Spiritual Quality Assurance
Quality control has become a routine part of every production and service process. Inspectors check samples, accountants audit spreadsheets and schools have exams. Each process has 'intended outcomes' that can be measured. But quality control, by itself, can never ensure product consistency or high value service; any more than exams can create knowledge. All it can do is to examine the end points. In fact, it is useless without an overarching system of quality assurance which lays down how the processes can achieve a high quality.
Peter pens these verses starting with ‘Therefore’. As Bible students know, whenever we see ‘therefore’ we must ask what it is there for. It is the action to be taken in the light of the previous verses. Having spoken about God’s great blessings and promises to those who believe (2 Peter 1:1-4) and the need to cooperate with God to develop a Christ-like character (2 Peter 1:5-7), Peter has challenged his readers to be spiritually productive. Christ’s investment of His life to set us free from our sins should result in us working alongside God in His mission to the world, in gratitude for all He has done (2 Peter 1:8-9).
The Lord has given us all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), so the quality control question is, "How have we used the amazing resources God has provided, including all the promises in the Bible?" Well, ultimately that is the Lord's examination question when we have our final appraisal. But it is extremely useful to know the question in advance. And no Christian should ever be able to say that they did not know. Now that we do know, what are we going to do to ensure that we do not fall away from the Lord (Hebrews 2:1)? Peter has already given the answer in 2 Peter 1:3-7! If we love Jesus, we should want to live like Him.
God is not unfair. He will not call us to account on the final Day (when Jesus returns), without telling us what He expects and giving us the resources and power to meet the challenge. 2 Peter 1:2-9 sets it all out, and now Peter urges his readers to put the teaching into practice. No college tutor looks for their students to fail: neither does Peter. Indeed, these verses provide encouragement by giving a little preview of God's prize-giving day. We know that our entry into heaven simply depends on faith in Christ's finished work (Hebrews 10:14); but our reward depends on the quality of our work (1 Corinthians 3:10-14). The highest reward is Christ's personal recognition of our love, devotion, and obedient service. All we have to do is to get on and do it.
© Dr Paul Adams