Happy, Obedient Faith
Taken from an interview with John Piper…
2 Peter 1:10, describes the regular way to think about the relationship between our faith and the evidence of our life that we are truly Christians. Peter says, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm [and that’s just a standard procedure] your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” And by “these qualities” he’s referring back to 2 Peter 1:5–7, where he says, “Supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.” In other words, living this way is how you confirm your calling and election.
Peter is saying, “Live your life in such a way that it ordinarily confirms your calling and your election. Take your daily stand on your justification by faith. Be confident that on the basis of Christ alone God counts you righteous. And then walk in happy, obedient faith, and virtue, and knowledge, and self-control, and godliness, and brotherly affection, and love, for the glory of Christ.”
And if the question arises in your heart, “But might I not deceive myself and think I’m a Christian when I’m not?” here’s what the writer of Hebrews says about that: “Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God.” What’s the solution? “Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Hebrews 3:12–13). That’s his answer to the question, “Well, might I be deceived?” No, in fellowship with other people, encouraging us with the promises of God, giving us the warnings of God, and keeping their eyes on our life and faith, that’s the prescribed way by which we avoid being self-deceived.
Always, day by day, have the seriousness to pursue a life of holiness that confirms your calling and your election, and live in fellowship with those who will encourage you in this day by day.
John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist and most recently Providence.