“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence”
> 2 Peter 1:3
In a few verses after this, verses five through seven, Peter states essentially that as a result of the work of God to reconcile us to Himself, we are to supplement our faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with steadfastness, steadfastness with godliness, godliness with brotherly kindness, and brotherly kindness with love. However, we cannot simply press in to obtain these qualities by our own power and strength. It is not possible. Jesus made this very clear. “Apart from Me, you can do nothing.” We are corrupted in our nature and we must have something externally come in and change us. And not only is it not possible for us to morally reform ourselves and thus make these virtues our own, but if we pursue it in that fashion (as if it were possible), it is extremely dangerous and we stumble, as it were, over the stumbling block, that is Christ. This is what the Pharisees were guilty of. It is called self-righteousness, and it not only does nothing to profit you in your pursuit of holiness, but rather it stifles you. In addition to that, it is offensive to God Himself that anyone would suppose they could stand on their own moral merits, which simply amount to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6)! For anyone to even suppose that man has even a slight hint of any righteousness within him after the fall is pure arrogance, an idea itself resulting from the fall.
So what must we do to obtain these qualities? “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence.” God Himself, through the death and resurrection of Christ has granted to us, His children, all things that pertain to life and godliness, including those virtues mentioned in verses five through seven. In Christ they are already ours! Fall empty handed before the Lord, laying out all of your ways, confessing each and every sin you are aware of, casting off your supposed righteousness and moral deeds, being honest with Him about your short-comings, failures, and the sin that so easy entangles you, and cling to His cross where cleansing and forgiveness for your wicked deeds may be found. Coming empty handed before the sovereign Lord, being honest about your estate before the Lord, that you are a desperately wicked sinner, morally bankrupt, look to Christ, the Author and Perfector of your faith, because in Him, you are completed morally because His perfect obedience and righteousness has now been credited to your eternal account.
In emptying yourself of yourself, lay hold of Christ and His perfect work, because in Him are all the delights and joy that nothing in all of creation can deliver. Sex, money, power, these things pail in comparison to the delight, joy, pure satisfaction that can be found in the One that all other earthly joys, delights and satisfaction are dependent upon. How much greater is His satisfaction compared to the satisfaction in His created things? Beloved, we have been granted all things pertaining to life and godliness; they are ours in Christ. Look to Christ alone who is alive right now and cares for you; see His arms stretched out on the cross, pierced as they were by nails, where He experienced the wrath you deserved in Him and look to His work on the cross where He purchased your redemption by His blood and know that in Him and His work, you have nothing else you can possibly offer. What more could we possibly offer to God as a payment for our sins than the sacrifice of His own Son? Again, I repeat, you have nothing else you can ever offer this holy and just God than what Christ has already offered to God on your behalf, namely the sacrifice of Himself. He is our great High Priest who forever lives to intercede for us. So simply fall on your face in wonder at this gift of righteousness, Jesus Christ, and that by His strength, not your own, you can possess these qualities spoken of in verses five through seven. Spend time in communion with this great and glorious God and contemplate this majestic work on your behalf, for those of you who believe in Christ. There is none like Him.