“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.”
2 Peter 1:3
This small verse is packed full of huge truths. At the very least, we can see that as believers we have absolutely no excuse for living in sin, defeat, immorality, or immaturity. It says clearly that God has (past tense) given us everything we need (not some of what we need, and then the rest gradually as we struggle through some things) for life and godliness… in other words, there are no excuses!
We live in a culture that prides itself on excuses for everything. “I have a struggle with ___________ because _________” (fill in the blank with whatever sin you want to live in for whatever crutch you’ll hold to in order to live in it). That’s basically what excuses are – a crutch giving you comfort for doing something you know you shouldn’t do. You know that having a porn addiction is wrong. So rather than confessing it as sin and moving forward in the power of God towards victory, you say things like “I was touched when I was a kid”. You know that laziness and slacking off is a sin. So rather than looking to God to help you be faithful and work with excellence, you blame the fact that you never had a good example growing up.
How long are you going to blame your past deficiencies for your present failures? How long are you going to hold onto your sin for a poor excuse? Granted, these things may be the reasons for doing whatever we do, but the word is clear that those reasons are not excuses. I am in no way trying to trivialize anyone’s struggles, or make light of anyone’s past. I am saying, however, that there is victory in Christ and there is no excuse for living in defeat. We somehow convince ourselves that because we think we have a good excuse, that maybe God agrees with us. The fact is that God says there are no excuses if you are in Him, because “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness”.
Notice the rest of the verse, though. It doesn’t just say that God’s divine power has given us everything we need… it says that His divine power has given us everything we need through our knowledge of Him. Here’s the breakdown:
- You have no excuse because God has given you everything you need to live a godly life
- You can only live this godly life by His divine power (you cannot do it in your own strength)
- His divine power is only accessible through our knowledge of Him
The Greek word for “knowledge” in this verse is “epignosis”, which Thayer’s bible dictionary defines as “precise and correct knowledge”. The NLT translates this verse as saying “we have received all of this by coming to know Him“. In other words, if you want to tap into the power source from which godly living stems from, it is only done through coming to know Him – through seeking God intimately. To put it negatively, if you are not living a godly life, it’s because you are not plugged into His divine power. If you are not plugged into His divine power, it’s because you are not seeking His face. Or to put it positively – if you want to live a godly life, it is only done by His power. To have His power working in your life, it comes by seeking His face.
When I see this scripture, and hear the Spirit of the Lord though it say “NO EXCUSES!” I don’t feel a heavy burden, or condemnation, or something that is negative in any way. On the contrary, I see liberty! I see hope! I see victory! I realize that no matter what struggle, or sin, or act of immaturity I may have to deal with in my life, that there is no reason to stay in it. His divine power has given me everything I need for life and godliness through my knowledge of him who called me by His own glory and goodness!
I have seen God’s divine power break the strongholds of decades of addiction. I have seen God’s divine power break through years of sexual immorality that go back for several generations. I have seen God’s divine power break through some of the roughest sins rooted in some of the roughest pasts: anger, malice, sexual immorality, slothfulness, witchcraft, depression, anxiety… the list goes on forever… and every time, God’s divine power proves to be stronger than any sin, and every excuse.
“Heavenly Father, forgive me for the times I’ve tried to make excuses for things that you have already given me victory over through Christ. I thank you, Lord, for your divine power which gives me everything I need for life and godliness. I pray that you would imprint this truth on my mind so that I would never stray far from you. I pray that I would always seek your face, and thank you for the fact that by doing so, I get the privilege of experiencing your divine power. In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN!”