Verse of the Day Devotion. 2 Peter 1:3
“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.” – 2 Peter 1:3
This is powerful verse. What Peter is saying is that we, every Christian, has been given the ability through God’s divine power of life and godliness. It is through knowing God that we realize His divine power has given us all things necessary for true life and godliness, for all these things are in Him; and as we know Him, trust Him, love Him, and become like Him, we also come to possess all these precious things in and through Him. As an example I read recently. Suppose we see a dead body in front of a man. It would be absolutely wrong if he were to boast that it was in his power to restore this man back to life! However, it would be even a greater pretense if anyone should say that he could give to himself or to another the divine life, the spiritual life by which a man is made a Christian. We, in and of ourselves do not have the power to raise anyone from the dead. It is the power of God through and within us that we would be able to raise this person. And it is in the same way that Christians are granted, by God, everything pertaining to life and godliness. As it says in our focus verse, ‘through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
Then we read, “For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” 2 Peter 1:4. The words ‘Great’ and ‘precious’ are two words that are not often used together. Many things are great that are not precious, such as great rocks, which are of little value. On the other hand, many things are precious that are not great, such as diamonds and other jewels, which cannot be very great if they are very precious. But here we have promises that are so great that they are not less than infinite, and so precious that they are not less than divine. They do indeed exceed all things which they can be compared to. No one has ever promised as God has. Kings have promised even to half their kingdoms; but how does that come close to God’s promise to give His own Son, and even His own self, to His people, Which He has done. Princes draw a line somewhere, but the Lord sets no bounds to the gifts He has promised to His people.
Then in the next three verses, we see the path of growth in our faith. “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.” 2 Peter 1:5-7. With all diligence, we are to show through our lives, moral excellence. The phrase ‘for this very reason’ links verses 3-4 to 5-7. Peter exhorted his readers to a godly life because Christ has given them everything they need for a godly life, and they possess magnificent promises of future perfection. It would be a serious mistake, therefore, to dismiss the call to virtue as legalism or moralism. The exhortation to holiness is grounded in God’s work of salvation as it has been accomplished in Jesus Christ. As is typical in the New Testament, grace precedes demand. The priority of grace, however, does not cancel out strenuous moral effort. Believers are to make every effort in carrying out Peter’s commands. A godly character does not emerge from passivity. As Luther says, “They should prove their faith by their good works.”
Then this is followed by, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.” 2 Peter 1:8-9. These holy things must not only be in us, but abound in us, or we shall be barren. Fruit is the overflow of life, and we must be full before we can overflow. There are many men who have lots of opportunities but never succeeded in doing true good in the conversion of souls. Unfortunately they lacked certain graces that are absolutely essential to fruit-bearing. For real useful graces are better than gifts. As the man is, so is his work. If we would do better, we must be better. Remember, we are a light in this world.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.