By Not Known
One of the favourite titles of our Lord Jesus Christ we are more familiar with, is that of “the Author (Pioneer) and Finisher (Perfector) of our faith” (Heb 12:2). In 2 Pet 1:3, the Apostle tells us how the Author and Finisher’s “divine power has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness.”
This should remind us of two very important facts: First, it is God who through true knowledge and calling to glory and excellence in Christ, “has granted us everything pertaining to life and godliness.” It is not us that enabled or accomplished such blessings but God who initiates and who gives according to His divine power. It underlines God’s grace at work in us through Christ who is indeed “the Author and Finisher”.
Second, God has equipped us with EVERYTHING needed to life and godliness. We begin our Christian life fully-equipped, lacking nothing as God has provided us through His “great and precious promises”. God enables us not only to “escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” but also to “share in the divine nature” exemplified in Christ (2 Pet 1:4). In short, we receive and share God’s own nature through His promises.
However we also need to do our part by developing godly character ― goodness (moral excellence), knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness (towards fellow Christians) and love towards all (2 Pet 1:5-7).
We are not to be complacent but to do our part by “making every effort” to build up one another in increasing measure what God has already given (2 Pet 1:8). When these qualities become spontaneous expressions of our lives, we would turn ineffective-ness into fruitfulness.
Indeed we CANNOT just do nothing. Peter warns us there will be serious consequences if we choose to be complacent. Not only will we be ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of Christ, but worse, we will be afflicted with spiritual myopia and even blindness. Worst of all, we may even forget God’s redeeming work in our lives (2 Pet 1:8-9).
While salvation is all of God’s grace, there must be a corresponding human co-operation, without which, God’s grace would be abused and squandered. When the sinner obeys and works diligently upon what God has already graciously given, God promises fruitfulness and a welcome into His eternal Kingdom of Christ (2 Pet 1:10-11).
Where are you in developing godly character? Seek God through spiritual discipline until you increase in Him, taking on more and more of His character. You will be more and more like your Father in heaven.