quinta-feira, 28 de maio de 2020


It is an essential certainty of the Christian faith as we believe and preach that we have been given access to the eternal portals solely by the work of the grace of Christ Jesus ( sola gratia ).

But this conviction should not make us inert.  The Bible always emphasizes that the fact that I am saved only by grace cannot generate an attitude of conformity or spiritual laziness in me.

One of the texts that addresses this relationship between gracious salvation and the need to work from it, I find in the Second Letter of Peter (the quote is 2Pe 1: 5-7).

There the apostle affirms that, because we are sure that great and precious promises have already been given to us, I must continue to strive to add qualities to these promises.

The original verb that appears in the text I translate it as provision .  It only appears here in the Greek NT and literally refers to achievement with personal involvement in something.

And then comes the list of what I need to provision for the promises I have already received:


Faith (πίστις) - the first attribute to supply the promises is faith, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11: 6).

Virtue (ἀρετή) - or moral excellence.  Paul instructs that moral virtue must occupy the center of our mind and thought (Phil 4: 8).

Knowledge (γνῶσις) - Paul also says of the need to go in search of the treasures of knowledge hidden in Christ (Col 2: 2-3).

Temperance (ἐγκράτεια) - or self-control, or the dominance of the self.  This is one of the characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:23).

Perseverance (ὑπομονή) - it is essential to maintain resistance and firm patience while waiting for the manifestation of the glory of God (Rom. 8:25).

Reverence (εὐσέβεια) - the pastoral recommendation is to continue exercising us in devotion and reverence (1 Tim. 4: 7).

Fraternity (φιλαδελφία) - the order and instruction is direct: fraternal love remains among you (Heb 13: 1).

Love (ἀγάπη) - and finally, that there is provision of love, the perfect bond (Col 3:14), because God is love itself (1 John 4: 8).


And so, because we have already received through grace everything we need for life and reverence and we have already duly provisioned it, we render him the glory now and forever.


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