2 Peter 1:3-His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of H im who called us to his own glory and excellence” RSV
As believers, we want to experience, need to experience the glory of God. We talk about it, sing about, and preach about it, but for most of us it is as mystical as most things about God. In our text, Peter’s words, in the Revised Standard Version, conveys an important message that I would like to discuss with you.
Years ago, I was studying on the glory of God. As I was studying, I was also fasting and praying about understanding the glory. I distinctly remember reading Billye Brim’s book “the Blood and the Glory”, and Creflo Dollar’s book, “the Anointing”. One night, I had a dream that I have never forgotten. I was standing in the midst of a thick cloud. I began turning around slowly within this cloud. Then a voice from the midst of the cloud spoke, “I have anointed you.” I woke from the dream and I just sensed the presence of God in our bedroom. Not wanting to disturb my husband, but wanting to commune with God, I went into our living room and bowed before the Father. I still sensed His presence as I had when I woke up. I stayed there in His presence until I could no longer stay awake.
Glory, according to the Vine’s dictionary is rendered in this way:
of the nature and acts of God in self-manifestation, i.e., what He essentially is and does, as exhibited in whatever way He reveals Himself in these respects, and particularly in the person of Christ, in whom essentially His “glory” has ever shone forth and ever will do.Vine’s Dictionary
And virtue is rendered as:
intrinsic eminence, moral goodness, virtue,” of God; the manifestation of His Divine powerVine’s Dictionary
When I think of being called by God, I think of a special assignment that God may have on an individual’s life. For example, God called Abraham out of Ur because He wanted to establish a people to Himself. He called Bezalel in the wilderness to be the designer of the Tabernacle, and gave him the ability to teach. Jeremiah was called to be a prophet to the nations. Peter was called to be the apostle to Jews. I think you get my point!
Here, in this verse, Peter says that we were called to His own glory and virtue. The many different versions translate this verse using a variety of words, i.e. to, by, through; but for what I believe is the whole point of this mini-series on this verse, this rendition fits my thought the best.
The writer of Hebrews make this point:
For it was fitting that He, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.Hebrews 2:10 RSV
Jesus, the captain of our salvation, is bringing many sons to glory. Since this principle is true, it is easy to understand how Peter could have been stating that we were called to His own glory and virtue. That’s quite a calling when you think about it. God, the Father, and Jesus, our Savior is calling us to experience or live in their glory.
Consider what the psalmist wrote about God’s glory and man:
What is man that You are mindful of him, and the so n of [earthborn] man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You have crowned him with glory and honor.Psalm 8:4-5 AMP
In the Young’s Literal Translation, it actually reads that man was made a little lower than the Godhead. For most, that’s hard to wrap our brain around, but it is scriptural, so it is truth. God’s original state of man, when He made Adam, was that He crowned mankind with His glory. With the fall of man, that state was lost. But through Jesus, He is bringing us back to glory, which was His original plan for us.
That’s why Peter’s statement that He called us to His own glory makes perfect sense. Through the years, in a sense of humility, and because the enemy’s hand was in it, we have discounted the truth of what God’s real plan for our lives is. Yes, He wants to save us from hell’s eternal punishment, but that’s a small part of a much bigger picture. In the whole scheme of the gospel message, is a message of reconciling us to rightful place, where we are crowned with the glory of God.
And His virtue, the manifestation of His divine power, is part of what we are being called to as believers. Remember when the woman with the issue of blood encountered Jesus? In the KJV, Jesus spoke these words:
And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of Him, turned about in the press, and said, “Who touched my clothes?”‘Mark 5:30
But in the NKJV, the word virtue is translated power:
And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him…Mark 5:30
As we can see, God’s virtue, is His power. Can you see this? God is calling us to experience His glory and His power! That’s a mind-blowing thought! It doesn’t it seem possible.
Sin is the reason we fall short of the glory of God.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.Romans 3:23
But once we have been cleansed of our sin and reconciled to God, we are called to His glory and virtue, or power. Isn’t that what Peter is saying in 2 Peter 1:3? I think so! I think we are a work in progress and we may be in need of more transformation, but it starts with the realization that God’s glory and power is available to us.
I also believe, that scripture backs this truth up. I don’t expect you to take my word for it, that’s why I gave you several scriptures to share my thinking. I’m still studying this, and that is why I didn’t blog on last Friday. I’m gaining some insight into this verse I never really took time to understand.
If you are struggling with the principle, join the club. But as I continue to study, I am finding irrefutable truths in God’s word of His plan and desire for us to accept the call to enter into His glory and virtue. If I was the first and only one to come to this conclusion, I would really hesitate to share it. It’s huge! But I am not! Check out Billye Brim’s book that I mentioned earlier. It’ll bless you and whet your appetite for understanding the glory of God. Wonderful Jesus!