“Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
( 2 Peter 1:1-4)
Unique among all of the world’s religions, Christianity alone rests solely upon what God has done for sinful people. Every other belief system is in one way or another about how people can gain favor with their god, appease him, or do some acts to convince him that he should be less harsh in punishment than he would otherwise have been.
What is already Done?
The great Apostle Peter addressed his second letter to those people “Who have obtained a faith with equal standing with ours “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”. Christians have not been set right with God based on what they have done or will do but because of what Jesus has already done. It is his righteousness that makes sinners whole and clean.
Christ’s representative death is not unlike Adam’s representative transgression. In the same way that by Adam’s disobedience sin and death began its reign, by the obedience of Jesus many are made righteous. (Romans 5:19) Sinners are justified as a free gift based wholly upon the merit of Jesus and not their own. (Romans 3:24)
Our salvation was completely accomplished when Jesus offered himself for our sins, by himself, one time for all people, one time for all time, and sat down, finished with His redemptive work. When we became Christians we only appropriated for ourselves what was already fully accomplished for us. Faith in Christ Jesus and ensuing obedience to his will is in no way meritorious. God gives, we only receive.
Since we have been “set right” or justified, reconciled to God, what do we do now? Listen to the Apostle’s words. “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
I don’t claim to know everything you and I need to live like who we are and whose we are, but I do know that whatever those things are they are given to us in the person and provision and in the power of Jesus. “All things…” covers “all things” doesn’t it?
Jesus is our life (Colossians 3:4)
He is our righteousness (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14)
He is our wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24)
He is our blessed hope (Titus 2:13)
While we now wait for He who is the “blessed hope” and who is our blessed certainty, we are now to live out His life in our flesh. Through our knowledge of Jesus and our continual surrender to His Lordship, with the help of the Holy Spirit we are becoming more like Him in daily living.
Again, Peter’s words are instructive and encouraging. “through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature”.
By knowing him we have been called to glory and excellence. We have been given great promises of a here and now and a future glory. We are heirs and joint heirs with him, we are promised immortality, a body like His body, one perfectly fitted for both the earth’s atmosphere and the heavenlies.
In view of these blessed truths is it any wonder that the Apostle Paul would say:
“I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:4-9)
Wow! “You are not lacking in spiritual gifts, you will be sustained in the end, you will be guiltless in the day of judgment! Why? God is faithful!
I say again, Christianity is Christ! Depend only upon Him. He is quite enough.