In the next three posts, I would like to explore ways to grow our faith by looking at several verses from the first chapter of 2 Peter.
[The three posts mentioned by the author will be spaced out between the posts by Bryan Reynolds on the Messianic Psalms. Please “stay tuned” for these informative and encouraging posts. Ed.]
I am what you might call a fanatical learner. I love to acquire knowledge about almost anything and my curiosity about a new subject is easily stirred. My library and tool bench are a testament to the many trails I have chased down, often to the point of frustration when I cannot quite grasp all I desire on a subject. It seems my life’s path has been paved on a roadbed of constant learning, leading to career advancement and a host of interesting pursuits, but mixed with the fear of not knowing enough and possibly being left behind in the race to succeed.
In short, I have found no real peace in all the knowledge I have acquired in the pursuit of worldly things.
The real trouble is, my breadth of interests all too often leads to a lack of focus on the things of Christ. Every so often I must remind myself to narrow my scope and set my full attention on those things that are most necessary. Real contentment eludes me as my attention is drawn further from occupation with the Lord Jesus, no matter what else I may learn along the way.
If I have learned anything through this process it is that real and lasting peace simply cannot be found in the knowledge and wisdom of this world and that it is pointless to look for it there. But, without a doubt, we can be sure scripture contains the key and essential guidance for the pursuit of this peace that can seem so difficult to hold onto.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Pet. 1:3-4)
What blessed assurance there is that grace and peace will be increased and amplified in us simply through knowing more about our precious Savior!
This passage shows us the pathway for a truly happy life and for overcoming the corruption of this world that can so burden the Christian heart and harm our walk of faith. It comes through divine power granted to us through faith in Christ. It is through knowledge of Him that we are given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” By this we are granted not only life, but everything necessary to live a godly life that results in peace – no matter the storms of life. There can be no other result if we understand all that we possess through our relationship with Him, all the “precious and very great promises” delivered to us through this divine power.
Life is what is necessary for any spiritual existence, and praise God that Jesus Christ has gained for us eternal life. This is a reality that should carry our thoughts far beyond the world we live in now. If we are confident in Him to provide, maintain and strengthen that life for us, and through this confidence wipe away any fears that might enter our thoughts due to our own failings, we will have a solid measure of peace with which to move forward in our journey.
Godliness will then be the natural outflow of the knowledge of this life. We will demonstrate this through practical Christian living, interests, and behavior that reflect the character of God. The things of this world – its entertainments, attractions, politics, and philosophies – will no longer seduce our thoughts and steal our time. We will no longer respond to the voice of the stranger (John 10:5), listening only for that of our Great Shepherd. And we will reject attempts to introduce the wisdom of this world into the Church, seeing no value in knowledge that only draws us away from Christ.
To this end, we must be on guard and realize that not all that passes for Christian ministry will advance our knowledge of the Lord. Much ministry today is self-centered, not Christ-centered. There is no end of teachings to make us better husbands, wives, and parents or to help us overcome the burdens of painful pasts, financial debt, and addictions of all sorts. All of these can have a place, but if our top priority does not involve gaining knowledge of the person of Jesus Christ, all else will be built on a crumbling foundation.