In a final letter, written shortly before he is crucified, Peter the apostle warns the young church about a storm on the horizon.
“You will not be able to live for God in these days of apostasy unless you have a knowledge of the Word of God,” he says. "Then you’ll have a place to stand and a steady foundation to your Christian character.”
The Christian life is more than just being born again—it’s also about growing up in Christ. The last verse of the entire letter sums it up well: “But grow in the grace ….” We do not only need to stand fast in grace (his closing challenge from the first letter), but we also need to keep growing in it.
Peter writes to those who “have obtained like precious faith with us.” He says, “You have received the gospel; now it’s up to you what you do with it.”
When Jesus Christ saves you, He not only subtracts your sin, but He also adds His own righteousness to your account.
Peter blesses his readers with “grace and peace be multiplied.” Notice this is always the order: First, we know the grace of God—that God has saved us, not through our merit, our character, or anything in us, but He has saved us because of our faith in Christ. Once we experience God’s grace, we can experience God’s peace (see Romans 5:1). Notice one is not added to the other—it’s multiplied!
How does these spiritual mathematics take place? Through “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Christianity is a Person. We are not only to believe in Jesus Christ, but we also want to know Him (see also Philippians 3:10). He is the living Savior who, right at this moment, is at God’s right hand. This knowledge of Jesus Christ comes through a knowledge of the Word of God, the sure Word of God. The Holy Spirit takes the things of Christ and makes them real to us. You can know Jesus Christ better than you can know your closest loved one. You can tell Him things you would not dare tell anyone. The important thing is that to know Him is eternal life (see John 17:3).
To know Him in this way, we first have to be born again (see 1 Peter 1:23). Then, His divine power gives us everything we need to live life to the full. He makes every arrangement for you to live a godly life for Him. Only through the knowledge of Christ can you learn to live here and now and grow to be a more godly person. You will be “called … by glory,” meaning you’ll grow to be like Him in every way. The way you’ll have the courage to excel in life is through knowing more and more about Jesus Christ.
Peter loved the word “precious.” He’s talked about our precious faith; now he talks about the precious promises God has given to us (promises like John 6:37, Matthew 11:28, John 14:6, 1 John 5:12, and 1 Peter 1:23). Wonderful promises come wrapped in knowing and believing Jesus Christ and by faith in Him.
When you become a child of God, you are given God’s nature. Don’t let anybody deceive you into thinking the Christian life is a series of do’s and don’ts—it’s so much more.
If godly attributes are a part of your character and life, Peter says you will be fruitful. These characteristics are evidence of God’s Spirit producing His fruit in your life. For this to happen, you’ve got to be involved in your Christian life: Yield yourself over to Him, present your body to Him, and draw from the Vine, the Lord Jesus Christ, the fruit of the Spirit. Again, the fruit is Faith, courage, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, love of the brethren, and love for the unsaved. He doesn’t want us to be barren but loves it when our lives are blossoming with fruit.