“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
has given to us all things
The words “has given” mean to bestow, to grant (1Jn 3:1; 2 Co 8:1). The idea is that of something freely given. This word “given” is a rare term for giving and is much stronger than the normal word for giving. The idea is to grant or bestow freely without strings attached. Great generosity is the idea. God grants Christians gifts for living. This term always implies the grace of God. God freely gives to us.
Often “given” carries the idea of a promissory note. God wrote a promise to pay on demand what we need to live the Christian life. This is pure grace maintained at the Father’s expense.
“Given” means to give with no strings attached. God does not say, “If you do this or that, I will give this or that. If you give a tithe to me, I will bless you. If you witness for me, I will bless you.” No, God gives freely, without strings. He does this out of His own perfect character. In other words, He does not benefit personally from what you do. He does not benefit from what He gives us. He gives simply out of His perfectly generous character. He does it no other way.
The words “have given” are in the perfect tense in the Greek. At a point in the past (eternity past) God set up a trust fund with our name on it because He knew we would accept Jesus Christ as our Savior in this Century. No lapse of time diminishes, destroys, removes or negates this trust fund because it rests on the character of God, especially God’s power. God gives to us based on what He is and does. God does this Himself (middle voice in the Greek). The middle voice can be translated “He Himself has given without strings.” This puts emphasis on the Giver.
What does God give us? “All things.” The name of our trust fund is “all things.” This trust fund contains a portfolio of thousands of things God planned for you. God does this for each Christian with no exceptions and no limits to His grace for us.
On page 3264 of this trust fund, there is a day where God designed 35 blessings for you but you are out of fellowship. You cannot claim those blessing because you are out of tune with God and His provisions for you. You are operating in self-pity and cannot see what God is doing with your life.
God gives us a promissory note to live the Christian life freely, out of His grace.
Suppose I say to you, “I’ll give you 200$ for installing a hard drive in my computer next Tuesday.” You say, “OK, I’ll do that.” In this case, there is a string. For some reason you did not come Tuesday. You may give a number of excuses for not coming. Whatever the excuse, it makes no difference, you do not get your 200$. There is a string attached to my offer of giving you 200$. God, however, does not have any strings attached to His giving. This is grace.
If we feel sorry for sin in order to seek forgiveness from God, this is not grace. The string in this case is feeling sorry. Feeling sorry is a work on our part to placate God. This insults God for God has already been placated by the death of Christ. We do not beg God to forgive us because we stand forgiven by His cross. We simply accept by faith His promise that He forgave us by Christ’s blood (1 Jn 1:9).
We must come under conviction about the sin we committed and confess it. We cannot do anything to change God’s mind about it. Jesus’ death on the cross changed His mind already and permanently at that. He already holds an attitude of forgiveness about our sin. That attitude is forgiveness based on Christ’s cross (1 Jn 2:1,2). That is why we simply place our trust in Christ’s death to forgive us for salvation. That is why we also simply place our trust in Christ’s death for the individual sins we commit as Christians.
There are no strings to our forgiveness as Christians. God has already been placated by the cross. He formerly forgave us in Christ when we came to faith in Christ. Our acceptance before God does not rest on who and what we are but on what Jesus did for us on the cross.