2Pet 1:1-4 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pet 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth.
We are informed that everything we would ever need, that pertains to life and godliness, is supplied to us by way of knowing Him as Saviour. We lack nothing if we are in Christ. This is a keynote in this epistle. We have great promises by which we can partake or enjoin in communion, of the very divine nature of God itself.
But we can forget that we were purged from our old sins.
2Pet 1:9 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 said that we have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
2Pet 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.This point becomes a major issue in this epistle by Peter. Please take special note of it. Having "escaped" this corruption means that we are completely free of it.
He also said we have everything we need to be godly people.
2Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:Mark it down. We have all things that pertain towards life and godliness right now. And we are already escaped from the pollutions that are in the world. But there is a danger of forgetting this truth. And many have done just that, due to lack of knowledge. Believers by the hundreds suffer condemnation and have forsaken the right paths, feeling ill worthy of God's goodness. Somehow, an oily dark lie has seeped into their light and they began thinking they had need of more holiness and more righteousness.
Since there is such a pressure from the enemy of our souls to get away from the he wonderful truths that we are purged from sins and have already escaped corruption, Peter writes that we see something occur in our lives to prevent a failure of this life of faith. We must add to our faith the following items:
2Pet 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.And Peter makes a grand statement after listing these items.
2Pet 1:8 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.What a promise! What a note of victory! If we learn more of the will of God from the Word, and add self control and patience to our faith, we will be fruitful. There will be evidence that all can see that proves you know Christ. Fruit will come of that knowledge. This life will "produce."
But how many believers have you met who are not able to produce a fruitful life because they are so busy trying to be free from sin and the spots of sin? In their minds they are unclean and unworthy people. They are under so much condemnation that they cannot think of themselves as being fruitful in God's Kingdom, for they feel the task set before them to be clean from sinfulness is too great a problem to allow us to think of something beyond that.
Peter teaches there is good news for the believer!
If we simply let things flow after we are saved and do not add some things to our faith, not learning about this faith, we will lose something. Oh, if all Christians would add to their faith!
2Pet 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.Notice this carefully. Once we have escaped the corruption that is in the world, that escape is total. Having been purged from old sins is a most blessed experience. To be purged means to be totally cleansed. And Peter warned that one will simply forget they were totally cleansed if there is no adding to their faith. Peter stated that as a fact. It will happen. How so? There is a liar in the world.
The serpent came along and offered that very fruit to the woman.
Think of the nature of this fruit for a moment. We read that it was of "the knowledge of good and evil." God did not want them to have that. He desired them to eat of the only other tree that was actually named at the beginning -- Life. Think about this. He wanted man to have LIFE rather than the knowledge of good and evil. This is enlightening in view of the issue of true and false prophets in the world.
Throughout society, what is commonly referred to as "religion," for the most part, is exactly what God did not want man to have. It is an abundant supply of the knowledge of good and evil. People look at Church and Religion as a thorn in humanity's side, constantly prodding them about how wrong their actions are and how they should rather do the good. This is the concept that mankind holds today regarding the very issues of God and religion.
The people who refuse to even check into life for God and life for Him, reject Him for the reason that they do not relish the thought of always being prodded of what not to do and what to do instead. To them, religion is simply the supply of the knowledge of good and evil. And they do not want that. That sounds too ugly and boring. And no wonder, for most of religion is just that -- the knowledge of good and evil.
The concept of the knowledge of good and evil is actually an instinct within man's nature that rises up as tinted glasses everytime the thought of God is introduced to a person, and distorts the true colour of the issue of God. It seems that it is an automatic response in the human heart to begin to analyze what is good and what is evil in one's life when the thought of God comes up. People see religion as being a supplier of the knowledge of good and evil, but the concoction of false religion began with the instinct to provide each other with the knowledge of good and evil. There is more false religion in this world than one might imagine.
Now, I speak of "religion" in the general sense, and am aware that "pure and undefiled religion" is that which is truly God's desire for us to experience.
Jame 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.But the above description of true religion is unfortunately not what we call most of "religion" that is in the world today.
It came from the serpent.
The serpent knew that God willed for mankind to have LIFE and not merely the knowledge of good and evil. True religion is not a supplier of the knowledge of good and evil, as though it hands you the rules and the codes for you to follow that you might do the good and avoid the evil. No. True religion is a relationship with the very Life of God, Himself.
God wanted man to have His Life within. God did not make man to obey a set of rules and be dictated to all his life. He made us in His image so that He might fill mankind with His own eternal Life. One old preacher said it this way: God made a shape of Himself inside man that only He could fill.
And Satan knew what would happen should man be filled with the Life of God. Now, at that time, the Life of God was shown to be a fruit from the tree of Life that man should eat. Get the concept God was trying to show us. God's Life must be put inside of man, and that was illustrated by a man eating a fruit.
Satan would not stand to see this happen. So he offered something that looked very religious and would likely fool his prey into taking it instead of Life. His fruit was the knowledge of good and evil. And since our first parents ate that fruit, this poison has become an "instinct" in our hearts that causes us to immediately look towards the concept of the knowledge of good and evil when we consider the issue of God. As a result, 99% of all religion today is based upon that lie of a concept. All religion, except the true religion, is simply a storehouse offering mankind the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. People walk into this storehouse, take from it their share of fruit, and go on their ways trying to make themselves avoid the evil and do the good after having received information of what is evil and what is good.
God never intended this to be.
Matt 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
By the fruit you will know the true and the false. It is only
one of two kinds of fruit. Nothing has changed since the picture
in Genesis of the two kinds of fruit.
Satan managed to lure Eve from even tasting of the fruit of life. But when Peter wrote his second epistle, he was concerned about the people who already partook of the true fruit and were truly saved by Christ's life, filled with His Spirit. He was aware that even after one experiences the true "fruit of life", Satan will nevertheless try to have them "change trees." Satan will try to inflict upon them the lie that they are not complete in Christ. He will lie saying they are not escaped from the corruption in the world. And the devil will try to urge us away from the knowledge that we were purged totally from our old sins, and get us on the track of trying to improve upon ourselves.
After listing the things we must add to our faith, Peter said that the lack of these things causes blindness, disabling one to see far off. The present truth affects our futures. Peter referred to our lives in the future as believers when he spoke of not being able to see "afar off."
2Pet 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.Note this thought of not seeing far off. We must lift up our eyes and look forward. We must look ahead and see that we are to progress and grow in Christ. Some think that all there is to this life is what they already know. They look at Christianity so lowly that it is simply the start of a habit of going to church week in and week out. Such are already nibbling from the false fruit. They have come to see Christianity as a continual ritual.
But the truth is that there is a place of solidity in Christ where nothing can remove us from the faith that we are cleansed from sin and the pollutions of the world. And Peter warned us about false prophets in this book. The enemy is not going to sit around and watch you enjoy your new creation life. You must therefore prepare yourself so that you will not fall. The peddler of the false fruit will come to your door trying to deceive you with lies, and this false fruit has been successful in destroying the faith of many believers since the dawn of mankind.
2Pet 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:What we have we must make solid. We must diligently put everything into our desire to solidify this experience of salvation. Otherwise Satan's lies will affect us. Count on it -- Satan will come and lie to you.
Peter begins to inform us of some things we must be aware of. He said that his determined effort would be to remind them again and again of their need to grow and mature and add these things to their faith. He would remind them of their need to solidify their salvation. He would remind them that they are complete in Christ and are already purged from sins.
After saying they were escaped from the corruption in the world, and that they were purged of their old sins, he wrote of reminding them and establishing them in the present truth.
2Pet 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know [them], and be established in the present truth.The "present truth" is the fact that believers are cleansed from sin and purged from it completely. There is no need to be cleansed from sin once we have been purged of it.
2Pet 1:13-15 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting [you] in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off [this] my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.He repeats his concern. Our present status is that of a spotless and clean life, having been purged from our old sins. We were unclean. We were sinful. But we have escaped the corruption of the world.
By the weight of concern he had for his students in the Word, we know that the idea of error causing people to forget they were purged from old sins is of utmost importance. We often look at the blatantly false prophets of our time and point fingers at them in warning to believers. But the most subtle of lies is not that we will be gods and goddesses, as the Mormons propose. That is blatantly false. Notice that the serpent was described as the following:
Gene 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.The most subtle lie is the one that looks so true. To think that we come to know Jesus Christ that we might receive instruction of how to purge ourselves from filthy sins we carried with us into the Church to one day be spotless before God is absolutely a lie, but is exactly what many believers have come to settle down with in their faith. Peters smashes a hammer blow to such false doctrine right from the start of his epistle, and exposes it as nothing other than the knowledge of good and evil.
There is a present truth of being completely free from sin that we must drill into our hearts. Peter would remind them again and again of this fact.
2Pet 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:This truth will lighten itself in our hearts until we experience a bursting dawn of daylight inside, and Christ, the day star, the morning star, will arise inside our lives. But we must take heed to this truth "Until..." something happens. We must learn fully of it. We must breach a threshold of revelation concerning this. It needs to become a part of us.
Paul taught something else about our present position.
Roma 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.We were baptized into His death and were buried.
Roma 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.We were crucified with Him.
Colo 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.We are risen with Him.
These are all past tense experiences. But what is the present condition?
Ephe 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;We were quickened with Him.
Ephe 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:But presently we are seated with Him in heavenly places.
What is the description of His seating in heavenly places?
Ephe 1:20-23 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.He is above all things. Above every power, good or evil, that exists! And we are seated with Him there. That is quite a difference in contrast to the lowly lives many believers live. Not only do many forget they were purged from sins, and think they have a life-long battle to free themselves, but they cannot see that they are seated above all powers! They so much lack the understanding given by the Word. No wonder Peter told us to add knowledge to our faith!
Ephe 1:15-18 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,Paul prayed constantly that believers' eyes of understanding would be opened to know what God did for us in Christ. He prayed that we would have a spirit that is capable of receiving revelation regarding these truths. He prayed that we would intimately know this.
Paul said that they had faith (1:15). But now they must add to their faith (1:17-18). Knowledge and revelation must be added to our experience. Again, this is exactly what Peter said.
Imagine a believer seated above every power that would contend again him, but not knowing he is there. Since the devil is a liar, our enemies are certainly going to lie to us. What do you think their major lie is going to be? When they see us above them in all power with Christ, and they seek to defeat us, what lie do you think they will use?
2Pet 2:1-2 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.There will be many who will follow these false teachers. Many believers will forget they were purged. Many will be deceived into thinking they must improve upon themselves to be free of sins. And is this not exactly what we see rampant in Christianity today? Oh, how we must teach the present truth of being totally freed from sin.
Thes false teachers will deny the Lord that bought them. In order for this to occur, they must first have been truly saved and bought by Christ.
1Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.But these people forgot they were purged and entered into a labour of endeavouring to purge themselves in self-advancement. They were believers, themselves, who slipped into error and thought that they needed to cleanse themselves of sins. And they began feeling the urge to teach others about this error of thinking, and fell right into Satan's trap. Not only did he fowl up their lives and faith, but he used them to spread their error to others.
1Cor 7:23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.
People would look to such false teachers and recall these folks were genuinely saved. And they were! Peter said the Lord bought them. But they denied the Lord that Bought them, but resorting to their own flesh in being their answer to godliness of life.
When you realize the point of this issue, you will find that much of what the New Testament deals with is this very thing! Paul told the Galatians they were bewitched. This church fell into the same error of forgetting they were purged from their old sins and from the thought that the work was finished. They resorted to rituals in the flesh rather than allowing the Spirit of God to complete their lives.
Gala 3:1-3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?Paul scoffed at their lack of faith and their error of ritualizing Christianity.
Gala 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.
Gala 5:3-5 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
Gala 4:10-11 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. (Sabbath Keepers, take warning!)
Paul told these people that he was convinced he, Paul, was crucified with Christ. He was not fooled by false doctrine. he knew where he stood in Christ. He knew that the idea of a need to perform works in order to gain righteousness or increase it was nonsense.
Gala 2:19-21 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.He did not live by law and works, but by faith. And he knew that to try to work himself to better righteousness was to simply frustrate God's grace and hinder it from working. Satan knows that one can actually nullify the works of the cross in one's life if one tries to take over the work and improve oneself in the flesh.
Satan knows that if righteousness must be achieved through a law-type living forth of rituals and works, then Christ's death is in vain so far as that law-working soul is concerned. What need had Christ in dying for us if we could simply work ourselves to a righteousness worthy of salvation?
Paul travailed in birth for the Galatians that Christ would be formed in them again, for they no longer revealed Christ in their lives, but rather initiated the task of achieving righteousness outside His strength, that could never match the righteousness God already gave them when they were first saved!
Paul wrote to them about their danger by comparing them with Abraham who sought to have a child of promise by resorting to the flesh and producing Ishmael. One can produce two kinds of "children" -- Ishmael or Isaac. We can be one of two kinds of Christians. A false Christian and a true one living by faith. Hagar was the counterpart of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She would produce a counterfeit offspring over and against what God desired for Abraham.
After Paul noted his travail in birth until Christ be formed in them, he noted the two offsprings, the true and the false.
Gala 4:19-23 My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he [who was] of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman [was] by promise.Satan would like us to produce an Ishmael. It takes a miracle from God for Isaac to be born. Abram received a miracle in having his veritably dead body, dead as far as fathering a child was concerned, resurrected. He began in the Spirit. But he should have believed for Sarah to have a miracle also and have her womb resurrected from death. He began in the Spirit but tried completing the work in the flesh by taking Hagar to mother a child.
God begins the work and He completes the Work.
And he exhorts the people to :
Gala 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.Once you are free, stay in that freedom. Like Peter, Paul warned about false prophets who would remove you from your freedom and from all that you have in Christ.
2Pet 2:14-15 Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;And Peter once again referred to the point of remembering the truth.
2Pet 2:18 For when they speak great swelling [words] of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, [through much] wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
2Pet 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known [it], to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog [is] turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
2Pet 3:1-2 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:He then goes on and speaks about the coming of the Lord, and that it is a definite thing. And then he wrote:
2Pet 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.We are without spot or wrinkle when we are first saved. But we must keep ourselves in that position. God put us in Christ and in Him we are complete. In Him we have peace, and are without spot or blameless.
Paul likewise commented upon his desire to be found of Christ, whe he returns, in righteous standing.
Phil 3:8-9 Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:We need to ensure we ramin in Christ so that God finds us righteous and spotless in Christ's righteousness and spotlessness.
And Satan would like for nothing better than to deceive us before Christ returns, and have us walk away from our position in Christ where we had all we required. He would love for us to lose our completion in Christ. And Peter ends his epistle with the thought that we better ensure we are grounded in the fact that we are perfect in Christ, and have all that we require in Him, so that we will be found in that same spotlessness that was granted to us at salvation when Jesus returns.
Colossians reads wit the same issue !
Colo 1:20-23 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;Paul wrote that "peace" was made through the Cross, as 2 Peter 3:14 noted peace found in Christ. Romans reads the same!
Roma 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Ephe 5:25-27 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.The washing of water is not accomplished after we are saved, but is what saved us. We read that Christ gave Himself, and this refers to His death for us. And then we read that He died so that we might be washed with water. This is water baptism wherein we are baptized into His death. But it is in vain if it is not "by the word." Paul is not proposing a ritual baptism, but a baptism in actual water with faith in Christ's death as us. The faith we exert in the word of truth that teaches how Christ died for us that we might be baptized into His death is what brings us salvation.
Notice that Christ died so that we can be baptized into His death.
Roma 6:3-4 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.By being baptized into His death we are freed from sin, and therefore purged from our old sins.
Roma 6:6-7 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.We died with Christ.
The body of sin is destroyed. We are purged from our old sins. We are not in a state of having need of being purged. We are already purged. Peter warned that false prophets will try to tell us that we are in need of being purged. They will teach us that we are full of spots and must come to a place where we are free of spots and wrinkles. But the truth of the matter is that we are already without spot since we were baptized into Christ's death.
We are already washed:
1Cor 6:10-11 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.The point is that we must be made fully aware of the fact that we are washed completely since we have been saved, lest the enemy's lies deceive us into believing otherwise, and we lose our faith and become entangled in bondage again. The devil knows that if we try to accomplish a work with our own feeble flesh to achieve righteousness that it will be nothing but self-righteousness.
Reve 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Notice that Abraham resorted to a woman who personified the agent of bondage. She was an Egyptian from a land that bound God's people into slavery later in time. We will return into a bondage from which God saved us, if we walk out from within trust that Christ is our righteousness and holiness.
The False Prophet warned about in epistle after epistle is the teacher who tells us that we are spotted and wrinkled and have need of cleansing from sin, when we already have been washed spotless by Christ.
Reve 19:7-8 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.We read of a Bride made ready for the wedding. How was she made ready? The epistles teach us the answer. The believer must be washed with water by the Word and rendered spotless by baptism into Christ's death. And we must remain in that faith.
1Joh 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.We will remain spotless if we remain in Christ, for there we experience a continual cleansing by His blood. "Cleanseth" means continual cleansing.
Some are so paranoid of sinning due to severe sin-consciousness that they can only imagine repenting every five minutes to stay clean. That is another subtle version of the knowledge of good and evil, for it induces one to sweat.
But there is a place of faith we need to be in, in which we know that fellowship with Him is an actual communion and partaking of His divine nature. And this nature of Christ keeps us above sinning. It is the wearing of His righteousness.
Being clothed in righteousness that is figured by linen robes depicts a righteousness not worked for by the wearer.
Ezek 44:17-18 And it shall come to pass, [that] when they enter in at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and no wool shall come upon them, whiles they minister in the gates of the inner court, and within. They shall have linen bonnets upon their heads, and shall have linen breeches upon their loins; they shall not gird [themselves] with any thing that causeth sweat.Opposed to wool that causes sweat, linen robes were the garments of God's priests. So if our righteousness is indicated by linen robes, then the righteousness we have does not cause us to sweat. We did not WORK to achieve it. We rest in Christ's work. The work is completed. He made us righteous.
Righteousness is a gift.
Roma 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)The Bride must be arrayed in fine linen. She must be clothed in righteousness that is not derived from her works. Somebody sweat for there to be robes of righteousness, but it is not the saint of God. Jesus sweat.
Peter wrote of the need to remain spotless for the return of Christ, and made reference to Paul's writings about righteousness.
2Pet 3:13-16 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.Paul wrote much about our need to remain in Christ, for there we find our only completion.
Colo 2:6-11 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:Paul spoke identically as Peter in reference to the revelaiton of being finished in Christ.
Jude made reference to a faith atht we must contend for, in fear of being deceived by false prophets. That faith is the same one Peter and Paul referred to. It is the faith that we are complete in Chirst.
Note the manner in which Jude introduces his epistle:
Jude 1:1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, [and] called:We are sanctified by God and preserved in Christ. Preserved? Ahhh. We are made snctified by God and are preserved so by remaining in Christ. This is what John said in speaking of a continual cleansing by the blood. Not a continual repenting, in fear that we did something wrong that would keep us from being ready to meet the Lord. Simply trust in Christ as your strength and your place of holiness, and you are being cleansed from uncleanness that may try to corrupt your righteous standing in Him.
Jude 1:3-6 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort [you] that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.Jude noted those who once were cleaned but were removed back into sin again. This is what Peter stressed.
Keep the faith that Christ is our only holiness.
We are as holy as holy can be, only on account of the fact that God's Spirit is in us. But we must perfect holiness.
2Cor 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.This is not cleansing ourselves from sin, but from filthiness of the flesh. There is a large difference. Only God can cleanse us from sin. But we can remove from our lives fleshly things that are not conducive to Christian living. We only ask for trouble if we set before ourselves that which allures the lusts of the flesh. How do we perfect a holiness that is ultimate?
Ephe 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now [are ye] light in the Lord: walk as children of light:As Paul told the Ephesians, we already are children of light. We must only walk like it now. Live like it. Our conduct will progressively become more and more holy, although we are already holy ourselves. Our behaviour must become holy now that we have been made holy. But our behaviour does not become holy as the result of human effort to make ourselves act correctly. Our behaviour will be holy as we continue to stand in Christ for our righteousness, and continue to beleive that without unity with Him, we are filthy. And we consciously exert faith for Him to strengthen us to do His will.
Paul pointed this out to the Romans.
Roma 6:13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.We must yeild ourselves to God along with the physical members of our bodies. We will not only use our bodies, but He wil also use them for His will. Tell the Lord that you are His and that you know that you cannot do anything without Him and His strength. And in faith, believe God to act through you and with you. Together with Christ, we accomplish great things!
2Cor 6:1 We then, [as] workers together [with him], beseech [you] also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.
Hold to the PRESENT truth.