“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 (1 Jn 3:1; 2 Co 8:1). The idea is that of something freely given. The word “given” is a rare term for gifting and is much stronger than the standard word for giving. The idea is to grant or bestow freely without strings attached. Incredible generosity is the idea. God grants Christians facility for godly living. This term always implies God’s grace, which He freely gives 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 promise is pure grace maintained at the Father’s expense.
“Given” also carries the idea of giving 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 attached. He does this out of His perfect character. In other words, The Lord does not benefit personally from what you do. He does not benefit from what He gives us. God gives simply out of His perfectly generous character. He does it no other way.
The words “have given” are in the perfect tense in 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). We can translate the middle voice as “He Himself has given without strings.” The grammar emphasizes 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 the hypothetical page 3,264 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 blessings 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 on my computer next Tuesday.” You say, “Okay, I’ll do that.” In this case, there is a string. For some reason, you did not come Tuesday. You may give several 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 generosity is pure grace.
Feeling sorry for our sin to seek God’s forgiveness is not grace. The string, in this case, is feeling ashamed. Feeling sad is work on our part to placate God. This activity insults God, for God has already been appeased 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 the sin. Jesus’ death on the cross changed His mind and permanently at that. He already holds an attitude of forgiveness for our sins. That attitude is forgiveness based on Christ’s cross (1 Jn 2:1,2). That is how we trust Christ’s death to forgive us for salvation. That is why we also put our trust in Christ’s death for the individual sins we commit as Christians.
There are no strings to our forgiveness as Christians. The cross has already placated God. He formerly forgave us in Christ when we came to faith in Christ. Our acceptance before God rests not on who and what we are but on what Jesus did for us on the cross.