Feb 03

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The Sure Way To Heaven

“And besides all this, giving all diligence, add to you faith, virtue…knowledge…self control…patience…godliness…brotherly kindness…love…. Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, ye shall never stumble.” 2 PETER 1:5-10.

In order to become saved, one must follow the five steps of salvation: hear, believe, repent, confess and be baptized. In order to remain saved, one must live a life in faithful, loving obedience to the Word of God (Gal. 5:6). It could be said that one must now follow the seven steps to remain saved (2 Pet. 1:5-10).
In 2 Peter 1:5-10, we find seven general principles which, when followed, will “make your calling and election sure.”
1st: VIRTUE. Virtue is moral goodness (Vine’s); It is “conformity to a standard of right” (Webster’s). Thus, virtue is the determination to do that which is right . Our lives are filled with clashes between doing that which is right or wrong. In order to make it to heaven, the Christian must make and keep the resolution that when such conflicts come, he will do that which God wants him to do.
2nd: KNOWLEDGE. After one has made the determination to do that which is right, he then must learn what is right. Thus, the Christian must learn God’s Will; and God’s Will is revealed in the Bible. 1 Timothy 3:14-15 states, “These things I write unto you that ye may know how to behave in the church.” Yes, we are to read and study the Bible so we can know how to live as a Christian.
3rd: SELF CONTROL. After one comes to know the Will of God, he must then exercise self control to follow His Will. When one learns, for example, that it is sinful to lie, then, when he is tempted to lie, he must control himself to refrain from lying. Exercising self control applies to all of God’s Will.
4th: PATIENCE. To control yourself in overcoming temptation is noble, but one must not let down his guard. Rather, the Christian must continue to exercise self control in all the temptations and trials yet to come. Truly, one must add to his life steadfastness/patience– the ability to endure.
5th: GODLINESS. As one patiently overcomes trials with self control, such must be done with the proper motive. Instead of resentfully obeying God, one is to do God’s Will with reverence and respect to God. The Christian is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (Matt. 22:37). And as we do that, we will lovingly keep His commandments (John 14:15).
6th: BROTHERLY KINDNESS. The Christian is not only to refrain from doing that which is sinful, he is also to do that which is good and kind to others. Remember the “Golden Rule” says: Do unto others…(Matt. 7:12).
7th: LOVE. The Christian is to love God, His Will (the Bible), the church and the lost. Love is the greatest commandment (Matt. 22:37-40), and is that without which, all our deeds are meaningless (1 Cor. 13:1-3).
May each Christian be diligent in growing daily in these general principles which make up the steps on the sure way to heaven.

Gary Henson

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