Read 2 Peter 1:1-4. What does Peter say that we have been given in Jesus Christ? That is, how is the reality of grace seen here?
Peter begins this letter by saying that it is addressed to those who “have obtained like precious faith with us” (2 Pet. 1:1, KJV); or “a faith of equal standing with ours” (RSV). The word translated as “precious” means “of equal value,” or “of equal privilege.”
He says that they have “obtained” this precious faith; not that they earned it or deserved it, but that they have received it, a gift from God. Or, as Paul has written: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God” (Eph. 2:8, NKJV). It’s precious because “without faith it is impossible to please” God (Heb. 11:6). It’s precious because by this faith we lay hold of many wonderful promises.
Peter emphasizes that the “divine power” of Jesus has given to us everything that concerns life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). Only through the power of God do we even exist, and only through His power can we attain holiness. And this divine power is given us “through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3, NKJV; see also John 17:3).
We are called to love God, but how can we love a God we don’t know? We come to know God through Jesus, through the Written Word, through the created world, and through the experience of living a life of faith and obedience. We know God and the reality of God as we experience what He does in our lives, a knowledge that will change us. And we come to know Him through the reality of the grace that He bestows upon us.
Peter then says something even more incredible: that we have also been given “great and precious promises,” which include becoming partakers of the “divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4). Humanity was originally created in the image of God; that image has been greatly defaced and degraded. When we become born again, we have a new life in Jesus, who works to restore His divine image in us. But we must flee the world’s corruption and lusts if we want this change to occur.
|What would your life be like if you were devoid of faith? How does this answer help us to understand why the gift of faith is indeed precious?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons