Are You Safe?
Human beings have a strong need for physical security. But we need a far more important kind of security which is spiritual security.
With the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen how much people worry about physical safety. So many of us have consistently and painstakingly been taking necessary precautions to shield, social distance, wear masks, routinely wash hands, etc to avoid contamination by the Covid-19.
The popular reaction to the global crisis has shown, if ever needed to be proved, that human beings have a strong need for physical security. We all desire to be free from danger at all times. But we need a far more important kind of security. We need spiritual security.
Why? Because physical security is no security at all. It’s precarious. People have come to the brutal realization, with this disease, how sickness can knock on someone’s door and in a matter of minutes that person loses his life.
Christianity, on the other hand, provides spiritual security. Spiritual security, for a Christian, consists in securing his faith in Christ after he has obeyed the gospel. The Apostle Peter said, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
To “add to your faith” is to cultivate the qualities Peter mentions above in one’s life as a Christian. These qualities are known as the seven Christian graces. They are, from the Apostle’s admonition, to become an integral part of Christian character as they “abound” (v. 8), that is they become consistent acts in the Christian life.
The practice of these graces translates the idea of the believer “doing his part”, which is rendered by the Greek word “pareisenegkantes”. It mustn’t however be understood as a participation of the believer in his salvation. It is merely contributory, but necessary for a Christian, since God saves on the condition that man complies to His terms of salvation by doing something required by God.
Th word “ministered” used in v. 10 is the translation of a Greek term that means “supplied.” Hence, Peters informs us that when we practice the Christian graces God richly supplies for us “an entrance” “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
To be in the everlasting kingdom of God is to have spiritual security. There is an implication here that salvation has two dimensions: one immediate and the other eternal. The immediate consists in the salvation one enjoys here and now following baptism (Romans 6:4) upon belief that Jesus is the Son of God and is the supreme authority in the world (Matthew 28:18). Whereas eternal salvation is life with God in eternity that the faithful will enjoy when the world comes to an end.
The object of salvation, both immediate and eternal, is the soul. The soul is the essential part of a human being. It survives death, while the body goes to the ground from where it was taken (Genesis 2:7) to be no more.
What do those graces teach us, succinctly?
It’s the quality of excelling or surpassing oneself. A Christian should never be satisfied with his present growth but should be determined to keep developing.
This is a reference to the knowledge we get from scripture.
Another word for temperance is self-control, and a practical illustration of it is the control of the tongue as taught in James 3.
This word means endurance, as in continuing faithful service to God until the end of life.
The motivation behind our determination to march on as soldiers of Christ is reverence for God.
6. Brotherly kindness
These two words come from a single Greek term “Philadelphia.” It’s the love in the New Testament that Christians have for each other as brethren.
The word “love” comes from the Greek “Agape”. Its principal meaning in 2 Peter 1 is to have a sincere interest in the welfare of others. The perfect example of it is the God’s love for man which He demonstrated giving His Son to the world (John 3:16)
To be safe, simply put, is to continue to be faithful to Christ by practicing these virtues. Are you safe? When you pray, ask God to help you cultivate these values in your life.
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