"Without an awareness of Christ's presence, we tend to live anxiously. We avoid hard things and are easily overwhelmed. But a clear sense of identity and provision gives us hope and courage to face the struggles and tempt`ations that come our way."
Blindness to God's ProvisionAs Peter states in his second letter, we have been "granted...all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2 Peter 1:3). Why does Peter use two words here, both "life" and "godliness", and what do they mean? Let's dissect them.
The second word (godliness) is meant to qualify the first (life). If Peter had simply said that God has given us everything we need for life, it would be easy to add the word "eternal" before it. This is how this passage is often interpreted.
We find it much easier to embrace the Gospel promise of life AFTER death than we do its promise of life BEFORE death. But when Peter says that God has granted us everything we need for "godliness," we know that he's talking about life right here, right now.
What is godliness? Here's a definition that you should write down somewhere – "godliness is a God-honoring life from the time I come to Christ until the time I go home to be with him."
Peter is saying that we cannot live properly in the present unless we understand the provision God has made for us. Many believers are blind to the fact that this provision runs deeper than the commands, principles, and promises of Scripture we normally associate with the pursuit of a godly life.
It's even more fundamental than the conviction of the Holy Spirit or our legal forgiveness. God's provision for a godly life now is literally Christ himself! He has given us himself so that we can be like Him.
Paul says in Galatians 2:20, "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Jesus is Emmanuel not only because he came to earth and lived with us, but because he actually lives within us now by his Spirit. His indwelling presence gives us everything we need to be who we are supposed to be and do what we are supposed to do.
Without an awareness of Christ's presence, we tend to live anxiously. We avoid hard things and are easily overwhelmed. But a clear sense of identity and provision gives us hope and courage to face the struggles and tempt`ations that come our way.
So as you go through your everyday life, remember – you have a new identity, not only because Christ has ransomed you, but because He lives within you. Yes, your legal standing altered for all of eternity, but you have also been filled today with the One who paid your price.
Paul David Tripp
What difficult life circumstance (relationship, job, health, etc) are you facing right now?
What does the promise of eternal life provide for that difficult life circumstance?
How does the power of Christ provide for that difficult life circumstance today?
How can you live a more God-honoring life today in the midst of that difficult life circumstance?
How can you counsel other believers facing difficult life circumstances?
To read more by Paul Tripp, visit his website at http://paultripp.com/.
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