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Judges 7. Gideon, part 34: Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling.

JUDGES-7-170410
length: 84:12 - taught on Apr, 9 2017
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Title: Judges 7. Gideon, part 34: Be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling.      

 

 

We are just about to finish up our final verse in 2Pe 1, and so we will read through what we have studied over the last two weeks, which are eternal and wonderful for sure. We are extraordinary creatures in Christ.

 

2PE 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

 

2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the [epignosis] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness [proper worship], through the true [epignosis] knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

 

2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

 

2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;

 

2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;

 

2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

 

2PE 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing [superabounding], they render you neither useless [idle] nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

2PE 1:9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

 

2PE 1:10 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;

 

Perhaps the best way that we confirm within ourselves that we are the called and elected is to constantly produce the Christian virtues here listed and to always superabound in them. We must remember that on this side of heaven there is a great amount of opposition to the new creature. We are tempted continually to get our eyes off of Christ and therefore off of who we are in Him. So we learn the word of God consistently and we walk in our calling constantly, day in and day out, morning, noon, and night. When we witness the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, when we see faith, Christ's excellence (virtue), knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly love, and agape love, how could we every deny that we are who God says that we are? Our own fruit confirms to us that we are branches.

 

When we produce fruit in the most adverse circumstances we cannot deny that we are those who trust in the Lord, like the tree whose roots run to the stream.

 

JER 17:7 "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord

And whose trust is the Lord.

 

Sounds repetitive, and of course it is. But it is saying two different things, though subtly different. Trust in the Lord is clear enough. Trust is the Lord runs a bit deeper.

 

His trust is the same as the Lord. Trust and the person of God are equated.

 

JER 17:8 "For he will be like a tree planted by the water,

That extends its roots by a stream

And will not fear when the heat comes;

But its leaves will be green,

And it will not be anxious in a year of drought

Nor cease to yield fruit.

 

The tree is planted right by the steam. We would equate this with the advantage of being “in Christ.” Our roots extend to the stream, the source of life. This is the same for us who are branches in the vine. We will not fear when heat comes, because the heat (adversity, trial, problem, etc.) do not affect the root that is underground. We will not worry when drought comes, which is loss of something important to us, because of the same reason. Drought does not affect the connection of the root to the stream. Nothing that is painful or adverse or sorrowful in this life affects our connection to the Lord Christ.

 

A tree planted right by a stream that has roots going to the stream which continues to flow water in heat and drought would be expected to have green leaves and fruit. If it didn’t, we would expect that something was wrong. This is exactly what Peter is saying in his second epistle concerning the new creature in Christ. A branch in the vine that is Christ should produce much fruit, if it doesn’t, something is very wrong.

 

2PE 1:10 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;

 

"never stumble" - strong double negative is adamant that the fruit producing believer will never fall out of the race. He will not be sinless, but he will continue to run the race before him, fixing his eyes on Jesus.

 

We are saved creatures forever whether we produce fruit or not, but the Holy Spirit is entreating us to make who we are in Him firm in our souls by hurling ourselves headlong into life as just such a creature. We do so by faith and the guarantee is that we will produce much fruit. By witnessing the fruit in ourselves we will produce more and more and superabound in the qualities of Christ.

 

If we could look upon our calling and election from God's side we would always be certain, but from our side we constantly need reminder and increase of faith and so we are diligent to produce the Christian graces.

 

In other words, if we were in heaven we would never have to make our calling more certain, but while we are on the lower side of eternity, our striving for holiness is a constant reminder of who we are just as our constant study is a reminder of who we are. We must strive, and whenever you see a glimpse of old nature, worldly viewpoint concerning yourself, another, or a circumstance, you must turn on the mental energy and faith of “more diligence” and make your own calling and election a firm reality.

 

Be now what you will see then.

 

1JO 3:2

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.

 

1CO 15:50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

 

1CO 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

 

1CO 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

 

1CO 15:53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

1CO 15:54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory.

 

1CO 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

 

1CO 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

 

1CO 15:57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

1CO 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

If a believer doesn't conduct himself in a manner worthy of his calling, then he may be reminded of election in Bible study, but he soon forgets it as the study ends and he dons his worldly hat, living the rest of the time as a worldling.

 

In striving or being diligent to supply virtue in our everyday lives, even when we fail, we are constantly reminded of who we are for we are always looking at our calling.

 

Even when we fail to produce the virtue desired, we are reminded of who we are. Failure to a positive believer is always a reminder. We have better reminders, so we don’t bank on failure or rely on it, fruit is the best reminder, but even in failure, we are still reminded.

 

A worldly person sees sin and evil as normal, but the believer striving for righteousness sees it as abnormal, and reminded of who he is in Christ, which is extraordinary, MAT 5:47, he recovers in grace quickly when he sins and he continues his diligence in adding all things to his faith.

 

Our faith will never reach absolute completion on this side of heaven. We are constantly growing. The qualities of Christ are constantly increasing as is our full knowledge of Him.

 

If a Christian chose to neglect his proper study of the word and neglect his application of the word of God, it would not be long before he started to become short-sighted, unable to see heaven and himself as of a divine nature, but seeing himself and all things in a worldly light, and "worldly light" of course is an oxymoron.

 

Our vision and apprehension of our divine nature is made clear to us by God and they increase as we grow in grace and knowledge so that we see ourselves more and more as the new creatures we are.

 

This is one of the most important things for the believer; that he see himself as who he actually is in Christ for all of time and eternity. His way is of the utmost importance and his impact is also very important. It is one thing to know the path; it is another to walk it. Being boisterous about the path means nothing if one does not walk it; and it turns out that when a person walks the path, his bravado is quite silenced.

 

God does not have to see us grow to confirm who we are to Him. God's understanding and foreknowledge do not increase. We do, however, increase, and we must thirst and hunger for righteousness so that our faith in who we are is made more and more certain.

 

We see a similar increase in Gideon and will see him increase in faith to the point where he will finally properly worship God. Gideon only worships because of what God has done from His first introduction until the time of the battle. Of course, Gideon had to choose to follow, but it was God who increased his faith and understanding. All language and theology aside, I find it to be as simple as that!

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