This blog entry is part of a series through the book of 2nd Peter.
Text: 2 Peter 1:3-4
“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, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.”
Partakers Of The Divine Nature
“So that… you may become partakers of the divine nature…” This is the divine purpose that Peter is charging us to see. There are many ways in which the wicked human heart can twist and contort God’s gracious gifts to their own selfish ends, but here is laid out for us the end that our Savior has in mind. It is the plan and desire of God not only to spare you from the consequences of sin, but to remove the presence of sin from your heart altogether. One does not come without the other. To be spared from wrath is also to be set on fire by the Spirit in the refining process of sanctification. Indeed, he has, “called us to his own glory and excellence.” This means that our transformed hearts will tell of his glory and excellence by the way we mimic his character in our lives. This is the grand purpose of salvation, that God’s glory and goodness and mercy and perfection would be perpetually displayed through the obedient worship of his people. All of God’s redemptive work is moving toward one end, the eternal worship of himself by the ransomed and sanctified saints. But how can such a lofty destiny be reached?
He Has Granted All Things
By, “his divine power,” he, “has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” The divine power of God is his supreme authority to give of himself to whoever he pleases. In other words, the only reason that any human being has been given mercy and grace is because God willed to do so; these gifts can come from no other source. All have sinned and are separated from God without his merciful pardon. And despite our un-deservedness, this mercy and grace come at no cost to the recipient. Salvation is the free gift of God for all who believe. This is precisely the “divine nature” that we are called to partake in—that we would no longer measure one another by our deservedness, but according to mercy. Yet mercy cannot be mustered up from an impoverished heart, it is the overflow of a heart that has been richly supplied by the God of all grace. This is exactly what Peter means to remind us of when he says, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” There is no blessing that we require which God has not given to us through faith in Christ. Absolutely everything we will ever need for salvation, sanctification, and glorification has been “granted to us" through the finished work of our Savior. All the power and wisdom we will ever need to live lives that reflect the divine nature of God has already been granted to us. Yet, it does no good to leave a christmas present wrapped up under the tree, it must be opened, it must be received. How does Peter say we are to receive the gifts of God?
Through The Knowledge Of God
The incalculable blessings that God has given to all who believe come only through his specific ordained means, namely the Word of God. Therefore, if you desire to be near to God, to know him deeply, intimately, and personally, then you must pursue him through his Word. In short, what Peter is trying to help us understand is that we, as the children of God, have the occasion for perfect peace, abounding hope, and unquenchable joy at all times. “His divine power has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.” The more we know who our great God actually is, the more confidence and assurance we will have in every circumstance of life. Simultaneously, to neglect the pursuit of the knowledge of our heavenly Father is to forfeit the blessings he has granted. In other words, a dusty Bible always leads to an anxious heart. We all desire the blessings, and Peter shows us the source from which they flow. We must be a people who stop at nothing in the pursuit of our God. There is no other road which leads to inner peace, and there is no other power by which we can fight against the corruption that is in this world.
Escaping The Corruption
God has, "granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” But what is the corruption that is in the world? What is it that God desires his people to escape from? It is a corruption of deception. We have been deceived to hold a false view of our Creator. We doubt his goodness. We doubt his judgments. We doubt his commands. We doubt his promises. We sometimes doubt that he is even real at all. Because of these heaping suspicions in the depths of our soul we are utterly corrupt. God says go right, and we go left instead. Why? Because we don’t believe he has our best interests in mind. God says stay put and we press ahead anyway. Why? Because we think he is holding something back from us, keeping us from the fullest and most satisfying life we could live. Because of sin, we are born with corrupt hearts. We do not know God. This is the great sin from which Jesus ultimately came to save us. Suddenly we are beginning to see why Peter opened his letter saying, “May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." Suddenly we are understanding why Peter says that ALL THINGS HAVE BEEN GRANTED TO US… THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD! When we see him for who he truly is, sin will no longer look satisfying. When we have a proper view of our Lord and Savior the things of this world will fade from our hearts. We will escape the corruption of this world by obtaining a true and proper understanding of the Maker, Sustainer, and Savior of our soul.
“For this very reason,” says Peter in the very next verse, “make every effort to supplement your faith…” These verses we just unraveled are meant to give us perspective and understanding as to the full purpose of the salvation we have received. You might say that we have taken a look at the map of our journey, and now its time to put on the boots and start hiking. Next we will begin to learn what the “divine nature” actually looks like in the everyday life of a believer, but we need to remember what we have learned here. Having a vision of the big picture for our salvation breathes life into the practical changes God is calling his children to make in their lives. If we forget the big picture, obedience looses its luster, and the corruption of the world will creep in yet again. Let us guard ourselves from that corruption by never ceasing to meditate on the truths of who our awesome God has always been and will always be.