Everything We Need – 2 Peter 1:3-4
by Dionne Stratton
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Author’s note: This message is the heart of every message God ever writes through me. This is my passion: I long to grab people by the hand and say, “Come with me! Draw closer to your God! What are you doing way out there?!? There is so much more that He wants for you!” This is not my message but His. I believe that in these last days He is drawing people to Him self like never before and I am honored to be spoken through. May His Word and His Holy Spirit change you like never before. Amen.
Everything We Need – 2 Peter 1:3-4
2 Peter 1:3-4 – “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness – through which He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”
Power – authority, control, influence, supremacy, might, force, energy, ability
Everything – all, the whole of it, with nothing left out
Need – require, must have, that which is essential, basic, and necessary
Everything We Need
God has already given us all we need to live a godly life – a life of holiness and purity – a being worthy of His calling and fruitful in good deeds done in faith (2 Thessalonians 1:11). He gave us the ability to tap into His unlimited power by giving us His Holy Spirit who lives in us. He is called the “Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)” Because He lives in us we can “do all things through Christ who strengthens (Philippians 4:13)” us. Unfortunately, though we know that we are living below the level we should be, most of us feel powerless to change that. Sure Scripture says, “God is at work in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him (Philippians 2:13)”, but how do we access that power? Scripture says, “if any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God who gives generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5)” and, “How much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask? (Luke 11:13)”. While it is basically universally believed by the church that a new believer receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit upon the moment of genuine salvation – it is possible to have the indwelling presence without receiving the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” or receiving the empowering of the Holy Spirit. In particular, God will not even bother empowering us while we think that we can do it on our own. Scripture says, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5)”. That grace is the unmerited favor of Spirit empowered living.
Humble or Proud?
Let’s take a brief look at the life of Uzziah. Scripture says, “Uzziah was sixteen years old when he became king…he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord…as long as he sought the Lord, God gave him success. (2 Chronicles 26:1-5)”. At seventeen, Uzziah recognized that he could not be a good king on his own and so he was humble and sought help from God and so God blessed him. But look at what happens later: “after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God… and king Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died (2 Chronicles 26:16-21)”. God is very protective of His glory. Scripture says, “I am the Lord, that is My Name. I will not give my glory to another (Isaiah 42:8)”. As long as we think that we can and strive to do anything on our own, God will not step in to help. We must realize our need for “His divine power” and humble ourselves to receive it. Even Paul had to learn this lesson; “…but He (the Lord) said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me… for when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). Paul also said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10)”.
You Can’t do it without God
“Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit – but you can’t do it without Me (John 15:5)”. Take a close, careful, and introspective look at the fruit of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23)”. How much of this kind of fruit have you managed to produce on your own, in your own strength? You may say, “But I have asked for the empowering of the Holy Spirit.” If so, consider these two questions; “What was your heart deep motive in asking?” and, “Did you ask in faith – being confident that you were heard and answered?” Scripture says, “you don’t have because you don’t ask, or when you do ask it’s with wrong motives and according to your own desires (James 4:3)”. You wanted freedom from an addiction or bad habit because it would make your life easier and make you look good, but God will not be used like that. The Lord, “searches hearts and minds (Jeremiah 17:10, Revelation 2:23)”, He knows your real motives even if you have fooled yourself.
Seek First His Kingdom
Living for God, to be totally pleasing to Him in every way and for His glory, should be our one and essential goal in life – everything else must come out of this desire. Scripture says, “seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you (Matthew 6:33)”. Jesus here is primarily referring to the fact that if we live for God we can be sure that He will take care of all our physical needs - but how much more does that apply to the things of the Spirit!?! Since God will “supply all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19)” we can be sure that that includes all of our needs; physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Scripture says, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all you need, you will abound in every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8)”. Again, the context of this passage specifically deals with giving and therefore primarily refers to physical needs, but remember that Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life in all its fullness (John 10:10)”. We all know that life us about more than merely having your physical needs met, “Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)”. But, “all things are yours whether… the world or life or death or the present or the future – all are yours and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s (1 Corinthians 3:21-23)”. For God, “has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.. to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us in the one He loves (Ephesians 1:3-6)”.
Ask in Faith
If living to please God for His glory is your true motive then make sure that you are asking in faith. Jesus says, “Whatever you ask for, believe that you have received it and you shall have it (Mark 11:24)”. Scripture also says that we are to ask in faith and not doubt, “That person (the one who doubts) should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord (James 1:6-7)”. We can have confidence and faith in what we ask if we ask in line with His will. Scripture says, “this is the confidence that we have in approaching God that id we ask according to His will He hears us – and if we know that He hears us then we know that we have what we asked of Him (1 John 5:14-15)”. But you say, “How do I know if I’m asking in line with His will?” Scripture is God’s will revealed. Know it and you will know His will. Besides that, just ask yourself these question: “Does it bring glory to God or me?” and “Does it enable His people (yourself or someone else) to better serve Him?” if the answer is yes, never doubt that God delights to answer such prayers when asked in faith. God does not want you to waste your time, your resources, your life. Truly living for God means living a life without regrets.
All the Fullness of God
God desires that “out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. That you may be rooted and grounded in love and have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses all understanding – that you may be filled with all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:16-19)”. We should be able to say in the end with Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7)”. God will help us to do this as well as “immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine according to His power which is at work in us (Ephesians 3:20)”. But we must let Him do it. We must be willing to be emptied of everything else (including ourselves and our desires) if we are to “be filled with all the fullness of God”. None of this can be done in the flesh but only by God’s Holy Spirit. As Scripture says, “Not by might nor by power but by My Spirit, says the Lord (Zechariah 4:6)” and “After having been born again by the Spirit are you now trying to be perfect through your own human effort? How ridiculous! (Galatians 3:3)”.
His Divine Power
So, do you truly want to live the life He’s called you to (Ephesians 4:1)? Or are you content to have “a form of godliness but denying its power (2 Timothy 3:5)”? Be careful, for Scripture says that such people “are loaded down with sins and swayed by all kinds of evil desires, always learning but never able to acknowledge (by living out) the truth (2 Timothy 3:6-7)”. God gives us His divine power first of all through the personal and experiential knowledge of Jesus as savior and Lord. Without saving faith in Jesus you are “still dead in your transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1)”. But through faith in Him, according to all of His “great and precious promises” recorded for us in His Word, we can by that faith and by His grace “participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world… (2 Peter 1:3-4)”. This is the point of life in Christ, this is salvation – not merely salvation from the punishment and consequence of our sins, but also freedom from the tyranny of sin in our fallen nature and from the dominion of Satan who is “the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)”.
Slave or Free?
Scripture says, “Don’t you know that you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, (if) you have some to obey from your heart the Word to which you profess your allegiance (then) you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness… just as you used to offer yourselves as slaves to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer yourselves as slaves to righteousness… When you were slaves to sin… what benefit did you reap…? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:15-23)”. You can be slaves to sin or to God, but true freedom is only found in Jesus for He says, “those whom the Son sets free are really free (John 8:36)”. This is the life found in His Holy Spirit – for, “where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17)”.
Crucified with Christ
Our freedom from sin comes from our union with Christ in His death and resurrection that we might say with Paul, “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world (Galatians 6:14)”, and “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Galatians 2:20)”. This whole thing is symbolized by baptism. Scripture says, “We were therefore buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life… for we know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin – because anyone who has died has been set free from sin… the death He (Christ) died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus (Romans 6:3-11).” For believers, being dead to sin should be an undisputed fact, but too often it is a fact that is not taught and unfortunately as Scripture says, “My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6)”. You cannot live and walk in the truth if you don’t know the truth. Jesus said, “if you obey My teachings you are really My disciples. You will know the truth and the truth will set you free (John 8:31-32)”.
Living in Faith
Being “crucified with Christ” and “dead to sin” is an established promise of Scripture; as such, it is to be believed, embraced, and finally lived out by the empowering of the Holy Spirit through faith – real faith is, “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1)”. Faith is necessary to living a godly life because, “without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)”. We have each been given a “measure of faith” (Romans 12:3) which we are to develop by studying, following, and trusting in God’s Word; for Scripture says, “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17)”. Therefore we are to count – consider, reckon – ourselves to be “dead to sin but alive to God”. If we would only embrace that truth and rely on God to make it a vibrant reality in our lives – we would be in awe at the results in our lives and others thus giving God the glory He deserves. Scripture says that God’s Word will “not return to (Him) void but will accomplish the purpose for which (He) sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)”. Let us therefore “not receive the grace of God in vain (2 Corinthians 6:1)” but let us receive the fullness of His grace – not just enough to get us through the rough spots of life and get us into heaven – He wants so much more for us than that. But let us receive with open hearts “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) and like the fertile soil may we “produce one hundred times what was sown (Luke 8:8)”. Let each of us do God proud that He may say to us, “well done” (Matt. 25:21).
Point to Ponder
Have you taken the necessary first step by putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins? This is the first and most important thing that God asks you to do: “What God wants you to do is believe in the One He sent (John 6:29)”. If you have done this, then make sure that you have also been baptized. It is a powerful symbol and will help you to grasp the truth of your unity with Christ in His death and resurrection. Next, get to know the Scriptures and all the “great and precious promises” contained in them. They are for you and you can claim every single one. Every description of the believers in Christ is also true of you and God desires to see it all manifested in your life for God is, “no respecter of persons” (Deuteronomy 10:17, Galatians 2:6). Ask Him to change you, embracing His Word in faith, and get ready to see yourself change – expect it. It is to God’s glory that you “bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Refuse to live under sin anymore for “it desires to rule over you, but you must master it (Genesis 4:7)”, and God will help you.
Let’s pray, “God of heaven and earth, thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your Son to die for us (John 3:16) that we might be forgiven and cleansed – brought into relationship with You. We have confessed our sins before You and believe that each of us in “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17) in Christ. We believe Your Word and embrace the truth that we have been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20) and have been raised to newness of life (Romans 6:4) with a new heart indwelt by Your precious Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-27). And now we ask with all faith and certainty, knowing that since we are asking in line with Your will that You hear us and answer us (1 John 5:14-15), we ask for the empowerment of Your Spirit that in knowing and claiming Your Word we do indeed have everything that we need for life and godliness through Your great and precious promises. Help us to empty ourselves that we may be filled full of You (Ephesians 3:19) and just as You have won the victory and given us the victory over sin – help us to walk in that victory. Lord, we want to live in obedience, righteousness, and holiness – to Your glory. We know that this is the very thing that You have desired to work in us. Thank You for not giving up on us. We commit ourselves to You right now – to live in absolute surrender to You every day that we may truly experience the abundant life (John 10:10) that You have promised us. Thank You for all that You have done, are doing, and will do – for us, in us, and through us. May Your Name be greatly praised forever! Amen.”
“And now, to Him who is able to keep you from falling and present you faultless before the presence of His glory – with exceeding joy – to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power, and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, through all generations, forever and ever! Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)”
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