His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 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. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 2 Peter 1:3-9
I want you to look at that first sentence above and mull on those words for a bit. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness…” First of all…WOW! Is our God generous or what! But most of us are immediately confronted with the fact that we don’t seem to be utilizing everything that we have been given and might not have a clue how to lay our hands on it. If we read the rest of the sentence, the reason presents itself: “…through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” If you go back through the previous articles I have written for this blog, you’ll see that this issue of knowing Him is a repeated theme. This is why! So much depends on my knowledge of Him. Not about Him, but Him personally, intimately, actually. He initiated relationship with me and has persistently revealed His glory and goodness, but if I’m not paying attention or if I become myopic and forget Him or I listen to my own thoughts more than His Voice and His Word so that I magnify my ideas over Him, then I don’t know Him and I don’t access the ‘everything I need’. But His divine power has given it, nonetheless.
“Through these [his own glory and goodness] 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.” Our gloriously good God has been revealing Himself to His people for generations and has communicated many very great and precious promises. They resound throughout the scripture for our strengthening and encouragement, but most fundamentally, so that we can know the God we serve. He is gracious and compassionate, loving and forgiving, holy and just, wise and powerful, righteous and good. This is His divine nature and it is in His image that we were created. The Fall marred that image horribly, and thus, we are mired in the corruption in the world caused by our and everyone else’s evil desires. But He took the initiative to redeem us and restore us so that we can now live in godliness and participate in His same nature. But we can’t remotely begin without knowing Him. Only God can demonstrate, define or teach godliness.
“For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith…” Faith to goodness to knowledge to self-control to perseverance to godliness to brotherly kindness to love. This is our road home, the path of life, the way of the divine nature. Make every effort to add them. That still amounts to knowing Him, hearing Him, learning from Him, yielding to Him. But I am exhorted to make every effort: pray, worship, read the Word, repent, do what it says.
“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” Like I said, God is not stingy, but if I fail to cooperate with Him, I will squander the life-giving knowledge He pours out on me. Make the effort to participate in His divine nature and life and godliness will abound effectively and productively.
This Word should be encouraging. I know there is a temptation for some (like me) to take a wrong turn down the path of discouragement because, self-absorbed as we are, we look at all the missed opportunities and play the ‘I tried but it didn’t work’ card. Or others can take another wrong path with anger and offense at the suggestion that their level of godliness is lacking anything. I pray for us all, that we will avoid these fruitless positions and, instead, take heart from God’s very great and precious promises and press in to know Him better and participate in His divine nature.