2 Peter 1:3-4
According as his divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…
I. THE EXCELLENCY OF THE DIVINE PROMISES. The promises of Scripture are generally declarations which God has made of His intention to bestow blessings upon His faithful people. Under the Old Testament dispensation the promises mainly related to the future advent of the Messiah. The Christian covenant is, in fact, one comprehensive promise (Jeremiah 31:33, 34; Jeremiah 32:40; Hebrews 8:6-12). So that illumination, pardon, holiness, and union with God — that is, all imaginable mercies — are included in this one rich and overflowing promise.
II. THE DESIGN FOR WHICH THESE PROMISES ARE GIVEN — "that by these you might be partakers of the Divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." The two designs of the promises, then, are a deliverance from the corruptions of the world and a participation of the purity of God. What this corruption is need scarcely be described. Men by their concupiscence and ungoverned passions corrupt each other. The Divine nature stands opposed to all this corruption. We are to be holy as God is holy.
1. That this is the direct tendency of the Divine promises may appear, first, from the consideration that it is in the view of His love and grace as displayed in the gospel of His Son, which God is pleased chiefly to employ to win the heart to His service.
2. The assurances of assistance offered to us in the promises tend also directly to promote holiness. The promise of forgiveness excites us to forsake sin; the promise of inward grace to mortify it.
3. Again, the condition annexed to the promises make them the powerful means of producing in us conformity to the Divine nature. These are frequently expressed. To him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God. The meek will He guide in judgment.
4. But I ask once more, What is the matter of God's promises — what are the blessings themselves which they hold out to us? Do they not all either imply holy obedience or directly include it? Repentance, faith, love, joy, hope, peace, strength, communion with God, are subjects of the promises; and what are these but parts of sanctification?
5. I ask, again, what are the direct and necessary effects of such promises, when they are received? They are the nutriment of faith which worketh by love. They inspire hope which purifies the heart even as God is pure. They work therefore not as an opiate to stupefy, but as a medicine to restore. And all this they do, not by a mere natural process, but by the gracious appointment of God.
III. THE TEST WHICH IT FURNISHES OF OUR STATE BEFORE GOD. If men will put a general notion of God's mercy in the place of His promises; if they will substitute a form of godliness for a Divine nature, and a mere decency and good order before others, for an "escape from the corruption which is in the world through lust," they must perish.
(D. 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: