We have discussed the ideas of bondservants, apostles, and the deity of Jesus Christ. This brings us to the second verse of Second Peter...
Grace and peace. We have discussed many times how God's grace is the only thing that can give a person peace.
What is grace? Grace is God's unmerited favor on us. It is the fact that He loved us when we were unlovable, that He gave us the gift of salvation when we were completely undeserving. It is that He provided forgiveness for our sins while we were still in our sins. And it is only after we understand grace, that we will experience true peace.
Although several of the New Testament writers used the greeting "grace and peace," Peter is the only one who points out that there are varying measures of grace and peace. In his first letter, he said,
1Pet. 1:2 ...May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.
Now he says,
2Pet. 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you...
The Greek word for "multiplied" is "play-THOO-no," based on the root "PLAY-tho," which means "to fill." It's the basis of our English word "plethora." So, what Peter is basically saying is, "I want you to have a plethora of grace and peace!"
You get a plethora of grace and peace! You can have more than you have now! How? It will come from the knowledge of God.
As you grow in the knowledge of God, you will discover more and more of His grace, which gives you more and more peace.
Since grace and peace will be multiplied to us in the knowledge of God and Christ, how can we gain that knowledge?
The first thing to clarify is that It's not going to come from the world. The world, in spite of all their spiritual talk, doesn't know Him (John 1:10). In fact, you will encounter many very "spiritual" people in your lifetime. Many of them want to tell you about their spirituality, their experiences, and how they came to "know." But they are like the Jews in Paul's day:
Rom. 10:2 For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.
What the world offers is a false knowledge of God.
How do we gain true knowledge of God? Through the true Word of God. We have been given the Bible, which is the true Word of God. We have also been given an interpreter: the Holy Spirit of God. He has been given to us so that we may understand the Word of God.
Jesus told the disciples,
John 14:16-17 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you."
John 14:26 "...He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
And Paul explained,
1Cor. 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
You gain the knowledge of God through the Spirit, Who dwells in you, and brings to your remembrance everything that God has said in His Word. He interprets and explains the spiritual truth of God, giving you the true knowledge of Him.
And so as you walk in the Spirit, He gives you more and more of this knowledge. Paul encouraged the Colossians,
Col. 1:10 ...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
As you continue to walk in His ways, you learn more of Him.
Be warned: The opposite is true as well, for the knowledge of God is proven not by words, but by love and deeds. Paul spoke of people who...
Titus 1:16 ...profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him...
And John spoke of this throughout his first epistle
1John 2:4 The one who says, "I have come to know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
1John 4:8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
Some people claim to have true knowledge of God, but their carnality betrays the fact that they don't.
In the true knowledge of Him, God has given us everything we need for this life and for godliness. Everything. If you pursue knowing Him, then there will nothing else that you are lacking.
A lot of authors, speakers, teachers, and salesmen are trying to tell you otherwise:
- "Attend this seminar, and finally you will have a fulfilled life!"
- "The secrets to life are revealed in this new book!"
- "My tape series will give you your best life now!"
But remember: You won't find it in the world. You'll only find it in the Word.
Everything means everything, and God has provided everything we need in the knowledge of Him.
Are you one of those people who endlessly peruse the Christian bookstore shelves, looking for that magic book that will help you solve your issues, save your marriage, help you with your rebellious kids, overcome your addictions, etc.? Are you looking for explanations for life? For help to make it through? For insight that will explain what you're having problems with? It's all right here - in the Word of God.
Everything you need for life and godliness is found in the knowledge of God, which is found in the Word of God.
That's my job as well - to make sure that you grow in your knowledge of God:
Eph. 4:11-13 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
As a pastor/teacher, I am here to help you grow in your knowledge of Him. Because we're all supposed to be headed in the same direction: towards the unity of the faith, towards maturity. Towards all of us knowing God fully.
By God's glory and excellence, we have also been granted some amazing promises. Some of those include the promise of...
- the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Gal. 3:14; Eph. 1:13, etc.)
- the gospel (Rom. 1:2)
- being a child of God (Rom. 9:8; 2Cor 6:18-7:1)
- life by imparted righteousness (Gal. 3:21-22; 2Tim 1:1)
- eternal life (Titus 1:2)
They are promises for this life, and promises for the life to come.
And by these promises, we can become partakers of the divine nature. That sounds really new-agey, doesn't it? In reality, the "divine nature" (THI-os FOO-sis) refers to what and Who and how God is naturally. It's Who He is. It's what He's all about. It's where He's coming from, and how He does things. God wants you to be a sharer in that. A partaker in Who and what and how He is. And the way we can share in that is to receive the promises He's given to us in His Word, and avoid the corruption of the world.