2 Peter 1:3-7
3 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, 4 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. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
How often do we tell ourselves lies when we are tempted to sin? How often do we excuse our sin with falsehoods? How often do we say to ourselves, in words or simply in emotions, that we lack what we need to truly resist temptation?
But God says to us, “…all things….” In Christ, through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. We have everything we need to be faithful to the Lord. We have everything we need to resist temptation. We have everything we need to continue toward godliness.
There is a convicting thread in this gloriously comforting passage. God has given us all things that we need to grow in godliness, and that is good. But then look at the rest. God has called us to his own glory and excellence. That is our goal. That is our hope. WE want to experience his glory. We want to see and live toward his excellence. And, as the end of verse 4 tells us, we want to live partaking of the divine nature and escaping the corruption of sinful desire.
Then verse 5 hits us. Verse 3 said we have all things we need for life and godliness. Verse 4 talked to us about God granting us his glorious promises and letting us benefit from the divine nature. And then verse 5 says to us that we are to “make every effort.” God has given us all things. But we are to make every effort. We must take part in, as Owen puts it, the mortification of sin. We do not sit and wait to be perfected. We struggle. We strive. We press on toward godliness.
This passage comforts and convicts me. God has given me all things. I need never fear that failure is inevitable. And God has called me to make every effort, which means I must act. God works in me. I work. I do nothing to cause my salvation—that is a gift of God. But I must take action toward my sanctification—that is my responsibility. And I must recognize that any success I have in the sanctification process is because of the gifts granted me by God, so he still gets all the glory.
What then is the Lord telling us in this passage. God has given us all things we need for sanctification, so we have great hope. God has commanded we make every effort toward sanctification, which means we have no excuse. May we press on, love the lord, and grow in Christ by the grace of our God.