Reading on 2 Peter 1:2-11: Part 1

2 Peter 1:2‑11
2 Peter 1:2-112Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2‑11)2PE 1:2-112Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2‑11)
It is not my thought to comment on all this passage, but to consider how we may have an "abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." I suppose none of us here have any ambition to come dragging into heaven, satisfied with just squeezing in. That is not characteristic of Christianity. I believe there are cases like that-people who do not want to go to hell, but that is not indicative of divine love being there; it is rather a fear of judgment. That doesn't speak of the operations of the divine nature spoken of here in our verse, which is rather the longings of the divine nature to have the association and companionship of the One Who has bought us. He has equipped us with a nature which can only be satisfied with divine glory.
Being made "partakers of the divine nature" is not so much here the result of new birth, as it is rather the practical result. It is not necessarily what we get in being born again, but the practical results of it. How am I going to have the operations in a practical way? We get it in the first part of the 4th verse. That is, if the soul lays hold on these promises which belong to it, lives in the enjoyment of them, the result will be the manifestation of the divine nature.
Of course that couldn't be unless we had the divine nature.
As we were saying, none of us here would be satisfied just to get to heaven, but there is the desire to have an "abundant entrance." It is not a very good way for a ship to have to be dragged into port by a tug, but it is better than to go down at sea. How much more dignified for the old ship to come in under full colors. How proud the sailors are and the captain is, and with what joy they pull in, after a long toilsome voyage! If we are Christians, we are going to make port. We are going to get there all right. What kind of an entrance are we going to have?
The 11th verse says: "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." I am sure you would like to have that kind of an entrance. Here are the directions-the recipe-for it, right here. I apprehend the "abundant entrance" being ministered, is not the swinging open of the doors at the end, but it is ministered all along the way.
I rather think when one comes down to the time of facing the change from this world, that is, if he is permitted to face it consciously-if he is permitted to know he is just about to go into the presence of the Lord,-the kind of entrance he is going to have at the end, will largely depend upon the kind of entrance he has had the past year-the Christian life and experience he has been enjoying. You don't expect a Christian who has been living at a distance from the Lord-sort of a half-hearted life-you don't expect him to have an ecstasy, like one who has lived and walked with God. The way to look forward with confidence to that change, is to have these virtues spoken of in the intervening verses of our chapter, operative in the soul.
Verse 3. "According as His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
Young Christian, I wonder if you excuse yourself for your shallowness, on the ground that the circumstances in which you find yourself are not advantageous to the kind of life you would like to live? You have reasoned it out, and you think it would be different if you were living in a different position. If your circumstances were altered, you would be able to live the kind of a Christian life you would like to live. Our verse here says, "His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness." There is not one thing lacking. We have a complete equipment. God is not going to put us in a Position where we cannot live for Him, and ask us to live for Him. No-; He has given us all things necessary; right in your present position;
God has given you the fullest possible equipment to live for Him. We don't have to wait until we are older, or know our Bibles better, before we begin to live for the Lord.
How do these "exceeding great and precious promises" make us "partakers of the divine nature"? I believe in this way: It is the entering into, and enjoying these exceeding great and precious promises (what God has done, is doing, and is going to do), as realities. The result is, I am so attracted and under the power of them, that other things lose their attractiveness. We become more "imitators of God," become occupied with the Object that gives concern to God, i.e., what occupies the heart of God, and when we really lay hold on the promises that are ours, that hope works out in the life in a practical way, and we are seen "partakers of the divine nature.”
The latter part of that verse says, "Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." I often look over a company of our young people associated in the outside path, and think, what a fortunate group they are! What a wonderful place they are in! "Escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." We cannot value it too highly, dear young people. If that were true in the days of Peter, how doubly true today:-"corruption in the world through lust." What is lust? It is unsatisfied desires. This world is one constant succession of new desires-ever new desires.
How different with those who know the Lord Jesus Christ. How He satisfies! Divine realities give peace and quiet to the soul. What a blessed thing to be preserved from this ungodly scene. One grieves to see the pace of the young in this world;-the shamelessness of the age;-no regarding of restraint of any kind;-turned loose to glut themselves with what this world has to offer; "wild and crazy age" some have said. Surely those words are not too strong. We have been graciously taken out of it. Such a worthy object, the Christ of God, we have found! That cannot help but have a tremendous effect on our lives. The most worthy Object of the universe-the Christ of God-to have Him brought before us again and again-His glory brought before us; to have His death before us Lord's day morning; His worth repeated in our ears again and again; all that has its transforming power on our souls. What a blessed thing to "escape the corruption in the world through lust." How we ought to prize and value the blessed place in which we find ourselves. Could we imagine in the whole earth a more blessed place, where we would rather be, than gathered to the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, having the association of those who love Him in sincerity and truth, where the Person, work and word of Christ are, by the grace of God, jealously guarded and enjoyed by His people? It is a wonderful place.
(To be continued)