Monday, May 12, 2008

Peter debunks easy-believism

I am convinced that Peter thoroughly debunks easy-believism and slam dunk salvation in both of his letters. Take a look at these statements:

And, "If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?" – 1 Peter 4:18

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, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:10-11

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. – 2 Peter 2:20-21

Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. - 2 Peter 3:17
These passages indicate that we must persevere; we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling; we must finish the race; we must daily die to self and live for God. Why, because Peter makes it very clear that we can fall from our salvation. We can walk away by word or by deed.

Does this mean that we need to doubt our salvation? No, but we must not take it for granted and we must daily live in a place of repentance so that we are continuing to love God with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. We must seriously pursue God everyday so that the world will have no appeal to us.

2 comments:

Jeremy said...

Whew - now there's a topic that could fill 500+ pages of blog posts (as it has thousands of pages of books already).

I think the slippery ground we tread through on these issues is our own humanity and limited perspective. Without a doubt, it is biblically sound that God chooses those who will follow Christ. We don't even have the ability to repent from sin ourselves...Repentance is a gift from God (2 Tim 2:24-26). So, when God does a work in our life, we WILL be changed forever into the image of Christ. He will complete the work that he started in our life...as a gift - completely apart from any deeds of our own.

The problem is that, in our own humanity, don't have the ability to see the state of our own soul. It is very possible to "turn over a new leaf" without the work of Christ being active in our lives. It's even possible to "turn over a new leaf" and attribute that to the work of Christ without being eternally changed. How do we know if we've got the real-deal spiritual transformation or just a "new leaf" syndrome? If we persevere.

So when you see phrases like, "make your calling and election sure," that's for your sake. God's not sitting in heaven saying, "I elected that person. I chose them. I gave them a new heart of flesh. Now I sure hope they make it!" He KNOWS who will make it. He KNOWS those who have been called & chosen. But we don't. From our limited perspective, the only way we know is the perseverance towards holiness that continues to happen.

Take your own story, Eric. Years of living in the church...kind of, and then one day it just happened. Could you imagine yourself maintaining a blog like this years ago? Posting each day would have been a painful chore! But not now...now you can't get enough of it. Look at the post right before this - I quote, "...it was for me until I was captivated by His love and stood weeping in awe of His majesty. At that point, it became a no-brainer."

Did you cause that captivation? No...It just happened. Now...make that election SURE by living a life worthy of the call. Then you will know what God already does.

Sorry this post lacks a ton of scripture references...just wanted to do a quick brain dump on my lunch break :).

Eric Jones said...

Jeremy,

I think you are saying that we cannot come to God without Christ and that we cannot do any good without His powerful grace. I say AMEN to that. However, are you saying that our deeds don’t ultimately matter because que sera, sera? Are you advocating a relationship with God that goes one way and where we are passive parties? Are you recognizing the critical role we play in repentance? Are you proposing that faith and our deeds are two completely independent matters? I might have totally misunderstood your comments, if so, please let me know.

Since I am already writing, let me just keep going. Perseverance is something we can know today. We can know that today we are persevering. Are we truly submitted to the will of God today? Are we repentant today? Are we dead to self and alive in Christ today? Perseverance is a daily choice. How can we know if we are persevering? We need to check our hearts and our actions. How are we living today? We can never assume we have tomorrow.

“My story” happened by the grace of God, but it didn’t just happen independent of me. My experience was a gift from God who continued to pursue me. However, I finally came to a place where I also began to pursue Him. That day when I was completely captivated by Him came after months of responding to the Holy Spirit through prayer, fasting, and large amounts of time seeking His face in His Word – wanting to really know. Did I cause the captivation? Was I the causation for my ultimate repentance – no? But, I ultimately had a choice to either embrace Him or reject Him.

Ok, I am done for now. I appreciate you.