2 Peter 1: 3-4- “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.”
A Precious Promise
I well remember the day my husband proposed to me. We were on our way to visit my family. Suddenly he pulled off at a rest stop and we got out. Instead of going to the facilities, he went to a picnic bench and sat down. He waited until I sat down and then began talking about our future. The next thing I knew, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! Needless to say, our trip home was slightly delayed! Years later, he purchased a new diamond band for my engagement ring, as an anniversary gift. However, my rings from the wedding are so special to me, that I found myself ignoring the newer band for my old wedding ensemble. Some things are so precious, they are truly irreplaceable.
I’ve been sharing from this verse for several days now. I started out by mentioning that as we are approaching Resurrection Sunday, or Easter Sunday, it was a good time to talk about our salvation. We all know that we have been saved by grace through faith and it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8-9). I still rejoice over my salvation, many times with tears. Having said that, as I was thinking about Resurrection Sunday, I read this text and felt a real need to expound on it at this time. If you haven’t read the previous blogs or heard the previous podcasts regarding this text, I encourage you to do so to get the full picture.
Peter wrote that God’s promises are exceedingly great and precious promises. Exceedingly in the Vine’s dictionary is rendered “very great, or greatest”. The definition for “precious” in the Vine’s is “held in honor, especially dear, as of a great price”. That means to me that God’s promises are the greatest, of a great price, held in honor, and therefore are not to be dismissed as if they are of no value. Or as if man spoke these promises and there is no weight behind them. His exceedingly great promises are mind blowing, hard to conceptualize as truth to the ordinary person. But they are also very precious, made with purpose and intent, and signed with the Blood of Jesus, making them extremely valuable. Charles Spurgeon is quoted in the Blue Letter Bible by David Guzik as having said this:
“Many things are great which are not precious, such as great rocks, which are of little value; on the other hand, many things are precious which are not great-such as diamonds and other jewels, which cannot be very great if they be very precious. But here we have promises which are so great, that they are not less than infinite, and so precious, that they are not less than divine.”Blueletterbible.org
As Christians, we tend to stay with the comfortable topics and messages of scripture. We’re fine with being saved, being blessed, and even suffering. However, when we begin to discuss the gospel message in terms of God really wanting to make us more like Him, in glory and virtue, we turn off. Don’t turn off, turn on, because His promises are both great (hard to believe) and precious (because they are verified in the Blood). And they are made to us!
As noted already, we become new beings when we are born again. Our new life is as supernatural as the birth of Christ, for we are
…born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever…1 Peter 1:23 NKJV
Within the word of God, there are “precious promises” in regards to our life in Christ. Promises that are forever promises. Much, in the same way, as an engagement ring is a promise of marriage, which leads to a promise of forever. (Don’t go cynical on me. We know it is not always so, but it is the premise upon which we exchange vows). Our forever, til death do us part, is different from God’s forever, because His promises are eternal.
When my husband, then boyfriend, made his proposal to me, it was a turning point in our relationship. My yes to him, was also a placing of my faith in him and his word to bring that promise of forever into manifestation. God’s promises are based on his glory and virtue. Every promise that He has made to us He is able to fulfill and bring into manifestation because His Person and His power backs everyone of them!
This salvation that God has promised us is far greater than what we have imagined. Ezekiel spoke of our salvation when he penned these words:
Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.Ezekiel 36:25-27 NKJV
This salvation sounds glorious! Amazing! Life changing! And yet many, who are saved, struggle in their walk with God and their love for Him. We find it difficult to trust His word, and difficult to trust His love.
Paul shares a precious promise with us who are new creatures in Christ Jesus:
“I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”2 Corinthians 6:18 NKJV
Surely God meant what He said! We are His sons and daughters. Adopted into His family in a greater way than a natural adoption. In a natural adoption you become part of a family in every way possible, except DNA. However, in this adoption into the family of God, He places His Spirit within us, allowing our DNA to merge with His DNA. We have watered down the gospel to fit our shabby lives, yet the gospel is a great gospel, delivered to us, through His glory and His virtue. He is personally involved in our salvation through Jesus, and has invested Himself in bringing us to glory.
As a matter of truth, Paul wrote:
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
Did you hear the first part? All of us who have had that veil removed! What veil? The veil that covers our minds and keeps us from understanding the truth of the what God promises us! The expectation is that as we grow in Christ, we are being changed into His glorious image. If Paul had written that we would be changed into His image, that would have been shocking enough; but he wrote that we would be changed into His glorious image! Wow! Saints, when we as the church gets this, we are going to do some real damage to the kingdom of darkness!
Think about this for a minute! Going back to a previous blog, how can you be transformed into His image, from one degree of glory to another, without knowing Him? You can’t! This is why knowing Him through His word is so important! Not only will you learn about Him, but you will begin to see His promises for what they are, exceedingly great and precious!
We have little difficulty in realizing that we are to walk in love, peace, joy, goodness, and righteousness as Jesus did. But that’s not all He did! He healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out demons, stood against religious leaders, championed the underdog, and loved all people. Of course, we know He did so much more, but my time and space is limited!
Living life, knowing that the omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God is living on the inside of you, has a way of changing how you live. As you come to truly believe that
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world,1 John 4:4
your entire attitude about sin and the devil begins to change. Not only are you more easily acceptable to the truth that sin loses it power over you, but you also begin to realize that you have power over it! Now we are getting somewhere!
The greatest thing we can do to celebrate His resurrection this holiday season, is to realize that He is really alive and He lives in us! And oh how He loves us! Wonderful Jesus!