Life and Godliness

February 18, 2024 Preacher: Michael Clary Series: Second Peter

Scripture: 2 Peter 1:3–4


  Good morning, church. That was lackluster. Should I, should I do that whole preacher? Let's say it again.

Good morning. No, I won't do that. I'm just, I'll just take what I get and be thankful for it. It's good to see all of you here today. My name is Michael. I'm the lead pastor here and we're doing a series in the book of 2 Peter, and we just started it last week and we're continuing today and we're, we're going a little slowly through this first chapter at least, and we'll see how it goes from here.

But the, the big idea that we want to emphasize in this series is that God's grace changes you. The grace of God that you receive by salvation, or for your salvation, is also the same grace that transforms you over the course of your life because it is given to us as a free gift. And one of the things that is just remarkable and amazing about the Bible is that it is so remarkably consistent it you get the same message from cover to cover this the grace of God that that propels us onward into a transformed life.

And God is working through his people, and it just hammers over and over this theme of God working in the lives of his people to accomplish a good purpose. So, God is not a distant deity, you know, off in the sky somewhere that he's barking orders at us, cold and detached and uninvolved from our lives, making us do things for him.

Rather, God is intimately involved in the everyday part of our lives. He is intimately involved in your life and in my life and the lives of us in this church and in the governing of the affairs of this world. God is involved and he's doing something incredible. He takes his enemies; he takes men and women who were rebellious and sinful, and he forgives them their sins.

But then he also transforms them into his sons and daughters, and he makes them like himself. And so, he gives us new hearts, he changes our desires, he pushes and stretches and challenges us. He puts us in situations that make us grow and to, to stretch our faith, to change us. And this process never ends.

It, it continues through this life, but even on into eternity, that's, it's not as though the day that you step into heaven, that you're done being changed, that you will be free of all sin, but in eternity, we will still be more and more transformed and, and grow and become more and more like God.

Throughout all of eternity. It's just like every day is a new gift under the tree where there's some new aspect of God that we get to enjoy and delight in and be transformed by. And that's, that is all his purpose. He makes us more like himself, more holy, more glorious, more beautiful, and we will become like him just as he is.

And so, if you're a Christian today, that process has already begun. So, it begun sometime in the past whenever you placed your faith in Christ. So, it has already begun, and it is ongoing, and it is definite. It is certain. It will happen. God will see it through all the way to the end. And that's what we're exploring today in the book of 2 Peter.

So, the power of God makes us more like him. That's what we're looking at. So, if you have a Bible, turn there, 2 Peter, we're in chapter 1, and we're going to look at two verses today 2 Peter 1:3-4, and I'll have the words up on the screen for us.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. If you just, just think about what that sentence says. I want to read it again just so it can land on you, just so you can just see the weight of it in the promise that is contained in this verse. Just this one sentence.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious, and very great promises so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature. That's a, that's a loaded phrase.

We'll look at it in a moment, but partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. This is God's word. It's a big picture. The universe that God created, his, his perfect world that he created was corrupted by sin, right? So, men and women, human beings, Adam and Eve, they fell into sin and then it fractured the world, it disrupted it, it caused this corruption to enter into the world and God's agenda is to remake the world and to do so, make it better than it was.

Because the world that God will, that we will inherit, the world that God is remaking now is a world that knows both what it's like to be fallen and rebellious and the redemptive power of God that remakes it. So that's the agenda. Behind all of this is God's divine power. So, this right here, his divine power, his power is what is behind this story, pushing it forward.

It is directing every event in, in history towards this purpose that God has in mind. And so, God himself is the central figure. This is his story. This is his world. It is his redemption of his people. It is all about God. It is all his story. He is the one doing it. The story is told for his glory and we as his people, we are the supporting cast.

We, we get to be a part of it, and it is a privilege that we cannot even begin to comprehend. It is a privilege that we get to participate as a supporting cast in the story that God is telling. And the word granted here, a grant is a gift. We talked about this last week. That means God is giving us something, has given us something freely and he has given this gift to us.

So, we are the recipients, he's speaking of Christians here, those who have faith in Jesus Christ. So, the gift is given to us, his people, the church, believers. And so, every Christian has received this gift. The gift that God is talking about through Peter here. The gift that he's talking about is given to us.

And we, every Christian, everyone who believes in Jesus, we have received this gift. So, what is the gift? So, his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. So that's the gift. You've received a gift as a Christian. By faith in Jesus, you've received a gift. And the gift is his power, or his power is, is, is the animating force behind this gift that he's given you, but it's at work in you.

And that gift is all things, whatever you need, whatever could possibly be that, that you need in order to have life and godliness. And so, there's nothing that you lack, right? You don't, you don't, you're not missing anything. So, life and godliness, what does that refer to? Well, there, the words mean specific things.

The word life. So, this word here. Life, that is a reference point of your conversion. So eternal life, which begins at your conversion, but it continues forever. But you've been given life in Christ, so that's your conversion. The eternal life that you have by faith. So that's the save your soul part. And godliness.

That's the other part of it. So, godliness, that refers to your growth in Christ. Life is conversion in Christ. Godliness is growth in Christ. So that's the trajectory of your life. That is, you're here, you're here at point A now, but some point down the line, you'll be at point B and point C and on and on it goes.

And these waypoints in your life are like, you will change, you will be different. And so, godliness is something that is an ongoing process. That is the growth in maturity part. The Savior's soul part is life. The growth and maturity part is godliness. So that's, that's what God wants for you. And He's given you all things that pertain to that.

So, God's power has given you this. He's not held anything back. He's not holding out on you. He's not withheld anything from you. He has given you everything that you need. All things that pertain to giving us eternal life, our salvation, and godliness, our transformation. It's all been given to us. This is true of every single Christian.

There's nobody who is exempt from this. There's nobody who's outside of this. Every Christian, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you have operative within you right this moment everything that you need to receive eternal life, which you've already gotten in Jesus, and to be transformed to grow in godliness.

So, the power that gives us eternal life is the same power that gives us a godly life. So, these two words, life and godliness, theologians have theology words. And I'll tell you the theology words for them. So, the theology words are justification and sanctification. These are two very important doctrines that are squeezed into these two words.

Justification and sanctification. So, justification is God has forgiven your sins, everything you have ever done wrong, and anything you ever will do wrong. If you are a Christian in Christ, it has been justified by His grace. You are counted righteous in Christ. God sees you as a perfected son or daughter because He sees you covered in Christ.

You are in Christ, and so what He sees in you is a justified son or daughter. Sanctification is God will change your life. This is a process. It happens over time. So, God has set you on a course that you will become godlier. So godliness, that means that if you take God and turn him into an adverb.

That's godly. So, a godly life is a life that resembles God in some way. Godliness is the noun form of that adverb, which is whatever the life of God looks like in a human being, that's godliness. And he's given you everything that you need to be godly. So, as we talked about this last week, justification is the beginning.

That's conversion. But all the good things continues. And God will give you all good things that you need to be transformed. So just, just take a moment to think about where you are right now. We've got probably I would imagine most of us here are Christians. Maybe there are some of you here that are not yet Christians.

Welcome. I'm glad you're here. I want you to hear what we have to say to you today. But for those of you who are Christians, think about where your life is right now. Maybe you're you've got strengths and weaknesses. You've got things that you're good at. areas of weakness or temptation and God is aware of all those things and God is going to work through all those things.

So, you may be an older man or woman and you can't remember a time in your life that you weren't a Christian or it's your salvation, your conversion happened many years ago and so you've, you've, the majority of your life for decades and decades perhaps you have been a follower of Jesus Christ.

Maybe that's some of you. Maybe there are others of you that you're brand-new Christians. It's like you're fresh out of the gate, just brand new, freshly minted believer, you just, the shrink wrap just came off, you've got that new Christian smell, but you're a new believer. All things that are necessary, not only to save you, but to carry you all the way through eternity to transform you and to make you godly, you already have it.

You already have it. There's, there's nothing else that you lack as far as what you have access to. Now you can, you can apply or not apply what you've been given, but it is not as though God has held any, withheld anything from you, all things. And for both brand new Christians or veteran Christians, the goal is the same.

God is taking you somewhere. And his plan is to transform you. So, who you are now is not who you are meant to be. God is not content to just leave you alone. There is a much better version of you that is possible, and that's what God is after.

Just don't, don't be content with, well, kind of, going through my life, just doing my thing. No, there's, there's so much potential that resides within you because of what God has given you. His power is at work in you. And there are things in your life that right now might seem like there's no way I will ever overcome this temptation.

Yes, you can. Because you, God has given you all things that pertain to life and godliness. Now don't hear me saying, it's like, we will reach perfect sanctification. I'm not saying that, but I'm saying that whatever, whatever you set your prayers and your effort and your discipline to, God can give you whatever it is that will make you godlier.

So, think of it, it's like he's, God is the artist and you're this canvas, and he's painting, he's creating, he's crafting, he's designing, he's doing something beautiful. So, the divine artist will use all of your desires, and your gifts, and your circumstances, and your relationships, and all these things will, will, will converge and, and work in such a way that you will be godlier throughout the course of your life.

That's his aim. The finished product. Will be something that will magnify the artist. It will display the artist's power and skill and glory. And God wants to manifest his power and his beauty and his glory in your DNA. So that who you are, your name, right now, your, your life is going to be a display of the power of God to change people.

That's where your life is headed. That's what God is doing in your life. That's what He wants to produce in you. And that's more important than your career. It's more important than your bills. It's more important than your problems or your hobbies or your interests. It's more important than all that.

What God is most aimed at. The best, the biggest, the highest, the ultimate. Is to make you godly. So, all this is set on that course. Now, how does it work? So, he’s given us all these things. Through, we'll keep going, through the knowledge of him, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.

So, let's talk about divine knowledge for a moment. So, God's power is working through knowledge. It's what, what does that mean? Whenever we think of knowledge, we usually think of data. You know, we're in a modern Western minds. We tend to, we tend to abstract things. So, we think of knowledge merely as just.

Information in our head, right? That's, that's what I think of knowledge. And so, you might think, well, I don't have a lot of Bible knowledge, or I don't know a lot of trivia, Bible trivia. Well, the trivia is not an end in itself. The Bible knowledge that you have serves a purpose and that is the real knowledge.

The real knowledge is knowledge of God. So, you see knowledge of him. So, it's not knowledge about him. It's knowledge of him. My wife and I will be married 25 years this this June, June 5th, 1999, is when we got married. June 5th, 1999. I know lots of things about her. There's a lot of things that I've yet to discover about her.

But I know her because I know her differently than I know the President of the United States. It's like, I'm aware of things about, I might, you could be, you could be a scholar in history. You can know George Washington and every fact there is to know about George Washington, and you know him, but you don't know him because he's dead.

But you know your spouse, you know your friends, you know your mom and dad or your children. That's what we're talking about here. It's an intimate personal knowledge. So that's the knowledge of God. It's more than a belief in God. We know lots of things, you know, water is wet. We know the earth is round.

We know Epstein didn't kill himself. There's things that we know, but the knowledge we're talking about here is a different kind of knowledge. You know, as a kid, I played flight simulator games. This is old technology. You kids don't know how bad it was back in the day when I was playing video games. When I was a little kid playing video games, I used to play Chuck Yeager flight simulator.

Alright, so I take my floppy disk, and I would put it in the computer. You don't even know what a floppy disk is. Google it sometime. But I take my floppy disk, put it in the computer, and I play Chuck Yeager Flight Simulator. You fly around, and you've got these little controls, you know. And then, you know, the buildings that will fly around was just like a square.

Just like this, this is, this thing just in the middle of your screen. But, in Chuck Yeager's Flight Simulator, I could take off from the airport, and I could fly to Chicago. And I can land the airplane. I know how to fly an airplane. I know how to fly an airplane from Cincinnati. Well, I didn't use Cincinnati at the time, but I, Chuck Yeager's flight simulator, I can fly an airplane from Cincinnati to Chicago.

Now do I know how to fly a plane? No, you would not. You would get off the plane if you saw me in the cockpit. You would not want to fly on that plane. Because I don't know how to fly it. The way that you know how to fly a plane is by flying the plane and learning how to actually do it. Being trained at the controls.

Knowledge is an action. It is, it is an experience. It is something that you're doing. So, the knowledge of God here is not just that you know stuff about God. It is that you experience God acting upon you, changing you. That's how you know him. You know him through the experience of your relationship with him.

And so, with this, this is the kind of knowledge that we have. There are elite Bible scholars that can Hebrew and Greek you to death. They know more information. They've forgotten more information than I'll ever know about the Bible, but they're at liberal seminaries that don't actually believe the things that they teach.

And so, these elite scholars that know Hebrew and Greek, and they know all the stories, and they know all the theology, they know all this stuff. Your four-year-old child Who believes in Jesus knows God better than they do because they don't know God, even though they know all kinds of things about God.

The knowledge of him here is an experiential knowledge. It is a, it is something where God is working in you and the fact that he is changing you, that is the experience of that knowledge. It's not just something in your head. So, we talk about as our mission statement to know, love, and obey. And the reason why we use all three of those words and we use them always together is because I don't want us to think that Having Bible information is enough, or to have heart affection is enough, or to do things religiously is enough.

No, it is the transforming that God wants to do. It's like you have knowledge of Him, but the knowledge produces a love and affection for Him, which produces a transformation of obedience to Him. But it is all one. It is all a singular gift. It's not three different gifts and you can pick and choose.

You get one, you get them all. There may be different entry points, but it is all a composite gift that we receive at once. And this is the knowledge that we have, that we receive. Peter's talking about the knowledge that changes you. And if it doesn't change you, you don't know God. That's the hard part.

It's hard to take, isn't it? But if somebody says, I know Jesus, but it doesn't change them, then they don't know Jesus. Because knowledge changes them. He's given us all things that pertain to life and godliness. He's given us that. That's his, that's his goal. That's what he's, that's what he's aimed at. His arrow is aimed right at that target, and he never misses.

God is going to get what he wants. It changes us.

So, somebody may play a spiritual flight simulator. You know, it's, it's a fun game, but it won't fly them to Chicago. They're not actually going to arrive there. They're just, they're play acting. They're LARPing. It’s something that they're just kind of involved in, a hobby, an interest.

But God's promise, and His guarantee, is that He's going to get you where He wants you. And that's, that, that's not pressure. It's not like, oh, I better get my act together to know God. No, that's like, that's comforting. It's like, hey, relax. God is, God is at work in you. Enjoy that, receive it. Like, God, where are you taking me?

I want to go where you want to take me. And just, like, follow God, let it happen, and take steps of obedience to let it happen. It's not this heap of pressure to like, it's like, I gotta white knuckle it through life. No, that's not the point here. The point is that God's power, his divine power, not yours, his divine power is working in you to take you where he wants you to go.

Alright, the next the next one here is calling. So, the knowledge of him who called us. This will all be a mess by the time I'm done. Who called us to his own glory and excellence. Whenever we hear calling a lot of times what we think is an invitation, right? It's like, well the phone, somebody calls you on your phone.

I can pick it up or not, you know, but it's like the call, but it's up to you. You have the option to, to pick it up or not. Kind of churches I grew up around, we had altar calls. Some of you may never experienced an altar call, but an altar call is where, you know, the pastor gets to the end of the sermon.

And, of course, he kinda lands it with this very impassioned plea. Like, you need to follow Christ. You know, it gets emotional, and all worked up. And then, the piano player or the organist comes up and they start playing this music. This tender music, it kind of stirs your emotions.

And two of the most popular ones are like, Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling. And it's like you sing that and everybody's singing it. And then the pastor, he comes down front and he say, come up here to the altar. And of course, there's like an altar up the front. It's like steps, really. But they called it an altar.

And you're supposed to get out of your seat and come forward and kneel down again. You got saved. That's the call. The call is, I'm calling to you, but you have to receive it. You have to choose to follow it. The other one is just as I am without you. It's like, some of y'all knew these songs. It's like, this is what they were.

And, and then the songs just kind of, kind of stir people up. And so, it's like, okay, preacher's calling. And then it's up to me to respond to the call. Peter's use of call is different. He's not talking about an optional invitation that you can accept or reject. The theological word for call is effectual call, at least the way that we're talking here.

It's an effectual call, which means the fact that he calls gets the job done. If he calls, then you answer. That's just because he called. So maybe But, you know, a better parallel to this is not an altar call, but the call of Lazarus at the tomb. So, Lazarus was dead for four days. He's dead, buried King James, the disciples like, Lord, he stinketh.

His body had begun to decompose. He was dead in the tomb. You know, Jesus rolls up to the tomb and he's like, Lazarus, come forth. That was a call. Now, how could, what were Lazarus's options at that point? He's like, no, do I want to get up? Do I want to be dead or not? I might choose to stay dead, or I might choose to be alive.

I don't know. Let me see. You know, Jesus said, no thanks. I'm just going to stay dead in here. Appreciate it. Of course not. Because the call was effective. It was an effectual call. The fact that Jesus called accomplished the purpose. It's the same kind of call that, that God did in the book of Genesis. He said, let there be light.

That's a call, but the call was effective. The light didn't have the option to not be. He called it into being. He, his calling accomplished the purpose that he was intending. So, God's call always accomplishes God's purpose. Again, that should encourage you. If you're a Christian, and I hope you are, then that means God has called you.

The fact that you're here, the fact that you believe in Jesus is because God called you.

God knew your name, God knew you. And to your dead soul, God said, Judith, come forth. And you rose to life. Now, it may not have been all dramatic and sudden, but you believed because God's calling saw to it that you would believe. It's an effectual call and that should encourage you. Now get this, the calling that brought you to faith in Christ.

It's the same calling that sees the project on to completion and we'll see it on into eternity and he will forever be calling out of you new degrees of joy and growth and delight in him. That's the calling. So, God called you, the knowledge of him who called us, but what did he call us to? That's really the operative thing.

It's like, well, he called us to his own glory and excellence. That's, that's more than salvation. The calling is aimed at something, and what it's aimed at is not merely your conversion. It includes your conversion, but it is much more than your conversion. It is that you will know in your life, know not just, not just a definition that you can look up in a dictionary, but know in your experience, in your life, you will know God's glory and you will know God's excellence.

And that's not, oh man, that's cool that God is glorious, and God is excellent. No, no, no. He's called you to it. His glory and His excellence, He's, He's called you to that glory and excellence. So that is the beauty of Jesus moral perfection and all the glory and, and, and all that that entails. He's called us to be ever increasing in our journey towards it.

Now, of course, God is an infinite being. And His glory is infinite, His excellence is infinite, His moral perfection is infinite. And so, we will always be on the journey, and we'll never arrive. But we're always getting a step closer and closer and closer and it's not as though you don't get to enjoy it when you arrive because we'll never be God.

That's not the point, but we're increasing towards it. And as we move towards it, it just, it fills us more, it delights us more, it transforms us more. We, we enjoy it more. That's what we're headed towards. That's the celestial city that they talk about in Pilgrim's Progress. But even then, the celestial city is not like, okay, you're here now.

You've arrived at your destination, and it stops. No, it's like, it's further up and further in to change the book. This is, C. S. Lewis is like further up and further in. We're always pursuing, we're always being transformed. And that transformation is something that God has called you to, which means it's going to happen.

It's going to happen. You don't have to manufacture it. You don't have to make it happen. It's going to happen. You submit to it and follow it, obey it. We have a part to play. But God will see to it that this will happen. It will happen in your life. So, this, this should encourage you, inspire you, motivate you.

We can look in the mirror and think this is the purpose for which I was made. Not my classes. Not your boyfriend or girlfriend. Not your car trouble. Not your, you know, your job or whatever. Those things are part of it, but those things are, are the, the circumstances within which God does the real thing, which is call you to his glory, call you to his excellence, and you move towards it.

And what's the power that does it? It's his divine power. All right, verse four. By which he has granted to us, here's the grant again, this is free, granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them, through what? Well, through these promises, you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

So as Christians, we believe. Promises. Wonderful promises. All that we're talking about today are promises, right? Things that God has done, and God will do. So, we anticipate good things, so promise is something that is, there is a future aspect to it, where we're hoping for something that we will attain. So, we pro God promised things and we hope for them, and this promise propels us forward, our hope in that promise propels us forward.

And the promise is that you may become partakers of the divine nature. Now that's a, that's a loaded phrase. And, you know, there, there's certain parts of the Bible where, you’re like, this is holy ground. This is tread carefully territory here because we're talking about something that is really like at the pinnacle of what, of the hope that we have.

So that just think about what does it mean to partake of something? In a different, you partake of a meal. So, it's, it has a connotation of eating, of, but eating as in being nourished by, of being sustained by, partaking meaning it's, it's something that is, I share in it, I participate in it. And that's, that's really the idea here.

It's that we're participating in, we're sharing in the divine nature, whatever that means. That's we're, that's what we're aimed at is we're, we're headed towards the divine nature. And so it's the Greek for partaker is koinonia, koinono, koinonos is the, the particular word here. But it's a form of koinonia, which you'd probably know as, if you've heard it before, it's fellowship, but it's an intimate fellowship.

It's closeness. I knew a guy once that described human koinonia, fellowship is kind of like he told me this when I was, I was on a summer trip, this Laura and I went on this trip together and we were college students. And the guy was, who led the project, he was teaching us about koinonia, and he said koinonia is what we'll have at the end of this trip.

And he illustrated that by at the end of the trip, you sit around in a circle, and you got all these, you know, 20 or 30 kids or whatever, and you take a lollipop, and you pass it around. You all, you keep licking it. He said, that's koinonia. We're partaking of something. We're sharing something together in the fact that we don't mind sharing with all these other people because we love them because we're close.

We will be partakers of the divine nature. This sharing is intimate sharing with God and it’s mind blowing. I don't really know exactly what that means and I think that's what we'll spend eternity finding out. That's the cool part. We get to. I'm so excited for that. I can't wait for that. And that hope that is within me that I hope to cultivate within you is something that makes me like I want as much of that as I can.

I want to experience is pull some of that into my own life now as much as I can. I'm frustrated by my own weakness and frailty that I can't, but I know that God's divine power is at work within me, so there's nothing I lack to increase in this. Partake. So, this is a future reality, promised now in the present, but experienced to some degree now, but ultimately in the future.

of this union with God. Here's another, another verse that says something similar. This is 18. And we all with unveiled face. So, he's talking about a future reality. Remember when Moses, if you know the story, Moses would meet with God face to face in Exodus. And whenever he came down, he had to veil his face because the glory that was on his, on his face was so intense that it would like radiate out.

It was like a light. He was like a glow in the dark Moses coming down from Mount Sinai. And we got to cover this thing up because he's kind of blinding us with the glory that is emanating from his own body. And so, this is a reference like, hey, we with unveiled face. So, we'll be in God's presence just like Moses was.

God face, face to face with God with unveiling face, beholding, seeing, experiencing the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image, image of God from one degree of glory to another. It's ongoing, continual. This comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. That's, that's what we're talking about.

That's partaking of the divine nature. So, we've already talked about the doctrine of justification which converts us. And we've talked about the doctrine of sanctification which transforms us. This is, there's one more here. And that is the doctrine of glorification. And that's what we're talking about.

Glorification is what we're aiming at, it's the, that's what's being promised here. So, if your, if your spiritual life had a GPS and you look down and it's like, where are you taking me? GPS? Where am I headed? And it's a spiritual GPS and God has already typed in the coordinates. Glorification is the destination.

It's like, no, you might, you might veer off course and head down a dirt road and drive through a river or whatever. It's like you, it may be a wild ride getting there depending on how obedient you are and just whatever life throws your way, I mean, there could be a lot of ways, but the destination is already plugged in.

And because God called you to that destination, you will arrive there. God will get you there one way or another. You're going to get there, but that's the coordinates in your justification. So, his purpose for your life is not merely justification, getting you saved and sending you to heaven. It includes that.

It has to, but it's not merely justification and it's not merely sanctification of just, you know, obedience and becoming more and more holy. It includes that, but it's not limited to that. Ultimately, God's purpose for your life is your glorification so that you will for all eternity. Increasingly, partake of the divine nature.

That's, that's amazing. That's an amazing thing. That's an amazing promise that is here in this, in this text. I want to show you a couple scriptures that, other parts of the Bible that say similar things. One of them is Romans chapter 8. You know, the first part of this, most, most people have heard this one at least, but just if you follow the thread, you see there's even, there's wonderful things that's included here.

So, we know that for those who love God, here's the part, you know, all things work together for good.

And where we screw up this verse is we limit it to our present circumstances. Oh, money's tight. I can't pay the bills. Well, God's going to work it for good. What does that mean? It means God's going to show up and give me some money. Come on. The fact that you don't have money is part of what God is using to sanctify you so that you may one day become a partaker of the divine nature.

The thing that he is currently depriving you of is so that he can provide something so much better for you. Now, he may, he may give you a lot of cash in the mail. He may do that, but that's not the ultimate purpose. That's not the good that he's aiming at. The good is your ultimate good, your highest good, and that is so that you will be glorified and partake of the divine nature so that you will forever experience these wonderful things in your life.

Blowing your mind day after day with glory, that's what he's aiming at. So, for those of you who love God, which is any Christian, all things in your life, no matter how great they are, no matter how hard it is, they all work together for good, and that's the good. And the good is those who are called, you remember we talked about this, called according to his purpose.

Well, what's this look like in this, this next couple of verses here, they call it the golden chain because you see point by point-by-point links in the chain where God does not lose anyone. Those whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son. Don't let that one land on you.

He can, he, he predestined you not to get saved, but to be conformed to the image of his son, which requires salvation. But the goal is even higher, to be conformed to the image of his son. So those he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

And those whom he predestined, he also called. And those whom he called, he also justified. And those whom he justified, he also glorified. So, God foreknew you, he set his affection on you, he loved you, and he called you, not like an altar call where he's singing Just as I Am, but like Lazarus was called out of the grave.

God called you in that way. And because he called you, he justified you. And because he justified you, he will glorify you. And notice all of these are written, I mean there's not like an exact past tense in the Greek, but the effect of the language here is past in that it is a certain thing that is completed.

So, the certainty of it is so certain that it can be spoken of in a way that sounds as though it has already taken place. And in the mind of God, it has. As far as God's concerned, God is not limited to time. Come on. God already knows all things, all times. See, God experiences all time, all at once. We are limited by time, but God is not limited in such a way.

So, God will do all of these things in your life. Here's another one. This is this is John chapter, 1 John 3:2-3. Beloved, we are God's children now. And what we will be, that's future. What we will be has not yet appeared. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him. Because we shall see him as he is.

And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. Do you see the logic there? You're God's children now, right? You're saved. You're a Christian. Praise God. But what you will be is not yet happened because he's not come back yet. So, we haven't experienced the return of Christ yet. So, we know there's something that we are now.

There's something that we will be in the future when he returns and when he appears, when he appears, then the real party begins where we are transformed to become more like him in ways that we can't even comprehend. And so, if we hope in that reality, then we kind of pull it back into this reality. I'm like, okay, if I hope in that.

Then I want to purify myself now just like he is. So, I'm going to get the party started now. I want to begin the process of obedience and sanctification now. You ever stared at the sun? I wouldn't recommend it. There's an eclipse coming up this year. I wouldn't recommend it then. In fact, whenever there's an eclipse a few years ago, it's like, we took the kids to the library, and we got these goofy glasses that are really dark, and you could look at it then.

But it's like, the filter's so dark that it can protect your eyes so you can see the shape. But of course, you wouldn't look at the sun directly. You'd go blind, even though the sun itself is 93 million miles away. You'd go blind.

If staring at the sun can ruin your eyes, how much more brighter and glorious is the maker of the sun? You definitely wouldn't want to stare him in the eyes, would you? The one who made it. First John 1:5 says, this is the message we've heard from him and proclaim to you that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.

So, you wouldn't want to stare at that. And the city has no need of sun or moon. This is revelation. So, here's the end of all time. This is eternity. The city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it for the glory of God gives it its light and its lamp is the lamb. So, God is light. God lights up, you know, all of, all of eternity with his brightness.

And yet we're told that when Christ appears, we shall see him as he is. Because we will be glorified. And so, we will, for the first time, be able to look into the face of God in some way. I mean, how this works, I don't know. But we'll be able to look upon God in such a way that will not ruin our eyes. But, well, we'll be lit up by it.

Our lives and our bodies will be filled with the light. And it won't, it won't harm us. It will edify us and delight us. We shall see Him as He is. That's what will happen. So, in that day, you will be a partaker of the divine nature.

So, you've probably experienced at one time or another, some inspiring moment where somebody said they believed in you, you know, if you were down or discouraged or you didn't think you could. I don't know if I could do well on this test, or I don't know if I could play well in this game, or whatever it is.

But somebody came along, and they believed in you, and because they believed in you, and they said, hey, you can do it, that it encouraged you, gave you hope, you kept going, and you were able to overcome difficulty. Peter isn't teaching self-esteem here. It's not a, you can do it, kind of message. He's not just trying to puff you up, you know, like a coach before the big game, but you're the one on the field having to do it.

It's like, it's not in our own strength. Remember where we started, it's not your power. You don't have to muster this or white knuckle it yourself. This is something that God does in you because it is His divine power, and his divine power has given you everything you need. So, whenever God says, this is what's happening, he's telling you, this is what's happening, and my power is the power within you to do it.

So, there's, there's nothing you lack, all things that you need. There's nothing that you lack. His power will carry you across the finish line. We're justified by him. He saved us. We're that's, that's done. It's certain. We're saved. We're sanctified. In him and sanctified me were called to his own glory and excellence and we're glorified.

We will be glorified, but in a way, it is so certain that it is already done. It's a, it's a done deal. It's happening. We will be partakers of the divine nature, and this was all God's plan from the beginning. So, I'm being, being encouraged by this. This is something that should build us up and be like, I'm, I want that.

I hope for that. I'm excited to receive that. Even though we see darkly right now. We don't, there's lots of things that are murky and unclear and, and troublesome that obscure our vision. But God's Word is clear. God's Word is sure and firm. And we know we can hope for this. We can believe it. His power is at work.

So, follow where He leads you. Submit to Him. Submit to His will. Submit to His Word. Follow, obey, take steps. To follow what he's, what he's telling you and you'll get there. I mean, God is leading you there. His power is at work in you. It's, it's certain. In fact, there's no power that can stop it because he has all power.

So, stay strong. God is up to something good. And I can't wait for all of us to be able to enjoy it forever. Let's pray. Our Father and our God, you’re so good, and I thank you for these precious and very great promises that You have given us in your word.

Lord, I pray that You will fill us with the excitement of a child, just giddy and eager, so that we can't wait to get there. I pray that You will lead us in such a way that you'll change our hearts and just give us a holy, wonderful excitement. And that we will have, we'll have the hope that you've intended for us to have, which is a certain confidence of where You're taking us.

Knowing that we'll get there. You'll, you'll get us there. So, help us, God, to believe you for these things. And I ask you, God, that you will strengthen our faith in every circumstance. And Lord, I pray for anybody here that doesn't know you in the way that we're talking about. They don't know Jesus. Show yourself to them.

Show yourself real to them. I pray that you will call them. It'll be undeniable, a stirring in their heart that will just demand within them. Scream out, I want this. And may they trust you, repent of their sin, believe in Jesus, and that they will get on this road of sanctification towards glorification.

But do that work, I pray. We ask you all these things in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen





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