Knowledge of Jesus is key to living the good life. Peter focuses on that truth in both his first and second epistles. The knowledge of Jesus opens our lives to all the good things of life in the here and now, along with securing for us our eternal destiny of having a place prepared for us in the kingdom of heaven. This security has been guaranteed through His resurrection. The resurrection declared to the whole world his glorious majesty and divine power over sin and death. So, then through faith in Christ, we get his righteousness deposited in our exhausted bankrupt accounts. We have no resources in and of ourselves. We are lost sinners saved by grace. Growing in this knowledge is what changes us from the inside. As we learn more and more about God’s love for us, as expressed in Jesus, we become more and more like him. It’s interesting that becoming more like him has its basis in growing in the understanding of how less like him we really are. We have nothing, but in Christ, we have everything. Notice what Peter says in 2 Peter 1:3, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness….” We, indeed, are powerless in everything that really matters. We have everything with respect to two things: life and godliness.

First of all, we have everything for life! Everyone faces the reality of death, and there is no escape. Like the honored doctor once said upon receiving an award for saving many lives, “I have yet to perceive that the mortality rate is still 100 percent.” It is appointed for man once to die, and there is no escape. We are completely powerless regarding our lives and the lives of our loved ones. But, in contrast to our powerless nature, Jesus has divine power. He raised Lazarus from the grave to show Mary and Martha that he is “the resurrection and the life.” He rose from the dead himself to show once more his divine power over death. Jesus does for us what we cannot do for ourselves. He raises our consciousness from this mere mortal plane to an eternal perspective. We all know that death is imminent for us, but now through our faith in Christ, we know that it’s not the end of anything. It simply opens the door to eternity for us. Jesus told the thief on the cross, “this day, you will be with me in paradise.” Notice that this perspective and conviction of eternal life is something that has been “granted.” It is not something that can be earned or deserved. It’s a gift from God. Everything we need for eternal life is provided for us in Christ. The resurrection power that is key to understanding Peter’s epistles is something that is not earned or deserved. It’s something that’s given to all believers by God’s grace through faith.

God grants us everything we need for eternal life! That means he “gives” it to us!  We have it not because of our goodness, but because of his goodness. We know we have it, not because we’ve been good and deserve it, but because he has promised it to us on the basis of his own goodness. If we believe we can earn it through some form of religion or good deeds, we are missing the boat! Richison points out, “Given” “means to give with no strings attached. God does not say, ‘If you do this or that, I will give this or that. If you give a tithe to me, I will bless you. If you witness for me, I will bless you.’ No, God gives freely, without strings. He does this out of His own perfect character. In other words, He does not benefit personally from what you do. He does not benefit from what He gives us. He gives simply out of His perfectly generous character. He does it no other way.”[1] It is the expression of his unconditional love. The only love we can ever truly experience must be unconditional because none of us have lived up to the conditions by which we might be deserving of it.

[1] Richison, Grant. 2006. Verse by Verse through the Books of 1 & 2 Peter. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems.