As the descendants of Adam, all of us are sinners by nature, and we are all appointed to die [Rom 5:12]. We know good and evil, but we don’t know God. According to 2 Pet 1:1-4, when we are saved, we can obtain divine things through the knowledge of God. In this lesson, we will study some of the things that are given to us by God through the knowledge of him.
First of all, we must consider the audience. Peter addressed his second epistle to “them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” He wrote to saved people for sure. But take special notice of these words, “have obtained like precious faith with us.” The faith to which he referred is something they obtained. It wasn’t theirs to begin with. Let’s make sure we understand this “precious faith.”
To be saved, you must “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” [Acts 16:31]. You “trusted in Christ” when you “heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation,” [Eph 1:12-13]. And when you believed on Jesus, your faith in Christ was counted for righteousness [Rom 4:5]. According to 2 Cor 5:21, you were “made the righteousness of God in him.” You were given righteousness as a free gift [Rom 5:17-19].
Through God’s righteousness, you obtained, what Peter called, “precious faith.” This precious faith, in Paul’s epistles, is “the faith of Christ.” God’s righteousness is given to us through the faith of Christ [Phil 3:9]. This is not our faith by which we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. This is Christ’s divine faith by which we live the life of Christ. Consider these verses:
- Eph 2:8; Gal 2:16 – we are saved and justified by the faith of Christ
- Heb 12:2 – Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.
- Gal 5:22-23 – faith is the fruit of the Spirit.
- Gal 2:20 – we live by the faith of the Son of God
When we have faith in Christ, we obtain the faith of Christ. Jesus knew that he was the Son of God [Lk 2:49; Jn 9:35-38]. He knew that everything he did pleased his Father [Jn 8:29]. When you have the faith of Christ, you know that you are a child of God and you are able to please the Father in everything you do the same way that Christ pleased him [Heb 11:6].
But having the faith of Christ and God’s righteousness is not all that comes with being saved. Because we are saved, and through the precious faith of Jesus Christ, we can know God. Jesus reveals him to us [Lk 10:22]. Through the knowledge of God we are given:
Multiplied grace – 2 Pet 1:2 – we need God’s grace to help us in time of need [Heb 4:16]. Frankly, we are never without need of God’s grace. His grace gives us strength [2 Cor 12:9]. Christians who don’t know God rarely rest in the strength and sufficiency of the grace of God.
Multiplied peace – 2 Pet 1:2 – we need God’s peace to keep our minds and hearts through Christ Jesus [Phil 4:6-7]. We are far too careful, anxious and fearful. Christians who don’t know God, rarely, if ever, experience the calming peace of God in their hearts and minds.
All things that pertain unto life – 2 Pet 1:3 – through God’s divine power, everything we need to live the eternal life we have been given is available to us. Eternal life is not anything like our temporal life; it is spiritual, not carnal. Thus, we must live our eternal life in God’s power and provision and not in our own. How many Christians have no knowledge of the things that pertain unto life.
All things that pertain unto godliness – 2 Pet 1:3 – through God’s divine power, everything we need to live godly is available to us. God is working in us [Phil 2:12-13]. We could not possibly produce godliness in our own power. Yet, how many Christians attempt this impossible feat.
Exceeding great and precious promises – 2 Pet 1:4 – the promises of God are not promises; they are exceeding great and precious promises. But you must know what they are to rely upon them in your life. How many Christians are discouraged because they don’t stand on the promises of God. You must know God and know his words to benefit from his promises. Consider just a few of these exceeding great and precious promises by which you can live: Jn 10:10; Jn 5:24; Jn 6:37; Rom 8:37-39; Rom 8:28; Phil 4:6-7; Heb 4:16; Matt 18:19-20; Jer 33:3; 1 Thes 4:13-18; Jn 11:25-26; Heb 13:5-6; 1 Tim 6:6; 2 Tim 3:16-17; Matt 6:33; Jn 14:1-6; 1 Pet 5:6-7; 2 Tim 1:7; Phil 4:19; Phil 4:13; 2 Cor 9:7; Col 3:23-24; 1 Cor 10:13; 1 Jn 1:9; and so many more.
Through the knowledge of God, you are given these that “ye might be partakers of the divine nature,” [2 Pet 1:4]. When you got saved, you escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust [2 Pet 1:4]. Jesus made you free from the bondage of sin [Jn 8:32-36]. He called you to glory [2 Pet 1:3]. That is, he called you to be glorified in eternity with him [Rom 8:29-30]. You are going to be just like Christ in eternity. But he also called you to virtue, now [2 Pet 1:3].
In order to live a virtuous life, we must be partakers of God’s divine nature. In order to partake of God’s nature, you must know God. You won’t partake of God’s grace, peace, things that pertain unto life and godliness, and his exceeding great and precious promises if you don’t know that they are available to you through God. The trouble with most Christians is that they don’t know God, and thus they can’t partake of his divine nature. The more you know God, the more of the power of his divine nature you can have by which to live. So, get to know God.