Summary: In this decree, four essential components reminded Peter’s audience of the reality of God’s "Generous Grace" to all believers: 1) Divine Power (2 Peter 1:3a), 2) Divine Provision (2 Peter 1:3b), 3) Divine Procurement (2 Peter 1:3c), and 4) Divine Promises
In Manitoba this week, the citizens have literally been deluged by flooding. Spring rains mixed with melting snow have overwhelmed flood preparations. The Government called in the army to assist residents sandbag and do whatever possible to mitigate damage. The question everyone had before a controlled dike breach, is if preparations were enough?
When we encounter trials, face difficulties or challenges, the natural question to ask is if we have enough resources. In spite of God’s revelation of His tremendous generosity (1 Chron. 29:10–14), some Christians often think He was somehow miserly in dispensing His grace. He may have given them enough enabling grace for justification (Rom. 3:24), but not enough for sanctification. Or some believers have been taught that they received enough grace for justification and sanctification, but not enough for glorification, and thus fear they may lose their salvation. Even if they believe there is enough grace for final glorification, many Christians still feel there is not enough for them to handle life’s problems and trials. But there is no reason for any believer to doubt the sufficiency of God’s grace or to look elsewhere for spiritual resources (Ex. 34:6; Pss. 42:8; 84:11; 103:11; 107:8; 121:1–8; Lam. 3:22–23; John 1:16; 10:10; Rom. 5:15, 20–21; 8:16–17, 32; 1 Cor. 2:9; 3:21–23; Eph. 1:3–8; 2:4–7; 3:17–19; 1 Peter 5:7).
The words of 2 Peter 1:3-4 are clothed in the language of “decree,” an official declaration by which the benefactor, beneficiaries, and benefits are enumerated (Waltner, E., & Charles, J. D. (1999). 1-2 Peter, Jude. Believers church Bible commentary (213). Scottdale, Penn.: Herald Press.).
In this decree, four essential components reminded Peter’s audience of the reality of God’s "Generous Grace" to all believers: 1) Divine Power (2 Peter 1:3a), 2) Divine Provision (2 Peter 1:3b), 3) Divine Procurement (2 Peter 1:3c), and 4) Divine Promises (2 Peter 1:4).
1) Divine Power (2 Peter 1:3a)
2 Peter 1:3a 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), (ESV)
His refers back to the Lord Jesus. If the personal pronoun modified God, Peter probably would not have used the descriptive word divine since deity is inherent in God’s name. His use of divine pointing to the Son underscores that Jesus is truly God (John 10:30; 12:45; Phil. 2:6; Col. 1:16; 2:9; Heb. 1:3) and also refutes any lingering doubt some readers may have had concerning that reality (1 John 5:20). Peter himself had been an eyewitness to Christ’s divine power (1:16; Mark 5:30; Luke 4:14; 5:17).
Whatever spiritual sufficiency believers have is not because of any power they possess in themselves (Matt. 19:26; Rom. 9:20–21; Eph. 1:19; Phil. 3:7–11; 1 Tim. 1:12–16; Titus 3:5)
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, (ESV)
Believers are not redeemed because they are such great people, but because of God’s "Generous Grace". We deserve judgment, but God graciously saves a people unto Himself.
All asistance from God and all our Spiritual sufficiency derives from His divine power. Paul expressed it this way:
Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, (ESV)
The power that operates in believers is of the same divine nature as that which resurrected Christ (Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 6:14; 15:16–17; 2 Cor. 13:4; Col. 2:12). That power enables saints to do works that please and glorify God (1 Cor. 3:6–8; Eph. 3:7) and accomplish spiritual things they cannot even imagine.
In New Testament Greek, the word we have translated here as ‘power’ is dunamis, from which the word dynamite is derived. Care must be taken, though, lest a wrong impression is gained, for the Word of God is not destructive even though it is explosive. The power to live as Christian believers is through a knowledge of God that is personal and intimate. At times it is tempting to ask the question: ‘Is God strong enough to save and keep me, both now and for evermore?’ The answer according to Peter is a resounding ‘Yes!’ for God displays dunamis, dynamic power, to save and protect those who are his both now in time and on into eternity (Anderson, C. (2007). Opening up 2 Peter (20–21). Leominster: Day One Publications.).
God’s supply of spiritual power for believers never fails. Believers may distance themselves from the divine source through sin, or fail to minister and use what is available, but from the moment of faith in Jesus Christ, God has granted His power to them. Has granted (dedôrçmençs) is a perfect, passive participle meaning that in the past, with continuing results in the present, God permanently bestowed His power on believers. Peter contends God has already given us His divine power and through that power He has made everything we need available to us which pertains to life and godliness (Cedar, P. A., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1984). Vol. 34: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 34 : James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. The Preacher’s Commentary series (207). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.).