In one of the great passages on Christian responsibility, Peter dogmatically asserts the importance of diligence, at all cost, in the development and demonstration of integrity and character. “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge…” (2 Peter 1:1-15, esp. v. 5).
A Christian who is not a person of diligence is not worth much in the realm of dependability. And when it comes to survivability, a Christian who does not approach living diligently from the proper perspective is not dependable either. He is destined for frustration and failure.
Peter had a profound purpose for beginning verse five with the provocative, “…for this very reason…” He intends for us to question, “For what very reason?”
Verses 3-4 tell us why are to respond with diligence...
We have been granted:
· Everything relating life (Christ is our life)
· Everything relating to godliness (reflecting this life of Christ).
We are called:
· By God’s glory (the quality of His person)
· By God’s excellence (the quality of His actions).
Through the depth of God’s being and the dependability of His actions, He has granted to us:
· His precious and magnificent promises
· To become partakers in the divine nature
· Deliverance from the corruption of the world around us
It is only with these things entrenched in his readers’ minds that Peter is ready to discuss the importance of diligence. He knew that to labor diligently without comprehending who you are in Christ can only mean a legalistic, religious trip.
This would leave you just as vulnerable to sin’s onslaught as living without diligence in the first place.
It is not enough, indeed it would be cruel, to write of diligence and the critical necessity of this character quality in your life without reminding and informing you of the foundation from which you must act. There is nothing you can do for God to enhance your standing with Him.
Neither can you sit idle. Satan will not hesitate to shoot a sitting duck. You move forward diligently, but only with the understanding of who you are in Christ and who He is in you.
Thus, Peter is doing much more than just writing about Christian character and its development. He understands the rudimentary principles of diligence.
You must distinguish who you are before you can act accordingly. Through this understanding the Christian life is kept in perspective.
And before I conclude my thoughts on diligence, I want to examine whether or not diligence is necessary. That's next up.