Life and Godliness

Here is the introduction that the apostle Peter wrote in his second letter.  2 Peter 1:1-4 “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  Let us discover what he is telling us.

“Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ.” Peter was, perhaps, the leading apostle sent by Jesus to the world.  He was the chief spokesman on the day of Pentecost when the church began and he was the first to preach the gospel to the gentiles.  Even so, he calls himself a bondservant of Jesus Christ.  He saw his place as one who served Jesus and sought to accomplish His will here on this earth.  You and I should also see ourselves as servants of Jesus to do His will wherever we find ourselves in this world, rather than to please ourselves.

“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us.” The letter is addressed to all who have the same faith that Peter had.  Peter had been with the Lord, had seen Him crucified, and then had seen him resurrected.  He believed that God had given Jesus as the sin offering for the world.  While you and I have not seen what Peter had seen, we believe that Jesus has died for us as well.  We also have the faith that Peter had – the faith of equal value – the same faith that saves us.  This letter from Peter is for us.

“By the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Our faith is based upon the salvation we receive because of the righteousness of God and Jesus.  God is a holy and righteous God.  Jesus did not sin during His time here on earth.  2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” God has given us righteousness because of our faith in Him (Romans 4:5-6).

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” We now can enjoy God’s grace and his gift of peace because we know God and Jesus.  God’s grace is His kind disposition towards us – His desire to bless us in many, many ways.  One of the great gifts from God is that we now have peace with Him – we are no longer His enemy.  As a result we can have peace in our hearts because of God’s love towards us.  Peter blesses us that this grace and peace be multiplied in our lives.

“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” Through this grace and power of God, He has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness.  Although we have received many physical blessings from God in our lives, I do not believe Peter is talking about physical things; I think he is talking about spiritual things.  God has given us His son.  He has given us instruction on everything we need to live our spiritual lives on this earth and to receive eternal life.  We don’t lack anything; we don’t need another sacrifice on our behalf; we don’t need more instruction; we don’t need another revelation from men or angels.  We have all that we need pertaining to life.  We also have everything we need for godliness.  Godliness means to be devout and denotes that piety which is characterized by a Godward attitude and does that which is well-pleasing to Him.  God has given us instruction on all things that we should do to be well-pleasing to Him.  Again, we do not need another revelation – we have all things that we need to be pleasing to Him.

“Through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.” We know that God is all glorious and full of all virtue.  In turn, He has offered us to share in the glory of Christ (2 Thessalonians 2:14) and to have virtuous lives.

“By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises.” The promises we have from God are indeed exceedingly great and precious.  He has promised us eternal life, a rest from our labors in a place where there will be no tears, pain, death, sorrow or crying.  He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.  He has promised to lead us in the many decisions of life.  He has promised to listen to our prayers.  These are but a few of the exceedingly great and precious promises.  “That through these you may be partakers of the divine nature.”  Through these promises we share the blessings of the holy God.

“Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  The people of the world are corrupt, evil, and perishing.  This corruption is caused by their lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, and pride (1 John 2:16). God’s grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts (Titus 2:12) and in doing so, we escape the corruption that is in the world.

I hope you are encouraged by these words of the apostle Peter.  Because of your faith, you have grace and peace from God. You have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness.  You have been given exceedingly great and precious promises and you have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.