Exceedingly Great & Precious Promises
The book of first Peter was written to Christians who were being persecuted severely. The apostle Peter therefore writes to comfort them. How does he accomplish this great task? He reminds them of their hope (1:3), their new birth (1:22-23), their importance as lively stones (2:5), and the fact the Christ suffered also (1:11; 4:1; 5:1). The book of Second Peter appears to be written to the same group of people who are being bombarded with false teachers. Again, Peter writes to comfort them. Throughout the letter, he informs them about the false teachers; their methods and teachings. The way he begins the letter however, is most interesting. He did not begin by immediately informing them about the false teachers. He began by reminding them about the “Exceeding great and precious promises of God.”
How often do we stop and consider the many promises of God? John Bunyan once said, “The pathway of life is strewn so thickly with the promises of God that it is impossible to take one step without treading upon one of them.” Consider with me if you will just a few of the great promises of God. There is the Forgiveness of Sins. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9). There is the promise of freedom from sin’s dominion. “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” (Rom. 6:14). There is the promise of God’s sufficient grace. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9). There is the promise of the presence of the Strength of Christ in my life. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). There is the promise that we will escape temptation. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Cor. 10:13). There is the promise of answered prayer. Jesus declared, “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (Jn. 14:13) “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 Jn. 5:14). Then there is the promise of Eternal life. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 6:23) “And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life.” (1 Jn. 2:25). These are just a few of the promises of God. In fact, we have not begun to touch the hem of the garment. The Bible is literally littered with countless promises, which neither time nor paper can adequately address.
How is it that God is able to make such promises? He is able to do so due to His divine power. “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.” (2 Pet. 1:3). He is God and there is nothing too great for Him. His great power is beyond our ability to understand. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21).
What are the results of being recipients of God’s promises? We become partakers of the divine nature. Peter would say, “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 Pet. 1:4). What does this mean? The word partakers is literally sharers or partners and points to the relationship which Christians enjoy in the Lord. By believing in these great and precious promises, and is obedient to His will, we are privileged to share in the divine nature, the holy character which God possesses. Are you a partaker of God’s exceedingly great and precious promises? Why not take the necessary steps and make those promises a part of your life today?