How would you compare our Christian walk…One large bullet that ‘takes care of business’, or several small hits-individually working together?
Let’s view what Peter says in the Word…
2 Peter 1:3-8 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.
Peter starts out by saying we have access to His divine power. We as believers can share in His glorious life ‘Through Knowing Him-experiencing Him by His Glory and Goodness’
So knowing how to live in Him gives us our passage way to this wonderful heavenly life. What Peter says next then is of the utmost importance-giving us instructions-the knowledge that will bring us into His glory.
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.
So, through the promises in the Word, we escape the corruption caused by evil desires. Thus we can ‘partake’ in this Divine Nature.
Ok Peter, we are getting your Biblical mode of operation, thanks 🙂
You are saying, the promises you are about to give us will allow us to escape our evil desires that ‘corrupt us’. If we follow these guidelines that allow us to know Jesus (being in His presence-His glory), then we will participate in His Divine Nature.
These ‘divine directives’-working together (sounds like a buckshot approach) will enable us to participate in His Divine Nature. This not only will change our lives, but together with other Christians -will turn the worlds darkness into a majestic City on a Mountain. A Radiant Church with heavenly works as Spoken in His Word Acts 2. Through these steps, the church unifies and Gods radiance will penetrate the darkness like Divine Bullets… ripping through satanic strongholds-Praise God!
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hid.
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
5 For this very reason, giving all diligence to add to your faith
Once we decide to be obedient to the Lord (the Fear of the Lord Ps. 111:10 ), saving faith in the sacrifice of the cross brings us eternal life-with the gift of the Holy Spirit within us Eph. 2:8-9. Faith also keeps us on His narrow road, after we become Christians-we have to ‘hang on’ to the promises until we unite with the Lord, face to face with Him Matt. 7:14, 1 Cor. 13:12-13. See Our Road With God
All of these steps however have to be done in diligence; we have to ‘over power’ the intensity of the evil that is trying to overtake us
1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Add to faith–goodness (Greek. aretē) taken from the root male-manliness . Yes, Peter begins this pursuit of Godliness in it’s most basic form… being ‘a gentlemen’. Starting with our speech to others, being courteous, showing kindness whenever possible. In other words, using the authority the Lord has given us to uphold and protect-never to offend. Sometimes we forget the simplicity to the road in the Lord starts with giving others a lift-a moment of joy that can begin with a smile or laugh in someone’s life.
Goodness sets in motion the right attitude-a mindset for service to the Lord by helping others. All directives and pursuits in the Lord start by having a correct attitude. See Humility.
add to goodness -knowledge (Gk gnōsis) Pronounced-knowsis, knowing something. This word simply means knowing something in science. Yes, it starts with faith and then progresses, so this step is foundational in nature.
Knowledge gives us information so we understand how these directives apply to our lives-the beginning of our quest in the Lord. Similar to knowledge, wisdom is always mentioned at the start or beginning…it connects knowledge with the intentions of the Lord-His purpose Prov. 8:22-23-see entire chapter.
In context Peter is saying…the knowledge you receive from these next steps (and the Word in general Rm. 12:2)-if pursued in diligence, will give you an Eternal Divine Nature. In this light, these next verses take on a Supreme importance.
6 add to knowledge –self control (Gk enkrateia). Have you ever set out on a family event-wanting to have a great time…and the kids in the back seat start ‘the perfect storm’. Until things calm down, the meaningful things in life kinda get put on hold. I have noticed this when working with teenage groups…lol- and Paul also knew this first hand. If you read Corinthians, Paul had to stop all the fighting and bickering before he could teach them about holy important truths. Before we can enter a walk with the Lord that will literally open the heavens to His presence and truth-we have to (in layman lingo) dump the attitude, stop creating the storms in our lives –chill out and pursue a true serenity by abiding in His peace Jn. 14:27, Ps. 23.
add to self-control, perseverance. Possibly the greatest attribute of the Apostles. They were not perfect (Lk. 9:46) but the Lord saw in them a character trait that many others did not have. They persevered. When the crowds left, only the 12 remained Jn. 6:66-69.
The Lord loves us…with our faults. The only thing the Lord can’t fix is a heart that does not want to be restored. His Divine nature cannot force a relationship founded in absolute love. This goes against His Divine attributes-nature. If someone has decided not to surrender their burdens and abide in His love, then the Lord allows us our will…our choice. Not understanding this aspect of Gods Divine Love is the greatest mistake a person could ever make. Jn. 15:7
2 Timothy 2:12-13 if we deny him, He also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet He remains faithful: He cannot deny himself.
The Lord might agree with you if you have sensed that perseverance is one of the most important ‘steps’ in the Word of God. Guaranteed failure only happens if we cease to persevere, the Lord promises truth and happiness if we remain faithful, vigilant.
Psalm 126:5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
add to perseverance, godliness (gk eusebeia). Peter mentions that every one of these prior actions need to be applied to our lives before His Godliness arrives. We begin to see the Lord working in our lives-bringing about His holiness, replacing what Peter originally talked about –evil desires from our flesh, world and the enemy. As we breakthrough and begin to ‘abide in Him’, our heavenly relationship with the Lord becomes the most desired part of our lives-He is transforming us to His heavenly nature Jn. 15:5, Rm. 12:3. We understand why Peter mentioned these steps in this order. They are ‘absolutely mandatory’ to maintain this phase of godliness in our walk.
4 He has given us His very great and precious promises (plural), so that through them (plural-all of them) you may participate in the divine nature,
Each step is integrated with the others to bring us into His divine nature. They have to be worked individually in diligence-and none can be neglected. They build upon one another-forming a unity, as we can gain access to His wonderful Divine Nature. The result; we are called into-brought into His heavenly glory and goodness on earth vs. 3.
7 add to godliness, -brotherly kindness (Gk. Philadelphia). Yes, most of you would recognize the Greek word for ‘the city of’ brotherly kindness. All these prior steps-preparations-bring us to a point where a Godliness can start to be a part of our lives. This place in our Christian walk-if maintained as a group (brotherly kindness)–will bring about a joy from heaven that starts to set us apart
Acts 1:14-2:19 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, (the saints in the upper room). Peter explains-why there was great move of God… in the last days, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath;
Wow, heaven on earth-can’t wait till believers in America become ‘one accord’! See The Way
We can then understand why satan wants to contaminate the church-so we will not reach this point. He has had thousands of years to master the fight for each and every spiritual step. The Lord has set up the ‘individuality’ of each phase of our walk, the enemy is smart enough to counter in like manner-to have a strategy.
His thoughts..I will customize my attack. For new Christians, I will hit them hard to discourage their faith. For others, I will throw impurities at them (in and out of the church) to pollute their goodness. I will entise leadership to be so vain-they will not hear from Gods Spirit (Jn. 14:26)-thus their knowledge (teachings) will be so diverse-the sheep will not know what to believe. How easily it is to start bickering and backbiting in these new ‘self seeking’ congregations. Self control-restraint is far less attractive than my pomp and prestige. We will fight over the desire to be greatest. How can they persevere when there is no glory in the house to persevere for 2 Cor. 4:4. I have no need to plan for the last 2 campaigns-the most important ones that open the gates of heaven. If we are victoriously engaging in the preliminary steps, Gods Divine Nature will never abide with the vises of men
Habakkuk 1:13 Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; You cannot tolerate wrongdoing.
Yes, if the bio of our lives and the church were to end here, it would grieve us eternally. Praise God it does not. We however are seated with Christ, and together…with the angels in heaven-satan will meet his doom.
Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, see. Eph. 1:3
Revelation 12:7-11 Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back….9 The great dragon was hurled down 10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come… the power and the kingdom of our God, …11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; (Matt. 24:14 the gospel of this Kingdom) See 1st 4 articles Kingdom of God
add to brotherly kindness, –love (Gk agapē). Many of you know the Word, agape love. If Peter is teaching us this is ‘the last step’ to acquire the Lords Divine Nature…the holy revivals, the supernatural walk, the glory that changes lives-than I arrive at only one conclusion…
I need…the church needs to earnestly pursue ‘the prior steps’-so I can have the greatest part of our walk become a living reality. His agape outpouring…a calling into His glory (vs. 3) that will bring us to our eternal destiny-purpose-for our lives.
Notice Peter keeps saying ‘add to’ …inserting different ‘ingredients’ for a complete walk. The final result is not a marvelous Sunday school lesson, outreach, program, a great song or sermon. He says-the ultimate form of Gods Divine Nature in our lives is an outpouring of the Lords love-down through us and among one another (Divine Agape love radiating throughout the church–brotherly kindness-above) .
Jesus and the Apostle John agree,
John 17:23 I in them and You in Me-so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.
1 John 1:3-4 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard (we verify this truth), so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete
When the Lords love flows down through us (Our fellowship with God) to other believers (our fellowship with us) -Gods joy is completed– or His joy completely fills us.
In other words, the believers joy is complete when the vertical manifestation of Gods love is redirected horizontally to one another. See Fellowship or Friendship.
2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the Knowing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
A literal expanded translation would read…If you truly posses these traits in you..abundantly overflowing out of you…you will in not be useless- or live a barren life-but be fruitful, participating in fully knowing-experiencing our Lord Jesus Christ.
An Honest Look at Where We are At and Where We Want to Go
United in Prayer and Direction
I think we all can confess-we need more of the Lords ‘overflow’- His Divine Nature in our lives. It’s not about finding fault, but having an honest search of ourselves-with true intentions to have His Word guide us to the truth-bringing the fruit of His everlasting life to ourselves and others. If you would like to see the church complete this last step…a unified glorious church-sharing His divine nature-please join me in prayer.
Thank You Lord for giving this truth to Peter-for making this understandable-so I can have Your great presence in my life.
First, I have to be diligent. Then, I have to add diligence to each area that You have given the church. There are no short cuts.
Diligence in faith –in our Christian walk, starting out with-for lack of better words. the right attitude…being kind, maintaining Your goodness. With diligence I will study your truths in Your Word, renewing my mind in all areas- being knowledgeable in Your ways. I completely understand, my behavior cannot contaminate my walk-I will practice self control. I will persevere…Lord-though I may not see others standing, Lord-give me the grace to persevere for You-to abide with You-Your Godliness.
Most importantly Lord, I will pray for Your final great outpouring-that will only arrive from a unified church-being one as the Father and Son are One Jn. 17:21. All those involved Lord-convict us to follow the above requirements to attain Your glorious kingdom on earth-to have the brotherly kindness manifest into Your Eternal Agape Love.
In Jesus Name. Amen