II Peter 1:1 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 Savior Jesus Christ ...
Notice to whom Peter is writing: to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ. The apostle Peter is writing this epistle to “obtainers.” If you are an “obtainer,” then he is writing to you. If not, then you need to become one.
The easiest way to miss your calling and destiny in God is to do nothing. That was the problem with the church at Laodicea. They thought they had everything they needed, so they weren’t trying to obtain anything more. But their neglect to obtain caused them to be deceived, blind to their real condition. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of Me…Revelation 3:17-18a. The Laodiceans were greatly deceived. They were blind to their real spiritual state. They were wretched, miserable, poor, and blind, because they ceased to be “obtainers.” The moment you stop obtaining, progressing in God, deception begins to set in.
Simon Peter and those like him had obtained “precious faith.” They pressed forward and obtained it because it was “precious” to them. They laid great value upon a greater faith than what they had. If the things of God are not precious to you, you will not press in to obtain them. Human nature is always a hindrance, and you will not have the intensity of heart to overcome your own reluctance if you do not have a great sense of value for the things God has for you.
II Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
Have you noticed how often the Scriptures speak of increase and multiplying? Our salvation and everything pertaining to it is expandable. And because it is, we have the responsibility to maintain a continual growth process in God. But you say, “It is God that gives the increase” (I Corinthians 3:7). That’s true! But it doesn’t happen apart from your faith and initiative to obtain. Hear what the apostle James says concerning that. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. James 4:8. God responds to your initiative. Spiritual growth does not take place without a hungering heart to obtain it. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6.
Notice also that the grace and peace Peter speaks of is multiplied “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Many Christians equate knowing the Lord with their initial experience of becoming a Christian. There can be a vast difference between knowing the Lord and being a Christian. One who knows Him is a Christian, but a Christian doesn’t necessarily know the Lord. Knowing the Lord involves a higher realm. Knowledge of the Lord is a more excellent way of life. Paul said, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). This more excellent way of knowing the Lord is obtainable, but it doesn’t just happen. You must take the initiative to obtain it!
II Peter 1:3 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:
All things that pertain unto life and godliness have been given to us, but that doesn’t mean we have them. They must be appropriated! The “all things that pertain unto life and godliness” are provisions. We must obtain them! We must take the initiative to obtain by appropriation all that God has provided for us. That means that we are responsible for our spiritual growth. We have been called to glory and virtue, and everything that is needed for us to reach our calling has been provided. The rest is up to us. Don’t just sit there. Be an obtainer!
II Peter 1:4 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 has given us many precious promises. In fact, the apostle Peter says they are exceeding great and precious promises. And God has given them for a particular purpose. He wants us to partake of His divine nature. So He gives us exceeding great and precious promises that through them we may partake of His nature.
Two things will happen if you relate to His promises correctly: (1) you will partake of His nature, and (2) you will escape the corruption that is in the world through lust. Do not think of the world here only as the world about you, but understand it to be the world of your flesh nature. As you partake of the divine nature there is a corresponding elimination of your flesh nature. The apostle Paul speaks of the corruption of the world of our flesh nature when he refers to the works of the flesh. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunken-ness, revellings, and such like. Galatians 5:19-21.
When we partake of the divine nature we are partaking of a different realm, another world, so to speak. At the same time, there is the passing away of the flesh realm, our earthen nature. So, in a very real sense, we are receiving a new earth and new heavens as we partake of the divine nature of the Lord. And this is why He has given us exceeding great and precious promises. Before there can be such a change in the world about us, it must first take place in us. We, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. II Peter 3:13.
II Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your
faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Notice that the progression is from faith to love. Love is the ultimate goal, for God is love (I John 4:8). Peter lists eight steps in this spiritual ladder of progression. And the number eight is the number of “new order.” So these steps lead us into a new order, new heavens and a new earth. Each step corresponds to a heaven. Hebrews 4:14 says, “We have a great High Priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God.” The literal Greek reads: “having passed through the heavens.” So, viewing each step as a heaven, we pass through the heavens until we reach the heaven of heavens, which is love.
These steps do not work like an escalator. We cannot pass through the heavens standing still. Peter says to add virtue to your faith, add knowledge to your virtue, etc. We must do the adding, and we must do it diligently. The necessity to be an obtainer in the things of God is a truth spoken of throughout the Scriptures. Yet so many Christians either don’t understand their responsibility, or they just neglect to do so out of passivity and laziness. An obtainer of the provisions of God is intense in his determination to appropriate. We have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, but it doesn’t just happen. Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable (unmovable from your course of obtaining), always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. I Corinthians 15:57-58.
II Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The literal translation of the Greek for the last prepositional phrase in this verse is “unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In verse two Peter says that grace and peace is multiplied unto us “through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Then in verse three he says that all things that pertain unto life and godliness are given unto us “through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” And now in this verse he says that if these things listed in verses five through seven are in us, then we will come “unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ,” whereby all things that pertain unto life and godliness become ours by possession.
II Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Those who do not become obtainers become blind. We either progress in the Lord, or we become deceived. Regardless of how far you have progressed in your spiritual growth, the moment you make camp on a particular level with the intention of remaining there, blindness begins setting in. Each level is a land of promise. But, like Abraham, we are sojourners as in a strange country, because we’re moving on to greater heights in God (Hebrews 11:8-10). And even when we reach that eighth step of love, we will find another spiritual ladder to be climbed. And we will give all diligence to add virtue to faith, and knowledge to virtue, and so on. But this time the faith is on a higher realm than before, and the virtue is on a higher realm, and so it is with each step.
II Peter 1:10-11 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to
make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
So, you see, being an obtainer gives us entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Copyright © 2003 by Henry DuBose