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

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

In Peter’s greeting in verse 2 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 for maturity and growing in grace. Peter mentions the three greatest characteristics He witnessed in Jesus earthy life. Peter answers 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”    

Peter identifies the unending resources the believer has in the Spirit when he gives four answer to hypothetical 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!” 
  • Vs. 3 What the believer has in the bank?

Vs. 3 We need to realize that in Christ our “resources” will always match our “objectives”. God has seen fit to make certain that what God has called us to will be supplied 100% by what He alone has given the believer. 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.” 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. 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”. Our objective is “Life” and “Godliness”; to be those that manifest to the world the divine nature and characteristics.

The question is: “What does that specifically look like?” Peter defined this by saying that he witnessed of Jesus during those 3 ½ years three specific characteristics that impressed him even after 30 years.

  1. Vs. 3a “His divine power”: Peter doesn’t give us more information, 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. 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.
  3. Power over patience: The second area is an amazing display of divine power that Jesus had over patience! Jesus refused to be in a hurry and rush ahead of the God. There are two challenging things for the follower of Jesus in God’s will:
  4. Waiting ON 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.
  5. Waiting FOR the Lord: 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. Everyday Jesus walked this planet His patience was tried and never once do we see Him lose His patience.
  6. Power over others: The third area that Peter had witnessed Jesus divine power was over others. In each and every case where Jesus power was on display over others it was always for their benefit and the 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!

Now we move to the other two characteristics that Peter observed in the life of Jesus:

  • Vs. 3b “His glory”: The second characteristic that these precious promises ought to produce in the Christian 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: What “Glory” of Jesus is Peter writing about? First the use of this word buy Peter 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 of 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.        

  • Vs. 3c “His virtue”: The third characteristic that these precious promises ought to produce in the Christian 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. What is more remarkable is that Peter had 30 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!” Peter’s testimony in Jesus’ “virtue” is 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!
  1. Vs. 4 What does the believers wealth purchase?

Vs. 4 Having witnessed these three amazing characteristics in Jesus Peter now proclaims them as manifestations of God’s resources being applied to our Christian. 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” and these are plural promises of Jesus seen in a three-fold purpose as a promise from God always has these three:

  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’ “promises always have a purposeproviding 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!”