2 Peter 1:3-4
According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…
The keynote of the passage is the word "Divine," which occupies so conspicuous a place at the commencement and the close. To the momentous questions, What is the source and what the nature of true religion? the sum briefly is — It is a Divine life. Its source is traced to the Divine power of the Mediator, and on its features are stamped the impress of the Divine image.
1. Life and godliness is a comprehensive and practical description of true religion. Life alone, in Scripture, often describes the state of grace, and sums up all the blessings of salvation (1 John 5:12; Acts 5:20). Godliness, also, by itself, often denotes the whole of religion — the whole life of faith (1 Timothy 3:16; 1 Timothy 4:7). Employed together they modify each other's meaning, and give completeness to the delineation of the Christian life. Life points out its inward source in the heart, godliness its outward manifestations in conduct and character. Be it ours to seek this life. Filled with it, it will show itself in the blossoms and fruits of godliness, And, let us not forget, that if there is no godliness of conduct or character, we want the only sure evidence that life from on high has descended into our souls.
2. Have I escaped from the corruption that is in the world? Worldly life apart from God, and opposed to God, is moral and spiritual death; in its most refined as well as in its grosser forms, in its intellectual as well as in its sensual enjoyments, it has the taint of corruption. Its maxims and morality are unsound. The tie that binds us to the world and its corruption is the corruption of our own hearts. That removed, the magnetic attraction of evil is broken. The world and the renewed nature have no affinity, but repel each other. Like the occupant of the diving-bell, breathing air which is replenished and purified by constant supplies from above, and which, by its elastic force, keeps out the water which presses on every side; so the Christian, breathing the vital air of a heaven-derived life, moves unharmed in the midst of the world's corruption; surrounding him on every side, it cannot overwhelm.
3. Partakers of the Divine nature! At that momentous change, variously spoken of as a resurrection from the dead, as a new creation, as regeneration, there is communicated to the soul a Divine principle of life which, through grace, gradually transforms the whole man. Nothing less will do as a commencing point for the Christian life as a foundation on which to build a new and Godlike character. By God's overruling providence and restraining grace and favourable circumstances the worst outbreaks of sin are often prevented, as by the physician's skill the maladies of an unsound constitution may be mitigated. But only by a renewal of the soul, by the communication of the life of God, can we obtain true spiritual health and vigour. Christ then becomes our life. We are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, and thus are made partakers of the Divine nature in the only sense possible for creatures. But the fellowship of the renewed soul with God is also embraced in that participation of the Divine nature of which the apostle speaks. Converse with God is the highest bliss of which we are capable. The life that has descended from God into our hearts rises up to Him again in desire and love, and the new nature in us subsists by communion with the source whence it is derived.
(W. Wilson, M. A.)
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: