2 Peter 1:1-4 (KJV) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,  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:  Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Faith in Jesus Christ changes things.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the only thing that will change your life.
The Bible tells us that:
John 1:17 (KJV) For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Now this doesn’t mean that the Law had no truth in it, nor does it mean that God did not extend grace and truth to the Old Testament Saint. But the Law was external. It was written on tablets and scrolls, but not on the human heart. God loves His Israel just as much as He now loves His Church. But Israel had the external law to guide them. God promised that a greater day would come. He spoke through the Prophet saying:
Jeremiah 31:31-33 (KJV) Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a NEW COVENANT with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day [that] I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS; AND WILL BE THEIR GOD, and they shall be my people.
The Law was written on tablets and scrolls, but not on the heart. Jesus Christ introduced Himself as the Messiah, the One Who would bring in the NEW Covenant. When He gave us the Lord’s Table He said of the Cup:
Luke 22:20 (KJV) ….. This cup [is] the new testament (New Covenant) in my blood, which is shed for you.
Moses was a great man, and a great saint. The Law that God wrote through Him was pure and holy and right. The Law was not a burden. But the Law could only diagnose sin, it could not fix it. Jesus fixed sin by dying for us.
Hebrews 9:14-15 (KJV) …. offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the NEW TESTAMENT (New Covenant), that BY MEANS OF DEATH, for the redemption of the transgressions [that were] under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
Why did God through Christ usher in a New Covenant? Because the Old Covenant couldn’t change who we were. It did not effect our hearts.
God Wants Us To Be Like His Son
2 Peter 1:1 (KJV) Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ ..
If you were to read this Epistle and not know that Peter was a fisherman then you would think that this was written by someone with a great deal of education. You would expect this person to have an alphabet of letters following his name. Peter had no seminary training, but he was surrendered to God in all that he did.
When God made Adam and Eve the Bible says that God made them in His image.
Genesis 1:26 (KJV) … God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the … earth.
God made us like Himself. But when Adam fell into sin he departed from God. The Bible said in Romans 5:21 … “sin hath reigned unto death”. Sin reigned so heartily that eventually God had Noah build an Ark, and through RAIN destroyed all but eight. As Noah and his family repopulated the world and over time Abraham was born, God promised through Abraham to bring man back to Himself. The Old Testament is the story of how God prepared the world for the coming of Christ. The reason Christ came:
As a Child in a manger
As a Boy in the Temple
As a Shepherd to His people
As a Sacrifice for our sins
As a Conquerer of the grave
As a Victor at God’s right hand
..was so that we could receive the Divine Nature. God wants us to be like Him.
The Peter that first met Christ was not
The Peter who wrote this book
This letter starts simply with “Simon Peter”. This is the only New Testament letter where the Author uses a double name. Before he met Jesus the Apostle was “Simon”, a name that means “to listen”. It’s almost comical because Simon often acted without thinking. But the name “Peter” means “a Rock”. This was the name that Jesus gave Simon (Matthew 16:18) when he told Jesus “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God”.
As Peter drew nearer to Christ he became more Christlike and less Peter-like. God wants this for you and I as well. Peter writes:
2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) …Whereby are given unto us EXCEEDING GREAT AND PRECIOUS PROMISES: that by these YE MIGHT BE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
God wants you to be like Jesus. Jesus Christ died to make you more like Himself.
The writer of Hebrews wrote:
Hebrews 2:9-10 (KJV) But WE SEE JESUS, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in BRINGING MANY SONS UNTO GLORY, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
God wants to bring you to glory, to make you like His dear Son. The Apostle said:
Romans 8:29 (KJV) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
God the Father wants you to be just like Jesus. God the Son wants you to be just like Jesus. The indwelling God the Holy Spirit wants you to be just like Jesus. This is the target that you should shoot for, the goal that the Almighty wants to see you reach.
2 Peter 1:3 (KJV) According as his divine power HATH GIVEN UNTO US ALL THINGS that [pertain] unto life and godliness…
God has given us ALL THINGS that are necessary to bring to us a Divine Nature.
God has given us His Word.
God has given us His Spirit.
God has given us His Son.
God has given us His promises.
2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious PROMISES:
To Be Like Jesus We Need More Than Faith
If God has given us everything we need to be like Jesus then why is it that there are some who never approach this “Divine Nature”? Because faith alone in Christ saves – but once you are saved you are to ADD TO that faith. When Simon Peter introduces himself at the beginning of this letter, how does he do so?
2 Peter 1:1 (KJV) Simon Peter, a SERVANT and an apostle of Jesus Christ …
The first word he uses is not APOSTLE but SERVANT (doulos). Many Christians think that God is their servant, but that’s not true. If you are a Christian then YOU are GOD’S SERVANT. Faith saved us, but our faith, if genuine, will go on to serve our Savior. The stepbrother of Jesus warned us:
James 2:19-20 (KJV) Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also BELIEVE, AND TREMBLE. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
A faith that does not work for Christ is a faith that will ultimately not work for Heaven! It is out of order.
Peter tells us that in order to become more like Christ we are to diligently add to our faith:
2 Peter 1:5 (KJV) And beside this, giving all diligence, ADD TO your faith VIRTUE; and to virtue knowledge;
- Virtue is the Greek ἀρέτη arétē, (pronounced ar-et’-ay) which means moral goodness. We are not to be like the fallen world. We are to be obedient to our God in all that He commands. His commands are not a burden to the believer:
1 John 5:3-5 (KJV) For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS.  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?
The Christian is not to be swept up in the sinful fads of this world, no matter how “politically correct” they may be. Jesus never “slept around”. Jesus never lied or cursed. Jesus was never mean spirited. Though He rejected sin in all forms, He offered to bless anyone who would repent and come unto Him in faith. We are warned by James:
James 4:4 (KJV) Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
James 4:8 (KJV) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
We cannot be possessors of the Divine Nature and the fallen nature at the same time. You must choose.
2 Peter 1:5 (KJV) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue KNOWLEDGE;
Add to virtue KNOWLEDGE. Learn of Christ. Study Him. Focus on Him. You cannot read and study your Bible enough. You cannot read and study what Christ said enough. Jesus said:
Matthew 11:28-29 (KJV) Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
We usually read the comfort part of this text without reading that “and learn of Me”. Jesus said “come to Me and learn from Me. Do what I did. Follow My examples. Walk in My shoes.” Little kids love to dress up and be like their parents. My sons always walked around the house in my shoes when they were little. Walk around in Jesus’ shoes. Reach out in love to others, letting God be your guide. Be like Him.
2 Peter 1:6 (KJV) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
Add to knowledge TEMPERANCE (ἐγκράτεια enkráteia, eng-krat’-i-ah), also known as SELF CONTROL. The word “temperance” refers to how you control your body, your passions and your expression of passion. Christians are to be self controlled as temperance is within the Fruit of the Spirit. Jesus was self controlled. He controlled His anger, His tongue, and His appetites in a way that glorified God.
- Add to temperance PATIENCE. We are impatient people, but God is patient. He allows the world to make bad decisions day after day without dropping the hand of judgment on the earth.
2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is LONGSUFFERING to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
God waits because He wants as many saved as possible to enter into His family of faith. James saw patience as a worker in our lives when he wrote:
James 1:2-4 (KJV) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh PATIENCE. 4 But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
God uses trials to form us, to mold us. So we must be patient, trusting the Lord as we go through this life. Never give up, never give in, but always give God the glory! Learn the art of silence & waiting.
Psalms 27:14 (KJV) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Add to patience GODLINESS. To be godly is to seek to please God.
We are saved Sons of God who should want to please our God. Godliness means to have a personal attitude toward God that asks before doing “will this make my Father happy?”
2 Peter 1:7 (KJV) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Do that which pleases your Lord God.
- Add to godliness BROTHERLY KINDNESS. Be kind to others. When they mess up, be kind. If you must correct someone, be kind. To be kind is to be gentle.
Ephesians 4:32 (KJV) And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Proverbs 15:1-2 (KJV) A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.  The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.
Jesus was always kind – though He could be harsh. If a kind word would do, this was His way. And finally, to our faith we are to add one more ingredient.
- Add to brotherly kindness CHARITY. Love all. Let love rule your lives.
Hebrews 10:24 (KJV) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
The faith that May God touch your hearts with His Word!