Everything We Need, Part Two

Jesus and NicodemusReview of Part One: In Part One, we looked at the first three verses of the first chapter of Second Peter. We learned that, through having a personal relationship with Jesus, God has already provided everything we need for life and for that life to be godly. In Part Two, we see how He does that and how we are to respond.

His exceedingly great promises.  First, go back and re-read the first three verses of 2 Peter chapter one. Then read verse 4:

(4) By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape (by flight) from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed) and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature. (AMPC)”

In this verse Peter tells us that the cause of the moral decay filling the world is lust and greed. However, we can flee away from that and share in God’s divine nature through the fulfillment of God’s promises in our lives. God has given us His very great promises because of His glory and His goodness. Look closely at the first three phrases in the next verse, verse 5.

(v. 5) For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop. . . 

That phrase “For this very reason” points back to verse 4. Peter says that because of the great promises God has given us, we must make every effort, which means be diligent, to add godly qualities to our faith. Then Peter lists seven qualities that we can – and are supposed to — develop in ourselves. We develop these by God’s grace of course, but it requires our effort or it will not happen.

To reiterate, Peter says God has given us all that we need to live a godly life and the way to live that godly life is to flee the world’s corruption by participating in the nature of God. We do that by diligently exercising our faith and continually growing in Jesus, which means developing godly qualities.

What qualities should we pursue? Verses 5 through 7 list the godly qualities Peter says we can develop. We are to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. Putting each phrase on a separate line makes the process of how to acquire these qualities easier to see.

 “For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort

  • in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy),
  • and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
  • And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control,
  • and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance),
  • and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),
  • And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection,
  • and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.”

 The process of developing godly qualities. Do you see the pattern? As we exercise, or use, one quality, we develop another godly quality, another attribute of the divine nature. “In exercising _________ develop ________.”

Image result for public domain picture of mans strong armsWhen we obey God and exercise, or use, the small bit of spiritual muscle we have, God develops that muscle. As that particular spiritual muscle develops—in response to our using it–the spiritual muscles and tendons around it also grow and another good quality starts to grow. And on and gloriously on!

A good comparison is physical exercise. Let’s say I’m a high school gym student. The coach says he is sure I have potential as a distance runner. I have faith in him, so I add to my faith in what the coach told me by starting with what I have. I diligently, industriously, start running every day. As I continue exercising my faith in what the coach told me, I develop strength, in general, in several body systems and muscles. As I continue running daily, my legs become stronger. I see (or the coach tells me) I must also do strength training to develop my quadriceps muscles so my knees will stay strong. I do that and next the coach assigns exercises to strengthen my hips and on and on until I have a well-trained runner’s physique.

Or consider someone who wants to have strong arms. I start with biceps exercises and those biceps muscles grow as I diligently work out, week by week. While I am developing my biceps, the triceps are also affected. Next I add triceps exercises. Next come the shoulders. And on and on until all muscle groups are strong.

Why do we need to develop these godly qualities? The answer is simple: these qualities will keep us from being idle or unfruitful, both of which are dangerous spiritual conditions. Look at verse 8.

(8) For as these qualities are yours and increasingly abound in you, they will keep [you] from being idle or unfruitful unto the [full personal] knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

Notice we must develop these godly qualities and then keep on developing them. These qualities must “increasingly abound.” God puts a stern warning in Verse 9 for those who do not keep growing.

(v. 9) For whoever lacks these qualities is blind [spiritually shortsighted] seeing only what is near to him and has become oblivious [to the fact that] he was cleansed from his old sins.”

Do you remember how many times in the Old Testament God had to punish the Israelites because they lost sight of what He had done for them, could not see clearly Who He was and turned to their old ways of living?

Remember that God has already made the way for each of us to develop these qualities. God equips us for everything we need to live a godly life. If we fail to develop spiritually, we harm ourselves. Greatly. We remain spiritual infants, weak creatures and easy prey for the enemy of our souls. Our spiritual infancy requires that someone else carry us, feed us, and put up with our immature behavior.

Do you want to avoid stumbling and falling?  God gives us a priceless promise in verse 10. He says if we work diligently to develop those godly qualities, we will never stumble or fall.

(v. 10)  “Because of this, brethren, be all the more solicitous and eager to make sure (to ratify, to strengthen, to make steadfast) your calling and election; for if you do this, you will never stumble or fall” (emphasis added).  (The NLT says “fall away.”)

Paradox Principles: The Stumbling Man

That “because of this” at the start of verse 10 connects this verse to those that came before. Because of the great potential that awaits us in God’s promises, we should be eager to do what God says and work diligently to develop God-like qualities. God does not promise a life free of problems, in fact Jesus says quite the opposite in John 16:33. However, God does promise we will be able to keep walking safely with Him. And it will be with joy and all the other results of having an intimate relationship with Jesus (Galations 5:22-23).

(v 11.) “Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

The Enduring Word Commentary has this note about 2 Peter 1:11: “Peter here reminded his readers of the great reward of a calling and election made sure. They would enter heaven gloriously, not as through fire (1 Corinthians 3:15.)”  Read 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 and meditate on that warning.

Be stirred up. Friend, may we be reminded about these things and stirred up “by way of remembrance”, as Peter wanted us to be. Peter said, “I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle (tent, body) to stir you up by way of remembrance.” (2 Peter 1:12, AMPC).  May we diligently exercise our faith so we may become strong and develop every godly quality.

Godly qualities will save us from the darkness of our present world. And we will shine like stars in that darkness. As the apostle Paul says in Philippians 2:14-16:

Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves].

That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (fault-less, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world. ( AMPC)

Stars - Long Exposure 4k Public Domain Video - YouTube


3 thoughts on “Everything We Need, Part Two

  1. Lord, Abba Father, You have done so very much for me and I know You have provided all that I need to grow and continue growing spiritually. Please enable me to never forget all You’ve done and to choose Godliness. Help me not only learn to live in this dark world, but to be a light for You.

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