The Story: There are a number of passages in Scripture that encapsulate the life of faith in a brief and powerful way. This is among the best of them. Notice, first, the end of our salvation and the means to it are the same. We are saved by coming into the knowledge of God Who calls us – which is eternal life (Jn. 17.3) – in order that we may grow in the knowledge of God. Moreover, that growth “into” God is so intimate and personal that Peter describes us as becoming “partakers of the divine nature.” Paul summarizes this process in 2 Corinthians 3.12-18. As we stand in the hope of glory (Rom. 5.1, 2) and engage the glory and excellence of the Lord, revealed in His Word, we are transformed into that same image of glory and excellence as we “partake” of the Lord Himself. The promises of God are at the heart of this – all that covenant language of hope and blessing. But to attain to this we must leave behind the corruption of the sinful world (cf. Eph. 4.17-24). And how shall we attain to such an awesome way of life? Only by grace, through the “divine power” of God Who gives us all we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The Structure: In our callings as servants and apostles we must strive to improve in the glory and excellence of the Lord in every area of our lives. We will not be credible unless it is seen by those we seek to serve, and to whom we proclaim the Kingdom, that this “Good News” really makes a difference in our lives. The knowledge of God, which we strive to improve in day by day, becomes the glory and excellence of God as we attain the promises and the blessings they hold out to us. By turning away from all sin and eagerly seeking to lay hold on the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus, we can effectively fulfill our calling to know the Lord and to show Him to the world through our transformed lives and power-assisted speech. Unless this is your aspiration in life, Peter’s not writing to you. And if he’s not writing to you, then you need to consider whether or not you have “obtained a faith of equal standing” with his (v. 1).
Would those who know you describe your life as increasing in the knowledge of God? Do they see, in every area of your life, the evidence of divine glory and excellence?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Getting on with the Life of Faith: 2 Peter 1,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.