Everything we need for life

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Last year we were told that we needed a television that was 3D – this year they are hardly mentioned. Now we need 4K or curved screen TVs. What do we really need? The Apostle Peter gives his answer: 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’ (2 Peter 1:3 NIV). That is, all we will ever need, both for this present life and our spiritual life now and after in eternity.

 

How do we get our needs met?

The fact that you are reading this and have a desire to find out more about satisfying your real inner needs is due to God working in you by his Spirit and gently calling you by his goodness to himself. Peter says that it is through knowledge about God that we begin to fulfil our needs. This knowledge comes through reading the Bible, hearing it explained in church, talking to Christians, and reading books explaining God’s word. But it is more than acquiring knowledge about the Bible. We need to both believe it and act upon it.

 

Our basic need

As unpalatable as it seems, we have to admit that we have strayed from God’s perfect law from the very beginning of our lives. We are living in a morally polluting world and also contributing to it in some way or other. We are guilty before God and first need forgiveness and then a fresh start with a clean slate and God’s power to help keep us clean. We need to repent and believe the gospel. The gospel, or good news, is that Jesus died in our place, suffering for our sins so that, if we believe and trust in him alone, we might have the free gift of eternal life. This he will give us out of his goodness and for his own glory.

 

God’s great promises

Peter goes on to say that God backs up his gracious dealings towards us with very great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4) which allow us to participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world. Peter quotes one of these promises in Acts 2:21: Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Jesus said of his ‘sheep’, those that believe in him, I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand (John 10:28).

 

Make every effort

If we have committed our lives to Christ, there remains much to do in response. James tells us that faith without deeds is dead (James 2:26b), and Peter gives us a good New Year resolution, Make every effort to add to your faith … (2 Peter 1:5a). He then lists 7 things to add to our faith: goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness brotherly-kindness and love. He says, if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (vs 10&11). What a prospect! There is nothing so cheering when visiting a friend or family member as to be received with a warm welcome, and this is what Jesus promises to all who have loved and tried to obey him, albeit often failing.

 

Peace with God

As Peter finishes his epistle, he underlines that in the prospect of the new heavens and earth, we should make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him (2 Peter 3:14). This, then, is the way to get this deep inner peace with God, our consciences and with our friends: we need to come to Christ for forgiveness for all the sins of our past, ask him that we might be reborn by the Holy Spirit, and that we will have the daily strength to make every effort and live for him. Peter said in his previous epistle that: If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen (1 Peter 4:11b). We will fail in our own strength, but God will enable us. Peter had once denied his Lord, but he was forgiven, and afterwards made every effort to obey his Master’s command, Feed my sheep (John 21:17b). Let us make every effort to live for God in the coming year.

 

Written by: Nigel Faithfull, member at St. Mellons Baptist Church

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