Peter 39 - These Things
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder, knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind. (2Peter 1:10-15)
There is a group of qualities which Peter, in his second letter, repeatedly calls: “these things.” “These things” pertain to Christians (2Peter 1:8,9,10,12,15)—these original recipients are people who were Christians. They had obtained a like precious faith with Peter (2Peter 1:1).
What are “these things”? “These things” are the qualities that in 2Peter 1:5-7 he refers to and lists: “moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” What is a Christian to DO with “these things”?
“These things” are things which Christians must add or supply: “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply …” (2Peter 1:5). Each must be supplied so as to work together as a harmonious whole as a conductor leading a group of performers. This is a direct command, and it demands attention on the part of each Christian.
Make Them Yours
“These things” are things which are to be in Christians: “For if these qualities are yours …” (2Peter 1:8). To be fruitful, these must be in Christians. Peter continues in verse eight to say that “they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The inverse is also true. If “these things” aren’t yours—if they don’t permeate your being—how will you be bearing His fruit?
Make Then Increase
“These things” are things in which Christians must abound: “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing …” (2Peter 1:8). Some translations read “abound.” Marvin R. Vincent in his Word Studies of the New Testament makes this remark in regard to this concept: “an increase by growth, not by external junction; each new grace springing out of, attempting, and perfecting the other.”This means to be full of and running over because each quality grows from the other and they continually build on each other. This is why it is necessary to bearing fruit. Bearing fruit is of utmost importance to all who are Christ’s (John 15:1-7).
“These things” are things which are to be done by Christians: “as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble …” (2Peter 1:10). Put “these things” into practice. This is in harmony with the teaching of Scripture (Matthew 7:21-27; Luke 6:46; James 1:21-25). There is also the added security that comes as a result of doing “these things”: “You will never stumble” and “for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you” (2Peter 1:11). No wonder such great emphasis is placed upon “doing” in Scripture.
“These things” are things which Christians must remember: “Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them … as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder … And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind” (2Peter 1:12-15). All Christians need to be stirred up by way of reminder at times (2Peter 1:13). Instructions help only if they are kept in memory. A lack of “these things” is tragic. “For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins” (2Peter 1:9).
A word to the wise ought to be sufficient. Are you a Christian? If you are a Christian, are you conducting “these things” ways indicated by Peter?