2 Peter 1:3, 4
According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…
These words, read in connection with what immediately follows (specially if we, following Ellicott and Farrar, place a period at the end of the second verse), distinctly predicate certain things about the beginning of soul-salvation.
I. GOD HAS GIVEN ALL THINGS NECESSARY for soul-salvation. Note:
1. The idea of soul-salvation. "Life and godliness." Observe the order. Vitality, then external piety.
2. The means of soul-salvation.
(1) Many: "all things." So that first there is no room for excuse; second, the "all" of God challenges the "all" of man.
(2) Divinely bestowed. "By his Divine power." What a use of infinite power - to save!
II. God calls the soul TO A KNOWLEDGE OF HIMSELF as the beginning of soul-salvation. The "all things" come to us:
1. Through the call of God. God is the great Caller. Whence? To what? How?
2. Through knowing him who calls us. Not knowing about him, but directly knowing him. Probably Peter again has a reminiscence of the Last Supper: "This is life eternal, to know thee."
III. God's call comes to souls BY THE REVELATION OF HIMSELF. "Called by his own glory and virtue." "Glory," majesty: what he is. "Virtue," energy: what he does. Both combined give the full revelation of God.
IV. God's call comes to souls WITH INSPIRING PROMISES. "Precious." Note Peter's frequent word, meaning rare, prized. "Exceeding great."
1. In their origin. The voice that rolls the stars along
Speaks all the promises.
2. In their substance.
3. In the multitudes to whom they are addressed.
V. God's PURPOSE in soul-salvation is the HIGHEST we can conceive of. There is a twofold end.
1. "Escape the corruption that is in the world."
(1) "Corruption," deadly evil;
(2) "in the world," near, mighty;
(3) "through lust." No evil can harm except through our own evil desires.
2. The other and higher end, nobler than the negative one just mentioned, is "become par. takers of the Divine nature;" i.e., share in the very righteousness of God. Not mere forgiveness of sins, not mere remission of penalty, not safety from external perils, but the blessed and holy purpose of God's love accomplished in our restoration to the Divine image. - U.R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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:
WEB: seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue;