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2 Peter 1:1-11

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The Foundation of Grace

Illus: Paper Champions. Self destruct.
The greatest threat to the the church.
If we go after false doctrine, compromise the gospel or neglect obeying the commands of Jesus we can assure that we will fail at our mission.

1. We must find our identity in grace.

Illus: what do we do does not equal who we are. Where we are born does not equal who we are. Are economic background does not equal who we are.
Peter= a slave of Jesus Christ.
Peter was under the authority of Jesus Christ, that he submitted to his lordship, and that he had no inherent authority.
Slave---Term also used for Abraham, Moses, Paul and others who were privileged to be used to bring about God's plan. The term, then, not only suggests humility but the honor of serving Jesus Christ.
Peter is also an apostle.
He wrote as a commissioned slave of Jesus Christ and his appointed apostle. He wrote authoritatively to a church threatened by false teachers.
Received faith. Faith is an amazing gift.
EQUAL--the gospel is the great equalizer. All believers of all places, classes, and ethnic backgrounds share the same blessings.
Saving righteousness of Jesus. It is only though Jesus that we have a relationship with the living God.
Peace--we have peace with God, our progress is dependent on Him.
Grace and peace are multiplied through knowing God and Jesus Christ our Lord. Such knowledge of God is personal and relational, but it also involves intellectual content.Biblical writers never divorce the head and the heart in terms of spiritual growth. Grace and peace abound when believers know more about God and come to know God in a deeper way in the crucible of experience.
Some of the central themes of the letter appear in the greeting: the centrality of faith in the Christian life, the saving righteousness of God, the primacy of Jesus Christ, and the importance of knowing God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, the themes of grace and knowledge form an inclusio since the letter ends with an admonition to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (3:18).
Verse 3 explains the resources of verse to that believers have through knowing God. Those who know God have everything they need for life and godliness.
Peter did not fall prey to moralism or synergism. The call to godliness is rooted in and secured by God's grace; his gracious power supplies what he demands.
When God calls or speaks, it is so, as when he said, “Let there be light” (). The call of Christ, then, is effective and performative.
The tension of the already-not-yet. We have salvation now but now fully have we been rescued from our sin.
Eternal life is not merely the experience of bliss but also involves transformation, so that believers are morally perfected and made like God.
Godliness does not come from our own strengths and work. Everything needed for eternal life is mediated through the knowledge of the Christ, who calls believers to himself.
Believers will be morally transformed, but the foundation for their transformation is God's grace.
It is when the Lord comes, after all, that believers will experience fully likeness to Christ ().
If there is no future coming of Christ, their salvation does not include the promise of likeness to God, and the gospel is a sham.
Believers will share in the divine nature in that they will be morally perfected; they will share in the moral excellence that belongs to God (1:3).Believers will “participate” (koinnoi) in the divine nature, but they will not become gods. Peter maintained that believers will share in the moral qualities of Christ.
God has given saving promises to his people, so that they will become like God. They will become like God and are becoming like God because they have escaped “the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
The world is not corrupt, our desires are.

2. We must grow in grace.

Verses 5–7 summon the readers to a life of virtue, but vv. 3–4 remind us that a life of godliness is rooted in and dependent upon God's grace. Believers should live in a way that pleases God because Christ has given them everything they need for life and godliness.
The indicative of God's gift precedes and undergirds the imperative that calls for human exertion.
8--we should not read them as building on each other.
However, It does seem significant that the chain begins with faith and ends with love. Faith is the root of all the virtues, and love is the goal and climax of the Christian life.
Here we see that the imperative stands on the indicative. Christ has given believers everything to be godly, and yet believers must pursue godliness.
The chain climaxes with Christian love, the supreme evidence that one is a believer. Paul said love is the goal of Christian instruction (). It is the most excellent way (), the virtue that sums up all other virtues (). Anyone who loves will possess the other qualities Peter mentioned. The false teachers are lacking in faith and love and hence are not genuine believers at all.

3. We must not abuse grace.

If the virtues listed in vv. 5–7 are abounding in the lives of believers, their knowledge of Jesus Christ is fruitful and effective (v. 8). On the other hand, if these qualities are lacking, such persons are blind, and they have forgotten about their forgiveness of sins (v. 9).
Believers are enjoined to confirm their calling and election by practicing the virtues described in vv. 5–7. It is only by practicing these virtues that the readers will avoid stumbling. That is, the readers will escape apostasy if they put into practice such godly qualities.
Peter made the point negatively. It could be restated as follows: When the virtues both exist and abound in believers, believers are effective and fruitful with respect to their knowledge of Christ.
Being without fruit reminds us of the parable of the soils, where the seed sown among thorns is unfruitful because it is choked by the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of money (; cf. and by contrast ).
If the virtues (tauta) are lacking, such people are “blind” (tuphlos).
The terminology used here is rooted in the cultic language of the Old Testament (; ; ; cf. ; ). Peter observed that those who are not practicing these virtues have forgotten their baptism and their forgiveness of sins. In other words, they are not living as forgiven sinners. They are behaving like unconverted people. In Peter's theology the priority of grace is maintained since forgiveness of sins comes first, and a godly life is evidence that they are truly forgiven.
Believers confirm their calling and election by concretely practicing the virtues detailed in vv. 5–7.
Believers who confirm their call and election by living in a godly manner will not “stumble,” that is, they will not forsake God, abandon him, and commit apostasy.
Peter was not concerned here about rewards but whether people will enter the kingdom at all. He insisted that people cannot enter it without living in a godly way, but this is not salvation by works but salvation with works.
Furthermore, believers will have a “rich welcome,” and the word “rich” (plousis) indicates that the eschatological reward is gracious, that believers receive much more than they ever deserved.
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