2 Peter 1:1-4 NASB
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, 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; 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.
Is there more than one kind of faith? Yes! There is human faith and there is false, disingenuous faith. There is strong faith and there is weak faith. Yet, with regard to our salvation, there is God-given faith, which is divinely persuaded of God as to our need of salvation from sin, and of his righteousness and holiness. Without this God-given faith we do not have salvation from sin. For, not one of us can come to faith in Jesus Christ unless the Father first draws us to faith in him.
We can do nothing in and of ourselves to earn or to deserve our salvation from sin. This is of God, from beginning to end. The Father first draws us, then he persuades us, and then the Spirit transforms us. Via the Spirit of God, we are then crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are risen with Christ to newness of life in Him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
So, if this is genuine salvation, and we are truly born again of the Spirit of God, then the transformation which takes place in our hearts will also be of God, according to his will, his purposes and plan for our lives.
In other words, when we have the kind of faith as the apostles had, it will be genuine faith, and it will reveal itself as genuine because it will be evident that we have become partakers of the divine nature, and that we have escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but it does mean that sin is no longer our master, for Jesus Christ set us free from our slavery (addiction) to sin, so that we can now walk in his holiness and righteousness.
But, because this faith is of the Spirit of God, and it is genuine faith, it is also empowered of the Spirit of God to be able to forsake our former lives of living for sin and self, and to now walk in his holiness and righteousness, and to live godly lives, pleasing to him. In His power and strength within us, we can say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions (lust) and we can live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.
For this is the reason Jesus died for us, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness, not just so we would be forgiven our sin and have the hope of heaven when we leave this earth.
2 Peter 1:5-9 NASB
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.
When we have the kind of faith as that of the apostles, which is God-inspired and God-granted faith, in which we die with Christ to sin, and live with Christ to righteousness, then we will also, of the Spirit of God, grow in that faith. We won’t claim forgiveness of sins and the hope of heaven when we die and yet remain steadfast in walking in sin.
By that faith we will, instead, mature in Christ, and by the Spirit we will be putting to death the deeds of the flesh, and we’ll be walking according to the Spirit of God, and no longer by our flesh.
So many people these days are being led to believe in Jesus either with a human faith or with a disingenuous faith which is inspired and led by human beings and not by the Spirit of God. Thus, they have the notion that they can just acknowledge Christ and believe in his forgiveness of their sins and claim heaven as their eternal destiny, and yet continue in their lifestyles of sin.
It appears many of them wear this belief like a badge, in which they claim that God requires nothing of them other than to “believe,” and thus they have the notion that they don’t have to leave their lives of sin behind them nor do they believe that they have to obey the Lord.
But, genuine faith in Christ should result in genuine change of heart, mind, attitude, behavior and character. Not only should we not want to sin anymore, but we should be growing in moral excellence, self-control, perseverance, kindness, love and godliness. These are what should be increasing in our lives, not the deeds of the flesh. And, as a result, we should be bearing the fruit of righteousness, not unrighteousness.
If our “faith” in Jesus Christ does not result in genuine change of heart, mind, character and behavior, then I would suggest that our “faith” is not of the kind that the apostles had, but that it is human faith only, and that it is a false faith based on a false gospel which requires no death to sin or living to righteousness. Therefore, it is still spiritually blind, for this false faith still leaves people dead in their sins, without God, and without hope.
2 Peter 1:10-11 NASB
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.
So, we who claim to believe in Jesus Christ need to make certain that our faith is genuine faith which will result in true salvation from sin and eternal life with God in heaven.
If you have bought into the lie that God requires nothing from you other than some ambiguous faith in Jesus Christ, and that you can now keep walking in sin, but now without guilt, then please examine the scriptures, for they do not teach that.
The word of God is very clear on the fact that genuine faith in Jesus Christ, which is God-given and God-persuaded, results in death to sin and living to righteousness, or it is no faith at all, at least not the kind required for salvation.
For, if we claim to have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness (in sinful practices), then we are liars. If we walk (in lifestyle) according to the flesh, in sinful practices, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God. If we do not leave our old lives of sin behind us, we do not have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21).
2 Peter 1:19 NASB
So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.
So, we need to pay attention to what God’s Word teaches about our salvation. We need to hear God calling to us, and listen to what he says, instead of listening to human beings who may be trying to lead us astray.
If we sow to please the sinful nature, of that nature we will reap corruption. But, if by the Spirit, we sow to please God, we will reap eternal life.
An Original Work / October 14, 2011
Softly He speaks gently to us,
Giving us His messages, and
He waits patiently for us to
Respond to His words.
Will you listen to Him speaking?
Will you waken from your sleeping?
He is calling; hear Him whisper
His truth unto you.
Jesus speaks His words unto us,
So that He might live out through us,
Giving light to all who need Him,
So they can obey.
He gave His life to die for us,
So that from sin He would free us
To walk humbly in obedience
Unto Him each day.
Hear the trumpet clearly calling.
He died to keep us from falling.
Won’t you listen; heed His call to
Turn to Him today?
Hasten to Him calling to you.
Turn from sin and follow Jesus.
He loves you so much He gave you
Wednesday, March 14, 2018, 12:30 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from your word. May we take its truths to heart.