Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Nov 27 2013 - 2 Peter 1:1-21 – His divine power

Christianity is not just another religion, not just another set of beliefs and practices. The Christian message is about Christ and about the power of the living God. God raised Jesus from the dead. His resurrection was not the resuscitation of a corpse but the beginning of the transformation of all things. Jesus, risen from the dead, is no longer subject to the powers of sin and death. And that same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in those who believe in him. The gospel is about the power of God to save and transform.

In his second letter, Peter is again writing mainly to Gentiles – to non-Jews – yet he recognises that they have come to possess the same precious faith in Christ that characterised the apostles. They have come to share in the promises God has for all who trust in his Messiah. God's power in Christ, says Peter, "has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness" (2 Peter 1:3). God has called us not only by his own glory and goodness but also to share in his own glory and goodness; his promise and purpose is that we should share in the divine nature (1:4) – that we should be made like Christ and bear the image of God, the stamp of his presence in us, in all its fullness and glory. And this promise is not mere words, for it is accompanied by the working of his power to accomplish what he has promised.

Given that this is God's purpose for you – the end to which the Spirit of the risen Lord Jesus is at work in you – "make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1:5-8). The Spirit's work within us set's us working. His intent that we should be like Christ is to become our intent, and his great work is to become the focus and passion of our lives.

Christians are to be those who possess more than a profession of faith; their lives are to radiate the goodness of God. This is what it means to know him; to know him is to love him and to reflect his love in our attitude towards and relationships with others. And this is not an easy matter; it calls for self-control and for perseverance. It calls for our selfish tendencies to be brought under the control of the Spirit of God; it calls for us to go on pursuing the life that has appeared in Christ and never to give up following him. It calls for continual transformation by the Spirit of God so that our lives are marked by an unfashionable godliness.

Finish then thy new creation
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation,
Perfectly restored in thee,
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise!

Heavenly Father, continue the work you have begun in me; make me effective and productive in my knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ today. In your goodness, may the glory of Christ which Peter saw on the mount of transfiguration be seen also in my life even as I shall share in his glory when he appears.

Peter Misselbrook