By Pastor Lee Hemen
June 26, 2008
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness 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 and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 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 1:3-8)
God has given us everything through Jesus Christ. In fact, Peter says He has given us everything we need in life! Wow! And yet we run after so many things we do not need. We think that by acquiring things we will be happy, but when they break, run down, or are out-dated, we are left feeling empty. However, if we look to Jesus we have everything we need. Plus, we have everything we need for “godliness.” We do not have to go to a priest. We do not have to try to earn our righteousness. We do not have to appease an almighty being into placidity in order that he just might smile on us today. NO! In fact, “through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness… He has given us his very great and precious promises!” The promise of eternal life, the promise of never leaving nor forsaking us, the promise of heaven and home! WOW! But there is more! MORE!? Yes! It is “so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires!”
There is a way for us to be victorious over the evil that exists in this world. The sin that so permeates society. The falseness of thinking that human beings are good enough to pay their way into God’s presence by thinking good thoughts, being good once in a while, or doing good things! Because it is seen for what it truly is – EVIL! It is evil because it is trying to say that human beings can be good on their own merit, when they want to, and how they want to. Evil. It leaves out the very One who created us and died for us. It is evil. Christians can be evil when they do not grow in Christ. Oh yes they can! Because they begin to try to live their lives by trying to be good enough, holy enough, or by doing things instead of allowing God to mature them.
It is “for this very reason,” that we are to “make every effort to add to [our] faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.” Each one builds on the previous. For out of faith comes goodness, out of goodness knowledge, out of knowledge self-control, out of self-control perseverance, out of perseverance godliness, out of godliness brotherly kindness, and out of brotherly kindness love! That is our effort. We are to mature in Jesus. This is exactly what Peter is writing about: “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.” It is not by our being good we become like Jesus, we become like Jesus as He makes us good through Him! As we mature in His presence as it is active in our life!
In our world we have been sold a bill of goods, thinking that all we have to do is read a book, follow a prayer, spend 40 days, or simply enjoy worship and we have arrived. We are being commercially “promoted” into the presence of God instead of actually experiencing His presence for ourselves. We want all the benefit without any of the sacrifice. We want a purpose driven life without any investment and we want it in a few lessons. The fewer the better. Yet what Peter is describing for us is not a way to follow, a mantra to learn, or a prayer to pray but a way of life. Discipleship. Faith comes from giving your life to Christ completely without any reservations. Goodness comes from a life lived in faith. Knowledge of God comes through your self-control that you practice each and every day. Self-control is realized as you persevere in Jesus. As you persevere in Christ you become godly and out of that bubbles forth brotherly kindness which is manifested in the active sacrificial love of God in your life.
Dear brother and sister in Christ, today walk with Jesus. Walk in Him and grow in Him daily. As you do you will experience exactly what Peter writes here. You already have all you “need for life and godliness through [your] knowledge of him who called [you] by his own glory and goodness.” All you need, now grow in Him today.
NOTE: This article is copyrighted by Pastor Lee Hemen © 2008 and the property of Pastor Lee Hemen. You are welcome to copy it, email it, or use it but please if you copy it, email it, or use it you must do so in its entirety.