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2 Peter 1:1-4
Bruce A Hess
Now, if you would this morning, please turn in your Bibles to the Word of God in chapter number 1 of the book of 2 Peter. It is toward the end of your Bible. 2 Peter, chapter number 1.
You know, our culture has calibrated into us a need for “something more.” It is always being promoted and driven our way: you need something more! You need a newer phone, you need a bigger house, you need a larger salary, you need fancier clothes, you need a shorter work week, you need longer vacations, you need a sleeker body, you need clearer skin, you need a hotter date or mate, you need a faster car, you need a better gaming console. With this coming at us all the time—calibrating us towards you need something more, you need something more—our mentality becomes: I cannot really live until I get whatever that may be…that something more.
Then, our countenance gets down and we find ourselves drifting along, waiting until…(whatever fills in the blank)…would come in our life. That same mentality can seep into the church of Jesus Christ. That same mentality can seep into the heart of one following Christ, where we just say we need something more. I need something more in the spiritual realm and until that comes in my life, I can’t really live a godly life.
We oftentimes feel like a spiritual “have not.” We are thinking, you know what? I need more spiritual power than I have. I look around and other people seem to be having greater spiritual experiences than I am. Then, I’ve got some people running around and they are telling me that I need to experience a second blessing of the Holy Spirit in my life—and THEN, you know, I can really live a godly life.
Others around us are claiming to experience miracles in their life every single day and we think: I’m not. So, what starts to happen to us is, we begin to feel like we are spiritually inferior, like we are some sort of second-class Christian. That mentality begins to overtake us that says: I can’t really effectively live a spiritual life until…(and you fill in the blank)…whatever it may be. I can’t really get there. So, our countenance is down, and we drift along, spiritually waiting until whatever…something more comes in our life.
When that happens in the life of a believer of Jesus Christ, I want you to know that our spiritual adversary smiles. He is highly pleased when we drift into a mentality that I am spiritually inferior, or I am spiritually impoverished.
What we are going to learn from the apostle Peter today, is that at the point of salvation, the point that we trusted in Christ, God provided all that we need to grow in godliness. I remember when I first began to hear about that truth, when I learned that Lewis Sperry Chafer, who was the founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, and he wrote a systematic theology, and part of his systematic theology was, he said, there were 33 Riches of Divine Grace that every believer received at the very moment they trusted in Christ for salvation. And, I’m like, what?? Thirty-three riches of divine grace? That was so exciting to me, and it made such a difference in my life.
Now, the title that I have given to today’s message is this, ‘Something More???’ We are actually launching into a series that will have four messages in it from 2 Peter, chapter 1.
As we get started, I want to read from 2 Peter, chapter 1. I’m going to read the first four verses, I invite you to follow along in your Bible as I’m reading. Verse 1, “Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Chris. To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
Now, today’s plan involves doing three different things. Number one, we are going to look at The Background of this letter. We are just sort of jumping into it, we want to get a feel for the background. Then, we are going to look at The Outline of, not just chapter 1, but actually all three chapters of 2 Peter. Then, the third thing we are going to look at today is God’s Great Provision for you and for me. So, that is the plan. Sound like a good plan? Alright.
Let’s begin by looking at The Background. Of course, the background involves the person who is writing the letter, which is, as we learned from verse 1, Simon Peter, a bondservant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. What you may not know is, in church history some have actually questioned whether or not Peter is the author of 2 Peter. A primary reason for that is when you look at 1 Peter, his first letter, the Greek (which you wouldn’t notice in your English Bible), but the Greek in the original text in 1 Peter is more refined. It is smoother Greek than that of the Greek of 2 Peter. So, in part because of that, some people say, Well, it can’t be the same author, you have a smoother, more refined language in the first letter and this one is just not that way at all, it is just a little rougher, a little gruffer.
But I think there is a reason for that. If you turn one page to your left in your Bible and come to 1 Peter, chapter 5, verse 12, we learn there from how Peter closes out that first letter. He says, “Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him),” then notice what he says, “Through Silvanus…I have written to you briefly.” What does that mean? He is basically saying that: as I am writing you this first letter, 1 Peter, Silvanus is my secretary, he is my transcriber. In other words, Peter was communicating, these are the thoughts that I want to communicate, but it was Silvanus who was actually writing them down and he may well have smoothed out the rough, gruff, fisherman’s Greek so that it was just a little bit smoother, without altering the spiritual content of it.
So, I think the evidence points to him truly being the author of 2 Peter. There are several things that show up in the book. For example, look at chapter 1, verse 14. You remember how, in the Gospel of John, chapter 21, verses 18 and 19, Jesus told Peter, He gave him a prediction about, you are going to die and a little bit of how he was going to die? You look here at verse 14 and the author, who is claiming to be Simon Peter says, “Knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling (my earth tent) is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.” An illusion back, I think, to John, chapter 21. Certainly, indicative of Peter’s claim that he is the author.
Then, look at verses 17 and 18. He is talking about the Mount of Transfiguration, when Jesus received honor and glory from God, the Father. He said, “Such an utterance as this was made to Jesus by the Majestic Glory of the Father, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased.” The author says, “And we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.” Now, who was with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration? Do you remember? Three people, Peter, James and John. So, we have clear indicators here. Because of life experiences, and then what we learned from 1 Peter, chapter 5 and verse 12, that this indeed is the author. Peter is the author.
Now, as we are talking about Peter, I think we all need to be a little bit reminded about Peter. Okay? This is all part of the background. You know that Peter and his brother, Andrew, were in the professional fishing business. Not just guys who would fish occasionally, they were professional fishermen. We know that Peter became the vocal leader of the disciples, right? But Peter is kind of dear to us because he was a guy who was overtly self-confident. He had this tendency to make bold assertions. He had this tendency to make brash moves. And when he did that, he fell flat on his spiritual face. And that is one of the reasons why we kind of like the guy, we can easily identify with him.
You see an account of that in Luke, chapter 5. I love this story because Peter and all of his crew had been out on the Sea of Galilee all night long. The professionals were out there all night long fishing. And they come back to the shore in the morning, and you know how many fish they caught? Absolutely zero. Then, Jesus walks up, you know the teacher and the trained carpenter, and He says, ‘You know what I think you guys ought to do? I would go out to the deep part of the sea and cast your net out there.’
Now, I would have paid money to see Peter’s face right at that very moment. You know, like, what does a carpenter know? And, Peter says to Jesus, ‘We worked hard all night out there, fishing.’ But, Jesus asks…so reluctantly they row their way out. I am sure he was complaining under his breath. They cast their nets out. Suddenly, the nets fill totally up, they began to fill the boat with fish, net after net after net. It gets so full, they have to bring another boat out there. They fill the second boat all the way up until it is almost sinking. That’s just the way Peter was.
We see another story of him in Matthew, chapter 16, and verse 22. Remember, this is where Jesus said, “I am going to go to Jerusalem, and I am going to suffer there.” What does Peter say? “God forbid it, Lord, that you should go there!” Jesus has some words of rebuke for him. That’s just Peter. He’s our kind of guy.
We see this in Luke, chapter 22, verses 31 and following, where Jesus warns Peter and He says to him, “My friend Satan is going to come after you and you are going to deny me three times.” Remember what Peter said? “Are you kidding me, Lord? I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” Then, Jesus is arrested, and Peter denies Him three times, throwing in a bunch of swear words to make it more convincing that he had never even met the man, Jesus. This is Peter, he is just so much like we are.
We see it in John, chapter 18, and verse 10, when they come to arrest Jesus in the garden. Do you remember this? And, what happens? Peter whips out his sword and I think he wants to cut off the high priest’s slave, Malchus’, head, but Malchus probably moved his head at the last minute and Peter whacks off only the ear. I just know Jesus had to turn around and go, ‘What are you doing? Peter?’ That’s why we like the guy. Peter had spiritual warts and spiritual failures and we’ve got them, so we say, ‘I can identify with a guy like that.’
I like the way Warren Wiersbe summarizes it, he says, speaking of Peter, “He had a tendency in his early years to feel overconfident when danger was near and to overlook the master’s warnings.” Oh, so true. “He rushed ahead when he should have waited; he slept when he should have prayed; he talked when he should have listened.” That’s Peter.
Yet…yet, Peter learned. Yet, Peter grew. He did not stay the same. What does he do? He becomes a key leader in the church as it’s formed in the book of Acts. In fact, in Acts, chapter 1 to Acts, chapter 12, Peter is mentioned fifty-two times because he didn’t stay where he was. He grew from that whole experience.
Now, part of the background Peter is coming to the end of his life, he is nearing the end of his life on earth. If it helps you to just close your eyes for a moment, I just want you to read a great summary that Chuck Swindoll, he paints a very vivid picture of what was going on, as Peter sits down to write this letter. Here is what Swindoll says of Peter:
“Staring out of the second-story window from his secret dwelling in Rome (because he was writing from Rome), the gray-haired Simon Peter looked west across the Tiber River toward the distant hill of Mount Vaticanus. If he squinted, he could trace the outline of the arena of Caligua, where Nero had been making sport of Christians—torturing them, burning them, hanging them, crucifying them, even feeding them to wild animals. So far the Lord had prevented Peter’s capture, but he knew it was only a matter of time. Though he wasn’t yet sure when, where or how it would happen, the Lord had revealed to him that he would soon depart this life. At any moment he would hear the door downstairs burst open, the clank of Roman armor, outbursts of coarse Latin slang, and the drawing of swords. Bound like a dangerous criminal, he would be dragged away for a sham trial and condemned to a tortuous sentence that far out-weighed his alleged ‘crimes.’ ”
Now, when you climb into all that background, you know what my response is? I want to learn from this guy! I want to lean-in to what this guy is writing as his life is near the end.
Take a look at verse 1. He says there, “I am writing to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours.” This is actually a pretty significant statement. I am writing to those, to these believers, and to you and to me, who have received a faith of the same kind. Or as the ESV says, a faith of equal standing. The word is isotimos and it means something of the same kind or equal standing. Obviously, it is an interesting word. It was used of an immigrant who would come into a foreign country and they would receive citizenship that was equivalent to a native inhabitant of the land. You know, the same kind, the same equal standing of citizenship. Peter is saying, I am writing to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours. Who are the “as ours?” I think he is referring to himself, as an apostle, which he cited earlier, and all the apostles. He is saying, you have received a faith that is of the same kind, it is of equal standing with ours, who are the apostles. It is as legitimate and as valuable as ours, who are eyewitnesses of Jesus’ glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Translation…what is he saying? He is saying, Listen there are no second-class Christians, there are no spiritual haves and have-nots. You are not, Peter says, spiritually inferior in the least. You have received a faith of the same kind as ours.
How was that obtained? How was that accomplished? “By the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” He is basically saying this: it was not my doing, it’s not your doing, it’s by His doing. That is how we got that faith from Him. You can jot down 2 Corinthians, chapter 5, verses 17-21 here, where it talks about how God was in the process of reconciling us back into a relationship with Himself.
So, we said we were going to do three basic things today. First of all, we were going to look at The Background. Does that background give you a little better feel as you move into these verses? The second thing we want to do is, we want to look at The Outline of the book. I just want you to know, in this series that we are going to be doing this summer, we are only going to be covering chapter 1. Then, Lord willing, in the Fall we are going to cover chapter 2, then a little later than that, we are going to cover chapter 3. But I want you to have a handle on the whole book, so we have an outline of the book for you here.
In chapter 1, we have Cultivation of Spiritual Maturity.
In chapter 2, we have Caution about False Teachers.
In chapter 3, we have Confidence in Jesus’ Return.
In chapter 1, the emphasis is exhortation, exhortation to you and to me.
In chapter 2, the emphasis is on denunciation, looking back at the false teachers.
In chapter 3, the emphasis is on anticipation.
The theme in chapter 1 is a theme of holiness.
The theme in chapter 2 is a theme of heresy.
The theme in chapter 3 is a theme of hope.
Then, we see that the focus of chapter 1 is Ourselves.
In chapter 2, it is on Our Adversaries.
In chapter 3, the focus is on Our Future.
So, that just gives you an outline, a little orientation on the whole book. In this series we are going to focus on chapter number 1.
Now, the three things we were going to do: We were going to look at the background. We’ve looked at the outline. Now we want to get to the third thing that we want to examine and that is God’s Great Provision.
Look again at verses 2, 3 and 4. He says, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
As you look at those verses, there are two key hooks, two key verbal forms, I want you to notice. In verse 3, it says, “His divine power has granted to us,” something. And then, in verse 4 it says, “He has granted to us,” something very important. So, you see that phrase, “granted to us.” Some translations say, “given to us.” If you underline in your Bible, you want to underline those phrases, ‘granted to us,’ verse 3, ‘granted to us,’ verse 4. The verb here, granted, is a verb that means to grant, to give, to bestow, to endow with. It is not something that we earn. It is something that is bestowed upon us, it is granted to us. We are endowed with it.
These two verbs that are used, one in verse 3 of granting, and verse 4 of granting, are in the original language what is called a perfect, passive construction. Now, you go, Bruce, I don’t know what that means. Well, let me just explain it for a moment.
The passive means that the action of the verb is something that we receive, it’s not something that we do, is something that we receive. The perfect tense is very important in the original language because what the perfect tense describes is a past event that occurs, but the results and the ramifications of it carry on. It was granted to us, verse 3. it is a past event, the ramifications carry on. It was granted to us, verse 4, past event, but the ramifications carry on, the effects continue on.
So, let’s look at verse 3, “Seeing that His divine power,” His divine power. He is talking here about the divine resource reservoir that exists. I don’t know if you’ve seen any stories on Lake Mead in Nevada. It is home to the huge Hoover Dam, it is a very important water supply for multiple states. But if you look at that reservoir right now—and I have seen some aerial photographs of it—it is way, way down. It is shocking to see how far down it is; definitely alarming the people who live there and who get their water supply from it.
By contrast, the divine resource reservoir isn’t down in any way. I mean, let me ask you this question: how shallow do you think God’s resource reservoir is? How shallow is it? Well, I mean, God can speak this universe into existence, boom, there it is! We learn from Psalm 8, verse 3, that the moon, the stars and the galaxies are just the finger work of God. Are you kidding me? He doesn’t even have to use his arm to do all of that?
When it is talking about His divine power, His divine resource reservoir, it is massively huge. What does it say? His divine power, this divine resource reservoir has granted to us something very important. Again, perfect tense, past event, ramifications carry on. What is His divine resource reservoir granted to us? He says there, in verse 3, “Everything pertaining to life and godliness.” The ESV says, “All things that pertain to life and godliness.” Other translations say: He has granted to us, everything we need for life and godliness. Everything required for life and godliness. Everything necessary for life and godliness. Everything that is needed, required and necessary for living a godly life. He has granted this to us, past tense, the moment we trusted in Christ, with ramifications carry on in our life.
He has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness. It’s not for every task in life. He doesn’t give us, at the point of salvation, the ability to repair a car. I knew nothing about repairing cars until I had to slowly learn about it. It’s not like, you know, He gives us the ability when we trust Christ, to grow plants. Some of us can do it, some of us can’t. It doesn’t mean He gives us the ability to put siding on a house, which my house desperately needs after the hailstorm. It doesn’t mean He gives us the ability to do ear surgery. He is just simply saying this, everything we need pertaining to life and godliness, for living a godly life, we’ve got. There is nothing we lack when it comes to becoming more godly.
This, by the way, is a huge emphasis in the Scriptures. We see in Ephesians, chapter 1, in verse 3, where it says, “He has blessed us (notice the past tense again, pointing back to the point of salvation) with every spiritual blessing…in Christ.” Have you ever run around and had someone tell you: You know what you need is, you really need the second blessing of the Holy Spirit. People say that to me and I’m going like, what did you just say? What does this verse say? It says, He has blessed us, past tense, with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
You know, you see this in Colossians 2:10, “In Him you have been made complete.” By the way, this is another perfect construction. The ESV says, “You have been filled in Him.” Everything that you need, everything that you need to be filled with, all that you need to completely be able to operate as a believer, has happened, and the ramifications continue on.
So, what we are talking about is God’s Great Provision and the first thing He is communicating to you and to me—and remember this is when he is getting ready to check out of life—he wants to say the most important things he can say. He is saying, you have been granted Complete Spiritual Resources. Complete Spiritual Resources.
I absolutely love Warren Wiersbe’s analogy here. Here is what he says, “Just as a normal baby is born with all the equipment he needs for life and only needs to grow” right? “So, the Christian has all that is needed and only needs to grow. God never has to call back any of His models because something spiritual is lacking.”
Men and women, what Peter is telling us is, at the point of salvation, when we trusted in Christ, God granted (past event) complete spiritual resources to us and the ramifications of that continue on. He has given to us everything necessary for life and godliness…all that we need for living a godly life.
Now, if He has given us everything necessary for life and godliness, I will ask you a simple little question: what’s left out of that? What do we lack? Nothing. We hear this and sometimes it is easy to read through a verse like that and we don’t realize what is going on. Do you realize, this is a drop the mic moment [gesture of dropping a microphone—indicating that something just said is very impressive and striking and cannot be topped]? Holy cow!
He is saying, look there are no spiritual have-nots. You have no need of something more. You don’t need a second blessing; you’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing. He is saying there are no second-class Christians. None of us are spiritually impoverished or spiritually inferior. We have no reason for our spiritual countenance to be down. We have no reason to wait until you know…(fill in the blank)…whatever experience occurs. We have been granted everything necessary for life and godliness. Complete Spiritual Resources. See, He did not redeem us and then just leave us on our own; I hope you somehow figure this out. It doesn’t work that way.
Now, how was all of this accomplished? Well, look at verse 3. He did this, it says, “Through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” Again, we are in the midst of a culture that champions truth as relative. Sometimes people don’t fully get that. What relative truth means is that truth is determined by you and me. We all have our own ideas. You have your truth and I have my truth and there is no ultimate source of truth. It is just whatever you think the truth ought to be, so you figure it out for you, and I figure it out for me, and we have ten thousand, ten million people, twenty million, a hundred million, a hundred billion, who knows how many people running around.
Everyone has their own truth.
But see that’s not what Scripture teaches. It says that truth is found in a person and eternal life is found in a person. John 17:3, “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God (He is the source of truth), and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” That’s the words of Jesus.
So, when we are talking about God’s Great Provision for us, the first thing we learn from verse 3 is He has given us, granted to us, Complete Spiritual Resources. There is a second thing He has granted to us and that is Precious and Magnificent Promises. Look at verse 4. He says, “For by these,” what does that refer to? It refers back to His glory and His excellence, by His glory and His excellence…here He comes again…He has granted to us (that perfect past event with ramifications that carry on) “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises.” What are those? Well, how many days do you have? There are myriads and myriads of them.
I want to just give you a small sampling of His Precious and Magnificent Promises.
- One precious and magnificent promise is the promise of eternal life. John 3:16 and 36.
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of wisdom. Anyone need wisdom for living life? Yeah, we all need that. Ephesians 1:17 and 18.
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of the Holy Spirit, who was sent as our Helper, our Enabler, the one who can teach us and transform us. Galatians, chapter 5, verses 18-25.
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of guidance. Anybody need guidance working our way through this world? Holy cow, we do! John 16:13.
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of a future inheritance. 1 Peter 1:4.
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of Jesus’ return. He is going to talk about that in 2 Peter, chapter 3, verse 4 and following. Do you ever wish God would just come back and clean this place up? Yeah!
- Another precious and magnificent promise is the promise of a new Heaven and a new Earth in 2 Peter 3:13.
I’m ready for it to all be cleaned up. It just gets wearying, living here. But see, these Precious and Magnificent Promises, these are just a small sampling of them. He has given them to us. His great provision of these two things: Complete Spiritual Resources and Precious and Magnificent Promises.
Now, what is the goal of receiving these things? Remember, we received them when we trusted in Christ (past event) but the ramifications continue on. Why does He give these things to us? What is the goal? Well, it’s right there in verse 4. Notice he says, “He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that (here we go) by them you may become partakers of the divine nature.” In other words, the plan in receiving these things and being endowed with these things and being granted these things, is that His spiritual life would be reproduced in us. That is the reason why He granted us His Great Provision of these two things.
You know, you see Paul talking about this in Ephesians, chapter 3, verse 19. He says, The goal is that you may be filled up with all the fullness of God. The idea is that we grow and develop and utilize this great provision–the resources and the promises—so that we grow in Christ. And eventually what happens is, the life of Christ just oozes out of us.
Think about Peter, was he like that in his early years? No! But he grew and he developed. He realized the resources that he had been granted. He realized the precious and magnificent promises that he had been granted. And as you get later on in his life, the life of Christ is just oozing out of him. And the practical result of all of this, at the end of verse 4, is that we escape the corruption that is in the world by lust. The New Living Translation says, “the decadence of the world.” Do you ever feel that way? I mean this is a word that was used of something that was rotting. Sometimes, we just see that; we get a glimpse of things degrading in this world and it just goes whoosh…it seemingly rots away.
He is basically saying that the result of taking advantage of our Complete Spiritual Resources and the Precious and Magnificent Promises is that we will avoid the relational muck of the world, and there is a lot of that out there.
As we said, the message title is, ‘Something More???’ Do we need something more? As a way to apply the principles we’ve seen today, I want to talk about—as followers of Christ—two Life Steps, I think we can take, each one of us, coming out of this message.
The first one is to Deepen our awareness of God’s great provision. I have two tools that will help us in that regard. We are going to try to provide an opportunity for you to get your hands on these tools. The first tool is something I put together a few years ago called Who Am I Really? Forty truths. It starts out in this handout, and it says, “We are who God says we are, what God says about me right now: and then it has in here: Because of Jesus Christ I am Accepted. There are a number of verses cited. Because of Christ I am Secure, a number of verses. Because of Christ I am Significant, and a number of verses. So, that is one resource that you can get your hands on, that will help to deepen our awareness of His provision.
Then, also, we have the 33 Riches of Divine Grace—that I mentioned was so encouraging to me early in my life—from Lewis Sperry Chafer. You can get both of those, one of two ways: 1) You can go to brucehess.com and if you haven’t been to my website, I would encourage you to go. We are trying to populate it with my messages, and you can stream them, you can download them, you can read the transcriptions of them. Go to brucehess.com and under life perspectives, you’ll find these two tools will be there.
2) Or, you can go to wildwoodchurch.org/somethingmore, (those words should be all run together there, “somethingmore”) and you can get a hold of them. But that is one way to deepen our awareness of God’s Great Provision. For some of us, we just need to be refreshed. We just need a fresh perspective on that.
Two life steps: the first one is Deepen our awareness of God’s great provision. Then, the second one is to Be diligent to grow in our spiritual life. It is tragic to be born again and stay a spiritual baby. I did that for eight years of my life. This second life step, Be diligent to grow in our spiritual life is what we are actually going to look at next time in this series, when we look at verses 5-11 of 2 Peter, chapter 1.
Let’s just pray together. Father, we thank You again for the word of God. We thank You that it is real. It transforms our thinking, transforms our behavior, transforms our attitudes. We thank You for the incredible, incredible, total provision that You’ve given to us: Complete Spiritual Resources, and Precious and Magnificent Promises. May we learn more about them. May they make a difference in how we think, and how we choose to live our life, and we pray these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Questions for Reflection
2 Peter 1:1-4
1. Read 2 Peter 1:1-4 out loud.
2. Reflect back on your spiritual walk. Was there ever a period where you felt spiritually inferior? Where you felt more like a 2nd class Christian lacking the so-called spiritual experiences that others claimed to have? Elaborate.
3. What was happening in Peter’s life to spur him on to write 2 Peter?
4. Why would Peter be a good candidate to help mentor us when we’ve messed up spiritually and our attitude is deflated and discouraged? Reflect.
5. In 2 Peter 1:1, Peter states that our faith is of the “same kind,” as legitimate and valuable as those who like him were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ glory on the Mt. of Transfiguration. How can that be so?
6. Peter declares in vs. 3-4 that God has “granted us” (perfect tense; action in the past with ongoing results) two key provisions. What are those two? Explain.
7. Name two of God’s promises that are most precious to you.
8. The tools Bruce mentioned (Who am I Really?? & 33 Riches of Divine Grace) can be located at: brucehess.com (under Life Perspectives)
9. Give God praise for His Great Provision!
Who Am I Really?
Too often we can find ourselves feeling spiritually inferior and impoverished–like some sort of 2nd class Christian. We think that we need something more…more power, more experiences, more special blessings. In reality God calls us to live in light of who we already are. We are who God Says we are! Let’s look at what God says about me right now: [40 truths that excite!]
Who Am I Really?
Live in light of who you already are! We are who God says we are! What God says about me right now :
Because of Jesus Christ …
I Am Accepted
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. The debt against me has been fully canceled (Colossians 1:14, 2:14)
I have been redeemed through His blood and forgiven according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7)
I have been justified—declared righteous by God himself and at peace with Him (Romans 5:1)
I am a child of God…a son of God; God is my spiritual Father (John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 15; Galatians 3:26)
I was predestined to be adopted as God’s son through the kind intention of His will (Ephesians 1:5)
I am a fellow citizen of heaven with the rest of God’s family (Ephesians 2:19)
I was chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world and am holy and without blame before Him (Ephesians 1:4)
I am one of God’s chosen ones, dearly loved by Him (Colossians 3:12; 1 Thessalonians 1:4)
I have been freed from slavery to sin, fully free not to sin, but to live a new life (Romans 6:1-7, 11)
I have the freedom to come boldly before the throne of God to find mercy and grace in time of need (Hebrews 4:16)
I Am Secure
I died with Christ and have been raised up with Christ. My life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:1-3)
I have been rescued from Satan’s domain of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13)
I have been delivered from Satan’s power over my life (Colossians 1:13)
I am actually seated with Christ in Heaven (Ephesians 2:6)
I have been placed into Christ by God’s doing (1 Corinthians 1:30).
I have direct access to the Heavenly Father through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:18)
I may approach God with boldness, freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I have been bought with a price; I belong to God (I Corinthians 6:19,20)
I have been sealed for safekeeping by the Holy Spirit who is the down payment guaranteeing my inheritance (Ephesians1:13-14)
I am free forever from condemnation (Romans 8:1)
I am a recipient of eternal life….life that never ends (Romans 6:23)
I am assured that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I cannot be separated from the love of God (Romans 8:35f)
I Am Significant
I am the light of the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am a temple—a dwelling place of God. His Spirit and His life dwells in me (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19)
I am reconciled to God and am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18,19)
Christ Himself is in me (Colossians 1:27)
I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15:1,5)
I am a member of a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession (1 Peter 2:9,10)
I have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
I have been lavished with the grace of God (Ephesians 1:7-8)
I have been given everything necessary for living a godly life (2 Peter 1:3)
I have been made complete through my union with Christ (Colossians 2:10)
I am an integral part of the living temple that God is building (Ephesians 2:21)
I am one of God’s living stones, being built up into His spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5)
I am God’s workmanship—His handiwork—created in Him to do His work (Ephesians 2:10)
I have the privilege through my life of advertising God’s multifaceted wisdom to those in the angelic realm (Ephesians 3:10)
In ages to come God will continue to demonstrate the surpassing riches of His grace toward me (Ephesians 2:7)
His power within me is such that He is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all I can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)
Ultimately, I can do all things I’m called to do through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)
I am not the great “I Am” (Exodus 3:14; John 8:58), but by the grace of God, I am what I am! (1 Cor. 15:10) 😉
33 Riches of Divine Grace
I will never forget first hearing about how Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer emphasized that at the very moment of trusting Christ as our Rescuer–God instantaneously provided each of us with at least 33 Riches of Divine Grace, 33 stupendous works of God in our life. They follow in the list below:
33 Riches of Divine Grace
Lewis Sperry Chafer
1. We are in the eternal plan of God (foreknown, predestinated, elect, chosen & called)
1 Peter 1:2; Romans 8:29-30; Colossians 3:12
2. We are redeemed
3. We are reconciled
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
4. We are related to God through propitiation
1 John 2:2
5. We are forgiven all trespasses
6. We are conjoined to Christ
Romans 6:3-8; Colossians. 2:12
7. We are freed from the law
Romans 6:14, 7:6
8. We are Children of God (Born again, regenerated, sons of God, a new creation)
John 3:6; Titus 3:5; Galatians 3:26
9. We are adopted Ephesians 1:4-5
10. We are acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (made righteous, sanctified positionally, perfected forever)
Ephesians 1:6; 1 Peter 2:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Hebrews 10:14
11. We are justified
Romans 3:24,26; 5:1
12. We are brought near
13. We are delivered from the power of darkness
14. We are translated into the kingdom of the Son of His Love
Colossians 1:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 2 Peter 1:11
15. We are on the rock, Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 3:9-15
16. We are a gift from God the Father to Christ
17. We are circumcised in Christ
Ephesians 2:11; Colossians. 2:11
18. We are partakers of the Holy & Royal Priesthood
1 Peter 2:5,9; Revelation 1:6
19. We are a chosen generation, a holy nation, a peculiar people
1 Peter 2:9
20. We are heavenly citizens
Philippians 3:20; Ephesians 2:19
21. We are of the family & household of God Ephesians 2:19 Galatians 6:10
22. We are in the fellowship of the saints
23. We are a heavenly association (partners with Christ in life, partnership in position, partners
with Christ in service, partners with Christ in suffering, partners with Christ in prayer, etc.)
Ephesians 1:3,20; 2:6; 3:10; Colossians 3:1,4; 1 Corinthians 15:57-58; 3:9
Philippians. 1:29; 1 Peter 4:12-13; John 14:12-14
24. We have access to God (access to His Grace, access to the Father)
Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:8,18
25. We are within the much more care of God (objects of His love, of His grace, of His power, of His faithfulness, of His peace, of His intercession)
John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 1:19, 2:7-9; 4:7; Philippians 1:6; Hebrews 13:5;
1 Thessalonians. 5:24; John 14:27; Colossians 3:15; Romans 8:26, 34; Hebrews 7:25
26. We are His inheritance
Ephesians 1:18; John 17:22
27. We have an inheritance
1 Peter 1:14; Ephesians 1:14
28. We are light in the Lord
29. We are vitally united to the Father, Son & Holy Spirit
1 Thessalonians 1:1; Ephesians 4:6; Romans 8:1; John 14:20; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 2:12
30. We are blessed with the earnest or first-fruits of the Spirit
2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:14; Romans 8:23
31. We are glorified (as good as done) Romans 8:18, 30 Colossians 3:4
32. We are complete in Him
33. We possess every spiritual blessing
for more in depth explanation, see Systematic Theology, Lewis Sperry Chafer vol. III:234-265