2 Peter 1:2-11
Peter gives direction for growing Christians regarding the character qualities to develop in our lives.
1 Peter was written to comfort and support believers amidst misery and mistreatment, which was an outer attack. This epistle was composed to causation against an inside (inward) attack, lack of concern and sin. Here, Peter gives the antitoxin for dormancy and foolishness in the Christian life. These two epistles of Peter set up caution signs on the road that the church body is migrating on, to distinguish the apostasy that was in transit around then and which is common now presently.
In verses 2-4:
”Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.”
Notice that this passage involves multiplication. How does grace and peace get multiplied to us? It is through the knowledge of God, and of His Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Now some may think that to know Christ, they can simply open up the encyclopedia and read about Him. For those that do not know what an encyclopedia is, that was a book used many years ago before the advent of Google search. I think that you can still find them in any public or educational library. Many families had a set of them in their homes. I know we did when I was growing up.
For grace and peace to be multiplied, we must know Christ. Every professing Christian must know Christ. That does not mean to know about Him, but to know Him on a personal level. Many believers want the benefits of grace and peace but are unwilling to take time and use some exertion to know Him through prayer and Bible study. How can we partake in the privileges that God offers if we do not get involved in the knowledge of God?
Here we see the “divine power,” the “precious promises,” and the “divine nature.” The power to grow comes from God. We do not have the means to live a life of glory and virtue. God has given us precious promises so that we can be partakers of divine nature. This is what keeps us from sin and gives us help as we live for Him.
Did we notice the word knowledge is used again in verse three? It is only through the knowledge of Christ that we can learn to live and grow into a godly people. We that have obtained like precious faith through the righteousness of God, have been given precious promises from God.
In John 6:37, he that comes to Christ, He will not cast out. In Matthew 11:28, it states “come unto me all that labor and are heavy laden.” Those are only a couple of precious promises given to us. Throughout the Bible we can find a multitude of other precious promises given.
In verses 5-9:
Now we will see a little more math in the Scriptures; “add to your faith virtue.” Then it goes on to ‘add’ knowledge to the virtue, then ‘add’ temperance to the knowledge, next ‘add’ patience to temperance, then godliness to patience, then brotherly kindness to godliness, and then charity to brotherly kindness. That is a lot of adding.
Faith should be more than believing in facts. Action is required, growing in Christ like character, and being morally disciplined. If we neglect this, we cannot demonstrate a changed life (James 2:14-17). Faith’s actions require hard work (increasing patience, doing the will of God, knowing God better) and they must be done continually. God will empower us and enable us, but it is our responsibility to put forth the effort to learn and grow.
Faith goes beyond believing. It is part of what we should do, and in doing so will bring about results of our spiritual maturity and our good works. Bear in mind, good works does not bring about salvation. Our salvation was a free gift from God, and that salvation should show IN good works. If someone states that he or she is saved, yet the lifestyle remains unchanged, then that person needs to get a checkup, because apparently, he or she does not know God or does not understand what God has done.
Have we made our Christian life an extracurricular activity? Is our Christian life only performed on the Sabbath day, the day of going to church? The Christian life is a growing process (2 Peter 3:18). You cannot grow a vegetable garden without working on it. If we look in a forest, what will we see? We will see trees and various vegetation either growing, because it is alive, or it is decaying, because it is dead. My, how our Christian lives are like that, either we are alive and growing or we are dead and decaying.
Are the things that were ‘added’ actually within us? Look at what Peter says, ‘for if these things be in you and abound…ye shall neither be barren or unfruitful’. (Look more math). We cannot produce fruit if we are barren, or idle. We must be active in the faith. We must put our faith into action. we cannot just sit idly by and watch the world go round.
In verses 10-11:
“Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.” Do not listen to false teachers that state because salvation is free and not by good works, you can just live like you want to. That is definitely not the case. If we belong to the Lord, ‘diligence’, hard work, will show it. If we are not working for the Lord, then do we really belong to Him? We may stumble along the way, but if we continually work on the math of a Christian life, we will not fall but will prosper.
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