Mission, Godliness, And Reward In 2 Peter 1:5-11 -- By: L. E. Brown

Journal: Journal of the Grace Evangelical Society
Volume: JOTGES 25:48 (Spring 2012)
Article: Mission, Godliness, And Reward In 2 Peter 1:5-11
Author: L. E. Brown

Mission, Godliness, And Reward In 2 Peter 1:5-11

L. E. Brown

Intentional Interim Pastor

Tucson, Arizona

I. Introduction

On a recent road trip I happened to tune in to a local talk radio station. The talk show host was reacting to a billboard on which an atheist had posted a sign decrying Christmas and claiming that atheists are good people, too. In his diatribe the host asked a provocative question: “What have the atheists done for society? Have atheist organizations accomplished anything beneficial for their fellow man? If they want to be legitimized in America then let them sponsor soup kitchens like the Salvation Army or fund orphanages like the Christians do. If atheists want to be socially accepted let them do something for others.”

He touched a truth known to people who participate in God’s mission:1 our effectiveness as witnesses relates directly to the quality of our lives. The Bible calls God’s people to godly lives so they will be productive witnesses. The fruit of our mission will be evaluated and rewarded at the Bema Seat. We are rewarded for missional productivity. Since missional productivity hinges in part on our sanctification, effective mission becomes an incentive to godliness.

Although we enjoy a rich body of literature documenting the Free Grace perspective on the motives for godly living (e.g., love and gratitude, promise of rewards, fear of discipline, present blessings) missional effectiveness as a motive has been

overlooked. This essay is will examine 2 Pet 1:5-11 to illustrate the link between godly living, missional effectiveness and rewards at the Bema Seat.2 The objective is to encourage others to develop the connection between virtue, God’s mission and rewards at the Bema in order to furnish pastors and ministry leaders with additional tools to motivate believers to godly living.

The catalog of virtues in 2 Pet 1:5-11 exhorts believers to move beyond faith into virtuous Christian living that leads to reward at the Bema Seat.3

For this very reason, make every effort to 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. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, ...

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