Summary: Is there something we can do to receive multiplied grace and peace? We tend to think that couldn’t be true of grace, but the Bible says it is true.
The Bible writers very often begin their letters by wishing their readers grace and peace. Peter makes no exception in this letter, but he takes it a step further and, in our text, talks about how this will come about. We tend to think that there is nothing we can do to bring God’s grace on ourselves, and that if we could, it would no longer be grace. I’m fully aware that grace is unmerited favor, and nothing can take away from that, but the Bible does teach, in Proverbs 3:34, James 4:6, and 1 Peter 5:5 that God gives grace to the humble. Therefore, if we humble ourselves, which literally means surrendering our will to His, we can expect to be recipients of grace. It is implied in 2 Corinthians 9:8 that if we place ourselves in the environment of the previous two verses concerning giving, that we will be standing in the right place to receive abounding, or overflowing grace. Therefore, we can conclude that while grace is indeed the pure gift of God, He chooses to give it in greater measure to those of His family who set their hearts to do the things He says.
The peace of which verse two speaks is the result of receiving the grace that God gives. Grace is received by faith. We experience a measure of this peace through receiving God’s grace in the matter of our salvation. We place our hand of faith in God’s hand of grace, which He has reached down to us through no merit of our own. But, there are people who have experienced great peace in that area of their live, yet have great turmoil in other areas of their lives. Verse 3 of our text says that God has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness...,” so it is a very logical, as well as biblical, conclusion to understand that God is to be in control of every area of our life. A firm biblical case can also be made that when He is in control there is peace.
Verse two says that grace and peace are “multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ our Lord.” Look at 2 Peter 3:18: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18 is a command, which means you have to decide to do it. Every command that God makes in the Bible is something that you have to decide to do. It also means that it is possible that you not do it. Unless a Christian grows, this grace is and peace is not multiplied to him in the sense that Peter is speaking, and he doesn’t enjoy many of the family privileges of being a child of God.
Now, I remind you again that the text says these blessings come “through the knowledge...” I want to remind you of some things that you need to know that you know, things that you need to have completely settled in your heart. Certainly, the first thing is that you are indeed a child of God. Our final knowledge of that does not come by how we feel about, but it comes by understanding what God’s word says about it and resting our faith in it. There is no prayer formula that we have to pray, although the voicing of prayer helps us to establish it in our hearts. We are to confess what we believe, so as our heart turns to God in faith, concerning our salvation, we enter into a pathway of things that follow as acts of obedience. Without confidence in your relationship to God, you will never be able to enjoy the family privileges of being His child, because they are all entered into and received by faith.
We need to know who we are in Christ. That needs to be settled in our hearts. We have, all too often, been conditioned to believe and confess that which is contrary to the teachings of the Bible. I hear people saying, “I’m just an old sinner saved by grace,” or “I’m so unworthy,” or “I’m just a nobody.” There are two problems with that: 1) it is false humility; and 2) it is not what God’s word says. God’s word says in 2 Peter 1:4 that we are “...partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust,” Romans 8:16-17 declares us to be the children of God, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Second Corinthians 5:21 says that we are the righteousness of God in Him. 1 Peter 2:9 says that we are a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:29 says that we are the seed of Abraham. Well, you get the picture. Now, lest you think it would not be humble for you to say those things about yourself, let me set you straight. Humility, as previously said, is surrendering your will to the will of God. I’m aware that Romans 12:3 says that we are not think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, but I assure you that we ought to think exactly what God says! The reason so many Christians live beneath their family privileges is because they’ve never understood who they are in Christ.