Summary: Here we are challenged to take full advantage of the divine power & promises of God. Peter then gives us the specific steps to follow so that we may be victorious through Jesus Christ.
2 PETER 1: 3-8 [Our Precious Faith Series]
Peter begins his teaching by reminding them and us of the basics of authentic Christianity. If we continue to live by the divine power which God has given to us, and if we continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, we will be fruitful. Thus we are challenged to take full advantage of the divine power and promises of God. Peter then gives us the specific steps to follow so that we may be victorious through Jesus Christ (CIT). If we practice these characteristics of the divine nature not only do we grow in Christ-likeness, we also experience the assurance of eternal rewards.
I. DIVINE POWER, 3.
II. DIVINE PROMISES, 4.
III. DIVINE PROGRESS, 5-7.
IV. DIVINE PRODUCTIVITY, 8.
The expectations of becoming Christ-like would be impossible if not for God’s divine enabling. Verse 3 teaches that Christ has provided everything believers need for life and godliness. “seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
The first amazing statement is not in the future tense. [Dōreomai means “to freely give or grant” “to bestow, to endow.” and stresses the freeness and worth of the gift. The perfect tense also stresses the certainty of the fact and possession of this gift.] Peter contends that God has already given us His divine power and through that power He has made everything which pertains to life and godliness available to us. God has provided believers with all the resources necessary to make spiritual growth possible. [“Divine” translates theias, which is from theos -God, used three times in NT (Acts 17:29; 2 Peter 1:4). “Power” (dynameōs) is one of Peter’s favorite words (1 Peter 1:5; 3:22; 2 Peter 1:16; 2:11).]
Peter’s teaching sounds like that of Paul when he declared “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). [Cedar, Paul. The Preacher's Commentary Series, Vol. 34: James / 1 & 2 Peter / Jude. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson. 1984, S. 207 ]
How do we grow? ... through the true knowledge of Him who called us. All that believers need for spiritual vitality (life) and godly living (eusebeian, “godliness,” “holiness”) is attainable through our knowledge of Him (Christ). In knowing Jesus believers have freely at their disposal all the resources necessary to enable them to work out the process of sanctification, or growing into the likeness of Jesus.
An intimate “full knowledge” [epignōseōs; see my message on 2 Peter 1:1-2, verse 2] of Christ is the source of spiritual power and growth (Phil. 1:9; Col. 1:9-10; 2:2). As we get to know the Lord Jesus through prayer, through the Word, through worship through walking day by day with Him we grow. For the better we know Him, the better we understand how all things that pertain to life and godliness can function within us. [Courson, Jon: Jon Courson's Application Commentary. Nashville, TN : Thomas Nelson, 2003, S. 1586.]
Notice that Christ called us to this [intense] life of godliness [eusebeia, from eu, well and sebomai, worship; literally rightly directed worship] by His own glory and goodness [aretē, “moral excellence” or “praise”]. “Glory” expresses the excellence of His being, His attributes and essence. “Goodness” depicts His excellence of deeds or His virtue in action.
Christ attracts people enslaved by sin (2:19) by His own moral excellence and the impact of His glorious Person. [Walvoord, John & Zuck, Roy. The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983, S. 864.] Everything that has to do with life or serving God has been freely given so that we lack nothing. Christians are fully equipped to live a life pleasing to God, to overcome any obstacle we face, and to persevere under trial.
II. DIVINE PROMISES, 4.
Progress in the Christian life is made possible by the power of God (v. 3) and, as we see in verse 4, by the promises of God. “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.”
Through [by] Christ’s own glory and excellence or character [virtue] (v. 3) He has free given us promises. [The relative pronoun, these, ν is gen. masc. pl.] The promises of God are magnificent and precious. [The word promises (Gk epanggelma) really is not the promise, but the result of the promise or its “fulfillment.” ]
The promises are great because they come from a magnificent God and lead to an abundant life. The promises are precious because their value is beyond calculation. [The word “precious”[tímios from timē,] indicates highly valued or costly, [a favorite word of Peter, 1:1, 1 Pet 1:7, 1:19, 2:4, 6, 7].