The first letter from Peter was addressed to lukewarm believers who were blending into the pagan culture. The apostle spoke truth in hopes to get believers to return to their one and only love, Jesus Christ. Now, you and I are going to continue to learn from Peter in his second letter. He encourages God’s children to faithful living despite the difficult times they face. God’s calls His children to be holy and godly.
Go ahead and read 2 Peter 1:1-11.
What do you learn about Peter and Jesus in the first two verses? What will God do for you?
God will help you to grow in knowledge of who He is. This is the basis of today’s study. God gives Peter a message that reveals how to grow in your faith and know God on a deeper level.
Peter gives you the secret sauce to anointing your faith at the beginning of his letter. Every good thing in your life is rooted by “His divine power.”3 God gives you everything you need to live a godly life. He knows that you are incapable of living out His ways on your own. Sin destroyed that. So, God walks with you and leads you out of the darkness of sin.
How do you receive what God is giving you, see the second part of verse 3?
“By coming to know Him.”3
You are made to know God in a personal, intimate way. To get this close to Him, you must receive His Son. It is only through Jesus that you can get close to God. Because of God’s glory and excellence, He gives you great and precious promises.
What do these promises enable you to do, see verse 4? Look at 2 Corinthians 7:1 for added wisdom.
As you ponder these golden nuggets of truth, Peter says to “make every effort to respond to God’s promises.”5
God will give you what you need to live for Him.
Peter lists out practical ways to live out your faith in verses 5-7. Faith needs to be fed or else it will wither and die. You need a generous portion of moral excellence. It matters what you do and how you do it. Who are you in the dark, when no one else is watching besides God? God wants to see you doing the right thing.
Along with moral excellence, you are to dine on godly knowledge. You cannot walk intimately with someone you don’t know. Next, you are to add self-control, patient endurance, godliness and brotherly affection to your spiritual diet. The cherry on top is you are to have love for everyone.
The Living Bible’s translation says this about the these same verses: “You must also work hard at being good, then you must learn to know God better and discover what He wants you to do. Next, learn to put aside your own desires so that you will become patient and godly, gladly letting God have His way with you. This will make possible the next step, which is to enjoy other people and to like them.”
Peter tells you the more you grow in this fashion, the more productive and useful you will live out what you know about your Lord and Savior.
What happens to someone who does not develop in this way, see verse 9? The darkness that has ensued this world causes blindness. Believers, who have had the blinders removed at their salvation can become blind again if they don’t follow the Spirit’s leading and live out what God is wanting for them. Take a look at Matthew 10:22, 24:12-13, and Hebrews 3:14.
It is important to work hard to prove that you are a true believer. It is extremely easy to blend in with society, so God had Peter write letters hoping to awaken those who live lukewarm for His Kingdom. Peter says in verse 10, “Do these things, and you will never fall away.”
Did you catch that? You can fall away and lose your footing on the path that leads to heaven. There is a phrase, “Once you are saved, you are always saved.” It should read instead, “IF you are saved, you are always saved.” When you have experienced the love and grace of God, your heart will be inclined towards Him. You will stumble or trip along the way, but you quickly return to make things right with God. Your heart becomes one with God’s heart.
Unfortunately, many hearts grow tired or cold and become uninterested in what God has to say to them. They may partake in religious things, but their hearts are far from Him. They run away when the Spirit is talking to them and hide.
What will happen to you when you follow Jesus whole-heartedly every day, see verse 11?
The day of your salvation in heaven will be epic! You do not want to miss out. Today, feed your faith with life-giving nutrition that is only found in His presence. You do not know the hour when Jesus will come for you.