Today we take a look at 2 Peter chapter 1. What a lovely passage. Just what I needed to hear as I read it. I have recently been listening to some Andrew Wommack teaching entitled, Spirit, Soul and Body. This teaching is pretty basic stuff, but it did put some things into context for me. I already knew the truth behind what Andrew was saying, I just didn’t always let if filter through to the rest of my life. This passage illustrates some of what I have learned recently, so let’s take a look.
May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. We like the first part about God giving us more grace and peace, in fact we probably pray that quite often. Here is the difficult question, “Are you growing in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord?”. You see faith comes by hearing the Word of God. The fact that you’re reading this post, would suggest that you probably do. I do, but I can always do more. I’m not belittling what I already do, or putting myself down, just encouraging myself to do even more.
Verses 3 and 4 explain that we have been given everything that we need to live a godly life. Yes, we already have it. If you have been born again (believe and confess that Jesus is your Lord and Saviour), you have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Yes, you may still need to be baptised in the Spirit (if you haven’t already), but the Gift is there. It also goes on to say that we can now hold onto the promises that God has given us. You see, this goes against what I hear from most people. Most people see themselves and weak and sinful, and they cry out to God and beg Him to do stuff. This passage says that we have already been given everything that we need. Interesting.
Peter then goes on to tell us what we should be doing, again, I don’t know how popular this part is either. Have moral excellence, build knowledge, have self control, exercise patience, be godly, show affection and love everyone. Here is Peter’s warning (verse 8) about what I have said above, “The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are short-sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.”
The chapter then goes on to explain to us that the prophets who have spoken, were not just saying what they wanted, but what God wanted them to say. It also speaks about how God spoke through the disciples, and others. How often do you hear the argument that the Bible is written by people, and people get stuff wrong? This is just an excuse not to believe what the Bible says, and to cast doubt in our minds. I’m not having it. Peter probably heard the same stories, but he saw the truth with his own eyes. I’ll listen to his testimony, because I know that Jesus is the Truth, and scripture is God-breathed.
This passage often creates debates about works and grace, but I think that it deals with it nicely. It first deals with salvation, and the fact that it is a gift from God because of who He is. It then goes on to tell us to do works. Just to make it clear, we don’t do works to earn our salvation. We do works because we have been saved, and we wish to do what it right. Yes, doing what is right benefits us, that is how the Kingdom of God works! If we want a deeper understanding of God, and to walk a closer walk with Him, it requires action from our side. This action may ‘earn’ us a closer walk with God, or more grace and peace (as Peter says in verse 2), but works does not earn us salvation. The only way to receive salvation is if you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9
There is no excuse for not doing works, and there is no reason to base our salvation on our works. If Jesus is your Lord and Saviour, you can hold onto His promises, step out of your comfort zone, and do what He has called you to do. If He is not your Saviour, maybe you need to think about that.