“To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:1-2
To those who created their faith? To those who willed their faith out of their sinful nature? To those who merited their faith? No, none of these … rather, “to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours.” Peter is writing to those who obtained the same faith he had. But if they obtained this faith from somewhere outside of themselves, was it anything they did by which they obtained it? No, but rather, it was granted to them to believe. And more specifically, they obtained this faith “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Christ gave them this faith. How did He grant them this faith? Was it not through His perfect obedience and perfect, absolute, definite sacrificial work on the cross? To me, it is an insult to the work of Christ to say and boast that our faith came from anywhere other than this wonderful work on behalf of His people whom He foreloved from eternity.
One of the reasons I praise God for my salvation, amongst the plethora of reasons, is that He turned my heart to see Him when I was in total darkness, love Him and cherish Him when I was running away from Him in rebellion, anger, and hate, doing drugs, disobeying my parents, and living a dishonorable life. Praise God He does not just sit around and wait to see if we’ll turn ourselves. I surely would not have unless He sovereignly intervened in my desperate situation. And indeed He did. God does not help those who help themselves. That’s why the Pharisees stumbled over the stumbling block, which was Christ. They thought they could help themselves. God helps those who cannot help themselves because they are sinners, dead in sin, and are desperately broken beyond repair apart from the infinitely valuable work of Christ in them. See how great is the depravity of your own heart that He would have to go to such great lengths to rescue us in His condescension, life, death, and resurrection. In addition, see what lengths He had to go to in your own life, that He would have to go into your inner being and bring you back to life from the dead, regenerating every aspect of your heart, will, and soul. What a wonderful God!