His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 2 Peter 1:3
This was part of our study last night in our online church and it’s been rattling around in my brain ever since. What’s most striking about this statement is its finality. Its certainty. This isn’t a possibility, an exception; it’s not conditional, i.e., “If you do this, I’ll do that”; there are no qualifications. No ifs, ands or buts. Through the knowledge of Christ, we have “everything pertaining to life and godliness.” Any questions? Is there anything more?
But just in case “everything pertaining to life and godliness” is a little bit vague, Peter breaks it down some in the next few verses. “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.” (1:5-7)
Now it’s important to see that “Make every effort to add to your faith …” doesn’t mean “work very hard to create these things in your life.” Goodness doesn’t come from trying to be good. He’s already said we have received everything pertaining to life and godliness; he’s just going over what some of these things are. Just like we didn’t come up with faith; we received it; so we don’t come up with any of these things on our own. We actually already have them. What Peter is telling us to do is simply to use them. You’ve received all these things, make every effort to put them to use. You already have them all, now work them into your life by faith.
And finally, he says: “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.” (1:8) In other words, if you can see any of these qualities at work in your life, you are on the right track. Christ is indeed working in you, and you are being effective and productive in your knowledge of Him. Everything comes from Him.
When in the moment, you need it right away,
Act as you have it; you’ll be surprised today.
You will discover you had it all along,
‘Cause you’re a partaker in the One who is strong.
Live in the power He has supplied to you.
Live it each hour; it’s all there for you
By knowing the God of truth.
– from the song “Live in the Power” by John Fischer
Loved Today’s Catch!
I love the image that God has already placed these attributes in us (2 Peter 1:5-7: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love), but that they are activated by our response to Him. Living out those attributes then opens the door to being effective and fruitful in our faith/knowledge of Jesus. You captured it well in the song when you wrote, “Live in the power He has supplied to you.” Beautiful! Thanks, John!
You’re welcome, Tom, and nice to hear from you!
Your words brought to mind the underlying theme I found in The Shack. How this man had to reconcile in his heart that his murdered daughter was in heaven playing and laughing with the man who took her life. Grace. Sometimes it sticks in our craw; it depends on how much of a Pharisee still lives in our heart. Grace. The great spiritual equalizer. No one gets into heaven without it. And no one who asks for it is denied.