20 April 2009

2 Peter 1:9 and the Gospel

Some of you know I'm working through the connection between the gospel and growth, or justification and sanctification.

2 Peter opens with a reminder that God's "divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness," then exhorts us to "make every effort to supplement" our faith with: virtue, knowledge, self-control, and so on. The point is, this is dealing with the general theological area of sanctification. Growth.

And in light of what I'm slowly becoming convinced of this year--that, against our instincts, it is the gospel itself that fuels sanctification--I was arrested by the principle Peter puts beneath all this "effort": "For (gar) whoever (universal statement) lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins" (1:9).

Amazing. Not growing in virtue, self-control, godliness . . . ? You've forgotten the very gospel that got you in in the first place. You were cleansed from those former sins. As you remember that (note "having forgotten"), "these qualities are yours and are increasing" (v. 8).

Off to the Gospel Coalition tomorrow. At the end of the week I'll get up some quotes from Berkouwer's Faith and Sanctification that have further hammered these nails home.


Eric said...

Great insight, Dane. I find experientially (always a second best to biblically, but still important) that remembering my justification before God is a great weapon in struggling with sin: that I really have been washed from it. Counter-intuitive to me, but I find it repeatedly true.

I'm really thankful for constant reminders like this, thankful for blogs like yours and others that disseminate the gospel and all its blessed implications.

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