Summary: An additive is something that's added to something to make it better in some way. People usually don't eat a hamburger plain, they add a condiment to make it taste better. Today we'll look at some things that Peter says we need to add to our faith.
2nd Peter 1:4-11
An additive is something that's added to something to make it better in some way. Food additives. Some additives are not good for us. Things like artificial flavors or coloring (red dye #40), high fructose corn syrup and aspartame are not good additives. Some additives have been linked to certain cancers.
But not all additives are bad. Some foods have added vitamins and minerals. Certain additives can extend the shelf life of foods. The chemicals in food react with oxygen in the air giving it an unpleasant taste and color. It makes the food go stale, and the oils and fats go rancid. But antioxidants help preserve the flavor of foods.
There are some things that, when added to something else, make it better. People usually don't eat a hamburger plain, they add a condiment to make it taste better. Today we'll look at some things that Peter says we need to add to our faith. You might think if we have faith that's all we need but that's not the case. Let's find out why we need some faith additives.
1) Precious promises.
2nd Pet. 1:4, "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." Peter starts out by saying "Through these".
Through what? Although we could just include what we see in vs. 3-God's divine power, glory and goodness, it makes sense to go back to vs. 1. Through the righteousness of Jesus, through the knowledge of God, through his grace, peace, faith; all of these wonderful treasures. We can see God working through all these things to bring us his very great and precious promises.
But what are they? In Rom. and Gal., Paul uses the word promises numerous times when he establishes and defends that salvation is through faith and not through the law. Paul talks about the promise that was given to Abraham and that he was declared righteous through faith. So, those who are born again are true descendents of Abraham and are called children of the promise.
After Peter preached the first sermon at Pentecost the people were convicted and asked Peter what they needed to do. Acts 2:38-39, "Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” The promise Peter is talking about is salvation-forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
We also have the promise of our future inheritance. 2nd Pet. 3:13, "But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness." So we have the promises of salvation, the Holy Spirit and eternity in heaven, along with things like grace and peace. Psalm 85:8 says God promises peace to his people. Through salvation we have peace with God. And we also have the peace that enables us to be calm in the storm. Great and precious promises.
"So that". Peter lists two reasons why we've been given these precious promises: to participate in the divine nature and to escape the corruption in the world. They work hand in hand. Through God's glory, grace and divine power we are able to have forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit. We are given a new nature-the divine nature. When we operate in that divine nature we will escape the corruption in the world.
But only through God can we do this. We can't escape corruption apart from operating in the divine nature. People without Christ can do things like leave a life of crime or stop an addiction but they won't be able to escape total corruption. And there's no escape from condemnation without Christ so no matter how successful they are at turning their lives around they will still be in their sins.
Corruption is caused by evil desires. That's what the divine nature can change in us; we can replace those evil desires with godly desires. The one without the Spirit may fight their evil desires but they can't replace them with godly desires. James 1:27 says part of operating in religion as God sees it is to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world.
As a new creation living a new life, I have the ability to get rid of the pollution and pursue purification. 2nd Cor. 7:1, "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."