This week we shall be reading through Peter’s second letter to the early Christians scattered in various parts of the Roman Empire. In it, Peter aims to strengthen the faith of these new followers of Jesus, and then warns them to watch out for those who might teach things contrary to a real understanding of what it means to be a Jesus follower. It would seem that already there were people with a wrong understanding of the person and work of Jesus who were able to lead astray the unwary.
v 3 God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
v 4 He has given us great and precious promises.
When Peter was writing this letter (about 67 AD seems likely) becoming a Christian – a Jesus follower – was totally counter-cultural. Most people would have had very little idea of what it meant to be a Christian, what it involved and how much of a life-changing belief it was. Generally, religious belief of any kind involved little or no life-style change. There was very little connection between religion and morality; they were in separate compartments of life. So the first hurdle that many new followers of Jesus had to face was that their new beliefs impacted on the way they were to live. Jesus was so much more than ’Just another God’ in the broad pantheon of gods that they could choose to worship. He was Lord of life, and that meant living the way that He had taught. It is perhaps hard for us to realise just what a re-alignment of life that was for these people.
Now, such a change would have struck them as difficult and demanding. Just in case they felt it was all too strange and hard Peter makes the sweeping assertion that God had already given them everything they need to follow Jesus and live in a way that would please Him. The Jesus they were following was on their side and had given them His Holy Spirit and the power to live as God wanted. That was His promise that each of them could claim.
Believe me, you are not the first person to find it hard to live in the way God wants! He makes the Christian life possible as He lives in and with you and promises – absolutely – to walk with you through life.