All Things for Life and Godliness
November 12, 2023

All Things for Life and Godliness

Passage: 2 Peter 1:1-4


Tonight we’re going to start a new study through a letter in the Bible called 2 Peter. Peter, the author of this letter, was one of Jesus’s closest followers. And after Jesus’s death and resurrection, he became one of the key figures behind the spread of Christianity in the 1st century. But Peter knows that the day of his death close. And so he writes this letter to strengthen the generations of Christians who will be coming after him. He wants to be sure that God’s people will remain committed to the Word of God, that they’ll pursue holiness, and that they’ll confidently await God’s kingdom coming.

So if you have your Bibles, please turn with me to 2 Peter. (2 Peter is close to the end of the Bible). Today we’ll be focusing on the first four verses: 2 Peter, Chapter 1, verses 1-4. But before we open our text, please pray with me:


Do We Have All We Need for Life and Godliness?

In one sense, this is Peter’s goodbye letter to the Church. And yet the focus of this letter isn’t really on Peter at all. In the opening verses here, verses 1-4, Peter wants to encourage the church that God has given them all they need to live the Christian life faithfully and fruitfully. Peter may die – the other apostles, too! – Paul may pass away, John may be laid in the grave – but the church will still have all she needs.

Some of the people may have had a hard time believing this. Just imagine what those people would have thought about Peter and the other apostles. The apostles had interacted with Jesus face-to-face. They had seen his miracles. They had touched the wounds in his hands after his resurrection. The apostles were super-Christians. They were the fearless leaders of the church, the great heralds of truth, great giants of the faith.

Don’t you suppose it was tempting to think that their Christianity must be second-rate by comparison? But in verse 1, Peter emphasizes that his readers aren’t second-class citizens in the kingdom of heaven. As a servant and apostle, he doesn’t have access to some higher, greater version of Christianity that we’re excluded from. Instead, he writes his letter “to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours…” He’s saying here that we’re just as acceptable to God and just as blessed as the apostles were. The rights and benefits that we have as Christians are the same rights and benefits Peter had. Now, as an apostle, Peter had special authority and responsibilities in the church we don’t have. But we have the same faith, we have the same Lord, we have the same salvation. At the end of the day, the grace of God we receive through faith in Christ is just as potent, just as precious, and just as complete as the grace received by the apostles.

This is something that the early Christians needed to hear, and this is something we all need to hear. God has granted to the church precisely what we need in every age and situation. And as we work through the rest of our text, I want to deal with four questions: First, what has God granted? Second, how has God granted it? Third, what has God granted it for? And fourth, Why does it matter?

What Has God Granted? (Life and Godliness)

So first, what has God granted? Look with me at verse 3: “His divine power has granted to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness.”

It’s worth noting, when the text talks about “life,” it’s not just talking about physical life that depends on eating, breathing, and sleeping. It’s talking about a fuller, enduring life – it includes spiritual life that’s closely connected with God. So what are some of these things God has granted for this truer, deeper life with Him, and for godliness?

Well, we’ve received the Holy Scriptures. God has granted us his promises, as verse 4 says explicitly. We’ve been granted access to him in prayer. We’ve been granted a Savior who died in our place so our crimes against God would be forgiven – a Savior who reverses death’s power over us, and who consecrates us so we can enter into the holy presence of God. We’ve also been granted a Holy Spirit who radically transforms our hearts, bringing new birth and new life. The Spirit trains our hearts to desire what’s good, to reject what’s evil, and to be motivated by love for God.

We could list many other things here that God has granted to us. But Peter’s main point isn’t to list out all these individual things God has given us. Instead, Peter points to two primary things we’ve been granted in Christ. He has granted us life – real, enduring life with God – and godliness. Peter’s main point here is that God has given us life and godliness by granting us all the things that pertain to them.

How Has God Granted It? (Freely, Fully, Finally, In Power, Through Knowledge)

But how has God done this? How has he granted these things to us? Let me point out five quick things from the text: God has granted these things to us freely, he has granted them fully, he has granted them finally, he has granted them by his divine power, and he has granted them through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

So first, you’ll see the text says God has granted these things, which simply means he has given them freely. No one has earned these gifts – these aren’t things we deserve. But God displays his kindness here by giving good gifts we could never have gained for ourselves.

And when it says here God granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, it means that he’s given them fully. He hasn’t just poured us a glass that’s half-full (or half-empty, depending on whether or not you’re an optimist). He has filled our cup to the brim. We can be confident we have absolutely everything there is to have that pertains to life and godliness.

And since God’s people have received all things for their life and godliness, this means the good news we’ve received is in its final form. It’s complete. With the coming of Jesus Christ, the true Christian faith – with all its rights and benefits – has been once and for all been delivered to the saints, just as Jude, verse 3, tells us.

And notice verse 2: God has granted all these things by his divine power. Humanity was helpless – cleaning up our act and bringing ourselves to God was impossible for us – so God’s divine power took on flesh, and dwelled among us. God the Son came in human flesh to overcome death and sin on our behalf. And as a result, we can have life and godliness. If God’s own power has accomplished this for us, then we can be certain that the job is done – that His work can’t be undone.

Yet I want you to recognize here – in order to benefit from the work of Christ, we need to know him. Verse 2 tells us that people are granted all things that pertain to life and godliness – HOW? through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. Knowing God is important in order for us to benefit from what He’s done. The knowledge we need here isn’t just an academic knowledge about God. It’s possible to know information about God, and to hate him and run from him. But the knowledge spoken about here refers to a right, humble, faith-filled acceptance of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done – not just to know Jesus as Savior, but as your Savior. Not just to know Jesus as King, but to know Him as your King. It’s through this knowledge – knowing him truly, embracing Him as the great prize and reward that He is – that God grants us all things pertaining to life and godliness.

Why Has God Granted It? (For Our Life and Godliness)

But here’s my third question, now: What has God done this for? What’s the point of it? What’s his purpose?

Well, Peter tells us why in the middle of verse 4: God has granted these things – so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature. What does this mean – to be partakers of the divine nature? It doesn’t mean that God will make us into divine beings. Instead partakers of the divine nature are those who walk with God and come to reflect God’s character. Or to say it another way, partakers of the divine nature have real life with God, and real godliness. So, notice what Peter’s saying here. God’s purpose for us is to have life and godliness – that’s what it means to be a partaker of the divine nature. And, go figure, Peter wants us to know that we have exactly what we need to get there. God’s divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness.

Why Does It Matter?

So I want to deal with one final question here. Why does all this matter?

Let me just focus on two things:

First, we should be encouraged to know – God, in His Word, through His Son, by His Spirit, has given his people everything they need. The church has been supplied, once for all, with everything pertaining to our life and godliness. He has given us all we need to escape the corruption that’s in the world because of sinful desire. We’ve been given all we need to resist temptation. We have all we need to withstand pain and persecution. We have all we need to silence the accusations of our guilty consciences. We have all we need to grow in Christlikeness – to put off the old man and to put on the new. God hasn’t left us unequipped. We don’t have to be stuck in doubt, thinking that we’re too weak, thinking that God has failed to reveal himself adequately, thinking that we’re a lost cause. God’s provision for His people is truly enough for every part of the Christian life.

And this even means that on the final day, when we enter into the Holy of Holies – the royal throne room of the Great Judge – we don’t have to be afraid. When we enter into the presence of the Lord, where angels, archangels, and spiritual beings shield their eyes because the divine glory is more than they can bear – God Most High will welcome us. He will accept usnot because of any skill or specialness in us – but it’s all because His divine power has granted us all things – all things – for our life and godliness.

Second, and finally, all this matters because here in our text, God makes His purpose for us very clear. He has intervened in human history with his divine power so that we’d have life and godliness. And though there’s an extent to which we won’t fully grasp these things until we’re at Home with Christ, this call from God to have life and godliness – it isn’t just for the future. God wants us to realize that we have that life with Him today. He wants us to fellowship with him, and to gaze upon His glory, so that our face will shine with his goodness as we go about our daily tasks.

Take some time to think about this for a moment. Are life and godliness priorities to you like they are to God? Are you shaping your life around His purposes for you, or are you rejecting His ways, living for yourself instead? As we close, let’s pray that God helps us to recognize the fullness of this grace He’s shown us, and that He will grant us to grow in Christ together in the years ahead. Let’s pray:

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