2 Peter 1:2-11
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Everyone Loves A Sure Thing
God has designed this world to be work on the principle of sowing and reaping. In other words, you perform an action, you get a consequence (remember, consequences aren't always bad, it's just the result of your actions). In our home, we've tried to teach this principle to our kids. They want a treat or cash, then they have to complete a job to earn it. As they've gotten older they have learned not only sowing and reaping but also negotiation. It didn't take long for them to see me doing a chore and proposing that they do the chore for me so they can earn something they really, ie: an hour of "screen-time".
Recently they saw me doing the chore I hate most, cleaning the kitchen. Both of my sons walked up and said "Dad, we will keep the kitchen clean for you all week if you let us play 1 hour of screens" They definitely had my attention. Knowing my standards are very high, I said to them, "If you can keep the kitchen clean to my standards, at the end of the week, just ask for something, almost anything and I'll agree to it". We laid out clear terms of the agreement, all parties agreed, and the deal was set.
If they followed the terms of the agreement, getting extra extended screen time was a sure thing. I laid out the guidelines and promised them a reward. God does the same thing. Time and time again in the Bible we see guidelines to follow and promises if we keep those guidelines. This post is about obtaining grace and peace by following God's guidelines.
What Do I Get?
Grace and peace. I already said it. ...A little anti-climactic wasn't? While you get grace and peace if you follow the guidelines in 2 Peter 1 but how it gets into your life is really special. Read 2 Peter 1:2 again. As you follow the guidelines set out in verses 5-11 you obtain peace and grace. Here's the amazing thing, you add knowledge of God and Jesus to your life and that knowledge will cause grace and peace to multiply!
Think of it this way, you add a boy bunny and a girl bunny to your family as a pet and they multiply and next thing you know, you have 15 bunnies in your house! You added, they multiplied. God is promising a similar thing, you add his ways to your life and he will multiply grace and peace to you.
What Does God Want Me To Add?
- Goodness (Moral Excellence)
- Brotherly Love
I know, it feels like a long list. The good news is it's not. I will break these down in following posts but for know thing of this as a progression. You have faith because you are a christian. That faith drives you to act in a good way (goodness). You need to learn what God defines as a "good way" (knowledge). Once you know what goodness is, you need to exercise self-control (self-control) to live out goodness. You may be able to live out goodness in brief spurts but you need to do it all the time (perseverance). Now that you know how God wants you to act and are doing it you are behaving like God (godliness). When you exhibit godliness you show love to one another (brotherly love). Finally, you act of brotherly love transforms you into actually loving people (love).
See, it's a natural process when you break it down. Our passage in 2 Peter 1 does say you need to diligently add these things to your life. You do need to put in the effort. Remember, God's design is a sowing/reaping design.
What Do I Do With These Things?
Posses, increase, and use.
Verse 8 says..."For if these qualities are yours..." in other words, if you posses these qualities. "...and are increasing..."
Verse 10 goes on to say..."as long as you practice [use] these things, you will never stumble;"
Full Of Promises
These 10 verses are jam packed with what to do, why to do it, and guarantees. Go back read it, study it, and pick it apart. You will find several promises God makes if you follow his instructions. This is a great set of verses to memorize. By memorizing this passage, you can constantly remind yourself of what you are supposed to be doing and acting and why you should do it. Then when you have learned how to act and if you don't have peace in your life, you can pray to God and say "In 2 Peter 1:6 it says ' [add] knowledge, self-control, and perseverance', I've done that but don't have peace, and in verse 1 you promised peace. Why?" Have faith and God will answer that prayer. The Holy Spirit will either show you what you missed or give you peace.