2 Peter 1
If these verses does not show us the victory over sin that comes through the righteousness of Jesus Christ then I don't know what does. Notice that in verse 1 Peter speaks of two yet they are one in unity. He speaks of God and the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is talking about the righteousness of both God and Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter is speaking here and is addressing this epistle to those who have obtained precious faith through this righteousness of God and Jesus Christ. So we see here that this epistle is addressed to believers.
He wishes the readers grace and peace in abundance through the knowledge of God and the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through this knowledge each of us can be partakers of His divine nature. We have now escaped the pollution and corruption that was in sin and have become partakers of His divine nature.
Divine nature comes when we have the knowledge of God and become a new creature in Christ Jesus. With these promises, why would we even contemplate going back under our old sinful nature again. We have been made free from the old nature. We have been made free from sin. We are still capable of sin because our ability to choose still exists or else we would become puppets but the power to overcome sin is available.
When we yield ourselves to the power of God through faith in Him totally we can overcome. There is no way the natural man can overcome alone, this comes by faith and trust in the power of the Lord. He (Jesus) overcame and we can overcome be continually yielding and trusting in Him daily. It is a constant fellowship. We are not saved once a long time ago and then just sit around and wait until He comes. No. We can have constant fellowship and walk with the Lord on a daily basis. It is up to us to choose to follow or to go our own way. Like the preacher once said, "We are as close to God as we want to be." God does not go against our will and force us to seek His presence. He sends the Holy Spirit to draw us but it is up to us to respond to the invitation of the Spirit of God. When we yield to the calling of God we can began to be partaker of His divine nature.
Remember the two commandments Jesus gave. Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength and love they neighbor as thyself. In our own flesh and by our own will this is impossible. We need God's Spirit within us to be able to keep those commandments.
If you have a grudge against someone, the best way to overcome that is to begin praying for that someone. Ask God to give you a compassion and love for those that is normally hard to love. Ask Him for the pure divine love that comes from Him and is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
This love is not the same as what the world calls love. God's love is unselfish, it does not envy, it is longsuffering, it overlooks faults but not sins, it corrects in meekness not "holier than thou," it does not gloat, it is not proud, it does not boast, it is not excessive to the point where you love that person more than God (idolatry). The true love that comes from God stays at the level it is supposed to. God first, neighbor second, and self last. This is impossible in the flesh. This is a commandment that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and His abiding within us who believe.
There are many people who talk of love and claim love but if the love pushes God out, embraces a sinful lifestyle, becomes idolatrous, causes adultery, fornication or lust, this is not the love that comes from God. There is a difference. God's love is gentle, kind yet it tells the truth and is firm. Look at Jesus as an example. Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee," but He also said, "Go and sin no more." Jesus died on the cross in order to save even the worst sinner imaginable but He also took a whip and drove out the money-changers from the temple. We need to search out what true love is and quit accepting the world's definition of love.
Whether we like to say it or not, love does not accept a person like they are. Would you want to accept a person who is an alcoholic like he is and not try to help? Leave them with no hope. Love would seek to help the alcoholic become a person who is free. Love will desire that the alcoholic is made whole, delivered, and free from the alcohol. Yes, we love the alcoholic but we don't want him or her to stay that way. In reality, we are not accepting him like he or she is.
The key is faith. We need to remind ourselves over and over again, Jesus Christ has power to change lives. Jesus Christ can save the lost, Jesus Christ delivers from sin (of any kind), Jesus Christ heals the sick, Jesus Christ casts out the demons, Jesus Christ makes us whole. "According to our faith be it unto us." If we do not believe the alcoholic can be free from alcohol then they probably will not be unless they get around someone else who believes. It is unbelief that keeps us in bondage. We are all given a free will though so unless the alcoholic accepts help, we can't force him to be free but we can keep believing in the power of prayer to make a difference in his or her life. Never give up on them or anyone in any bondage to any kind of sin. That is love with determination.
Everything starts out with faith in the Lord to save us from sin and faith that He is who He says He is. To that faith is added virtue. Virtue is moral purity. After virtue is knowledge, the knowledge of God and His promises to us. After knowledge is temperance - self control.
This brings forth patience- cheerful, hopeful, endurance. After patience comes godliness - holiness. Then comes brotherly kindness, and then comes charity which is love.
When we have these traits we become fruitful and abound. If we find ourselves lacking these things then we have forgotten that we were once purged from sin. This is further proof that Jesus came not just to forgive sins but to take them away. If we are struggling with sin, have we repented of sin, have we believed in the work of Christ to take away our sins, are we trusting in Him for our salvation, are we yielding to Him and His will instead of ours? In other words, are we holding back something and not letting it go. We cannot overcome sin unless we desire to overcome. If we come to Jesus for deliverance and still desire to have the sin, we cannot be delivered from it. He is not going to deliver us against our will. We can't be forgiven of sin if we don't recognize our sin as sin. We have to acknowledge our sin and desire to be free from it.
I will note here that I am not talking of past sins that have already been covered by the blood of Jesus eons ago and Satan is constantly nagging to us and bringing it to our remembrance. This is gone. Jesus doesn't not remember it and why should we. The past is gone when we bring it to Jesus and become born again. We are not to go back under that old fear again.
I'm talking about sin today. If we still desire the wrong things, hate someone, if we are still under the bondage of alcohol or desire a neighbor's wife or husband. This should not be. We can overcome this by faith in the power of God to deliver. We must not yield to the lie that "I am only human and I am what I am." We are a new creature in Christ Jesus. The Jesus who saved us once is still here to deliver us from sin and give us the power of the Holy Spirit to abide with us continually. We are free and no longer under the bondage of sin.
I don't like the term, " I'm a sinner saved by grace." The truth is that we should be, "I was once a sinner but now I am saved by grace." Sinners are not going to inherit eternal life. Let us become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ makes us free from sin. If He makes us free from sin then we are not sinners any longer.
Verse ten is the key, make sure of your calling and election. This is something we do. Search our hearts and make sure those virtues listed above are abiding in us and we are trusting in God to perfect our faith daily. This is something we allow the Holy Spirit to do in our lives as we yield to His will.
This is our goal
Peter is talking about the tabernacle of his body. As long as he walks on the earth in his present state he will stir up the remembrance of those who will listen. He is actually still doing that even though he has shed his old tabernacle and his soul and spirit resides with Jesus now. By leaving behind this epistle, he is still continuing to bring the word of God to our remembrance.
Peter knew by the warning of Jesus that he would die a martyr's death. Legend says that Peter was crucified but he did not feel worthy to be crucified like Jesus so he requested that he could be crucified upside down.
He assures us that his words and eyewitness accounts of the gospel are true and not cunning fables to deceive. Let us pray for pastors and teachers to always teach the word and not substitute funny stories, fables, feel good sermons or entertainment.
Peter, James and John witnessed the transfiguration on the Mount. They saw Jesus in His glory. They heard the voice from heaven saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
One of the take heed warnings in the scripture. Take heed means not only listen but act upon the words heard. The gospel must not be taken lightly and haphazardly.
No prophecy of the scripture is by man but comes from God. The Holy Ghost caused men to speak the words of God and some to write the words of God.
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