Posted by: missionventureministries | November 23, 2017

THE POWER GOD GIVES EVERY CHRISTIAN TO LIVE A GODLY LIFE – 2 Peter 1:2-11

Peter starts off his letter with: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord” (2 Peter 1:2).  

Many believers want an abundance of God’s grace and peace, but they are unwilling to put forth the effort to get to know God better through Bible study and prayer. To enjoy the privileges God freely offers us, we have the Bible available to us which instructs us in “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 

As Peter continues, we read that: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires (2 Peter 1:3-4). 

The power to live a godly life doesn’t come from within us, but from God. Because we don’t have the resources to be truly godly, God allows us to “participate in the divine nature” in order to keep us from sin and help us to live for Him. 

When we are truly born again, God by His Spirit empowers us with His own moral goodness. When we are “born again,” we actually become a new person in Christ Jesus. The Bible states that we have been transformed from the evil kingdom of darkness into God’s glorious kingdom of brilliant light and purity. That means that we no longer eat our of the devil’s garbage can. 

God commands us to live a holy life, but how can we do that? – Through the transforming power that comes from the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary and obedience to the Word of God. “Keep my decrees and follow them. I am the LORD, who makes you holy” (Leviticus 20:8).

The word of God has a powerful transforming and purifying effect on our life when we surrender to His Lordship.

Next Peter lists several of faith’s actions: For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love (2 Peter 1:5-7).  

He is teaching that we need to learn to know God better, developing perseverance, doing God’s will, loving others. These actions do not come automatically, they require hard work. They are not optional; all of them must be a continual part of the Christian life. God empowers and enables us, but He also gives us the responsibility to learn and to grow. We need to remember that knowledge means having correct understanding when studying and pursuing truth, which can only be found in God’s Word. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure; they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).  

As the Christian pursues the qualities enumerated by Peter (v. 5-7) and sees that his life is useful and fruitful (v. 8), he will not stumble into doubt, despair, fear, or questioning, but will enjoy assurance that he is saved. 

Faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline or it will die. This is a subject that is also addressed in (James 2:14-17). 

It is true that deeds cannot save us, but it is absolutely false to think they are unimportant. False teachers were saying that self-control was not needed because deeds do not help the believer anyway (2 Peter 2:18-19).  

We are saved so that we can grow to reflect the holiness of Christ and so that we can serve others. God wants to produce His character in us. But to do this, He demands our discipline and effort. As we obey Christ who guides us by His Spirit, we will develop self-control, not only with respect to actions, but also with respect to our emotions and our morals, “But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins” (2 Peter 1:9).  

Our faith must go beyond what we believe; it must become a dynamic part of all we do, resulting in good fruit and spiritual maturity. Salvation does not depend on claims that we are saved, because, the person that remains unchanged does not understand faith or what God has done for them.  Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:10-11).  

Peter wanted to rouse the complacent believers who had listened to the false teachers and believed that because salvation is not based on good deeds they could live any way they wanted.  

If you truly belong to the Lord, Peter wrote, your hard work will prove it. If you are not working to develop the qualities listed in verses 5-7, you may not belong to Him. If you are the Lord’s and your attitude and behavior back up your claim to be a child of God, you will be able to resist the ensnarement of false teaching and the alluring of sin.

God really wants us to understand the fact that we need to: “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

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