A Dispensational Approach

II Peter

   I. Introduction   1:1

A. The Author

1. A Servant

2. An Apostle

B. The Addressees

  II. INVOCATION   1:2-3

A. The Petition

B. The Power

C. The Provision

D. The Promises

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)

1. The Essence

“Whereby” points to the One through whom these great and precious promises come. It parallels Paul’s statement in 2 Corinthians 1:20,

“For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”

2. The Error

While these verses present a great and precious truth, they have been misinterpreted to put forth a doctrine that is not only untrue, but can be quite dangerous. Who among us has not heard (and possibly taught little children) the chorus that says: “Every promise in the Book is mine, every chapter, every verse, every line.” Not every promise in the Book is ours. That leaves no room for rightly dividing the Word of Truth. When we face reality, we must admit that many of the promises that God made to His earthly people Israel are not made to us. To claim them is to claim that which does not belong to us. For example, Psalm 91:10 says, “There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling,” has been claimed by many people as a promise to them, resulting in their refusal to have their children inoculated against diseases. That is a precious promise, but it was made to Israel during the dispensation of the Law, not to the Body of Christ in the dispensation of Grace. To teach that all the promises in God’s Word are directly to us can result in doubt of the veracity of God’s Word. Members of the Body of Christ indeed have “great and precious promises.” We are promised that we are saved by grace, kept by grace and taught by grace. We are promised that one day our Lord will “change our vile body that it might be fashioned like unto His glorious body.” We are assured of a position, a hope and a calling that are heavenly. We are indeed “partakers of the divine nature.”

3. The Escape

Our promises concerning our heavenly calling surely is the means whereby we can escape the corruption or destruction that is in this world. We are admonished in Colossians 3:1-4:

“If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

(To Be Continued)