2Pe 1:8-9 “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
Peter started his salutation in this letter with a desire to see his audience increase and grace and peace. His instruction that follows this sentiment has been given to lead us into even greater abundance. The qualities described in 2Peter 1:5-7, if they are in us and abound, have a wonderful effect in our lives. The presence of these qualities (“be in you”), and our acting on them in our daily lives (abounding), root us (“make”; to put down permanently) so that we are unmovable.
Our steadfastness means that we will not be idle (barren) or non-productive (unfruitful). Rather, we will be employed in manifesting the grace and peace of Jesus in our lives. The word translated as knowledge in verse 8 goes back to the idea of acknowledgement. If the qualities that we add to our faith be in us and abound, then we will be employed in acknowledging Christ in our lives with all we do and say.
Most of us understand the idea of being employed (“not barren”). If I am employed, then I have tasks set before me by my employer. I perform these tasks to the best of my ability when and where I am expected to do them. In other words, I acknowledge my employer by faithfully carrying out that which is expected of me. I do this on a regular basis, and if I am a good employee, I do it with thanksgiving and a desire to do it well. Do we serve God with thanksgiving and a desire to do it well? Do we do it regularly (daily) to the acknowledging of our Lord Jesus in our lives? If the attributes in verses 5-7 be in us and abound, then the answer is “Yes!”
Conversely, if we do not do these things daily, then we are not in good condition. Our vision is failing, and where there is no vision, the people perish (Pro 29:18). If these attributes are not in me so that I acknowledge Christ, then I will begin to trust in the flesh. I will not be able to lift up my eyes to the hills where my help comes from. I will forget a very important principle in serving my Lord; that I was purged from my old sins.
There are two important principles being taught in this statement. First, I was purged from my sin. In no way does this language imply that I purged myself from my sins. Any doctrine that would have us believe that we are purged from our sins by any means other than the blood of Jesus Christ is flawed. We cannot cleanse ourselves from our sin; we cannot make ourselves righteous. To declare such a thing fails to acknowledge Christ.If we fail to acknowledge Christ, then we are blind (not dead…blind).
Secondly, we do not lose the purging from our sins; we lose the knowledge of how that happens. We do not lose our eternal deliverance, but we lose the salvation of knowing that Jesus was the acceptable sacrifice for our sins. We are constantly burdened with our failures and our faults. We live in constant fear that our mistakes will catch up with us. This type of fear does not come from God (2 Ti 1:7). We fall prey to this fear when we have forgotten that we were purged from our sins with a price more precious than gold. Peter’s counsel is not teaching us that our work has anything to do with our sins being forgiven us, but rather that our peace is in knowing that our sins are forgiven by the finished work of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
May we acknowledge (confess) with our lives the grace and peace of our God who, through His son Jesus, has cleansed us from our old sins, and by the working of the Holy Spirit allows us to see beyond ourselves!