Monumental lessons from 2 Peter 1:3-11

As I was reading through 2 Peter 1 yesterday, there were so many key lessons for the Christian journey in this text that I just had to share them with you all. Particularly focusing on 2 Peter 1:3-11 today, it’s quite amazing when you take the time to carefully read exactly what the text is stating, and see how all of what the text is stating connects together. Let’s start off by reading the whole passage.

2 Peter 1:3-11 states, “His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature.  5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge,  6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness,  7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.  8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.  10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble.  11 For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.”

Alright, I know that was a lot to read, but let’s break this down carefully now. The first observation I’d like to point out is that it states we’re given everything needed for life and godliness. Not everything wanted, not everything desired, but everything needed. So let me ask you, based on the text, how are we given everything needed for life and godliness? Well, exactly what it states next, “through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”. It’s that knowledge, knowledge of Christ, and given he’s the Word in flesh the Word itself, which gives us everything we need for life and godliness. Now someone may ask, are you saying it gives us literarily everything we need for life, so we don’t need food or water? No. I would suggest to you through the rest of the text it seems to indicate it’s in reference to eternal life.

Now this next verse is really quite amazing. People talk on and on and on about the promises of God, and they distort it to mean things like faith healing and all this other prosperity garbage. But here, we see what God really means by His promise to us. Let’s read verse 4 carefully. “Thus he has given us, through these things (the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness), his precious and very great promises, so that through them (the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness) you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. We’re reading some really good stuff here.

It’s through the knowledge of Christ, we are given his promises, and through the knowledge of Christ, we MAY escape from this corrupted world because of lust (intense desire), and MAY, become participants of the divine nature. Now we’re going to read further how it’s going to seem to clearly illustrate the conclusion I’m making, but this once again appears to be in reference to eternal life. The promises of God we’re given is the knowledge of Christ that provides us the escape from this corrupt world and the participation (entrance) into the divine nature (heaven). That’s the promise of God! Now reading back, you saw that I capitalized the word may, and that’s a key word there. It seems to indicate one can know about Christ, but that doesn’t guarantee you will participate in the divine nature. Later on in this passage, we will see what does appear to guarantee that.

This stuff really gets me charged up as I’m writing this, because I’m showing you something so monumentally key in the Christian journey, and it’s all just through simply carefully reading. You don’t have to create your own understanding, interpretation, or message out of the text, because the interpretation, understanding, and message are within the text. Isn’t that so amazing what God does for us? Alright, 2 Peter 1:5-8 states, “5 For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness,  7 and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love.  8 For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Ok, let’s do some careful contextual reading again. For this very reason (escaping from the corruption that is in the world and participating in the divine nature), you must make every effort to support faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things (everything just listed ^) are yours and are increasing among you, they (the things listed) keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. So we see here, that active exhibiting and developing of these things listed found all throughout the instructions in the Word, keeps us effective and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, guaranteeing participation (entrance) in the divine nature (heaven). Now some may say, wait a second, are you saying salvation isn’t guaranteed and it can be lost? Well, let’s put it this way, salvation according to these verses appears to have a need to be maintained, and if you’re not actively making an effort to maintain it, you’re giving it away. And the very next two verses appear to validate this conclusion, so let’s carefully read.

2 Peter 1:9-11: “9 For anyone who lacks these things (everything previously listed) is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins.  10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this (confirm your call and election), you will never stumble.  11 For in this way (confirming your call and election), entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.” Well friends, it all seems to tie to together. The last verse appears to be the strongest evidence that proves once saved always saved is false teaching. Entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior will be richly provided to us, only if we are eager in confirming our call and election, through the continual exhibiting and increasing of the Godly characteristics that were listed. Essentially, once you get in the club through obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you better continue to be an active participant in the club. It would simply be illogical for one to be saved just by doing the act of obedience to the Gospel, and not continue in living in accordance to the ways of God.

Well, I hope this was informative, and I hope this caused you to think more about these verses you read. Careful reading will take us very far in developing our living for God, and I’m happy to serve in helping us do this. Thoughts, questions, or feedback are always welcome, be it encouraging or critical. Of course you can also do both at the same time. As I seek an authentic religious experience through the Word of God, I hope I’m bringing you all closer to that authentic experience as well. In the words of the great Apostle Peter, peace to all of you who are in Christ.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s