Thursday, July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011 … Reminders of Assurance

Passage of the Day: 2nd Peter 1: 1 – 12 [focus on verse 12 in bold] … 1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, …To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

My Journal for Today: Actually, as I continue to study the assurance of salvation this month with the help of John MacArthur, our focus verse for the day is the final one in the passage above. However, it’s impossible to interpret Peter’s reference to “these things” [underlined above] without having the context of the beginning verses of this epistle. Therefore, I’ve provided verses 1 – 12 to help the reader see this context. Peter really believed that his readers understood the concepts about which he was writing in this passage. I pray that all who read along here do as well.

According to John MacArthur, in his devotional from Strength for Today for this date, the Apostle Peter is writing to believers in his 2nd epistle to help remind them of several key truths which help Christians be more readily assured of their (our) salvation. Certainly at the outset of this letter, Peter reminds believers that God has granted us His saving grace through faith (see verses 1 and 2), which ultimately results in the knowledge of Christ in the Christian’s life (see verse 2), which, in turn, produces His peace and the enabling strength/resources we need to live our lives in this challenging world (see verse 3).

Peter then goes on in his letter to explore several key virtues, which, when realized, provide the Christian with even more assurance of their (our) salvation. Therefore, we will explore these virtues in the next few days with John MacArthur’s help to, as MacArthur puts it, “… grow in our assurance.”

Personally, after having gone through the book of 1st John this month, this confidence from Peter’s epistle, will be icing on an already fruit-filled cake of assurance; but I will pray that any who might read and/or meditate along with me here will be bolstered in your confidence that you are saved – OR – you will learn that you need a Savior … and that He is Jesus!

My Prayer Today: Help me, O Lord, to know You as my Lord and Savior – always! Amen

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