Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Devotional: You Have What You Need, 2 Peter 1:1-11

Outline 2 Peter 1.1-11

2 Peter was written right before Peter’s death to pass on the apostolic doctrine to the next generation. Peter reassures his readers that the gospel (Jesus' teachings and actions) rests on accurate eye-witness testimony and its truth is the only way to become like God and share in his coming kingdom. In a way, it is Peter’s final instruction to succeeding generations of the church which he helped to found. Peter wants us to know that the good news of the gospel is that God the Father, through Jesus Christ, has given us all the resources we need to become what he wants us to be and to do what he wants us to do. Faith is believing that what God has said about this is true and then proves itself by working hard to apply these resources to our attitudes, words and actions. When we believe and do this the Holy Spirit works supernaturally in our lives make us grow, help us avoid sin and gives eternal reward. Peter calls us to work hard to grow.

Peter begins the letter with a remarkable statement. He says that the recipients of this letter “have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours.” (2 Peter 1:1). Our faith is seen by God with same standing as that of Peter. There is no difference because both rest on “the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Who we are as Christians is entirely determined by who Jesus is and what he has done and this never changes. His divine power lives within us so that God works on us from the inside and the outside so that we are able to become progressively more like God and actually share in the “divine nature” within the perfect fellowship of the Trinity. As we grow and respond to the God within us we become more like him, know him better and thus escape our corrupt habits and sinful desires.  

In the next section (1:5-8), Peter calls us to apply the resources God has provided to our daily lives. Because of what God has provided this is not self-help but flows out of our life as we expose ourselves to God’s grace and power and allow what he has promised to become active in our  lives. This is not easy. We must “make very effort” to cooperate with God’s grace and build on the character of Christ that he produces in us. God supplies all the resources but graciously calls us into a cooperative project. This transformation begins with faith and its goal is love for God and for those around us. As we work hard the Holy Spirit will will work from within to strengthen, encourage, and comfort and, as he works in others believers, he will use them to work on us from the outside. The result is a church that is growing together into the character of Christ.

God will always meet and love you where you are but he will never leave you there. (1:9-11) Peter is prodding us to a far-sighted perspective, to God’s calling to be like Christ and enjoy the intimacy within the Trinity that we are destined for. God has given us all the resources we need to do this. Let’s work hard, sacrifice, spend time and effort on what is really important, and do it together.

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