At the start of his second epistle, the apostle Peter writes these encouraging words to believers: “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3–4).
God’s great and precious promises: their source. Peter says these promises stem from God’s “glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3). He has made promises to His people in His Word because He is glorious and because He is good.
God’s great and precious promises: their recipients. Peter is writing to those who have received faith in the Savior (2 Peter 1:1). In verse 3, Peter refers to them as being “called” by God. The promises of God’s Word benefit believers in Jesus Christ.
God’s great and precious promises: their description. The promises God has made to His children are “great” or, as some translations say, “magnificent.” Not only that, but they are “very” great. And they are “precious”; that is, God’s promises are of inexpressible value. What God has promised is exceedingly magnificent and of the utmost worth.
God’s great and precious promises: their result. It is through the promises of God that we “participate in the divine nature”—we undergo a radical spiritual transformation and are made new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Having a new nature, we are no longer bound by the old sinful nature and are free from “the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire” (2 Peter 1:4, CSB). The promises of God have a sanctifying effect on us. With the Word of God in our hands and the Spirit of God in our hearts, we now have “everything we need for a godly life” (verse 3).
God’s great and precious promises: their message. So what are some of the promises to which Peter refers? All of God’s promises are wonderful, but we will look at some of the promises related to Peter’s next words, promises concerning the believer’s forgiveness, eternal life, and participation in the divine nature:
Psalm 23:6, “Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Isaiah 1:18, “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.’”
Ezekiel 36:26, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.”
John 6:37, “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
Matthew 11:28–29, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Acts 2:21; cf. Joel 2:32, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
John 7:38, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Acts 10:43, “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Acts 13:39, “Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the law of Moses.”
John 10:28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 14:3, “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live.”
John 6:40, “For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
These are not just empty words. They are God’s “great and precious”—magnificent and valuable—promises to us in Christ. They are more than words on a page; they are reality.