Exceeding Great and Precious Promises
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. ~2 Peter 1:4
A promise is an oath or a word of commitment for an action to be accomplished. I think of marriage vows, where the groom and bride promise to be faithful and remain at each other’s side. The Bible is a book that contains the promises of God. Peter describes them as “exceeding great and precious.” God’s promises are His gifts of grace that are automatically given to us at salvation.
God’s promises are given for our participation.
Peter says that we “might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” The “divine nature” speaks of living under the power and control of the Holy Spirit. It is walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh. It is a conquering faith. It is praying in the Holy Ghost. It is resisting temptation. It is being able to flee youthful lusts. It is being humble and rejoicing when others get the credit. It is having the joy of the Lord in all seasons of life. It is to love as God loves, to love the unlovable, and to love those who are against us. It is the life of Jesus at work through a believer.
God’s promises are given for our performance.
Peter speaks in 1 Peter 2:3 about having “tasted that the Lord is gracious.” God’s promises are given for us to work out in our life. In 2 Peter 1:5-7, seven increments of grace are to be developed in our life. We have been given the promises, but we are to “add” to our faith. In ascending order, we are to add to our faith virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly love, and charity. We are to develop these increments of grace as part of our maturity. The higher we go, the greater the challenges we face. However, we must remember that “his divine power hath given to us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” and these increments of grace are those things.
God’s promises are given for our perseverance.
In 2 Peter 2 and 3, Peter reminds us that there are assaults and attacks that we will face from false teachers and those who scoff at God’s Word. They seek to intimidate and defeat us. However, the promises of God tell us two things to keep us going. First, the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished. Second, the Lord is coming again for His people. How do we persevere? Jesus is the goal of the Christian life. We are encouraged: “Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” Keep going by keeping your eyes on the Lord.
God’s promises are given for our protection.
Jesus said, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” This includes not just His presence, but also His promises. The Lord Himself will keep us from falling. We must exercise faith in order to overcome fear. We must live in obedience to His Word so that our prayers can be answered. We must do all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, remembering that the power that is in His name.
As you read your Bible, look for and claim these exceeding great and precious promises. They are gifts of salvation for every child of God.
Have an enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ezekiel 31-33