Needed: A Divine Nature

Thursday, May 4                   

2 Pet. 1:3-12 is an exquisite little treatise about God endowing Christians with spiritual gifts.  It is meticulously done, which reveals a deep understanding on Peter’s part, and time consuming attention to detail and order.  It is inspired Scripture, of course, but it also reveals Peter’s  heart- felt concern for the Christians of that time, who were under severe persecution from Nero.  To get a feel for Peter’s heart, take note of the four verses that follow:  “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.  I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.  And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”  Because of Peter’s heart and Jesus’ heart, we are benefiting from the message, too.  The setting for this message is important.  Peter’s readers were living under the harsh rule of Nero, who was out to rid the Empire of Christians.  Peter didn’t need to spell it out to the recipients of this letter; they were experiencing it.  But we need to understand it in order to appreciate his message.  So let’s take a look at the message.   The gist of the message is found in verses 3-4.  Put into chronological order, it would look like this.  1. God has called us to live godly lives.  2. By God’s power, glory, and goodness, he has given us everything we need to live godly lives.  3. Those gifts, including great and precious promises, come through knowing Christ.  4. Knowing Christ brings about change and we gradually acquire a godly nature.  5. The godly nature keeps us from being corrupted by the world.  With that introduction, we’ll take a look at the eight traits (virtues, or qualities) that pertain to the divine nature tomorrow.

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