Escape corruption & participate in godliness 1
“3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:3-4–ESV)
All needful things 2
Life and godliness are crucial. They may have their own difficult features, but difficult is by no means impossible when God gets involved. God has enough power to do all things. By this divine power he has raised Christ from the dead and by this divine power he has granted (given)3 to us those things which are needful unto godliness. Note also how godliness and life are connected to one another. We do not get life apart from godliness.
Needful things come through our knowing God
They come through our own knowledge of him. God called us to godliness. He strengthens us unto this, but we must learn of him and live in his ways. Throughout the scriptures are admonitions to know God. Know God through study of the words he has given us. Accept the lessons in scriptures by faith. All we need is there. Peter connects our knowledge of God to style of life, choices in living and godliness. We should recall that earth-life is temporary. God life is eternal. According to Jesus 4eternal life is knowing God, it starts on this side of the grave and goes on forever.
How can God’s gift of everything we need for life go from concept to practice? We will have everything we need to eat (be it little or much), to wear, to spend, etc. We will have all the health we need. Our animals will live as long as they need to. Our parents and friends will be with us as long as they need to. No matter the direction of our government God is still in control. To go from concept to practice we first must accept these things and then live. It works. Sometimes it is as instant as (bad) coffee. Sometimes one has to wait for it, but it will come.
If you like to read novels on these things see the book by George MacDonald called At the Back of the North Wind. (Public domain. Free eBook at Gutenberg.org.) It is in chapter 13, I think, that MacDonald displays the faith of the character Diamond in a most remarkable contrast to the lack of faith (a.k.a. worry) of his mother in regard to food. The passage here in 2 Peter is less about physical food and more about godliness, but they are linked and intertwined with one another.
Depend upon God’s promises to escape corruption and participate in God’s nature.
As a result of God’s glory and excellence he granted to us precious and great promises. God’s character is expressed by giving us aid in the shape of promises. Through these promises we begin to partake in the divine nature of God. This does not mean we become God or Gods5. It means we grow in a character that is like God. We have his style of life and living.
A promise requires faith and God is all about faith. A promise is for something pending. A promise requires trust. If I tell my child that I promise them I will do thus and so they must wait. They must depend upon the not yet arrived token. That is the faith a child places in their parent. So God’s character gives us promises. Depending upon our character we will or will not have faith in the promises. The power of God is real and the promises are true. Will we live there? If we do then we participate in the divine nature. Then we escape the corruption in the world.
In Christ a rescue has come, but still an escape must be done. The firefighter’s arrival means hope, but you may yet be in the building and need to trust that jumping out of it onto the firefighters trampoline will work. The hostage negotiator may have arrived where you are held, but you are still held. We, though saved, find rebellious tendencies and initiatives all around. These tendencies do not need to hold us back for the shackles are gone, but the habits and actions may not be.
Where to from here?
The following stepwise verses will outline many of the character traits that a Christ-follower is to have. These are not theological terms or doctrine type things. They rather are commonplace goodness that the ordinary life on earth as a Christian should express.
Quick points and concepts:
- Character is expressed
- Benevolent character gives (God)
- Malevolent character takes (Lucifer)
- Every needed thing
- Knowledge of God is important
- God’s goodness and glory
- Gifts of great promise
- Participate in the divine nature
- Escape from corruption
- Evil desires lead to corruption