Saturday, June 09, 2007

2 Peter 1:3 : "His divine power...."

"... has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness" verse 3a (RSV)

This is an interesting beginning to an interesting and complex section of the Bible.

"Divine power" is "theios dunamis" in the original Greek. This is an echo to Romans 1:20 which speaks of "His eternal power and Godhead" where we have the Greek words "dunamis" and "Theiotes" where it speaks of these things being "clearly seen" in Creation and "understood".

All true "seeing" and "understanding" involves some acknowledgement of the Deity or "divine power" or at the very least we see that they are closely linked. That connection should become more open as we look further in the passage which continues as follows "

"... through the knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and excellence" verse 3b (RSV)

It is a knowledge of Him who works in glory and excellence as we see in the Creation. We will see in 2 Peter 1 the explanation that a right alignment of the person to that knowledge of God (sensus divinitatis) leads to certain consequences or outcomes.

In Romans 1, we see the converse, namely that the failure to be rightly aligned to that knowledge also leads to a different set of consequences and outcomes which are enumerated in Romans 1:21-32.

Just as that list in Romans 1 is a catalogue of "ungodliness" so in 2 Peter 1 being rightly related to the knowledge of God leads to "all things that pertain to life and godliness".

For this and other reasons which I will be touching on I find comparing and contrasting Romans 1 and 2 Peter 1 so compelling and powerful.

Let us continue with our comparing and contrasting these two sections of God's word.

Of course, in 2 Peter it's not just "godliness" but "life and godliness". It's not just about knowledge. We don't need another religion. What we need is LIFE and that is exactly what " Peter 1 is about. Echos of it are in Romans 1:17, the introductory verse to the rest of the chapter and indeed the whole of Romans, where the Gospel is not just information, knowledge, but is LIFE giving.

Romans 1:17 is also significant in that here the Apostle is quoting from Habakkuk 2:4. Why that is so will become clearer when we come to consider 2 Peter 1:6.

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