The believer in Jesus Christ has the divine power which gives us everything required for life and holiness. 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. [HCSB- Holman Christian Standard Bible] So why am I ineffective and unproductive in life and holiness?
Verse 9 tells us what happens to those who lack the 8 qualities described in vv. 5-7 [“5…faith, moral excellence, ..knowledge, 6 …self-control, … perseverance, … godliness, 7 …brotherly kindness, and… love”. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.]
I will never forget reading these verses in September 2011 in “How People Change” [HPC] by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp. When a person is saved/born again we “become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world” v.4. As new members of God’s family the believer has been saved from the penalty of God’s eternal wrath and has the divine nature that gives the power to escape corruption and lust and do God’s will.
HPC notes that the church has explained salvation by grace through faith and our eternal home in heaven secured at the same time. HPC refers these two events as “Justification [Then] and Glorification [Then]”. The problem comes in the “and”, the time described as Sanctification between the “Then’s” . This is the time a believer is on earth “being conformed to the image of His Son” [Romans 8:29c] There is a tension between diligent pursuit on our part and by His grace. Some people say it is all the believers’ efforts and some all by His grace.
I know from experience when I try to increase in growth in the qualities in vv. 5-7 only by my efforts, the results is failure. The truth from scripture is it is my diligent pursuit by His strength and power and by His grace during the [Now].
HPC describes this process as Justification [Then], Sanctification [Now] and Glorification [Then]. When the believer focuses on the “Now” diligently by grace recognizing God has given us everything we need for life and holiness, the result will not be “blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.” Instead it will continued growth toward the image of Jesus Christ.
Here is a table I have prepared showing these three phases and relevant scripture. The first two rows of scripture contain all three phases together: then-now-then-11-4-2016
Henry Luke November 7, 2016