Trust the Word
Last week, we looked at the opening of Peter’s letter where he exhorts the reader to live in a godly manner. You are to
make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:5–7)
Whereas we think about what it means to be saved often in terms of judgment, which is true, Peter wants us to understand that we’ve not only been saved from what our sins deserve but also from the nature of sin itself. That is, through the knowledge of Christ, you “become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption of sin that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
In other words, being a Christian begins with what you believe and ends with the way that you live. One leads to the other.
It is a radical departure from the way that the world believes and lives. Because of that, it puts you at odds with the world around you. It invites people to look at you differently, feel threatened at times by you, and target you just as they looked at Jesus, felt threatened by Jesus and targeted Jesus. Why should we not just give in to the way the world says to live? Things would be easier.
How do we know that Peter can be trusted? It’s a valid question, especially to someone living in the 1st Century. To them, there weren’t 2000 years of church history backing Peter’s letter. To them, he was an “uneducated man” who made his living as a fisherman. And now, we’re supposed to listen to him? Why? Why should we listen to Peter? Peter presents two witnesses to the case: His own personal experience, and the nature of Scripture.
See The Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 1 for more on the doctrine of Scripture.