Blessings of Our Faith
11 November 2018 PM – 2 Peter 1:1-4 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs
Introduction: Read 2 Peter 1:1-4. The word “faith” used in these verses is not emphasising our belief in Christ but rather the gift of salvation received by faith in Christ. It is our new relationship with Christ received by faith. Peter called it a “like precious faith” because it is shared by every true Christian. It is received, not by any good that we do, but by the righteousness of God. In God’s sinless perfection, He planned and provided saving faith for all who believe on Christ. Being God, Jesus was able to die in our place to pay for our sins and to give His righteousness to all who place their faith in Him. Because Christ was righteous, He was able to provide our propitiation, redemption, justification, regeneration, reconciliation, sanctification, adoption, eternal life and much more.
Transition: As we study these first four verses of 2 Peter, I want us to note several blessings received by every true Christian by his faith relationship in Christ, which ought to encourage spiritual growth.
The first blessing is that our faith…
1. Gives Grace and Peace by Knowledge of Christ (v.2)
a. Peter wishes grace and peace upon his readers
1) While this is part of his introductory greeting, it is far more than empty fluff.
2) God’s grace is His divine enablement. By God’s grace, we are able to live a new life in Christ. By grace, His Holy Spirit lives inside of every true believer as an ever-present personal guide.
a) (John 14:26) “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
b) (Galatians 5:16) “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
c) (Romans 8:26) “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
3) God’s peace is His enablement to stay calm in the midst of turmoil. Peace is one of the fruits that the Holy Spirit wants to produce in the believer’s life. (Galatians 5:22-23) “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
b. Grace and peace are through the knowledge of God
1) This grace and peace is not offered to just anyone. It is offered to those who have knowledge of God and Jesus.
2) The Greek word translated “knowledge” in this verse literally describes a thorough personal knowledge or a close intimate knowledge. It is an experiential knowledge that is full and intimate.
3) When we lack enabling grace and divine peace it is not God’s fault, it is our own fault. The closer we draw to the Lord, the more we can enjoy these blessings.
The second blessing is that our faith…
2. Provides Divine Power for Life and Godliness (v.3)
a. God’s Power gives us all that we need
1) The power to live the Christian life is divine power. It is God’s power. It is the indwelling Holy Spirit’s power.
² When a seed sprouts, scientists can tell us what happens, but they cannot tell us how. The power behind that spout is God, the giver of life. So it is in a Christian’s life. God alone can give the power to live a new life in Christ.
2) God “hath given” us this power. It is perfect tense – a process that took place in the past, the results of which have continued to the present. At salvation, God gave us all that we need.
3) Note the words “all things”. God fully equipped us to live the Christian life. We lack nothing!
a) He gives power for all things that pertain to life. This describes the new life in Christ. You cannot live the new life in Christ if you do not truly know Christ. (Ephesians 2:10) “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” If you find that obeying God’s word is a difficult distasteful task, it is probably because you do not truly know the Lord.
b) He gives power for all things pertaining to godliness. The word “godliness” describes piety towards God, reverence, or respect. This is an outward respect for God displayed by a transformed life. It can be imitated, but only God’s power can produce true godliness. (2 Timothy 3:5) “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
b. This power was given to all who have an intimate knowledge of Christ through genuine faith.
1) Those who do not truly know Christ do not have the power to live a new life in Christ and godliness.
2) God has called all true believers to (lit. through) His glory and virtue. He is our perfect example of how we are to live and glorify God.
The third blessing is that our faith…
3. Gives Promises of Victory Over Corruption (v.4)
a. Exceeding great and precious promises
1) These promises are among the greatest ever uttered.
2) They are precious promises that are especially dear.
3) Man’s greatest problem is his corrupt nature. God’s exceeding great and precious promises promise victory over that corrupt sin nature. We can live in victory!
b. Christ promises us His divine nature
1) Faith in Christ comes with the promise of a new nature like that of God – the divine nature. (1 Peter 1:23) “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” We have a new nature that is able to say “no” to lust. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2) The God-given divine new nature enables us to escape the corruption (i.e. moral decay) that is in the world through (i.e. by) lust. (Romans 6:16-19) “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.”
Conclusion: The blessings of Saving Faith include grace and peace, divine power for life and godliness, and the promise of a divine nature enabling victory over sin. We can live the new life in godliness and victory!
Let’s ask God to help us draw from the blessings He has given us and by His power strive to live for His glory in victory over sin.
True Christians still struggle with sin, but when they stumble, they are miserable until they get right with God. If you are in that miserable state, confess your sin and draw near to God again.
If you are constantly living in disobedience to the Bible and find it a distasteful struggle to obey God, that is a clear indication that you are not yet truly saved. If that is the case, do not ignore it.
The saving faith relationship with Christ is the core of the Christian life. It is all that we need for eternal life. However, in the next several verses, we will later discover how to add to our faith or fill it out with the divine power and divine nature God has given us.
Song: Victory in Jesus 496