2 Peter 1:3-4 | “Objectives and resources of the Christian” – I Part

  1. Intro
  2. Vs. 3 What the believer has in the bank?
  3. Vs. 4 What does the believers wealth purchase?
  4. Intro.

Peter started out this letter drawing the reader’s attention to three truths the satan and his segregates seek to keep the Christian from realizing:

  1. Vs. 1a The secret of freedom: “A bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ”.
  2. Vs. 1b The basis of fairness: “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us”.
  3. Vs. 2 The blessing of fellowship: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”. 

As we continue in the introduction Peter answers several hypothetical questions that the reader may have. His reason for this is so that the reader would be better protected from false teachers who were attempting to say that there was another layer to their faith that these false teachers and their special knowledge could grant the believer. In Peter’s greeting in verse 2 we read; “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Here we were given the basis of continuation of fellowship with the Lord as well as the location of the supplies that are essential in maintaining it, “The knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Peter’s statement carries tremendous weight as he states that since the 3 ½ years that he personally witnessed Jesus living life out on earth he had not discovered anything lacking. What Jesus had supplied during his time with him was still all that was necessary. This was not the first time that Peter had shared his personal encounter with Jesus. One of the ones that is mentioned in the Bible is the time he met with Paul told only in Paul’s letter to the Galatians in 1:17-18 where Paul writes, “Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia and returned again to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, remained with him 15 days.” Paul writes that after his conversion he spent 3 years studying the First Testament scriptures and he went from “proclaiming” Jesus as the Lord to “proving” upon his return to Damascus. It was after this that Paul went to talk with Peter. Talk about an “odd couple” Peter the transformed fisherman whose education had come from being with Jesus and Paul the student of Gamaliel one of the greatest rabbis of his time. It was during those 15 days that Peter no doubt filled in all that he had encountered in his personal encounter with Jesus. I bring this up because Peter mentions the three greatest characteristics that He witnessed in Jesus earthy life. Peter answers the hypothetical question: What does a Christian life made up of multiplied grace and peace look like? On a practical level Peter is identifying the unending resources the believer has in the Spirit by answer four questions:

  • What does the believer have in the Bank of Jesus? Verse 3a “Devine Power, Glory and virtue!”
  • How does the believer receive this wealth? Verses3-4 “In exceeding great and precious promises…given to us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness!”
  • What does our never-ending resources accomplish for us? Verse 4 “That through these you may be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust!”
  • What is the location of all our resources? Verse 3 “Through the knowledge of Him!” 

Furthermore, in doing so Peter has answered two of the great mystery’s in life:

  1. What is the object of the Christian life?
  2. Pertain to LIFE: To know God
  3. And GODLINESS: To be transformed into His likeness
  4. What were the most memorable characteristics the Jesus life? Of all the things that Peter witnessed of Jesus during those 31/2 years he tells his readers he was most impressed with three specific characteristics.
  5. Vs. 3a “His divine power
  6. Vs. 3d “His glory
  7. Vs. 3c “His virtue”    
  8. Vs. 3 What the believer has in the bank?

Vs. 3 It is good for the believer to realize that our “resources” match our “objectives”. I suppose that we have all experienced in this life that the lack of our “resources” can directly affect our ability to meet our “objectives” but Peter guarantees that this will never be the case for the Christian! God has seen fit to make certain that what God has called us to will be supplied 100% by what He alone. The Peter’s purpose of letting his readers know this is so that satan and his false teachers would not be able to move the believer from their true resources on to that which would never be able to accomplish the objective. Satan has long employed the tactic of distraction in order to get the Christian away from God’s given objective of knowing God and being transformed into His image. We all ought to be more concerned with the state of our own heart than the sate if the union. Revival in the world always starts with the revival of the Christian. Peter’s statement as to the objectives of the Christian life is found in verses 2-3 and starts with the phrase in verse 2 where he wishes “Grace and peace to be multiplied to you”. He then tells the believer the location of those to great resources are found only in “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Having given us the source of Grace and peace Peter moves to the objects of these resources as they are to SUPPLY to essentials for the Christian. Which are revealed to the reader in verse 3:

  • The objectives of the Christian life? His divine power has given us ALL THINGS that pertain to two objectives:
  • LIFE: The essential objective of the Christian continues and will always be “To know God.” This is what we Christians should desire above everything else and ought to occupy our prayer life. This is the supreme objective of the Christian as Jesus said in John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Jesus elaborated on the heart condition which would enable this in Matt. 5:8 in the “Beatitudes” saying, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” Here were Christians being led away from the truth of the “resources” available to them and Peter acknowledges that it starts with knowledge. It is the only way humanity can get to “LIFE” as the Bible tells us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God! This reminds the person that knowing God is the only way to experience life and that such a quest can only happen by the Spirit of God illuminating the Word of God to the heart.       
  • GODLINESS: The first objective primarily deals with the salvation of the human heart but notice that Peter doesn’t stop with “salvation” being the ONLY objective as he goes on to say in verse 3 that the second objective of the Christian is “To be transformed into His likeness”, which deal with our sanctification. We are told that to accomplish this objective that the Christian has been given the continual resources of “exceeding great and precious promises”! Peter’s statement is staggeringly amazing as he proclaims that our objective has received all we need from God to accomplish according to verse 4 to be “partakers of the diving nature”. This is accomplished through “precious promises” that enable the Christian to become “partakers of the diving nature”. Our objective is “Life” and “Godliness”; to be those that manifest to the world the divine nature and characteristics. A Christian is not a person who is born in a certain country our family. They do not describe a person who have gone through certain religious ceremonies. Neither do they describe a “good person” who by works try to uplift their fellow man. While some of these man be true of a Christian we must not forget that a Christian is one who is apartaker of the divine nature.” Every Christian is called to manifest Jesus’ character and nature to the world we live in.

The question is: “What does that specifically look like?” Peter has defined it by saying that he witnessed of Jesus during those 31/2 years three specific characteristics that most impressed him even after 30 years these were still Jesus’ most impressive traits.

  1. Vs. 3a “His divine power”: Peter doesn’t give us more information with regards to Jesus’ divine power so we are left to discover the specifics of this seen in the Life of Jesus as described through the eyewitness accounts as to what impressed Peter. The purpose of this examination is to find out what the resources will do when applied to our objectives of life and godliness! Looking out over the gospels I see repeated over and over three areas as to what impressed the eyewitness of “divine power”. These three things ought to be what we and others see in us if we have applied God’s resources to our objectives and have become “partakers of the divine nature”.
  2. Power over self: Peter had witnessed the amazing power of self-control of Jesus. Time and again Peter would watch the supernatural manifestation of Jesus’ divine power over self. Jesus was never self-distracted, self-absorbed. He exhibited a diving power over what consumed all others….self!! Jesus was not governed by His desires, not controlled by His desire for pleasure nor by the desire to escape that which would cause him displeasure. His power over self was seen during His temptation of the wilderness, and the countless times and resources He had to not suffer in anyway. Yet He only did that which pleased the Father, His desire was swallowed in obedience to His Fathers will. The precious promises of God supply the resources necessary for the Christian to no longer be people who are consumed by getting our way and instead we will be consumed by a life that only wants God’s will!           
  3. Power over patience: The second area looking at the gospels that is an amazing display of divine power was the power Jesus had over patience! Jesus refused to be in a hurry and rush ahead of the God. There is: Waiting ON the Lord and Waiting FOR the Lord. Waiting ON the Lord is where we look to know His will is some area of our lives and it is difficult for us to wait on the Lord for direction and leading. Ah but waiting FOR the Lord requires even more patience as here we are asked to wait FOR the Lord even after we have waited ON the Lord. God may have given us a clear direction, but it will require even more patience to wait on God to do the work. Jesus never moved ahead of the Father and instead said “My hour has not yet come”. Jesus exhibited His patience towards others both those for Him as well as those who were against Him. Everyday Jesus walked this planet His patience was tried and never once do we see Him lose His patience. Christian God has given us His power over our patience or lack thereof and if we are applying His resources to our objectives we ought to see some progress in this area.        
  4. Power over others: The third area that Peter had witnessed Jesus divine power was over others. There so many testimonies of Jesus touch upon someo0ne and they were healed. The rekindling of Mary Magdalene as her dark soul was restored to light. Peter watched as Zacchaeus was transformed from his possessions and lifted where he became generous. Peter was there as Lazarus heavy lifeless body lay three days in a tomb and watched Jesus power bring him back to a vitalized life again. Peter also witnessed Jesus power over others as it related to His releasing the mental bondage of a Nicodemus. And it was Jesus who in the garden of Peter’s impatience after he had pulled out his sword and cut off the servant’s ear that Jesus touched him and gave him what Peter hadn’t himself…his hearing! Yet in each and every case where Jesus power was on display over others it was always for their benefit and furtherance of His Father’s glory! We too will be given divine power over others but not for our benefit but theirs for the glory of God not us. Devine power running coursing through us will not result in our exaltation but in Jesus’ it won’t end in our benefit, but the person God has called us too! We will see the majesty of Jesus returning into lifeless bodies, life’s functioning as designed. And we will bow before the One who so worked in others as He has worked in us!
  5. Vs. 3b “His glory”: The second characteristic that these precious promises ought to produce in the Christian what Peter witnessed in Jesus during those 3 ½ years and is found in verse 3 as Peter says that the Christian is called to “glory”! The question that the reader needs to ask is just what “Glory” of Jesus is Peter writing about? Peter use of this word is to take the reader away from the Gnostic teachers starch intellectualism that disregarded the reality that Jesus was never safe even though He is our Savior. The word speaks of the whole of His character, the majesty of His grace, the glory that was the spark in His eyes, the holiness that projected from His words when He spoke. The power of His tender touch when took hold of a needy life. Peter is describing what the apostle John described in his gospel in John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” The radiant earthly robes od His mercy and the splendor of the Godhead bodily shedding Himself abroad in His lavish love! Peter is not writing about what He hasn’t yet witnessed in all eternity but what he witnessed in eternity manifest so that fallen humanity could take notice! Jesus nature of tenderness, gentleness, holiness and love that was always on display in our master’s life. That is a resource for us NOW through these precious promises, there is unending resources in the bank of Christ for us to live this way to a world that will marvel at God’s glory reflecting upon our everyday lives.         
  6. Vs. 3c “His virtue”: The third characteristic that these precious promises ought to produce in the Christian Peter witnessed in Jesus is also found in verse 3 as Peter says that the Christian is called to Christ’s “virtue”! The moral goodness of His Master Jesus was always present and visible. Peter has had years to look back at not only what he witnessed in Jesus actions, but he could now lay next to Jesus actions His teaching to see if Jesus was ever a person who could have said, “Do as I say not as I do!” But Jesus’ “virtue” is such that there was never ONE TIME that Jesus didn’t exhibit heavenly virtue in earthly situations and circumstances. Again, I remind the Christian that these amazing characteristics of Christ are what our resources provided by Jesus ought to accomplish in each of us!
  7. Vs. 4 What does the believers wealth purchase?

Vs. 4 Having witnessed these three amazing characteristics in Jesus Peter now proclaims them as objectives for each and every Christian because of the resources of Jesus made available to each of us. We have this “wealth” in the bank of Christ given to us to withdraw His riches so that each of us can manifest these same characteristics to a lost world. How do we withdraw them? Peter explains the process on how we can obtain the funds as “exceedingly great and precious promises”. A promise of Jesus has a three-fold purpose:

  1. It reveals and ideal:
  2. It kindles an action:
  3. It inspires a hope

But the Lord has not stopped at only a promise as it “pertains to life and godliness” which means that Jesus has a “promise with a purpose” as it provides the equipment necessary to: Fulfill the ideal, complete the action and realize the hope! The things that pertain to Life are not the things that people commonly think are necessary but those things that make us partakers of the “divine nature” as it has enabled us to escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. In other words, we can be assured of the ability of the resources to accomplish the objectives because they are the same ones that have already been tested and worked transforming us from death to life! God’s exceedingly great and precious promises enables us: To know God and To be transformed into His likeness. Oh, the possibilities available to us Christians, to be a people who don’t simply ask the question; “Do I like this” directed by their fleshly appetites and desire but to be like Jesus who asked, “Is it good, does it glorify the Father and further His kingdom!”