Chapter 1:3-7 (ESV) - 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, 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. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
Question to consider: What does it mean that we’ve been granted all things that pertain to life and godliness?
Peter emphasized in the opening to this letter that we are all of equal standing before God in our faith because it is based on the righteousness of Christ. This is an important idea because we tend to put religious leaders on a pedestal, and I am sure the apostles were put on the highest pedestal of all. There is no question that those who teach are held accountable to God for their teaching and should rightly convey God’s word in its context. However, we are all part of the body of Christ and have all been granted “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” This is a great assurance because it means we can rely on God to divinely empower us for every trial and task set before us. It also means that we should use whatever gift we have received to faithfully serve in the body of Christ to the best of our ability because He has called us to his own glory and excellence.
God’s precious and great promises are already ours through Christ even if we have not fully realized them. These promises include things like: being in a right relationship with God, receiving an eternal inheritance in Christ’s kingdom, and looking forward to the day Christ returns to judge the living and the dead. These promises were won for us on the cross and are a foregone conclusion, but for a short while we still live in a world that is perishing, and we still wrestle with the temptations and failings that are a part of it.
Because we have received such a great faith and such a perfect righteousness, Peter encourages us to do the things that help it to materialize in our lives. Deep down, all of us know that if we are repenting of sin, growing in our knowledge of God through His word, and gathering together as believers to serve, encourage one another, and receive God’s good gifts of divine word and sacrament, God’s grace and peace will be multiplied to us to the point of overflowing.
Dear heavenly father, we thank You for the promise of eternal life with You. We thank You for sending Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin and give us His own righteousness. Help us to look past the pain and corruption of this world and set our eyes on Christ. Increase in us a love for our brothers and sisters in Christ and a desire to do the things that please You. Amen.