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Gospel Benefits

Gospel Benefits

2 Peter 1:1-4

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


Application

  • What was your main takeaway from the sermon?
  • Did the Holy Spirit lead you into any situations this week where you had an opportunity to put your takeaway(s) into practice?
  • What impact did those opportunities have on you spiritually?

Discussion Questions:

  • According to this passage, we have a faith like that of Peter. How should that truth inspire you?
  • What does it mean that we have everything we need for a godly life? Why is this truth so hard to believe?
  • Peter says we can grow in grace and peace through the ‘knowledge’ of Jesus. How does the Bible use the word “knowledge” and how can you pursue that kind of understanding?
  • What are the benefits of the great and precious promises? How can we better utilize them?
  • How does the gospel help you escape the evil desires of this world? How does it work right now and what will the outcome be when the Lord returns?

Transcript

5/19/2024 Your Will Be Done

*This is a transcript from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.

All right, we are going to be in two Peter this morning. The Bibles that we have here. Second Peter, begins on page 1051. 1051. So I’m going to read the first four verses of two Peter, and then we’ll pray and we’ll get to work.

Second Peter, chapter one, starting in verse one. It reads like this.

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who, through the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ, have received a faith as precious as ours. Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. Through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these, he has given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Let’s pray. Lord, we’re asking now, as we’ve opened your word, we’re praying that by your spirit, through your word, you would speak to us. We’re praying that you would help us to know what it looks like to live faithfully unto you. So we pray for your help, and we ask these things in the name of our savior. Amen. Amen.

I want you to imagine an environment where Christianity is looked on with suspicion, negativity. I want you to imagine a situation where people have a prejudice against Christianity. And, in fact, imagine an environment where there are specific people groups who have the status and the ability to mistreat christians, and there’s no repercussions for that. In fact, in some ways, it’s celebrated. Imagine an environment where the, the government is normalizing the persecution of christians, where it is becoming more and more prevalent and more and more celebrated when christians are mistreated. I want you to imagine as well, that there aren’t just situations outside of the people of God that are a threat, but imagine that there is an environment in which false teachers are telling people things about God that simply are not true.

And their platform is growing because the messaging that they have is enticing and appealing to so many different people, so they have greater and greater influence within the church, and it’s creating more and more trouble for the people of God. What I’m describing is the environment that Peter writes his letters into. I’m describing that first century environment, and I’m describing the different concerns for which he wrote. In the first letter that he wrote, he was addressing persecution and the difficulty of being faithful to God in the midst of increasing persecution. And in this letter, he’s writing to tell the scattered church that there is false teaching that is wreaking havoc on the people of God.

And we need to be aware both of the false teachers and the things that they are communicating to us and the damage that that is doing. Now, all of those themes were things that he was addressing. And as I’ve considered it, they feel important to me today that the stuff that he was dealing with are things that we are now facing as well. Now, obviously, the experience of Christianity in our environment is not the same. Like, I’m not trying to draw direct parallels here, but I do think that Christianity is becoming less and less appreciated in our society at large.

And just one study that was done basically said a while ago, if I were to say that I was a pastor, that would be met with approval, that a lot of people would be like, oh, okay, that’s great that you do that. But the studies are showing now that if I tell someone I’m a pastor, they look at me and they’re like, I bet you’re shady, right? I bet you’re a sketchy dude. You’re probably doing something weird. And that’s just indicative of where we’re at now as a society.

And then the false teaching piece, I mean, this one is the one that is very, very surprising to me that when I talk to most believers, false teaching is a category they don’t consider very much at all. It’s not something that they’re concerned about. It’s not something that they’re well informed on. And it’s something that they don’t even have a radar to be able to discern when something is inaccurate. And so this false teaching piece, I mean, obviously they dealt with it in the first century, but it is alive and well today.

And when I look out on the horizon of christian teaching and the things that are out there, I see this as being a very important thing for us to consider as a church. Would we know what constitutes false teaching? Would we be able to discern when people are leading us astray? And I’m not sure we’re there yet. So this series is going through the book of two.

Peter. What I proposed as a subtitle was simply living faithfully when the world is weird, right? And that’s where we’re at. Like, how do we live faithfully when all these different pressures are coming at us? What is our responsibility?

I know we want to fix the world. We want to change the world. But I think that if you read the Bible, what you find is the main thing to be done is for us to change ourselves. We have to be a holy people of God, and that will give us the opportunity to influence. But we need to know what is required of us.

That’s what this series is aimed at doing. So as we look here at this opening address, what we find is Peter introducing himself and his audience and the themes to which he’s writing. And he writes a letter and it’s like a normal letter. So he says who he is and who he’s writing to. And then he has kind of the nicety in there.

Grace and peace to you and abundance, which is our equivalent. You know, when we’re doing an email, we’re like, hope you’re doing well. And you might just think this is kind of a nicety. But really, in these opening verses, he’s introducing all the things he’s planning to address and he’s giving us these kind of big picture ideas that he will expand upon throughout the letter. So let’s look at this under two headings.

The first is in the gospel, you have certain things. So what you have, what you have, what God has given to you as a believer, and then secondly, what that can do for you, so what you have in the gospel, and then what that will do to us if we apply it by faith. So let’s get to work.

WHAT YOU HAVE

First off, you have faith. Look at verse one.

Halfway through it, it starts to say this to those who, through the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ, have received a faith as precious as ours. That is surprising. It’s meant to be surprising. I remember when it landed on me for the first time. I had read over it multiple times, but there was a moment where I got an email from a ministry that I followed.

And I was reading the email and it was talking about this particular verse, and it just overwhelmed me. I remember having to sit down and I think I just kind of put my hand in my face, in my hands, and I was like, are you kidding me? Like, this is what I have. Because what Peter is saying here is that you have a faith. But notice how he compares it.

He says, you have a faith as precious as ours. Peter’s writing to this scattered church all over the place, and he’s looking at these normal people and he says, what you have is like, what I have, the faith that you have is as precious as mine. And you start to think about what that means for you, and you’re like, that can’t be right. We’re talking about Peter, right? He’s the dude that got out of the boat and walked on water.

He took a stroll on top of a lake. That’s not on my resume. That’s not something I can claim. Like, yeah, I have this incredible faith. I did things like that.

He’s the one who professed Christ as Lord and was renamed. He has all these different personal experiences of his faith that are exceptional. And he says, you have what I have. We have solidarity. You have a faith that is as precious as ours.

You share with him. You have a faith that is like his.

We might be thinking, that can’t be right, Cor. That can’t be the way that he intends this to come across. But there was a teaching that Tim Keller did that I thought was really, really helpful. He had a clever illustration, and I want to share it with you because it helps us to recognize why we would be able to say anything like this. And what Keller was pointing out, that what ultimately matters about your faith is not the quality of it, but rather the object of it.

Now, obviously, quality is important. Jesus taught that there were people who had great faith, and he commended them for that. But Keller gives this point that you, what you’re placing your faith in is really the thing that ultimately matters. And he gave this illustration. He said, remember when the people of God were rescued out of Egypt?

And they depart from Egypt, and they’re cruising out into the desert wilderness, and then they get to this Red Sea, and Pharaoh changes his mind. He says, I should not have let this whole workforce go. So he sends his army out and all their chariots, and he’s chasing them down. And the people of God then are standing there on the coast, land there of the Red Sea. They’re standing there.

They’ve got nowhere to go. And this army is bearing down on them, and they’re not equipped for this. They’re not ready to fight. They don’t have everyone in a situation where they could fight back against them. So they feel like, oh, great, we’re just going to die here.

And God essentially says, watch and wait, and I will deliver you. And God splits the red sea, and the water opens up. And the Bible tells us that the people were able to walk across on dry ground. Okay, the people of God go through the Red Sea. You can read about that.

That’s in the Bible. And here’s what Keller said. And this is not in the Bible, but I think it’s something that we can connect with because of human experience and just our observation of people. He said, if you were to think about how people walked across. There’s probably a variety of different experiences.

Some people are wired. They have a temperament where they’re naturally confident, and they have included, they also would have spiritual gifting of faith. So they might see the sea open up and go, yeah, baby, this is my God. And start walking in. And they’re kind of looking around like, oh, yeah, look at this.

Maybe they even turn around, do one of these, like, haha. And they have this confident face. But then there are some people, you can imagine who would be walking in there and they’d be looking around like, is this going to work? And they might be walking in wondering, I might get halfway in there and all of this comes crashing down on my head and it’s game over. And there was probably some people who didn’t have this confident faith in that moment, but nonetheless, they’re taking these steps of faith, walking through the red sea there, led by God himself.

And what Keller’s pointing out is they all got across, they all made it across. And there wasn’t a comparison between those who were bold and those who were timid, because what mattered ultimately was what God was doing. So when we look at our faith, and you might think, yeah, I’m no Peter, I don’t have that audacious faith like he has. What we need to be reminded of is the object of our faith is what is most significant, the faith that we have and what God is doing. That’s where we place the weight, that’s where we place the emphasis.

So when Peter says, you have a faith that is as precious as ours, we recognize we’re not making comparisons between how much or how hard he believed verses how little we believe. We’re both saying we are trusting in what God is doing, and that is significant and beautiful. We are trusting in what God is doing. When Paul writes a letter to the Romans, he puts it like this, and he’s just helping us recognize this concept that it’s level ground at the foot of the cross. So he writes like this in Romans, chapter three, verse 22, he says, this righteousness is given through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe.

And then he says, there’s no difference. There’s no difference between jew and gentile. There’s not like the front row, the vip section, and it’s the Jews that they were brought up in this way. And then there’s kind of the cheaper seats and it’s the Gentiles. He says, there’s no difference.

The faith that we have, this righteousness, is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all. And he says, there’s no distinction here, no difference between jew and gentile. We have this precious faith and we all share it together. Peter had his own experience with this concept. He was brought up in a Jewish household.

He followed all the rules. He did the things that he was supposed to do. And he would look down on gentiles, people who weren’t Jewish of descent, and he would despise them. He would think that they’re unclean and unfit for the kindness of God in certain ways. And so he had an event, and we find out about it in the book of acts, and he’s at his buddy’s house and he’s praying, and God gives him a vision, and God is basically saying to him, hey, bud, your diet doesn’t make you better than everyone else, and you better be careful about looking down your nose on the gentiles.

So he preaches to a group of people. He preaches the good news of Jesus Christ, and they come to saving faith, and God gifts them with the Holy Spirit. And now Peter has to go report that to his buddies who are Jews. And he’s telling the story, and he’s like, I don’t know, guys. This is what happened.

I was preaching the good news of the gospel. They believed in Jesus Christ, and they received what we received. This is acts, chapter eleven, verses 17. And following, he said, so if God gave them the same gift he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way? This wasn’t my idea.

This was God’s doing. And I wasn’t on board with it. I was reluctant. Nonetheless, God did it. He brought in the gentiles just like he brought us in his audience.

Then they were satisfied. They said, you know what? We’re on board, too. When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God saying, so. Then even to the gentiles, God has granted repentance that leads to life.

Here’s the first benefit of the gospel that we find here in our passage. You have a faith that is in solidarity with the apostle Peter and others. You have something that is precious. It is your faith in Jesus Christ. And if you have that, you have the most important thing.

God has given this to you. You’ve received it as a believer in Christ.

Secondly, you have grace and peace. Look at verse two. Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

He’s telling his audience. He’s telling us that on account of what God has done in the sending of his son. We can experience peace. We can experience the grace of God. We can experience rest.

Instead of walking through life with that low grade anxiety wondering, does my life cut it? Am I doing enough? Am I good enough? Am I worthy enough of this? God is able to bestow on us grace and peace.

And all of a sudden, instead of that inner turmoil and uncertainty, we have this confidence in what God has done. Grace and peace be yours and abundance. It’s like what the Lord offered when he said, come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. In the good news of the gospel, you are able to experience grace and peace. Your soul is able to rest.

Then you have thirdly, everything you could possibly need. Look at the junk drawer term here, verse three. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. This is crazy. God looks at us and he says, in fact, you have every single resource you would need to fulfill what is required of you.

That’s how much you have in the gospel. His divine power gives you all of this. You have everything that you need for a godly life. So God is looking at us today and he’s like, guys, you don’t have any excuses anymore because whatever you need to do, you have access to whatever it is that you would need to be able to perform, that. You have everything that you need for a godly life.

Now, we have a hard time with this because we don’t like to take responsibility. So we blame other people, right? We think, I could live a godly life if this weren’t the situation that I’m dealing with. I could live a godly life if this person weren’t here. That’s the earliest expression of our blame shifting.

You guys, remember in the garden, God comes talking to Adam, Adam, what happened here? He goes, whoa, whoa, whoa. But it’s not my fault. It’s this woman you gave me. She’s the problem.

She’s doing all this stuff and she got us in this mess here. And we continue to do that. We continue to think, oh, I could be a godly individual. The problem is it’s this person that I have to work with or it’s this situation, or it’s my spouse, or it’s whatever the case might be. And we fill it in and we go, God, I just don’t think that this situation affords me the opportunity to be godly.

So we gotta change some stuff here. And God says, huh, interesting, because from my perspective, you have everything that you need. But listen, we’re so creative at this that we blame other people. We blame circumstances. We even blame the church.

This is a conversation that will sometimes happen, and it’ll look something like this. And I’m not picking on anyone specifically, but I’ll give you an example of something that could happen. Somebody will say, well, my church doesn’t have that. And what’s meant by that is because we don’t have a program specific to that situation or that whatever, then, you know, there’s no responsibility there. So we don’t have a marriage ministry at Park City church.

So I guess I don’t have to be a good spouse, right? Like, that feels weird to say, but sometimes we’re like, but my church doesn’t do anything to help me here. And God is saying, your church does have a marriage ministry. You’re a part of a church, right? Park City.

Okay. Are you married? Yeah. There’s a marriage ministry. It’s your marriage, and you have everything that you need within that realm of possibility for you to live out a godly life.

We’re just so creative that we come up with all these different ways to sidestep our responsibility, and we think, yeah, if I could do this or if I finish this Bible study or complete this curricula, then I’d. Then I could be godly. And God is saying, no. Today, whatever is required of you, you have the resources to do it. Because of his divine power, you have everything that you need for a godly life.

There’s one more. I don’t mean to be picking on specific things, but this one. I was thinking about it this week, and I was remembering I did a men’s ministry thing for three years, and the material was incredible. It’s called men’s fraternity, and we’re going through it. And I remember thinking about this.

Like, we’re talking about how to be men of God. Such an important subject matter, so critical to the health of our society, the health of our church, the health of individuals, the health of families, and we’re talking about these different things. And then I began to realize, guys, we are creatively sidestepping our responsibility so we can hang out and talk about what we should be doing, right? We have this permission slip from our wives to go hang out with the boys and leave our wives and children at home and then just go and talk about it. But if we have no intention of actually living this stuff out, this is just our ‘guy time.’

And so what I’m saying is God reminds us here and we don’t like it, but he reminds us here, you have everything that you need today. Not when that ministry gets started, not when that curriculum gets finished, not when you finally get around to it. He’s saying, you have everything that you need for a godly life. And he says, through our knowledge of him, who called us by his own glory and goodness, it’s through what he has done. It’s through our knowledge of him.

It’s through the work that he has performed and his divine power. So we have everything that we need.

[Fourth], We have these great and precious promises. Look at verse four. He has given us his very great and precious promises.

God has told us all manner of things that he has done on our behalf. He has given us all these precious promises. And what we have to do then is we have to figure out what has he declared, what has he promised, and how does it work for me? In Pilgrim’s progress, both of the stories, the characters get locked in the castle of despair, and they’re there, and they’re discouraged and beating themselves up and just feeling miserable over the fact that they landed in a place that they never should have been. And they’re thinking, we’re never getting out of here.

There’s a giant who’s guarding them and seeking to do harm to them and never wants to release them. And they’re thinking, there’s just no way out of this. And then somebody remembers, huh? The Lord gave me this key called promise. Oh, look at that.

It opens every door in here. And that’s the christian experience, that we have these very great and precious promises. But then we look at the circumstances and we go, oh, man, good grief, what a mess this is. There’s no way, there’s no redeeming thing that could happen here to make this better. And we’ve got this promise on our persons.

God has told us all that he intends to do for us in his son Jesus Christ. What we have to do is take that promise out, these very great and precious promises, and see how they apply to the situations that we are in. So we have benefits on account of the gospel. We have the faith that is as precious as that of the apostle Peter’s. We have this grace and peace that are ours in abundance.

We have everything that we need to live a godly life, and we have these great and precious promises. Now let’s consider how those different gospel benefits can actually work on our behalf.

HOW IT WORKS

So how it works, first off, when this stuff lands on your heart, it changes your identity. It changes you at the fundamental level, the truth of the gospel has the ability to take people and make them new. You become a new creation in Christ.

We see this with Peter and we can think about his story and the dramatic changes that occurred. He went from being timid. He went from denying his Lord three times. I don’t know him. No, no, no, I’m not with this guy.

He went from denying him to after the resurrection, he went to be this unstoppable force preaching to the masses. And they would say, we’re going to beat you now because you won’t shut up about your Lord. And he says, that’s fine, we’re going to arrest you. That’s fine. We’re going to kill you.

He’s like, whatever. I’m going to keep telling people the good news of what Christ has done for me. He’s a changed individual, but we see it here when he introduces himself in verse one, we see it by the way he describes himself, Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. When he introduces himself, he introduces himself humbly. He’s an apostle.

He has a certain authority and opportunity to explain the truth of God in Christ, but he calls himself a servant, and that’s a designation that means his entire life is in relationship to his Lord. And it means that he is constantly considering what the Lord Jesus Christ wants of him. It’s a word that actually has dignity and honor to it. And so as he introduces himself, he doesn’t say, yeah, I’m Peter. I’m one of the inner circle guys, so listen up.

He doesn’t say, hey, I’m Peter. I’ve got all these wonderful experiences I’d love to share with you. He just has this lowliness about him, this humility about him. He is a changed individual. St.

Augustine, I believe it was, who was asked, what is the chief teaching of Christianity, said three things. First is humility. Second, humility. Third, also humility. And we see, I believe that’s true, by the way, but we see how Peter has this new identity that is marked by the humility of Christ.

And we see it even in the way that he’s dealing with other people. Right. When he says, you have a faith like mine, he’s not downgrading people, he’s elevating them and encouraging them. He’s a changed individual. When your identity is changed, it actually changes how you behave.

I would put it like this. Your identity informs your activity, which is why we need to get to that level of application. The things that you do will be a result of who you understand yourself to be. So if we want to see people from park City church behaving in a way that reflects the godliness of Jesus Christ. If we want behaviors that match up to the truth of the scriptures.

One of the ways that I could try to influence you is by just telling you, you gotta do this. The Bible says you should do these different things, and I can just hammer on your will and just put pressure on you and try to convince you and argue with you. You need to do this stuff. It’s clear as day. Do it.

And if I’m aggressive enough, you’ll listen to me, right? You’ll be like, yeah, he’s probably right. And you’ll go and do that. Now, those of us that are parents, we know it works, right? If you put enough pressure on your kids, you tell them what they need to do, you tell them the consequences.

If they don’t, you tell them all these different things. You can get the behavior. The problem is that’s just behavior modification. Because the moment that the pressure comes off, what do they do? Revert back to themselves.

If you’re not there telling them what they must do, they don’t do it. But if they begin to see who they are and how who they are should cause them to behave in a certain way, that’s a lasting change, and that’s true of Christianity. When we think about how do we become a godly people, I’m not just going to stand up here and try to harp on you and make you do the stuff that the Bible says. I’m trying to persuade you to see what Christ has done in such a way that it’ll change who you are, and you will now relate to him in a different way, and that’ll change everything about you. Well, we’re given this identity through the promises of what God has done in Christ, and we’re called to experience this new thing with God.

We’re meant to grow in our experience of his grace and peace. We’re meant to become more like his son. We’re meant to have progress in the faith. And we see it here in verse two. It says, grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

And this is the theme of the entire letter. And I can say that with confidence because it shows up at the end. So if you’re writing a paper and you say, you introduce your subject, then you write a bunch of stuff, and then you conclude and you go, I think what I did here was talk about this through and through. The whole thing then is about this subject. So look at the end of the letter.

This is second Peter, chapter three, verse 18. It’s the final verse in the letter, and he’s reminding them of what he’s been saying all along. He says, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory, both now and forever. Amen.

Start to finish. What Peter is trying to get us to do is to grow in our grace and in the experience of peace and in our knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. That’s the point of his message. Christians become more like him, grow to be like him. Take the benefits that we’ve unearthed and apply them so that you might enjoy your relationship with him.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. We see here how this happens. It’s through knowledge. It shows up in both verse two and verse three. It’s repeated, so we know that’s important.

It is through our knowledge of him who has called us by his own glory and goodness. But don’t misunderstand what it’s saying here. This is not information alone. It’s not like, hey, there’s a course that we’re creating, and if you can go through it, then you’re going to know the Lord fully. The knowledge that the Bible is talking about is actually a relational term.

So it’s the idea that you could know something at that intimate level. So we’re growing in grace and peace through our knowledge of him. We’re growing in our experience of God. We’re growing in our relationship with him. So we’re becoming more and more familiar with who he is and what he’s like.

So basically, it’s this invitation to be with God, this invitation to pursue God.

In my small group, we were talking, we were sharing stories, and people were asking about ash and I, and we kind of just. I was deflecting, and like, oh, yeah, this happened. And they’re like, wait, wait, wait. Tell us more. And they just kept like, tell us more.

Like, this is interesting. And I bring it up today, because what happened was I fell in love with ash, like, right away, and was like, I would like to date her. And so then over the course of eight years of pursuing her and stalking her and all these other things, eventually I persuaded her. But anyways, what this is inviting us to do is to be able to say, okay, you can pursue God, and he’s not, you know, he’s not a tough one to catch. You can pursue God, and you can have this knowledge of him.

But here’s what’s crazy about him. He’s inviting you into that, and you could spend your entire life in pursuit of him. And he will continue to reveal new and beautiful things about him. He’s calling us to experience his grace and peace through our intimate relationship with him, learning about him through the scriptures and through our time together in the word as a church. And he’s helping us know him in that way, and that will change us.

Look at verse four. It says that we will participate in the divine. Such a crazy saying here. But verse four, through these, he’s given us his very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature. God is inviting us to experience God.

Christianity is not some theoretical thing. It’s not some bolt on add on feature that you’re like, yeah, just add this, in participation in the divine. It’s saying that by being a christian, you’re being caught up in the experience of God. We had some high schoolers during the kids time this morning as we were preparing, and I was reminding them, this is the greatest ambition that you could have for your life. I mean, you could ask me, Cor, what should I do?

What should I do with my life? I mean, I got all these choices in front of me and I could say, quite honestly, if you pursue God, if you grow in your knowledge of God and you experience a participation in the divine nature, all the other stuff is just gravy, right? Like things that you want to see happen, that could happen. You could get into a vocation that you love, you could get married to somebody that you really enjoy all those different things. That’s wonderful.

But the main thing that God is offering to us is this opportunity to know him in a saving way and to experience him in a profound way. Through them, you may participate in the divine nature. And if that happens, if you’re experiencing that, I don’t think there’s anything better. And that’s what God is offering us here. Finally, one of the things that this will do to us as we consider the benefits of the gospel is it will help us consider the world in which we live and how it will come to its climatic conclusion.

And this will show up over and over again. But Peter has this emphasis on the last days, and he wants us to get this one right. He wants us to recognize that the Lord who is redeeming us is going to return, and he wants us to know how that ought to affect us. He’s saying there’s a way to apply this that is very helpful. There are some ways to deal with this.

That are wonky and weird and will get you in trouble. But there’s a way that his return could actually inform how you live your life today in a way that is godly. And so he describes it. And one of the things that we’ll see is this concept that has been coined already and not yet already and not yet meaning the Lord is going to return. So that’s the not yet peace.

But the Lord has come and he has opened up the door to the future with him. And there are some things that he’s already onboarding that we already have access to, but we do not yet have the fullness of it. He has started something that he will bring to completion. And so what we have today will be consummated at his return. But notice what he says here in verse four at the end there, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

And he’s saying, you as a believer, you’re already in this condition where you are escaping the evil desires in this world. There’s a day coming, and I look forward to this greatly, where evil is done away with. And I look forward to that so incredibly because of the effect of evil and my own participation in it. And I can’t wait for that to be taken off the table, for that to not be an option, for evil to be gone. But he’s saying, as a Christian, you’re already enjoying some of the benefits of that.

One day the Lord will return. He’ll bring that to completion. But now you’ve already escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. And what he’s saying then is live like it. Live in a way that reveals your purity.

Live in a way that reveals your commitment to holiness. Live in a way that reveals the godliness that God wants for you, your life. Peter is saying. God is saying your life matters. Coming to a service on a Sunday morning, that’s wonderful.

But really what God is seeking to do is to transform the entirety of your life so that everything that you’re doing, your parenting, your relationship with your spouse, the way that you work, the way you do, your yard work, the way you do everything, reflects the godliness that he has in mind for you. May we be a people who are leaning into that truth because of what God has done for us in the sending of his son.

Let’s pray. Lord, help us to be a transformed people. Help us to live beautifully for your glory, Lord.

We pray knowing that there are false teachers who want to entice us away from the truth and away from living in a way that would be pleasing to you. We pray that you would give us discernment both today and in the weeks ahead. We pray that you would give us discernment to know what false teaching is and what it can do, the great damage that it can cause. Lord, we pray that we would walk out of here today with confidence because you have reminded us of the precious faith that we have. And you have reminded us that we have everything that we need to do what is required from us today.

So, Lord, let us walk in obedience of faith for your glory. Amen. Amen.

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