June 15, 2022 Southshore Bible Church

2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1

It can be confusing to know the role and importance of continual sanctification in our lives as Christians. We hear so often from passages like Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved through faith, not by works or by our own good deeds, that we may lose sight of the role we play in our continual sanctification. I want to take a look at 2 Peter 1:3-11, to get a better idea of what it means to confirm our calling as Christians, and how we can desire greater righteousness in our lives without being legalistic.


First I want to emphasize that Peter is not contradicting what we know about salvation from elsewhere in Scripture. In verses 3-4 we read:


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. (2 Peter 1:3-4 ESV)


Peter argues that we are called to saving faith through the knowledge of Christ that is given to us by God. We are not saved by being righteous, but through the knowledge of Christ. And it is through this faith that we can find such great purpose for our lives. We can leave our old lives of death, knowing that we have escaped the judgment of the world, only because of God’s divine power working in us. So right from the beginning of the chapter, we rest easy knowing that our salvation is not incumbent on our actions.


Peter then moves to introduce his argument for the pursuit of righteousness, when he writes “For this very reason”. Peter makes the argument in these next few verses that the pursuit of righteousness should be our response to knowing that we are saved through faith in Christ. We read in verses 5-7 :


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. (2 Peter 1:5-7 ESV)


Because we are saved through the knowledge of Christ, by his divine power in us, which calls us to his great purpose, our response should be to seek virtue and righteousness. These virtues Peter lists mark a life of righteousness, and without them, we will be ineffective and unfruitful in our knowledge. Peter doesn't say that if we don't seek righteousness we forget the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we do become ineffective and unfruitful.


We see as the passage continues that the Christian who lacks the qualities and is not seeking a life of greater righteousness, is not only blind to the future, but they have also forgotten the past. There is so much more to a life with Christ than salvation alone. There is a deep purpose given to the Christian who seeks after Christ and his righteousness, with everything they have. And if one does not seek after greater righteousness, they live blind and in the past. As we read Peter’s words in verses 9-10:


For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. (2 Peter 1:9-10 ESV)


This passage shows us that our actions do not save us, nor do our good works and attempts to be more righteous nullify our past sins. Rather, we see that our sins are ONLY forgiven by Christ, whom we come to a knowledge of because God calls us to himself. However, we are called to be diligent, and to confirm our calling, by our earnest desire and pursuit of greater righteousness.


Christian, you have a finite amount of time in this life to prepare for an infinite future with Christ, so make the most of your time and chase after Christ with all that you have.


Prayer


Dear Lord God, we thank you that we are saved completely by your power and love, and we do not need to earn our own salvation through good deeds. We thank you that you have called each of us to an exciting life of faith and obedience that we can use to glorify you, and make you known.


We pray today that you would remind us of what we have been saved from, and grow in us a desire to pursue righteousness in our lives. We pray that we would not get caught up trying to earn salvation through works, but that we would desire to add to our faith the righteousness that confirms our belief. Amen


Timo Stubchen