Growth in Christ
Based in 2 Peter 1
This is a message to those that have received a faith of the same kind as ours. Received is “lagchano” in the greek which means to obtain by casting lots. Faith comes from the greek word “pistis” which carries the meaning to be persuaded or come to trust and is always a gift from God and not something that can be produced by us. So Peter is setting the stage that this message is for those that have believed the message of Christ, put their trust in Him, thereby receiving the gift of faith to which God has allotted a measure of for every believer (Romans 12:3). -- 3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.
The focus is on what our loving Father gives to us which should produce a deep humility within us and compel us to greater depths of surrender of our own thoughts and desires and stir up an ongoing desire to be with Christ in every moment of our daily lives.
Next Peter says, “grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.” The first wonderful thing to realize is that Jesus is grace! (Titus 2:11) -- For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men… We are also to be at peace or at rest in Him. This is the opposite of working and striving to achieve and make something happen. We are to be full of Christ Jesus and the peace of His nature. These things are not obtained from striving and work but from walking in intimacy of life with Him. We are not to fit Him into our life but invite Him into every little thought and moment of all that we are.
Notice he says grace and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus. This knowledge is expressed in the greek word “epignosis” and means to acknowledge and carries the idea of perceiving and discerning. This is not talking about head knowledge or simply learning information about someone or something. This is talking about intimacy of life with our Father. As our inner life is full and overflowing in richness of relationship with Him is where grace and peace are nurtured and flourish. This environment of relationship is like a beautiful garden with wonderfully rich soil that is allowing the development of His gifts to us. These gifts only reach their full and designed potential when we live in Him and when we truly know Him and not just know about Him.
- Jesus Christ is grace
- Grace is a gift
- Grace is a fountain (drink deeply)
- Grace gives power & motivation to live in Christ
- Grace reveals God’s glory & excellence
- Grace reveals God’s character & man’s sinfulness
We know that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness. So, here we are again where our loving Father is still giving wonderful gifts to us.
Grace -- Peace – Faith – Salvation -- ….and now His divine (dunamis / miraculous) power is giving us everything for life and godliness.
WHAT A WONDERFUL & LOVING FATHER !!!
It is important to note that these things are given through or on account of the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. The word through here is the Greek work “dia” which signifies the channel of an act. Again, knowledge here is epignosis which is perceiving and discerning.
As we are walking in this deep and rich intimacy of moment by moment life with Him, there is this big “spiritual pipe” (as an illustration) where His own glory and excellence is flowing toward us as a call and we are to have a natural response of ongoing honor and praise and worship. This channel / dia / “spiritual pipe” action produces (Ephesians 3:20) level fruit and life. From this intimate and deep exchange of relationship with our Father, flows the gifts of His wonderful nature.
In the midst of this life in Him we discover the “precious and magnificent promises” that have also been given by Him for the purpose that we may become partakers of the divine nature. Partakers here is the greek word “koinonia” which paints the picture of partnership, participation, social intercourse, distribution and fellowship. Nature is the Greek word “phusis” which means growth by germination or expansion through natural production.
We are to move on, to separate, to break away from corruption that is in the world powered by lust. Being partakers of the divine nature produces a spirit filled expansion that not only is a transformative blessing in our inner lives but more importantly produces a germination process as we fellowship in Christ with one another that expands the Kingdom of God all around us just like a forest fire!
Up to this point has been all about the wonderful, supernatural gifts of God by His divine power, and now in verse 5, we are switching gears a bit. God has given a wonderful path for us to build upon a supernatural foundation. That’s right, now we have an even more active role moving forward.
Peter has blown our socks off with this amazing life and Kingdom God has invited us into and is now inviting us to go a little further. We are to apply or bring alongside in our faith these additional life giving traits. So, all the free gifts of God that we have talked about; those are still in full operation and we are walking those out with great earnestness in our moment to moment lives. Now, we are to bring in, to introduce these other traits right alongside what we are already doing so they can fit in and work together as God intends.
The greek word to describe this whole process is only used one time in the entire new testament. “Pareisphero” comes from “para” which means close beside and “eisphero” which means bring deeply into. This illustrates a very personal involvement and energy from us in this whole process that God our Father is calling us into.
These traits of virtue (moral excellence), knowledge (head knowledge), self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and (agape) love are brought in to be an intimate and integral part of the supernatural gifts of God already at work within us.
Within this process is a beautiful portrait of us exercising:
- Nurturing care
- Cheerful & hopeful endurance
- Devoted to one another
- Giving preference to each other
- Loving with a dear and charitable love
Peter says if these qualities are yours and increasing that we will not be useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge (intimate discerning relationship) of our Lord Jesus Christ. That means we walk this entire process out in our lives each and every day and our relationship with God will be alive and overflowing with supernatural life as we are fully surrendered and longing for His preference and will. After all, (1 John 5:4) illustrates this very truth -- 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
We are now ending this where we began, our gift of faith from Him. As this faith, which is the Greek word “pistis” meaning to be persuaded or come to trust, is embraced in our life, then our desire is to know what He prefers. So let us seek Him in the entirety of this truth and process. (Romans 10:17) says, “17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” By this we know faith comes as Christ (the living word) speaks His rhema within us. As we are receptive, prepared daily and yielded He will birth His revelation within us and God’s guarantee is that His revelation will come to pass. Now, let us go and do it!