There are lots of times I hear conversations about believers who talk about sin like Jesus did nothing about it. Sin has been so elevated above the shed blood of Jesus. Many are so confused that they are not sure of what Jesus did for us.
It is important for us to know that understanding our identity is key to living a life well pleasing to God. Our identity in the new covenant is rooted to perfect obedience of Jesus and not in our good works. The Old covenant described those under it with relation to sin but the new covenant reveals us in relation to righteousness.
Peter explained in 2 Peter 1:3-9
as His divine power has given to us all things that to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have been given a “divine nature”, which is the very nature of God. It is this life that we have received that is also known as Eternal life. At the new birth we were made to partake of a nature that is beyond sin and death. It is an incorruptible nature and one that is birthed in righteousness.
We now have a new position that is far above anything earthly. It is kingly position in the heavens. Believers are no longer rooted to sin but now founded in righteousness. Realizing this position can elevate us to new experiences in life.
The beautiful thing is that the things pertaining to life and godliness only come out of us as we increase in the knowledge of who God is within us. From this knowledge we then see the following progression in our lives: diligence, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and charity. As these fruits grow in your heart, they guarantee that the believer will never be “barren nor unfruitful” (verse 8).
This knowledge of God is revealed in the face of Jesus. He is the perfect expression of God. The law could show us the standards of God but not show his face, compassion and mercy. It is this knowledge that produces what Paul called the fruit of the spirit.
Fruit grows naturally, and needs only the God-given elements to do so. We cannot offer any coaching or prompting to make the apple tree give apples, so no prompting or works on our part makes the heart produce fruit. You cannot manifest godly character from self-development. I have seen many Christians struggle with showing forth character even with their determination to please the Lord. The issue is this: You cannot produce godly fruit with human effort.
The real question is this:
Why would Peter tell us that these things should be in our life if they must be brought out by the Spirit? He offers to explain why many Christians do not reflect godly traits in verse 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.”
If the believer lacks any of the virtues listed in verses 5-7 it is not because they are not Christians or not consecrated enough. It has nothing to do with their works or their effort. It is simply that they are blinded as to who they are in Christ by the law, and they have little spiritual insight into their position in Him. As a result, they have forgotten that the blood of Christ has taken their sins away.
When we grasp the understanding of the eternal redemption that we have in Jesus, it fills us with eternal security and confidence that assists to release the divine nature in us. Living a life with a constant reminder of your sin before you will paralyse you and make your life miserable. This takes one’s life on a downward spiral as it entangles you into a wormhole of seeking to please a God who is already pleased with the sacrifice of Jesus.
The truth is that so many problems could be avoided by all of us if we would remember on a daily basis that we are forgiven of our sins and not to be forgiven. The knowledge of forgiveness silences the voice of condemnation in our heart and lets us live free in the wonderful grace of God.
Our forgiveness is not rooted to the confession of our sins and repentance. It is rooted to the one sacrifice on the cross where God reconciled the world to himself in Jesus.
When we recognize that we are forgiven based on His grace and not our works, the veil will fall off our eyes and our spiritual insight will will grasp God’s purpose for our lives. Consequently, His fruit begins to explode in every area of our being and we walk in the “exceeding great and precious promises” (1:4).
Don’t call yourself a sinner saved by grace. You are no longer a sinner. You are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Remember that your old sins are gone and walk free in these sweet promises of our Father who calls you His own.