Dematerialization

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Musing on 2 Peter & Jude, Part 5:

After studying through 2 Peter and Jude, I don’t immediately move away. I hover, reflecting and pondering the take-away for my own life. I’ve discussed the necessity of confirming our election and the process of self-reflection. I’ve sifted through my motives—an ongoing process, and I’ve written of our eternal security.

Now I turn to the powerhouse of our transformation:

  1. The divine nature of our God and Savior Jesus Christ within—the Holy Spirit’s presence
  2. Increasing knowledge of Christ

There’s a beautiful loop-de-loop at the beginning of 2 Peter. The hinge is God’s empowerment through the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Four little verses show us exactly how we are changed by God. He transforms our complete inability to have faith, to attain righteousness, or to live a godly life. He enables us to escape our carnal desires and polluted appetites, as well as our inability to even be nice.

First the hinge. Each word in bold shows how God gifts us with everything we need for a godly life. Pause to look at what we have and how we receive it.

“To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours,” Peter the slave and apostle of Jesus writes. “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 2:1b-4 NIV).

  • We receive faith through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, not because we conjure it up.
  • We receive grace and peace in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, not because of anything we’ve done.
  • We receive all we need to live a godly life, because Jesus’ divine power gives us everything we need through our knowledge of him.
  • We are called because of Jesus’ glory and goodness, not because we invited ourselves.
  • We can participate in Jesus’ divine nature, because he promised us, since he is filled with glory and goodness.

The moral superiority and excellence of Jesus’ divine nature is the source of everything we need. We are the source of nothing. We are the recipients.

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Second, how do we utilize the powerhouse? How are we changed?

Jesus’ divine nature within us and the driving force of knowledge of him change us. But we must exert the effort to grow in our knowledge of Christ, to acquaint ourselves with this most intimate of friends, and to cooperate with his convicting and empowering presence within.

Growing to know Christ isn’t head knowledge. This is knowledge in action.

“To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours. Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord: His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 2:1b-4 NIV).

The original Greek word used for this knowledge is epignosis. This isn’t rote fact gathering. This is acquiring knowledge of Christ that changes our behavior, that demands our personal involvement, and that claims our participation so we can live out the truth of God’s Word by relying on the powerhouse of Jesus’ divine nature and his very great and precious promises.

We must learn who Jesus is and believe what he has pledged. Then, we are changed.

When we see the evidence of this transformation, which Peter spells out in 2 Peter 1:1b-11, we know that we know that we know. When he begins to make us over into his likeness and we learn to walk in faith, we know that we belong to Jesus and that we have yielded to his divine nature within us. We are his.

Do you know that you know that you know?

Check out this short Desiring God Ministries podcast: How do I know that I’m saved?

 

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