This section of text is replete with references to walking in truth, and walking in the things that Christ has showed you. Peter recounts the fact that Jesus made clear these things to him personally in 1:14. Peter also may be indicating that his own death is near and he knows in in v.15, for all those that have questions about dates. Sometimes it is argued that the date of the authorship of this letter after the death of Peter, but this verse removes that argument. It may have been the last thing Peter wrote to the churches that God placed in his care. This actually raises a point. Although Scripture is not entirely written as a history book, it is nonetheless an accurate source of historical information. University religion departments hate that, by the way, I know Carleton’s did, and did everything they could to dispel that idea. However, the word of God needs no defense, it defends itself to all those that will simply read it–but be careful, you might become a believer!
Peter goes on to talk about how all the stories about Jesus that the writers of the New Testament tell in detail in the gospels are not “cleverly devised fables,” and the Apostles (capital A) were eyewitnesses that were present for those events. They were there for God the Father speaking audibly from Heaven and announcing His own Son. Peter was there when He raised the Jairus’ daughter from the dead. He was part of that inner circle of close friends (with James and John, those sons of thunder). And he has something to say as that individual:
We wrote it all down for you! We carefully explained it all, and you need to pay attention to it and follow the Lord’s instructions! This stuff isn’t all just opinion and choice, this is the very will of God for you, and you ignore that at your peril, because it isn’t us that wrote it really, we were inspired by the Holy Spirit, Himself God, and you cannot ignore that.
I add this: If you aren’t at least trying to live like this matters, and Beloved, I understand that no one gets it perfect, then don’t call yourself a Christian, because you aren’t. I know that sounds harsh, but it should. All this to say that everything the Scriptures say is the very word of God. If you aren’t making a few minutes every day to read a short portion for your own benefit, you should be. It is everything we need for life and godliness (1:3). Read them. Learn them. Follow them. I know, harder than it is to say. Here’s partly why.
Here’s how I broke down this section of text:
KV10: As Long As You Practice These Things
1-2: Credentials and Greetings
3-4: Exceeding Great and Precious Promises
5-9: The Building Blocks of Faith
10-11: Entrance into the Eternal Kingdom
I’m not going to waste your time with flowery opening comments, let’s just jump right in.
KV10: As Long As You Practice These Things
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
If you have never heard me say this before, I’ll say it now. Christianity is not a spectator event. It is more like a participation event, and Peter is going to unfold this thought for us in this section of text. This does not mean that we believe in a works-based salvation, that would contradict Scripture, particularly the words of the Apostle Paul, when he said in Eph. 2:8, 9–“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Beloved, we must always understand that Peter is writing to believers, those who have already been saved by grace through faith in Christ. They do not do these things in order to be justified before God like every other world religion does, but they do these things because they already HAVE been justified before God. God Himself has changed our natures, as we will see when we get to verse 4, and we do these things in order to please our new Master, the Lord Jesus Christ, because we WANT to obey Him, or at least we want to WANT to obey Him. Our Key Verse here explains that if we want to keep from stumbling, we will practice these things. We will do them, and do them willingly, and it will keep us from offending or falling into sin. This does not mean we will never sin, John tells us different, but at least we know the way, and may repent and obey again. For as long as it takes. For as many times as it takes.
Why would we do this? Because Jesus is our Lord. Now I know, there are a bunch of people who are against this statement from the get-go because they think that what is known as Lordship Salvation is a big heresy and is turning people to hell, but this is in fact not the case. We can do nothing to earn our own salvation, and we are saved, that is justified before God before any obedience to Him is required. He died in our place while we were His enemies! But if after you claim to be a Christian and you WILL not yield to the will of Christ as laid down by the Apostles clearly in Scripture, then you are NOT really a Christian, you’re taking the Lord’s name in vain. If that’s heretical to you, you err greatly, knowing neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. If Jesus is not your LORD, then He is not your Saviour either. Your repentance and faith is required to make that happen, and that is what Peter and His readers already understand and share in common. Let’s get into the text.
1-2: Credentials and Greetings
As with all letters to churches in the New Testament, including seven very special letters given by our Lord Jesus Himself to John who scribed them for seven particular churches in Asia Minor, there is always an opening that introduces the author of the letter. As we looked at last week, this is the most disputed letter in terms of authorship in the Entire New Testament.
The tired old trope used here is that Peter did not write this letter, it was written after Peter died by a different disciple that knew and loved Peter in His name. I don’t think that’s very logical at it’s very root. Here’s why: The individual would have be pretending to be someone he was not for the purpose of casting a very bright light on people that are not who they claim to be. To me, that’s not only hypocritical, but is extremely ironic. It is more likely, though we will see more of this next study (1:15), that this letter was written immediately before his own death by crucifixion under Nero.
I said last time when speaking about the attempts to exclude this letter from the canon of the New Testament that it was a point of logic that if one were planning to “invade” the church like this, one would want it kept secret. However, because that one is fighting against God, that is impossible; He knows everything, probably before you think it. It would then follow that if one could not keep it secret that the best way to deal with leaked information is with disinformation and attacking and discrediting the true source of information as much as possible. That’s why I believe the Scriptures in verse 1. Let’s look at that.
1: Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
- Who is the one who greets his readers? One Simon Peter. In fact two of the oldest manuscripts for this letter start with the Hebrew Simeon instead of Simon. Simeon Petros. The little pebble that hears and obeys. Heh–chip off the old block if you ask me, at least by this point.
- Bond-servant–literally the Greek word doulos. It means, “a slave,” and Vine points out that this was the lowest rung on the ladder of servitude, and ultimately came to mean, “one who gives himself over to the will of another.” The Apostle Paul said this of himself as well as Peter, and he said that he was formerly a doulos of Satan, but having been purchased from that fate by Christ on the Cross, was now a willing slave to his new Master. I know Peter thought the same based on what he said in chapter 1 of the last letter about being born again to a new and living hope, among other things.
- Apostle of Jesus Christ–Here Peter gives his title as a stamp of authority for what he is about to say. Paul did this, James did this, John did this (although he did it in code sometimes), and Jude did this. Every one of these men explained who they were so that people would know who was saying the things said. That in itself conveyed the importance of the words.
- The audience–those that have received a faith of the same kind as ours. People who believed what Peter and those who were with him believed (and that historically may have included Luke, but I am unsure). And how had they received that faith? By the righteousness of our GOD and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Wait, did you catch that little detail? Jesus is GOD, Beloved!
2: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
- What is important to see here, in a verse after Peter identifies Jesus as GOD is that He is also identifying Him as distinct from God. This does not mean that there is more than one God, by the way, the writers of the New Testament do this interchangeably, meaning they understood a unity of God and three separate entities that make up the Godhead, that we call “persons.” It is this God that multiplies the charis (grace) and eirene (peace) to us in the knowledge of the named entities; of God and of Jesus our Lord. The repetitive use of the preposition “of” in both phrases communicates that they are in fact separate entities that are both God.
Interestingly, this shows that Peter understood a few things about God: That God was a unity of separate beings, that this God was their Saviour, and that Peter Himself was not this God. That’s a significant realization, particularly in modern times, where it is the individual that wants to be God unto themselves so that they are accountable to only themselves, and they get to make their own rules of behaviour, and define their own morality. Gee, what could go wrong with that kind of worldview? If you really need an answer to that, pick up a newspaper and start reading headlines.
3-4: Exceeding Great and Precious Promises
After telling us about that union of multiple persons kind of God, Peter starts to drop truth bombs about what he has done for believers. I suspect that we have not had a correct understanding of this for over a hundred years now as Christendom in general, and it is because we have not taken the time to study what it is that Peter has recorded here for us. What he has said here should amaze and awe us all.
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.
- What is the very first thing that Peter tells us this God has done? That by His divine power has bestowed on us everything we need for life as God has life and godliness, the ability to morally imitate Him. Let’s go through that and unpack what we can.
- Divine power–this is a version of the word theos, and there is at least an iota of difference in it. The word theios denotes the power of God, and is indicative of His nature. Here it is used in conjunction with a version of the word dunamis, meaning power. The note in Vine’s Expository Dictionary says that this is in regards to His power in every instance where it proceeds from Himself. Together the phrase theios dunameōs indicates the proceeding forth of this power specifically to dispense everything we need for life and godliness.
- Life–This is the Greek zoe, used in the sense of life in the sense that God Himself has life, that which the Father has in Himself, and that He gave the incarnate Son to have in Himself. I suspect that we have had this incredible gift given to us as a result of the prayer our Lord Jesus made in John 17:22-23–“The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.” If you need some help understanding what this means, it isn’t a mystical statement. It is a truth spoken near the beginning of the prayer of our Lord in verse 3–“This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” That life is undefined because it is endless, Beloved, and it is ever-present with us when we avail ourselves of it.
- Godliness–The Greek here defines the piety, which characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him. Here it is an implied action, but there are other mentions, particularly in Paul’s pastoral epistles, of this being a doctrine. That doctrine may be summed up in my opinion with the simple instruction of “obey the Lord and His servants,” and this will become evident as we proceed through this letter.
- How has God bestowed this “everything” that wee need for His life and piety toward Him? Well, Peter here says that it is by a “true knowledge of Him” and we will pause there a moment. That word for “true knowledge” is the Greek epignosos, and it means a full or thorough knowledge, discernment, or recognition of Him. This sets off some more progressive people that claim to be Christian Bible teachers who will accuse of us of teaching “secret knowledge,” implying or even actively charging us with “Gnosticism.” They are wrong. Gnosticism is founded on a secret knowledge that only the initiates of a group may have, and there is usually some form of fee for membership in such groups, often (but not always) monetary. This is provided freely as we study the scriptures, and always will be until the Lord comes for us. Then I don’t know how long the website will be up, but as long as it is there, you will have unrestricted access to everything. The only thing you should pay for is the book I wrote on discipleship, and that’s because it’s on Amazon.
- Now, here, there are modifiers about the Him from “the knowledge of Him,” so we’ll look at that–“who called us by His own glory and excellence.” Who is He? He is God the Father. What does it mean that He called us? Romans 8:29-30 tells us exactly–“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” The Greek here is kaleo, to call. I should point out that this in the aorist tense, which means it is a simple action and already completed. Simple past tense, He called. Note that all these verbs are in the aorist, by the way, they have ALL been completed in the past and will remain completed permanently. And HOW did He call us? By His own doxa, meaning glory, but refers to who He is and what He does as out of His own will and nature, particularly in the person of Christ, where His glory shone forth and will now do so forevermore. Also, by His own aretē, meaning whatever gets the first mention or place of esteem for a person or thing. It has come to mean, according to Vine, “intrinsic eminence, moral goodness, virtue,” or in this particular use, “the manifestation of His divine power,” which seems to have been a very common way to say this in regular Greek speech at the time. So God used His own will and His own nature as we come to know Him to bestow this “everything” on us as a manifestation of His own power for the purpose of imparting to us life as He has life and godliness so that we will WANT to obey Him in what He tells us in His Word. Moving on.
4: 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.
- For by these–What could “these” be referring to in this case? Well, I can confirm this two ways, once in Greek by the genders of the words, and in English by the numbers of the word usage. Because I’m not exactly an expert at Greek, I won’t explain mapping words in the Greek. I don’t think I’d do a great job, and I’m not a Greek scholar. The English though, that I can demonstrate very easily.
- In the last verse, we looked at a couple of different lists in fact, though I didn’t talk about them in that way, because it was easier to explain what Peter was saying for me by not involving that. I should also say that when I went back and re-read all those lists, only one list had more than one thing in it. The word “these” is plural, so it can only possibly apply to that list. And then the Greek gender endings line up, so that’s the only thing to which it can refer, and that is “life and godliness.” It is by THOSE things that we proceed in our understanding of the text. So by the life and godliness He provides as we get to know Him, He grants to us, and I think in ever greater quantities as we grow in Him, What the King James Version calls “exceeding great and precious promises.” We’ll look at that phrase now. The phrase itself is translated more modernly in the NASB, the LSB, the ESV, like that as “precious and very great promises,” and is probably best translated as “most valuable and greatest promises” in modern vernacular. The word for greatest is in fact a superlative, meaning as good or as big as you can make it, and it modifies the Greek epaggelmata, which means “a promise made.” So by the life God gives us and the godliness He enables us to walk in, he grants us his most valuable and greatest promises! And you thought Paul was the only one that used such superlatives.
- Why has He given us these promises? As if the previous were not enough, it is so that we may become partakers of the divine nature! Whaaaat? Oh you heard that correctly! Just as Jesus prayed for us in John 17, we are becoming one with Him, just as He is one with the Father and the Spirit.
- This part is very important, especially to all you charismatic types out there that are getting excited about being one with God. Partaking of the divine nature does NOT imply partaking of the divine abilities or attributes. We do not all of a sudden have the ability to call down the power of God on our “enemies,” just like there isn’t a demon behind everything that happens that you don’t like or understand. Don’t think that’s what the Scriptures are saying, because they are NOT! That’s a huge conflation of categories there, and I want you to know that is NOT what this is saying. Maybe someday, but not right now. Or why did Beni Johnson pass away, and Bill delete his post about how if you don’t get better it’s your own fault after his wife Beni died? Search that up on the Bethel website. It isn’t there anymore. So stow the nonsense and listen to a guy that God brought OUT of the Charismatic movement for a moment.
- That promise of partaking of the divine nature is CONDITIONAL. That phrase “may become” is what modifies “partakers” here. That may also be written as “may or may not become,” and it is dependent on the final subordinate clause of the entire sentence, which reads, “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” Now I’m NOT saying that you have to work to do these things so that we can be justified before God. What I am saying here is that if you have not already been justified before God by renting of your sins and believing in Jesus Christ, then you are NOT a partaker of the divine anything, whether you want to identify as a Christian or not. I guess that would make your pronouns damned/dead were that the case.
- Beloved, this isn’t an instruction on how to be saved and justified before God, this is what happens to people who HAVE BEEN saved and justified before God. Let’s not get the cart before the horse.
- If you are running around lusting after all the stuff that people lust after, that being what you find attractive, what you find fulfilling, or what you define as successful, how is that Christian? That’s nothing more than the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, or the pride of life, respectively! Why then would God the Father bestow on anyone running around in that state, his most valuable and greatest promises? He just wouldn’t do that. And if that’s not what your Jesus would do, then you don’t believe in the real Jesus, I’m sorry.
Now if that though bothers you, I want you to think about what the Lord Jesus has actually done for us. He came to earth as a human, he lived his entire 33.5-year life in complete obedience to the Law of God, and then willingly and knowingly gave up that life and allowed Himself to be crucified on a Roman cross. In other words, He came and lived the life you could not, even if you really wanted to, and then died the death that legally and morally belonged to us so that we wouldn’t have to, and God was so pleased with that perfect substitutionary sacrifice made for us, that He raised Christ from the dead forevermore!
And to become a partaker of that divine nature (again, not ability), you must repent [metanoia] of your sins, the violations you have made of God’s holy law. Repent means to change your mind, your direction. As regards your sins, try admitting that you sinned! Then ask God to forgive you for all your sins! Then believe that God applied that sacrifice to you when God raised Christ from the dead, and He will save you from the coming wrath of God on the entire planet.
5-9: The Building Blocks of Faith
If you truly believe all of that about the gospel, you are now a “baby Christian” as a lady I used to know put it when I first was one myself. I will allow that we all grow at different rates, but we will all grow if we are truly His. Peter here is providing a kind of path to follow as a disciple. Think of this like a roadmap, almost like a staircase, to acend a step at a time. Some will find they have to plod. Some will take the stairs two at a time. It doesn’t matter, as long as you are climbing the stairs, and Peter even explains by way of contrast at the end. Let’s have a look.
5: Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,
- It is important first to place this in context, and that comes from the last verse. The reason Peter is referring to here is “becoming partakers of the divine nature,” which of course comes because of His exceedingly great and most valuable promises after we have escaped the corruption that is in the world because of lust. For THIS reason, we must act as Peter is about to describe.
- Applying all diligence–Vine has a specific note here that says the Greek for “applying” means to “add on your part” and represents the force of the verb in Greek. Note that this is something Peter is saying that WE do. Remember, we do not do this to be justified, but instead BECAUSE we are justified. What are we to apply? The Greek here is a form of the word spoudē, which means earnestness or zeal, or the word actually used by the translators, diligence. Diligence, according to Dictionary.com, is “constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind.” Do it, do it regularly, do it constantly.
- In your faith supply moral excellence–This word order can be rearrange, just for your information and it still makes sense, but not being a Greek guy, I wouldn’t dare. But the Greek word order is this: “Supply in [the] faith your [the] moral excellence.” The definite articles ARE there in the Greek, and I’m informed that means that each of these are specific things. The Faith is that firm persuasion that moves you to perform this action diligently, so from the previous step, you supply “moral excellence,” which it turns out is the single Greek word arētē. Remember, we defined this a little earlier, it means “intrinsic moral goodness.” In this particular verse, according to Vine, it is here connected to an essential quality in the exercise of faith. Your faith is supposed to make a deliberate and concerted effort to be morally good according to God’s standard, and to be constant about it. That’s what the verse has said so far. That expression of faith in terms of moral goodness according to God’s standard is to supply something.
- Knowledge–the definite article is here in the Greek also, so it is something specific. The Greek here is the word gnosis, and that means a seeking to know, but in an absolute sense in this verse. We must have a thirst to know the Lord, friends. If that is absent, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are not His, but it does indicate you have an issue of some kind. I might mean you’re distracted, tired, hungry, like that. But His people in general want to know God in an absolute sense. The best way to know that is to read His word.
6: and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,
- That seeking to know the Lord in an absolute sense is also to lead to another step. Here, it leads to self-control and perseverance. Self-control is the Greek word we would normally translate as “temperance,” but because of usage, that is only one kind of self-control, that being sobriety. That isn’t bad, but it actually originally meant in more categories than just sobriety, so self-control is a better choice for the translation today. I like the note Vine had on this, and I’ll read it to you: “the various powers bestowed by God upon man are capable of abuse; the right use demands the controlling power of the will under the operation of the Spirit of God…”. That is what is meant by self-control. Perseverance is the Greek word hupomonē, which means “an abiding under,” or patience. It is translated perseverance here to indicate that this something you do actively, like in Romans 2:7 where Paul talks about persevering in doing good. We are to be active in this, Beloved.
- Self-control and perseverance are also to bring something in the form of a next step: Godliness. This, again something we defined earlier, is the Greek word eusebia, and literally means that piety of a Godward attitude that does the things that are pleasing to Him. And the staircase continues.
7: and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
- That Godward attitude that seeks to please Him also leads to something: brotherly kindness. The Greek here is literally philadelphian. This is the affection that is had between comrades-in-arms of some kind. This could be a sports team, a military unit, or according to Peter here, US! The Church! It is that affectionate camaraderie and affection found in close gatherings of people that have a common goal. Phileos is one of the four words for love in the New Testament! It is the kind of love that Peter declared when Jesus asked him if he loved Him! We are to culture and enjoy that! Why? Because something else springs from that kindly affection.
- Love. For the Bereans here, I probably don’t need to point this out, but for all those less familiar with it, the is the Greek word agape. This is God’s love, and it is the kind of love that puts the interests of others before your own. It is self-denying. It is self-sacrificial. It is divine. And you cannot have it unless you are a Christian. We often here the phrase that love is love is love. But it isn’t true. Most of what the world calls love is actually lust, and that is the extreme opposite of what love is about. We are to have God’s love for others, especially for brothers and sisters in Christ.
- That’s the staircase. How do we know that’s where it is completed? Next verse.
8: 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.
- Here is the key to recognizing if you are on those stairs yourself. There are two things that will BOTH display if you are. First, these qualities must, at least in some small measure be yours. This is like what Paul says in Galatians 5 when he talks about the fruit of the Spirit, and if you have them, they are yours, a result of that changed nature that the Lord gave you when you were first born again. Second, if these are INCREASING, you know that the Lord is at work in you, fulfilling His promise to perfect you right up to the moment He comes to get you, whether that be at the moment of your death, or at the harpazo event that the Scripture talks about in a number of places.
- Peter is saying that if these things are present in you and they are increasing, you are not useless or lacking in the fruit that represent the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ in an absolute sense like he said earlier. You are a disciple, following Him on that upward way, all the way home. Why is this important? Next verse.
9: For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
- Peter stops short of saying such an individual is not really a Christian, so I will as well. I need to point out that the word “qualities” is in italics. That means it does not occur in the Greek, it was something that the translators inserted to try to clarify the verse for the reader. It helps here, but it isn’t needed, it is pretty plain if you drop the word and read it without it. If you lack these qualities, Peter tells us what that means.
- Blind–Peter is clearly using this in the metaphorical sense, but it means that you cannot see what it is you need or the direction you should take, and also maybe that you need a guide. A pastor of a local New Testament church is such a guide, or an elder or deacon in such a place. If you don’t have one of those available, there are people you can ask in other gatherings, or you can ask us as a last resort. I say that because if you’re watching, chances are I am not your pastor, and you do not attend my gathering. You need to belong to such a place where you are. I cannot just “be your pastor” if you do not physically fellowship with me. But occasionally, even I have questions or issues. I have turned to others also. I have even turned to those who are not in my denomination that I know to have a solid biblical foundation even though we differ in secondary issues. I can do that for you on a one-time basis. Email me at PastoreGer@outlook.com and we can set something up.
- Short-sighted–This is similar to being blind, but it differs in that you can still see what is immediately around you. It doesn’t exclude, but rather qualifies the word blind. If one is blind, he cannot see spiritual things at all, if we are using the words metaphorically. Some one who is short-sighted would be someone that only sees what is near Him, and is thus occupied with affairs of the world and is unable to focus on spiritual things. There are a number of reasons this can happen to believers, by the way, and it is why Peter stops short of saying these people are not Christian. An example is an extreme tragedy. I have a friend that lives in rural Illinois named Pat. Pat’s entire family died in a horrific car crash while he was at work one day. He lost his wife and three kids in a moment, and his grief and loss blinded him and made him spiritually myopic for a short time. It would me also. But he was then and still is a believer today. In fact, he was of some comfort to the widow of a good friend that left too soon a few years later.
- What do these conditions cause? They cause a situation in which you forget who you are–and whose you are–for a short time. You do stupid stuff. The night of the day my oldest child attempted suicide, I went out and got drunk. It was not the only time that she attempted it, either–but it was the only time I did that. It was my old standard programming. It hit me hard enough to cause a hard reset, to use computer terminology. I could not see much around me, or know how to proceed. But the Lord was merciful, and He let me wander for a little bit so that I could see there were no answers there. After that, I quit drinking all together, and was, as it commands in Eph. 5:18, no longer to be drunk with wine, but rather to be filled with the Spirit of the living God. I started to try to walk with Christ again. It was a process, but I did it, God helping me. So by the time my heart attack came late that year, I was ready to have my attention arrested by the Lord, and he once again called me into ministry. I had ignored the call when I was young, and I even had help doing it, and that help was even within a so-called church. But now I’ve got the education background and I have done most of the things a pastor does in the course of their job. The one exception is perform a funeral on my own, and frankly, I’m not in a hurry for that. If you are truly His, He will not let you go. And if you find yourself continually wandering away, continually turn back to Him, in another word, repent.
What Peter is saying here is that if you will pursue these characteristics in your own life, assuming you really repented of your sins and believed the gospel, that He will finish that work, called Sanctification in 1 Peter. Even if things knock you silly for a time.
There is a second group that I have to address here. Blind is the appropriate word, but it is in a different sense. They are spiritually blind, and these character traits do not grace their life. Instead, they are the opposite. They live constantly in the corruption of the world. They are lazy and not diligent with matters of faith. In fact, it is usually clear that their faith is in anything but Christ from their lack of fruit. They have no moral goodness, they do not have that desire to learn about God in any sense, let alone an absolute sense, they have no ability to control themselves, they have no patience, they are thoroughly sinful, they hat their brothers and sisters (sometimes secretly), and they put themselves before others. We call this group of people unredeemed reprobate sinners.
To this group, I say what Peter says–you can become a partaker of that divine nature if you will escape the corruption that is in the world through YOUR LUST. You need to repent, that is change your mind about your sin and admit that it is actually sin. Change your direction and stop sinning, and allow that price Jesus paid on the cross to apply to you. He died for you, and He rose again three days later to show that the price had been paid that that sin’s power in your life could be broke. Repent and believe the gospel, and gain entrance to His Eternal Kingdom and escape the coming wrath of God on the entire planet. Moving on.
10-11: Entrance into the Eternal Kingdom
Now Peter begins this section with the word “therefore,” what do we want to do when we see that word? We want to see what it’s there for! It is in fact a joining word in terms of context, but a special one that indicates a conclusion is being drawn from what has been said before. What is Peter’s conclusion from that? Let’s see.
10: Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;
- Because of that stairway of character, and what can happen if you are not on it, we are to be all the more zealous (diligent) to practice these things. In doing so, and as they increase in your own life, it is evidence that God the Father really did call you. Remember Romans 8:29-30? He foreknew you from before the foundation of the world. In that foreknowledge, He foreordained (predestined, same Greek word, prohorizo) you to become conformed to the image of Christ, His son. In that foreordaining, He called you to become His, and he did so in a way that you could not say no at the time you called on Him to save you. In that calling by Him to you and your response to Him of calling on His name, He justified you before Himself, paying the price for your sin, and expunging the record. And in that Justification, He glorified them. ALL of them! ALL who called on His name. Especially from the context of those verses in Romans, as they passed through trials that sanctified them, though that’s in the surrounding verses of Romans. That is what is being made certain as you practice those things. It is NOT being made certain to God, He made those decisions long before any of us now were born. He is making is certain to US. How do I know that? Because of Peter’s next statement: “For as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”
- These things–what are “these things?” That list of character traits that you are to wholeheartedly pursue with every waking breath, recorded by the Apostle Peter for us so that there would be NO confusion. Do THOSE things and you will never stumble. May it be so for us.
11: for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
- And if you do this with the kind of intensity and dedication (diligence) that Peter instructs us here, then this verse will apply for you. The Apostle Paul and his running mate Barnabas said it this way in Acts 14:22c–“Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Beloved, this is an opportunity to address something. All of these things will show your fruit, and people in the world will hate you for it, particularly when they see that you are not falling for the tactics they use to either distract you or impede you as you pursue this. That is what causes all of Paul’s trials on the missionary journey that he and Barnabas had just returned from when one of them said that live we quoted. Paul had been jailed, beaten, given lashes, and even stoned and left for dead on that journey. And He still looked on it as the road he had to travel, and would travel again.
- This is what Peter refers to when he says, “In this way the entrance in the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour will be abundantly supplied to you.”
Peter is explaining to His brothers and sisters in Christ what they must do to enter the eternal kingdom, where only righteousness dwells and there is no more suffering or tears or pain. Only those Christ redeems from their sin will enter there after the Great White Throne judgement where if your name is not written in the Lamb’s book of life, which was written from before the foundation of the world, you will not be given entrance but instead will be cast into conscious, eternal suffering with the devil and all of his angels, for the rest of eternity. I won’t take the time this evening to go through all of the passages that tell us that, because there just isn’t enough time. But this is not something I’m making up. Repent and avoid that fate by believing the Gospel, that Jesus came and lived the life we couldn’t to supply payment for our wrongs that we couldn’t, and in believing that, we will live forever with Him.
That’s what I saw in the text!