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 life and godliness 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 and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
THE GREAT GIFT OF CHRIST THE MESSIAH: SALVATION
INTRODUCTION: This is a great passage of Scripture. In the mind of the author it is one of the greatest in all of Scripture. It is a passage that takes Jesus Christ and lifts Him up as the great Messiah, the Savior of the world who can meet the desperate needs of man. Here is Christ and here is the great gift of Christ the Messiah, the great gift of salvation.
1. He is the Messiah worthy of total devotion (v.1).
2. He is the Messiah of faith (v.1).
3. He is the Messiah of grace and peace (v.2).
4. He is the Messiah of life and godliness (v.3).
5. He is the Messiah of the divine nature (v.4).
FULLY DEVELOPED SERMON POINTS:
1. (1:1) Servant—Apostle: Jesus Christ is the Messiah worthy of total devotion. This is seen in the two claims made by Peter.
1. Peter calls himself the servant of Christ. The word servant (doulos) means far more than just a servant. It means a slave totally possessed by the master. It is a bond-servant bound by law to a master.
A look at the slave market of Peter’s day shows more clearly what Peter meant when he said he was a “slave of Jesus Christ.”
a. The slave was owned by his master; he was totally possessed by his master. This is what Peter meant. Peter was purchased and possessed by Christ. Christ had looked upon him and had seen his degraded and needful condition. And when Christ looked, the most wonderful thing happened: Christ loved him and bought him; therefore, he was now the possession of Christ.
b. The slave existed for his master and he had no other reason for existence. He had no personal rights whatsoever. The same was true with Peter: he existed only for Christ. His rights were the rights of Christ only.
c. The slave served his master and he existed only for the purpose of service. He was at the master’s disposal any hour of the day. So it was with Peter: he lived only to serve Christ—hour by hour and day by day.
d. The slave’s will belonged to his master. He was allowed no will and no ambition other than the will and ambition of the master. He was completely subservient to the Master and owed total obedience to the will of the master. Peter belonged to Christ.
e. There is a fifth and most precious thing that Peter meant by “a slave of Jesus Christ.” He meant that he had the highest and most honored and kingly profession in all the world. Men of God, the greatest men of history, have always been called the servants of God. It was the highest title of honor. The believer’s slavery to Jesus Christ is no cringing, cowardly, shameful subjection. It is the position of honor—the honor that bestows upon a man the privileges and responsibilities of serving the King of kings and Lord of lords.
- Moses was the slave of God (Deut. 34:5; Psalm 105:26; Malachi 4:4).
- Joshua was the slave of God (Joshua 24:9).
- David was the slave of God (2 Samuel 3:18; Psalm 78:70).
- Peter was the slave of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:1; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1).
- James was the slave of God (James 1:1).
- Jude was the slave of God (Jude 1).
- The prophets were the slaves of God (Amos 3:7; Jeremiah 7:25).
- Christian believers are said to be the slaves of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:18; 1 Cor. 7:22; Ephes. 6:6; Col. 4:12; 2 Tim. 2:24).
Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
(John 12:26; cp. Romans 12:1; 1 Cor. 15:58).
Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men,
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverance and awe, (Hebrews 12:28).
Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, (Exodus 23:25)
And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, (Deuteronomy 10:12).
Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. (Psalm 2:11)
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100:2)
2. Peter calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ. The word apostle (apostolos) means either a person who is sent out or a person who is sent forth. An apostle is a representative, an ambassador, a person who is sent out into one country to represent another country. Three things are true of the apostle: (1) he belongs to the One who has sent him out; (2) he is commissioned to be sent out; and (3) he possesses all the authority and power of the One who has sent him out.
Note three forceful lessons.
a. Peter said that he was called to be an apostle. He was not in the ministry because he...
• chose to be.
• had the ability.
• had been encouraged by others to choose the ministerial profession.
• enjoyed working with people.
He was an apostle, a minister of the gospel for one reason only: God had called him.
Now get up and stand on your feet. I [the LORD] have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. (Acts 26:16)
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. (1 Timothy 1:12)
The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. (Genesis 12:1)
So now, go. I am sending you [Moses] to Pharaoh to being my people the Israelites out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:10)
The LORD turned to him [Gideon] and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?" (Judges 6:14)
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!" (Isaiah 6:8)
b. Peter had heard and answered God’s call. God did not override Peter’s will—He wanted Peter in the ministry, so He called Peter. But note: it was up to Peter to hear and respond.
c. Peter was called to be an apostle, that is, to be a minister. He was not called to occupy a position of authority or to be honored by men.
Thought 1. These two points stress one thing: Peter thought that Jesus Christ was worthy of total devotion. Peter made a decision to deliberately and wholly give himself to Jesus Christ. He centered his whole life around Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was the Messiah, the Savior of the world who had been promised by God from the beginning of time, the Messiah who was worthy of total devotion.
Peter said to him, "We have left everything to follow you!" (Mark 10:28)
After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. (Luke 5:27-28)
Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who deos not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27)
In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot by my disciple. (Luke 14:33)
"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life." (Luke 18:29-30)
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24)
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Phil. 3:8)
2. (1:1) Faith—Righteousness: Jesus Christ is the Messiah of faith; that is, He is the Messiah who has made us acceptable to God by faith.
1. The faith of Christ is a most precious faith. The word “precious” (time) means of great honor and price; of great value and privilege. The faith of Jesus Christ is precious because it makes us acceptable to God. It ushers us into the very presence of God Himself.
Note this: the faith of Jesus Christ is the same precious faith that is given to all believers. The Greek word that Peter uses for “precious” (isotimos) is an unusual word. This is the only time it is used in the New Testament. It is really a double word. The isos means equal, and time means honor (A.T. Robertson. Word Pictures In The New Testament, Vol.6, p.147). Therefore, by precious faith is meant like faith, a faith that is like everyone else’s faith. This is a most wonderful thing. It means that we are all given the very same faith; we are all equal in value and honor and privilege before God. God does not discriminate; He does not have favorites. God loves us all equally and He values and honors us all as much as He did Peter and James and John and Paul.
Thought 1. This means that the faith of Jesus Christ eliminates prejudice and discrimination. We all stand on an equal footing before God...
• the rich and the poor
• the upper class and the lower class
• the well fed and the hungry
• the free person and the prisoner
• the religionists and the heathen
• the male and the female
If a person has obtained the precious faith of Jesus Christ, then he is acceptable to God no matter who he is. He receives the highest and most valued privilege in the whole universe: to live in the presence of God forever and ever.
2. The faith of Jesus Christ is obtained not earned. The word “obtained” (lachousin) means to secure by lot; to receive by allotment; to be given a share or a portion. No person deserves the precious faith of Jesus Christ. No person can work and earn it. It is a gift of God, a free gift that is given to every person who believes in Jesus Christ.
3. The faith of Jesus Christ comes through the righteousness of Christ. What is the righteousness of Christ? It is two things
a. The righteousness of Christ means that He is the righteous Man, the Perfect and Ideal Man who can stand for and cover all men. Man is not perfect, but imperfect and unrighteous. Therefore, man by his very nature cannot live in God’s presence, for God is perfect and the very embodiment of righteousness. How then can man ever become acceptable to God and be allowed to live in God’s presence? Jesus Christ is the answer, for He is the righteousness of God. That is, God sent Jesus Christ to earth to live the perfect, ideal, and sinless life. Jesus Christ never sinned, not even once. Therefore, He stood before God and before the world as the Ideal Man, the Perfect Man, the Representative Man, the Perfect Righteousness that could stand for the righteousness of every man.
When a man believes in Jesus Christ—really believes—God takes that man’s faith and counts it (his faith) as righteousness. The man is not righteous; he and everyone else knows it. But God counts his faith and belief as righteousness. Why would God do such an incredible thing? Because God loves His Son that much and God loves man that much. God loves so much that He will take any man who honors His Son by believing in Him and count that man’s faith as though it were the real thing: righteousness. Very simply stated: Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God. He is the only way a man can become righteous and acceptable to God.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthi\ans 5:21)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)
Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. (Hebrews 7:25-26)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24)
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (1 Peter 3:18)
b. The righteousness of Christ means that He bore the sins of men and died for them. It is not enough for the ideal and perfect righteousness to exist, for we are already sinners. We have already transgressed God’s law; we have already rebelled against God and gone our own way in life, living just like we want instead of following God. Therefore, the penalty for rebellion and treason—for sinning against God—has to be paid. We have to die or else someone else has to die for us. That someone has to be the ideal and perfect Man, for only perfection is acceptable to God. This is just what Jesus Christ did; He died for our sins. He bore the penalty and punishment for our sins. And it was acceptable to God because He was the Ideal and Perfect Man. His death stands for and covers our sins and death. Therefore, we are completely and totally free of sin. We stand before God as righteous. Now we are not righteous; we of all people know that. But God counts us righteous by the death of Christ. He credits the death of Christ to our sins. He counts us free of sin—credits us as being righteous by the death of Christ.
When does God do this? When we believe in Jesus Christ. When we really believe, God counts the death of Jesus Christ for our sins; therefore, He is able to count us free from sin, as righteous before Him. This is the righteousness of Jesus Christ; this is the way we become acceptable to God.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. (Romans 5:6)
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!
Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.
(1 Corinthians 5:7).
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. (Hebrews 7:26-27)
The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:25-26)
So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:28)
But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. … because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:12, 14)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
(1 Peter 2:24).
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, (1 Peter 3:18)
Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isaiah 53:4-6)
3. (1:2) Grace—Peace—Knowledge: Jesus Christ is the Messiah of grace and peace. No greater gifts exist than grace and peace. Note three things.
1. Grace (charis) means the undeserved favor and blessings of God. (See notes—Romans 4:16; Deeper Study #1—1 Cor. 1:4; Deeper Study #1—Titus 2:11-15.) The word undeserved is the key to understanding grace. Man does not deserve God’s favor; he cannot earn God’s approval and blessings. God is too high and man is too low for man to deserve anything from God. Man is imperfect and God is perfect; therefore, man cannot expect anything from God. (See Deeper Study #1, Justification—Galatians 2:15-16 for more discussion.) Man has reacted against God too much. Man has...
• rejected God
• rebelled against God
• ignored God
• neglected God
• cursed God
• disobeyed God
• denied God
• questioned God
• sinned against God
Man deserves nothing from God except judgment, condemnation, and punishment. But God is love—perfect and absolute love. Therefore, God makes it possible for man to experience His grace, in particular the favor and blessing of salvation which is in His Son, Jesus Christ. (See Deeper Study #1 Grace—1 Cor. 1:4 for more discussion.)
And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:24)
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
(2 Corinthians 8:9).
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace (Ephesians 1:7)
In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:7)
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19)
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 1:14)
2. Peace (eirene) means to be bound, joined, and woven together. It also means to be bound, joined, and woven together with others and with God. It means to be assured, confident, and secure in the love and care of God. It means to have a sense, a consciousness, a knowledge that God will...
• give real life both now and forever
A person can experience true peace only as he comes to know Jesus Christ. Only Christ can bring peace to the human heart, the kind of peace that brings deliverance and assurance to the human soul.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (Romans 5:1)
The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by trhe Spirit is life and peace; (Romans 8:6)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)
3. Note that Jesus Christ multiplies grace and peace. He gives an abundance of grace and peace; He causes grace and peace to overflow in the life of the genuine believer. There is never to be a lack of grace and peace in the life of any true believer. Every believer is to always be overflowing with joy, with the favor and blessings of God and with peace within his own spirit and with God and others.
How can a person always be overflowing with the grace and peace of God? Through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. We have to know God in order to receive the grace and peace of God. What does it mean to know God? The word “knowledge” (epignosei) means “full, personal, precise, and correct” knowledge (The Amplified New Testament)
- It means to know Christ personally; to know Him by experience. It means to know Christ just like we know any person: by walking and talking with Him.
- It means to know Christ fully; to know Him in all of His person, exactly who He is. It means to be precise and correct in what we know about Him.
The point is this: if a person knows Christ fully and personally, precisely and correctly, then he knows Christ as Savior and Lord. He knows Christ as the Son of God who was sent to earth by the Father to save the world. The person does not look upon Christ as a mere man, as a great religious leader who founded the religion of Christianity. The person looks upon Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord of men, and he knows Christ personally. He experiences Christ: he comes to Christ and asks Christ to save him and to be the Lord of his life. He gives all that he is and has to Christ, surrendering totally to Christ as his Lord. It is the person who so surrenders to Christ that comes to know Christ, and day by day, the person experiences the overflow of the Lord’s grace and peace.
Jesus answered, "My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:16-17)
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. (John 17:3)
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpsassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ (Philippians 3:8)
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, (Phil. 3:10)
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. (Isaiah 43:10)
4. (1:3) Life—Godliness: Jesus Christ is the Messiah of life and godliness. What is meant by life and godliness? It means all things that are necessary for life.
First, life is the energy, the force, and the power of being. The life which Jesus Christ gives is a life of energy, force, and power
- The life given by Christ is the very opposite of perishing. It is deliverance from condemnation and death. It is the stopping or cessation of aging, deterioration, decay, and corruption. It is a life that is eternal, that lasts forever and ever. It is the very life of God Himself (John 17:3).
- The life given by Christ is an abundant life, a life of the very highest quality, a life that overflows with all the good things of life: love, joy, peace, goodness, satisfaction, and security.
Whatever is necessary for life is given by Christ. He longs for man to live, to have an abundance of life; therefore He gives all things that will make a person overflow with life. (See Deeper Study #2, Life—John 1:4, Deeper Study #1—John 10:10; Deeper Study #1—John 17:2-3 for more discussion.)
Second, godliness is living like God and being a godly person. It is living life like it should be lived. God gave man life; therefore, God knows what life should be, and above all things life should be godly just like God. The word “godliness” (eusebeian) actually means to live in the reverence and awe of God; to be so conscious of God’s presence that one lives just as God would live if He were walking upon earth. It means to live seeking to be like God; to seek to possess the very character, nature, and behavior of God. The man of God follows and runs after godliness. He seeks to gain a consciousness of God’s presence—a consciousness so intense that he actually lives as God would live if He were on earth.
Note: godliness means to be Christlike. Godliness is Christlikeness: it is living upon earth just as Christ lived.
And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives (2 Peter 3:11)
Now note the verse. Two significant points are made, points that are absolutely essential for us to heed if we wish to have real life.
1. Note where life comes from. It does not come from man himself; life is not in and of man himself. Man dies. He is a dying creature, always in the process of dying, always moving onward toward the grave. Man is as good as dead. And in the process of dying, he experiences all kinds of trials and sufferings such as sickness, disease, accident, emptiness, loneliness, corruption, evil, shortcomings, failures, lies, thefts, killings, wars, and death after death of friends and loved ones.
Man has anything but life; at best he only exists for a few years that are ever so short and frail. Where then can man find life? Who has the power to stop the process of death and to deliver us from death? No man has such power. But note this verse: there is “divine power,” the very power of Christ Himself that can stop death and give us life—life abundant, life now and life eternally. Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came to earth..
• to secure the perfect and ideal life for us.
• to die for our sins in order to free us from sin so that we could stand sinless before God, perfectly righteous in the eyes of God.
This is the power of Christ, the power to save us from death and to give us life and godliness.
2. Note how we receive life and godliness: by the knowledge of Christ. We must know Christ personally. We must know Him as our Savior and Lord, surrendering all that we are and have to him. We must be willing to walk and share with Him all day every day, serving Him as the Lord of our lives. We must be willing to know Him by living a godly life, by actually experiencing the life of God as we walk day by day.
Note: Christ has called us to glory and virtue. This is the very life to which He has called us: a life of glory and moral excellence both here on this earth and in heaven. We are to live pure and righteous lives, glorious lives; and when we do, He promises to give us a place in the glory and perfection of heaven. Note that this may read in the Greek: “Christ has called us by His glory and virtue.” That is, it is His glory and virtue (moral excellence) that attracts man and pulls man to seek life and godliness in Him.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24)
For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. (2 Corinthians 4:11)
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)
Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us. (1 John 3:24)
5. (1:4) Divine Nature—New Man—New Creation—Corruption: Jesus Christ is the Messiah of the divine nature or new man. Note: exceeding great and precious promises have been given to us. The promises are those that have to do with the divine nature of God, the divine nature that is planted within the heart of a person who believes in Jesus Christ. When a person believes in Jesus Christ, God sends His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, to indwell the heart of the believer. God places within the heart of the believer His own divine nature and makes him a new creature and a new man. The believer is actually born again spiritually. He actually partakes of the divine nature of God through the presence of God’s Holy Spirit.
And note what happens: the believer escapes the corruption that is in the world. He lives eternally, for the divine nature of God can never die. When it is time for the believer to depart this life, quicker than the blink of an eye, his spirit is transferred into heaven, into the very presence of God Himself. Why? Because of the divine presence of God: the believer is a new creature, a new man, a person in whom the very Spirit of God Himself dwells; and the Spirit of God cannot die. The person thereby escapes the corruption of this world. (See Deeper Study #1, Corruption—2 Peter 1:4 for more discussion.)
- The believer is born again.
In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. (John 3:3-6)
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. (1 John 5:1)
- The believer is made into a new creation.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- The believer is made into a new self, a new person.
And to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. (Colossians 3:10)
- The believer is given the divine nature of God.
Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (2 Peter 1:4)
DEEPER STUDY #1 (1:4) Sin—Death—Corruption
(1:4) Sin—Death—Corruption: the body of man has within it the principle or the seed of corruption, and the world in which man lives has within it the principle or the seed of corruption. Therefore, man deteriorates and decays—he dies and returns to dust.
This seed of corruption is caused by sin. Sin is selfishness or lust. Sin is acting against God, against others, and even against oneself.
When a man offends—when he acts selfishly, does what he wants instead of what he should do—when he acts against instead of for—he energizes and sets in motion the process of corruption. Man’s selfishness corrupts himself and the world in which he lives—including the ground and the air and the water of the earth (Romans 8:21). His selfishness corrupts the relationship between himself and God and between himself and other persons and even the relationship between other persons. His selfishness and sin corrupt his own body (1 Cor. 15:42). It may be nothing more than eating too much or failing to stay physically fit, but his selfishness and sin set in motion the process of corruption. And the process of corruption just continues and continues to eat and eat away at life. Sin, that is, selfishness, has caused and is causing death, both physically and spiritually. (See notes—Matthew 6:19-20; Deeper Study #2—Matthew 8:17; Deeper Study #1—Romans 5:12; Deeper Study #2—Romans 5:12; note—1 Cor. 15:50; note—2 Cor. 5:1-4; and Deeper Study #1—Hebrews 9:27.)