Food for thought. While feasting on the Word this morning, I was filled with lots of thoughts. What are yours?
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us tohis own glory and excellence, (4) 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. (5) For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, (6) and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, (7) and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (8) For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from former sins. (10) Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities, you will never fall.” – 2 Peter 1:3-11
1. Peter wrote this letter to “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ” (v.1) – and he says in v. 4 that God has granted us His promises (past tense) so that believers “MAY BECOME partakers of the divine nature.” Future tense. …Aren’t we already partakers? THEN he goes on to say (past tense) we’ve escaped from the corruption of sinful desire. I count myself among those whom Peter is addressing – but I wouldn’t say I’ve entirely escaped sinful desire. So what does it mean?
2. v.5-9 could easily be twisted to mean our “every effort” to be an upright and moral person will keep us from being ineffective and unfruitful servants of Christ. That is, if not for the rest of the Bible. (Galatians 2, Romans 8, etc) I feel in this the same tension as Philippians 2:12-13. We’re commanded to work because He is at work within us. It is God who perseveres us and keeps us from falling. (Jude 1:24-25) Why then does Peter say things like “if you practice these qualities, you will never fall”?
3. v. 9 is a pretty harsh accusation. And throughout His ministry, it seems Christ spent a lot of time either rebuking or healing the blind. I don’t think any believer wants to be found guilty of either of the accusations in v. 9.
4. On a somewhat unrelated note, I’m beginning to understand why the early Church fathers had such a gripe against this book. But I’m a firm believer that the canon of Scripture is exactly what it should be. (John 14:26, Revelation 22:18-19) God is zealous about His word!
So if every word of God proves true (Proverbs 30:5) – how do you interpret these ones?
Music: Kim Walker – How He Loves Us