Patience and Practice

December 1, 2011 § 1 Comment

It is hard sometimes for some people to truly believe that we do not have to earn God’s favor or that we cannot do anything to deserve God’s salvation.  And if we do believe that we are only saved through God’s patient love and mercy for us, then it is sometimes hard to understand where our own practices of holiness fit into this picture.  2 Peter 3:8-15 gives us a clear picture of the logic of the Gospel. It always starts with God’s patience, and not our godly lives:  “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.  He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance… Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation…” (3:9, 15).  But the Gospel logic never stops at the beginning either.  Because, if this is the case, “what kind of people ought you to be?” (3:11).  And it then continues to give us the proper response to God’s patience, which is our salvation:  “You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming…  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless, and at peace with him.” (3:11-12, 14).  This is a season during which we will yet again be reminded of God’s patience and salvation in the first coming of Jesus.  How will you respond in the practices of your own life as you prepare for His second coming?

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