Equipped with Hope
Key Verse: “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.”
THE WRITER OF THIS EPISTLE identifies himself with the double name Simon Peter. Perhaps this was done to distinguish the two significant aspects of his life, before and after he became a disciple of Christ. (II Pet. 1:1) In his salutation to the brethren, Peter indicates that an abundance of grace and peace could be attained based upon an intimate knowledge of God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.—vs. 2
Our Key Verse emphasizes that God’s power will be instrumental towards the consecrated believer’s transformation and progressive development of essential attributes required for moral excellence and the attainment of the divine nature.
In verse 4 of our lesson, Peter indicates that as a means of assisting believers in their Christian journey, we receive from God’s Word “exceeding great and precious promises” which, when meditated upon and applied in our hearts, will furnish us with what is needful to have the hope of a divine inheritance become a reality in our lives.
The following passages enumerate specific areas needed for our spiritual growth and development which are sometimes referred to as “The Christian Ladder.” “Beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity [love].”—vss. 5-7
The importance of the foregoing virtues in believers who hope to become part of the body of Christ is underscored by similar listings of attributes found elsewhere in the Scriptures. These include the Beatitudes as given by Jesus, the fruits of the spirit recorded by Paul, and James’ elucidation regarding the wisdom that comes from above.—Matt. 5:1-10; Gal. 5:22,23; James 3:17,18
We have been inspired to give our lives in consecration to God because we have come to appreciate his magnificent plan of salvation. This plan offers an opportunity not only to have the world of mankind recovered from the death condition into which Father Adam plunged his posterity, but one which has also provided exceeding great and precious promises for the church to share with the Redeemer in blessing all the families of the earth in God’s kingdom. We have seen how reasonable the philosophy of the atonement is and embrace and espouse these good tidings of salvation because of our confidence and faith in the Word of God. We have received in our hearts the true doctrine based upon the words of Christ and the inspired apostles. Peter reminds us that not only must we believe the Truth, but its intended effect upon our lives is that we must put on holiness and truly follow in the Master’s footsteps.
In view of these assurances, how powerful is Peter’s summation as to the end result of following his admonitions in this lesson. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.”—II Pet. 1:10