
Christ has made us partakers in the divine nature, not through mystical and unexplainable experiences but through faith in the “exceedingly great and precious promises” of the Gospel. This participation in the divine nature is how we escape “the corruption of the world through lust.” That this happens by faith is clear, since the same Peter said in Acts 15:9 that God purifies hearts by faith.
To this faith we are to add virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. Faith does these good works because faith is an active and living thing. The one who does not pursue these things is shortsighted and has forgotten that his heart was cleansed from sin by faith. Faith without works is dead. Faith that does not pursue and produce good works is not a living faith.
This is why Peter tells us to be even more diligent to make our calling and election sure. What does this mean? We confess in Article XX of the Apology of the Augsburg Confession:
“Do good works that you may persevere in your calling, that you do not fall away again, grow cold and may not lose the gifts of your calling, which were given you before, and not on account of works that follow, and which now are retained by faith; for faith does not remain in those who lose the Holy Ghost, who reject repentance, just as we have said above that faith exists in repentance.”
We pray: O God, so rule and govern our hearts and minds by Thy Holy Spirit that, being ever mindful of the end of all things and the day of Thy just judgment, we may be stirred up to holiness of living here and dwell with Thee forever hereafter; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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