By the Righteousness of God
2 Peter 1:1-2 ESV
“To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
What is this faith? The word means to be persuaded, specifically here to be persuaded (convinced) by God, and it is a divine persuasion of the will of God. In Ephesians 2 we read that it is a gift of God, and not of ourselves.
So, since it comes from God, and not from ourselves, and because it means to be persuaded by God as to the will of God for our lives, then this faith is going to produce what is in accord with God’s will for our lives. Thus, it will submit to God’s will and purposes for our lives.
We obtain this faith by (or through) the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. So, again, the faith to believe in Jesus Christ comes from God. Since it comes by the righteousness of God, it is approved by God, so it is what is deemed right by the Lord.
So, when people say we are saved by grace, through faith alone, but their “faith” denies Jesus as Lord (master) of their lives, and they feel at liberty to continue living in sin, and even proclaim we don’t have to repent of sin or obey the Lord, then that “faith” is not of God, but of the will of man.
Called to His Own Glory
2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
And here we have a further explanation of this faith we have obtained by (or through) the righteousness of God. His divine power has granted (gifted) to us all things pertaining to (for, toward) life (physical and spiritual) and godliness (reverence for God), resulting in obedience to God/Christ.
These things pertaining to life and godliness come through the knowledge of God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – who called us to (or by) his own glory (honor, praise) and excellence (moral goodness, uprightness). So, we are to be for the praise and honor of God living in moral uprightness.
By these things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of God, who called us for his honor and praise and for moral uprightness, we are given God’s precious promises. And it is through these promises that we become partakers of the divine nature.
We read in Ephesians 4 that the truth that is in Christ Jesus is that we must put off our old self (nature), which belongs to our former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires. And we are to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. And we are to put on the new self (divine nature), created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:17-24).
So, we become partakers in the divine nature by way of us having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. First we must be crucified with Christ in death to sin, and then we can be raised with Christ to newness of life in him, free from slavery to sin, having a new nature in Christ now enslaved to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).
The old nature no longer controls us, but now we are under the control of the Spirit of God. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again, but that sin is no longer our master. Now Jesus is the master of our lives, and he determines our steps, not our flesh nature. So, by the Spirit we are daily putting to death the deeds of the flesh and we are walking by the Spirit (Rom 8:1-17).
Supplement Your Faith
2 Peter 1:5-9 ESV
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.”
It is true that we are not saved by our own works of our flesh. Both the faith to believe in Jesus and God’s grace to us in saving us from our sins are gifted to us by God, for the glory and praise of God, and not for the glory of our human flesh (Eph 2:8-10).
But our salvation from sin is not absent of works. It is just that they are the works of the Spirit of God which God prepared in advance for us that we should WALK in them. But if we do not WALK (in conduct, in practice) by the Spirit of God, but we continue to walk by the flesh, then we don’t have eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
So, these works which God prepared in advance that we should walk in them, by his Spirit, in his power and strength at work within us, are not optional. It doesn’t mean we have to be absolutely perfect, mind you, or that we will never fail, but this must represent our walk (life practice).
For, following our Lord in obedience, in submitting to his will for our lives, and giving our lives over to him, should result in these character traits becoming evident in our lives as they are put into practice in our daily lives. For by them we will continue to be partakers of the divine nature and we will continue to escape the corruption in the world because of sinful desire.
Confirm Your Calling
2 Peter 1:10-11 ESV
“Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
So, in summary, the faith we must have in Jesus to receive his gift of salvation from sin is also a gift to us from God, it is divinely persuaded of God as to his will, and it is approved by God, so it is what is deemed right by the Lord, according to his righteousness. Thus, it is going to produce in us and through us what is in accord with God’s will for our lives.
It will produce in us godliness and reverence (respect) for the Lord, resulting in obedience to our Lord, which will be for the glory and praise of God, and not for our own glory and praise. Through this faith in Jesus Christ, by which we are granted God’s precious promises, we may then become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped corruption that is because of sinful desire.
So, the free gift of salvation by God’s grace through faith will result in us living holy and godly lives for the praise and glory of God. We will have died with Christ to sin and we will daily be dying to sin and living to his righteousness. We will no longer be slaves (addicts) to sin, but we will be slaves to God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17).
So, it is by this measure (the fulness of God’s Word) that we are able to examine our own lives to make certain that we are in the faith. It is by the knowledge of the full truth of what the Scriptures teach regarding faith and salvation that we are able to confirm or refute what we believe to be our calling and election. For what we practice determines if our faith is genuine or not. What we practice also determines if we end up in heaven or hell (Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 8:1-17).
By Ann Aschauer
Well, some folks think that “love” means emotion,
So it comes and goes their whole life through.
Some folks never know that when the magic goes,
If you keep on lovin’, it’ll come back to you.
I was so afraid we’d lose the special feeling,
And someday we’d find our love wasn’t true,
But then God opened up my eyes and made me realize,
Love is not what you feel, it’s what you do.
And so we stood side by side at the altar,
As our wills and God’s power combined.
With His help I could say, “I do love you today,
And I will for a long, long time.”
c 1987 Ann Aschauer
Used by permission