A Rich Entrance Into a Rich Kingdom
June 21, 2018 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
This is part ten in a multi-part series on Peter’s “road map” he gives for gospel growth in 2 Peter 1. Like many of you, I long to be effective and fruitful, especially in my spiritual life. Peter promises in the midst of this chapter, “if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful…” My interest is peaked. Let’s discover together Peter’s path of gospel growth.
Peter ends his opening exhortation for gospel growth with a glorious promise of the kingdom. He says in verse 11:
For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter gives us a glimpse into what the kingdom is like, who gets to enter the kingdom, and how one enters.
- The Kingdom Is Rich, Eternal, and All about Christ. Peter says that an entrance into the kingdom will be “richly” provided. This word “richly” is a favorite throughout the New Testament and speaks about the lavish generosity of God. Paul uses this word in Titus 3:6 when he speaks about God giving the Holy Spirit. If God is rich and generous, his kingdom is rich and generous.
Peter also calls the kingdom “eternal.” This is in contrast with earthly, human kingdoms. Even in the middle of the impenetrable Roman empire, Peter encourages his people that only one kingdom is eternal.
And Peter identifies that the kingdom is “of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” While Jesus spoke of the “kingdom of God” throughout the gospels, his disciples understood that Jesus was and is the king of the kingdom. He is the promised Messiah of the Old Testament.
This kingdom is the reign the people of God long for. A righteous, holy, eternal, rich, peaceful kingdom reign. Peter says entrance into this kingdom is “richly provided” now.
- Those who have Transformative Faith are Given Entrance. Not everyone is provided an entrance into the kingdom of Christ. Peter writes to a group of people who “have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours” (1:1) and have “become partakers of the divine nature” (1:4). They are a new creation in Christ. Jesus speaks of the entrance to the kingdom when he says, “The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few” (Matt. 7:14). It is “hard,” even impossible, for us to enter on our own. But God, in his lavish grace, provides entrance by transforming a people for himself through faith.
- The Only Way to Enter the Kingdom is through God’s Transformative Grace. When Peter says, “in this way,” he references the whole of the pathway of gospel growth found in verses 3-10. This pathway, as we have unpacked over the past few weeks, is paved by God’s grace. He gives us everything we need for godliness and life. He gives his precious promises. He delivers us from the corruption in the world. He makes us partakers of the divine nature. He enables us to supplement our faith with the virtues listed in verses 5-7. He empowers us to be effective and fruitful. He has cleansed us from our former sins. In this way, through the gracious and lavish work of God, we are provided entrance into the kingdom.
This glorious promise is part of the means and motivation for us to walk down the path of gospel growth. We have entrance into a glorious kingdom. We are citizens of this kingdom by God’s grace. Our gospel growth is part of our assimilation into the kingdom.
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!