Saturday, December 6, 2014

Glory & Virtue

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,  as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,  by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:2-4)
Grace and peace are granted in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, but this is not some formulaic to grace and peace.  It is a simple factual statement. Peter, in the verses which follow, explains how this is.  Verse 2 is like a thesis statement which he is setting out to prove.

as - indicates the explanatory nature of what follows further strengthening Peters assertion in verse 2.
His divine power - Life and godly living are not possible apart from the divine Hand, which is shown to us by knowledge of the One who called.

by glory & virtue - What glory and virtue do we have in this life?  What beauty and moral purity do we have which could have revealed to us Christ or the Father? None!  We know there are none righteous, not one among men. Yet Peter here maintains knowledge of Him who calls us is possible by glory & virtue?!  How is this so?
The glory & virtue Peter speaks of is that of Christ's and is, if received, the way to knowledge of the Holy One.  Proverbs 3:1-7 expound on this very well!

By which - that is to say by the virtue and glory of Christ.  Promises have been given.  Blessings have been bestowed in Christ.  These promises have been described as 'exceedingly great' and 'precious'.  Without speaking of the promises themselves Peter tells us what they lead to - a godly life and demeanor.
the divine nature - when Peter says this, it is in accord with all nature.  We are not suddenly turned into some part of the Godhead when we die.  That is not Christianity!  There is only one God-Man, Jesus Christ our Lord. We never take to ourselves divine attributes such as immutability or omniscience.  They are reserved for Him alone - indeed, the very idea of say, immutability to a man, is logically impossible, for man is mutable.  Perfection is not attainable by imperfect man.

How is this so? Couldn't a man, if possible, attain it? No - for God does not reside in time and space.  He sees reality as it is.  In Exodus 3:14 He is described as the great I AM.  Not I was or will be.  Hebrews 13:8 speaks of this, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday today, and forever. God is described to Moses as being the God of Abraham Isaac & Jacob (though they be dead, physically). 

Since this is so- Man could not attain in time (if it were possible) something which is by nature not bound to time.  God sees us as we are - not as we were or will be - for He sees outside of time and space and nothing escapes His gaze. 
Peter further explains when he says, 'having escaped the corruption in the world through lust' - If a man could escape the corruption in the world he might be free from the outside influences of sin - but his evil heart is within him and he cannot escape that!  You cannot escape corruption by leaving the world - for we need a heart transplant (see Jer. 31:31-34).  This is only available through the gift of righteousness in Christ, which Peter has been telling us about since verse 1. 

 Glory be to the Father

Glory be to the Son.

Glory be to the Spirit.

Glory to the 3 in 1.

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