2 Peter 1:2–4 (NKJV)
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
The Apostle John reminds us in his first epistle that Jesus appeared for this purpose: to destroy the works of the devil. And what are the works of the devil? The works of the devil are obvious: lies, deceit, murder, lust, hatred, covetousness. Jesus took on human flesh to deliver us from such things. He gave his life that we might be forgiven for having done such things and rose again from the dead that He might empower us to live in newness of life – that we might have power to practice virtue in our lives and overcome the degrading vices of the Evil One.
It is this message which Peter announces in the beginning of his second epistle. First, Peter reminds us from whence God has rescued us. We used to be slaves of sin, slaves of Satan, and slaves of our own passions. But God in Christ delivered us. We have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
So why did God rescue us? Peter reminds us that God rescued us that we might be partakers of the divine nature. In other words, God graciously redeemed us that we might come to reflect His character increasingly in our lives. He called us, Peter notes, by glory and virtue. He came to make us glorious – to free us from shameful attitudes and actions – and to make us virtuous – to free us from vicious, sinful attitudes and actions.
So how does God accomplish this? Peter gives us the answer: His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. The Risen Christ has poured out His Spirit upon the Church and His Spirit teaches us and instructs us in righteousness and holiness and self-control. The Spirit poured out upon us is the Spirit of holiness – come to make us increasingly holy. So did you catch Peter’s words? His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Today we read of Enoch, a sinful man who walked faithfully with God, who pleased God such that God delivered him from death. Holiness is possible.
So what excuses have you made this week for your sinful attitudes and actions? You yelled at your spouse; you were harsh with your children; you looked at pornography; you nagged your husband; you were lazy at work; you lied to a friend; you were afraid to speak of Christ; you neglected to pray; you became bitter toward your spouse; you engaged in self-pity. “But it’s okay,” you said to yourself, “I can’t really help it. If they hadn’t done that to me…” But Peter says to you, His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. There is no excuse for behaving sinfully.
Reminded that we often make excuses for our sin rather than seek the face of God and ask Him for power to be glorious and virtuous, let us kneel and seek His forgiveness in Christ.