Title: Judges 7. Gideon, part 32: The divine nature and supplying virtue.
2PE 1:1 Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge [epignosis = complete appropriation of all truth and unreserved acquiescence to God's will] of God and of Jesus our Lord;
2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power [saving mankind in Christ] 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.
2PE 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
"Applying all diligence … supply" - Add on your part every effort (do your very best) to supply virtue to your faith and knowledge to your virtue and…
2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason [for this very cause] also, applying all diligence [spoudazo: intense effort], in your faith supply moral excellence [virtue], and in your moral excellence, knowledge [more truth];
2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control [holding passions and desires in check], and in your self-control, perseverance [remaining under testing in a way that glorifies God], and in your perseverance, godliness [proper worship];
2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness [affection and charity for royal family], and in your brotherly kindness, love [agape; sacrifice of life for the benefit of others].
It cannot be overemphasized how Peter uses this phrasing to entreat us to bring every effort to bear to add virtue to our faith and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and brotherly love and agape love. Pareishpero is active in voice and so the believer is responsible.
How does the believer expend every effort under grace? He chooses to learn doctrine and live doctrine and depend on the Spirit despite every temptation and obstacle.
He chooses to live in God's gift of regeneration despite every opposition. He chooses to rely on God the Holy Spirit despite every scream of the flesh to be independent. He chooses to cast every care upon the Lord despite every false system of relief offered to him from the flesh and the world. He doesn't make the power or the wisdom. These are gifts from God. He makes every effort to know them, understand them, and utilize them.
It is in choosing faith that every effort is expended.
This is the great difference between grace and works. In works man attempts virtue through his own effort, without God's word or Spirit. He is independent and not dependent. He is arrogant and not humble. Of course there are works in the Christian way of life and the doing of quite a lot of things in God's divine will, but the work is performed in the wisdom and power of God and the things done are the tasks that God has prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. We are called to be conformed to the image of Christ. Did He not work many things and do many things and expend a great amount of energy in doing them? But He did not do them independently of the Father. He worked the works of His Father and fully relied upon the power provided by the Spirit. If the Spirit of God in us is providing us with His own very wisdom and power how would we not have a great amount of energy?
Spoudazo: The divine nature is not an automatic self-propelling machine that will turn out a Christian life for the believer irrespective of what that believer does or the attitude he takes to the salvation which God has provided.
The divine nature will always produce a change in the life of the sinner who receives the Lord Jesus as Savior. But it works at its best efficiency when the believer cooperates with it in not only determining to live a life pleasing to God, but definitely learning His word consistently as well as stepping out in faith and living that life in dependence upon the new life which God has implanted in him.
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
It must be repeated that grace and diligence work together so that we do not fall into the trap of wrong motivation. Grace doesn't mean a continuance in the sin of independence or a life of carnality. Grace stands alongside the expenditure of all effort.
Paul shows us in the above verse that grace can be received in vain. Grace is the ability to expend a great amount of effort through God's power and dependent on God's power.
If God is the One empowering me, then why shouldn't there be a great expense of energy and work? We are diligent in learning His word and we are diligent in living His word. God's power in us gives us an almost limitless supply of energy and effort.
A lackadaisical attempt at doing God's will, will not produce the life of the chorus of seven.
And this must not be a mere lackadaisical attempt at doing God's will, but an intense effort, as shown by the word spoudazo, translated diligence.
2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason [for this very cause] also, applying all diligence [spoudazo: intense effort], in your faith supply moral excellence [virtue], and in your moral excellence, knowledge;
2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self-control [holding passions and desires in check], and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;
2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love [agape].
2PE 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing [such a life is living and dynamic], they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is an amazing reality that we can be in Christ and also be useless and unfruitful in His full or true knowledge [epignosis]. Fruit should actually be present and increasing.
It is not my job to be your spiritual cheerleader. It is my job to stir you up by reminding you of these things. It is important to be alert and diligent because who God has made us to be is important.
"are yours" - u`pa,rcw[huparcho: literally "under a beginning"] = stronger than the verb "to be" it means to possess something as a characteristic due to its identity.
We see in this verb the whole meaning of our recent study of why we do what we do as Christians. The verb has more meaning that the general verb "to be." It has the nuance of possessing characteristics natural to ones identity, having the characteristics before and continuing to have them. The suffix "arche" refers to a beginning and so possessing a created effect. As a result, this wonderful word refers to the characteristic of something that is common to its nature. There are characteristics to deity that Christ has been in possession of for all time and eternity. There are unique characteristics to most things that we immediately think of: daffodil, rain; and things get their names due to such characteristics: long-horn, yellow-headed black bird.
The verb can mean to have before and to continue having. It is used for Christ's deity in Php 2:6, "being in the form of God."
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed [huparcho] in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
It is used for the existence of divisions in the Corinthian church. By their own creation, they caused divisions, which are characteristic to carnality.
For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that divisions exist among you; and in part, I believe it.
What Peter conveys here by the Holy Spirit in using this verb is that the new creature in Christ, having a divine nature, is to have common characteristics and they are divine virtue.
Huparcho: the possession of the Christian virtues by the believer is a natural, expected thing by reason of the fact that he has become a partaker of the divine nature. They are not to be spasmodic but continual as natural characteristics are.