Anyone who has had the pleasure of filling out FAFSA forms for their college or their children’s financial aid, knows the difference between a grant or a loan. A grant is a gift. It need not be paid back. Now someone else has paid for it, but it is given to the student gratis.
Last evening at the Grace Bible Institute, we began the epistle of Second Peter. In the introduction of his epistle, Peter expresses his wish for his readers, that “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” Then in verses 3 and 4, he states the basis for this hope on his part. He writes,
3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
In these two verses, Peter twice uses the verb “granted” (δωρέομαι) and in each case he employs a perfect passive construction (v. 3 δεδωρημένης, a participle, and v. 4 δεδώρηται, a finite verb). The perfect tense is used to highlight Peter’s point in his argument. The passive voice stresses that we have received the action of the verb and in this case, the gracious granting of God’s blessing in our lives.
In verse 3 God has graciously given us everything we need to live before him through the true knowledge of Christ who called us by his own glory and excellence. In verse 4 these two qualities of Christ, his glory and his excellence, are the means (διʼ) by which God has also granted to us his magnificent promises. Such promises allow us to become partakers of the divine nature (fodder for another post). While Peter doesn’t specifically spell out what that exactly looks like, context gives us a hint. We become partakers of the divine nature by having escaped the corruption of the world because of sin. As God is immortal and incorruptible, so too we will experience a similar reality, as we put on immortality.
In summary, God has graciously given us so much. In verse 3, he has provided everything we need for sanctification, and in verse 4 he has granted what we need for our future glorification. What a gracious God!