1:1-11 Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance. Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of their calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect entrance to heaven.
4. Whereby, &c.—By His glory and virtue: His glory making the "promises" to be exceeding great; His virtue making them "precious" [Bengel]. Precious promises are the object of precious faith.
given—The promises themselves are a gift: for God's promises are as sure as if they were fulfilled.
by these—promises. They are the object of faith, and even now have a sanctifying effect on the believer, assimilating him to God. Still more so, when they shall be fulfilled.
might, &c.—Greek, "that ye MAY become partakers of the divine nature," even now in part; hereafter perfectly; 1Jo 3:2, "We shall be like Him."
the divine nature—not God's essence, but His holiness, including His "glory" and "virtue," 2Pe 1:3; the opposite to "corruption through lust." Sanctification is the imparting to us of God Himself by the Holy Spirit in the soul. We by faith partake also of the material nature of Jesus (Eph 5:30). The "divine power" enables us to be partakers of "the divine nature."
escaped the corruption—which involves in, and with itself, destruction at last of soul and body; on "escaped" as from a condemned cell, compare 2Pe 2:18-20; Ge 19:17; Col 1:13.
through—Greek, "in." "The corruption in the world" has its seat, not so much in the surrounding elements, as in the "lust" or concupiscence of men's hearts.