************ Sermon on 2 Peter 1:2-3 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on August 16, 2020
2 Peter 1:1-3
2 Peter 1:2-3
"Everything We Need"
Do you remember what Ted Turner announced back in 1997? He announced a gift of one billion dollars to the United Nations. Do you think that is generous? Well, Warren Buffet has donated thirty seven billion dollars towards charity. And, Bill Gates has given over fifty billion dollars to charitable causes. I have not yet mentioned the top giver, the most generous giver. Who am I talking about? I am talking about God. Peter writes, "His divine power has given us everything we need" (2 Pet 1:3).
God is not like Jeff Bezos. Who is Jeff Bezos, you might ask? Jeff Bezos is the world’s richest man; he holds Amazon stock valued at about one hundred and thirty-seven billion dollars. Yet, he is known as a cheapskate when it comes to giving away money. God is not like Jeff Bezos. Listen to these texts:
(Ex 34:6) And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness,
(Lam 3:22-23) Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. (23) They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
[It doesn't say, "small is your faithfulness." "Great, great, is your faithfulness."]
(Jn 10:10) I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
[It doesn't say, "I have come that you might have a little bit of life." No. "Life to the full."]
(1 Cor 3:21-23) All things are yours, (22) whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future--all are yours, (23) and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.
Is God generous or is God like Jeff Bezos? God is so generous that we possess whatever God possesses. We possess the world; God made it for us. We possess spiritual life, eternal life, in Christ. We possess the future life and its rewards. We possess things present and things to come. We possess life and death, good and bad, pleasant and painful, joy and disappointment, health and sickness, rain and drought, hunger and plenty -- God gives it all to us to work together for our good. God is so great, so good, so generous, so plentiful, so abundant. He takes care of everything. It all comes from His fatherly hand.
I God's Power
A "His divine power has given us everything we need ..." (2 Pet 1:3). His divine power. What power is that? It is the power that called all of creation into being. The power that raised Jesus from the grave. The power that makes us alive who are dead in sin.
We see this power at work throughout the ministry of Jesus. For instance, power went out from Jesus to a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years and she was healed (Mk 5:30). Some men carried a paralytic on a mat and lowered the man through the tiles of the roof right in front of Jesus; by His power Jesus forgave the man and healed him (Lk 5:17).
B "His divine power has given us everything we need ..." (2 Pet 1:3). The Christian can never experience a power failure. Edison or PG&E can't turn off this power. That happened to us last night when our Air Conditioning was turned off. But they can't do this with the divine power we are plugged into.
II God's Gifts
A "His divine power has given us everything we need ..." (2 Pet 1:3).
Congregation, do you have all you need? A secularist or a materialist here might answer, "No, I need more. I want more." Impossible. Because in Christ you have everything you need. In fact, you have more than you need. That's why Paul can sing:
(Eph 1:3) Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.We have it all, my brothers and sisters. We have it all. Every spiritual blessing. Nothing is lacking. Nothing is missing. Whatever God has given, you can't add to it and you can't take away from it either.
B What do we need? What is it that the power of God so generously gives to His chosen ones? Notice how the generosity of God starts: with a precious faith, a faith in Jesus like that of the apostles (2 Pet 1:1). We looked at this gift of God last time.
Today, we see that God's generous gifts include grace and peace. Peter writes,
(2 Pet 1:2) Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.We live in grace. All of you know, or should know, what grace is. It is the free, unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor of God towards sinners in which He gives them full forgiveness in Christ forever.
As for peace, it is ours when we have grace. Peace is the result of grace. It is the state of blessing that flows out of our forgiveness because of Christ. The Old Testament word, the Hebrew word, is Shalom. Peace. At rest. Happiness. Joy.
C "Grace and peace be yours in abundance." Notice that word "abundance." Grace and peace is ours in unending, abundant, generous quantities. "My wish for you," says Peter, "is an ever-increasing, never ending, abundant quantity of grace and peace." A number of other Bible translations use the phrase "be multiplied to you." Multiply. That doesn't mean multiply by one -- because that is no increase at all. It means multiply by two, five, ten, even one hundred. More grace for every sin. More grace for every weakness. More grace for every failure to do good. More grace for every idle word. More grace for every mean thought. More grace for every wicked deed. And more peace too. More peace for every struggle and trial. More peace for every troubled soul. More peace for every temptation. More peace for every situation.
"Grace and peace be yours in abundance." What a generous God! Do you understand why God says to us what He said to Paul? "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Cor 12:9). What else do we need? What else can we need?
D We need a precious faith. God gives it to us. We need grace. God gives it to us. We need peace. God gives it to us. What else do we need? "His divine power has given us ... what? ... has given us everything we need for life and godliness" (2 Pet 1:3). Did you catch that? God give us "everything needed for life and godliness." Let me emphasize the word "everything." Everything.
We are sinners living in a sin-filled world, surrounded by temptation and evil. On our own, we stumble and fall as we try to live for God. Relying on ourselves we won't last for even a day. But God so generously gives us everything we need for our new life in Christ. God so generously gives us everything we need for godliness. The word for "godliness" points to religion, piety, reverence. God gives us everything we need for religion, piety, reverence. Everything we need to be a reverent, holy, pious, godly person. Nothing is missing, nothing is lacking, nothing more is needed.
We bought a present for one of the grandkids. I looked over the box it came in. "Batteries not included." Talk about a disappointed grandchild. They got a present they couldn't use. God does not operate that way. He gives us everything we need.
III God's Instrument
A How do we make use of God's wonderful and generous gifts? How do we make them ours?
(2 Pet 1:2) Grace and peace be yours in abundance [how?] through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.How do we make use of God's wonderful and generous gifts? How do we make them ours? Through our knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
(2 Pet 1:3) His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness [how?] through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
Let's go back, for a moment, to what I said last week. "Know" is a key word in Peter's letter. Peter uses some form of the word sixteen times. What do Christians need to know to fight false teachers? As we go through Peter's letter we are told four things: Savior (last week I used the phrase Saving Faith), Scripture, Satan, Sanctification.
B To make use of God's wonderful and generous gifts we need to know the Savior. Know God. Know Jesus. Peter, being a Jew, understood "know" in its Old Testament sense -- which uses the concept of knowing God over and over. For instance, Pharaoh is quoted as saying, "I do not know the Lord" (Ex 5:2). Judges 2 tells us of a generation "who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10). In another place we are told "the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD" (1 Sam 2:12). Through Isaiah, the Lord complains,
(Isa 1:3) The ox knows his master, the donkey his owner's manger, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.And, Hosea speaks of a time when the people will acknowledge the LORD (Hos 2:20).
C We don't just know the truth about God. We know God Himself. To know means to know intimately. To know fully. To have a real, complete, full, thorough knowledge. A saving knowledge. You cannot be a Christian unless you know Jesus, unless you have a relationship with Jesus.
So, know Jesus. Know God. Without this knowledge there is what? There is no grace. No peace. No salvation. No faith. No godliness. No life. But with this knowledge there is what? Not just grace and peace, but grace and peace in abundance, grace and peace multiplied. And, there is everything we need for life and godliness.
Do you know what is the worst thing any person can ever hear? You don't want Jesus to say to you, "'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
D Do you remember what I said last week about those who received a precious faith? I said Peter used an unusual word for "receive." It means chosen to receive. That is, chosen by God to receive the gift of faith. That's true for all of God's good and precious and generous gifts. Verse 3: "through our knowledge of him [who what?] who called us." Called us. You can't know God, you can't know Jesus, unless God has called you.
We can't stop there. Notice what Peter says next: "by his own glory and goodness" (2 Pet 1:3). He called us "by his own glory and goodness." How does God call us? How does God call you? How does God call me? By His glory and excellence.
A Bible Study I attend is going through the Gospel of John. John doesn't just present Christ. He presents the miracles of Christ, miracle after amazing miracle. He presents the amazing words of Jesus, the seven glorious "I AM" statements, the high priestly prayer of Jesus. And then at the end of his gospel he says,
(Jn 20:31) But these are written [why? for what reason?] that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.John presents the glory and excellence of Jesus so we may believe. That's what Peter is talking about.
Who is the greatest giver? Not Ted Turner, Warren Buffet, or Bill Gates. The greatest giver is God.
God has given us everything we need. So, we have the confidence we will never lack anything we need for life and godliness. And, here is God's guarantee. Listen to what Paul writes:
(Rom 8:32) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?If God gave Jesus -- which is the ultimate gift -- then we can be assured He will give everything else we need as well.
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