2 Peter 1:1-4 (NIV) 1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
What an Opening!
Peter’s wonderful salutation immediately lifts his readers by equating the faith given to us by a righteous God … to that same faith received by the apostles directly from the Christ. Because of God’s righteousness, faith is a gift. It is not and cannot be earned. Also, because it is from God, we have been given enough. We should never believe that we haven’t been given enough (recall the parable of the mustard seed).
In just two short verses (3, 4) Peter paints an amazing picture of Jesus Christ and what he brings into our lives. He delivers “divine power”. He provides generously (“everything we need …”). He has given “very great and precious promises” … promises like “God hears prayers and answers them”, “He will never leave us or forsake us”, “We will escape the punishment that we deserve for our sins” and “We will go to heaven when we die” … just to name a few.
Finally, God’s promises help us to “escape the corruption of the world” and then participate in Christ’s “divine nature”. While we live in this world we will always have the temptations and the fascination with sin. Only through Christ’s presence in our lives do we have any hope of withstanding the “evil desires” that lead to corruption. We can then participate Christ’s “divine nature” although never fully become his “nature”.
Blessings, John H