(3) According as.--Better, seeing that This must not be made to depend on 2 Peter 1:2. In the canonical Epistles the address does not go beyond the blessing. Galatians is the only exception; there a relative clause is added to the blessing; but this is solemnly brought to a close with a doxology, so that the exception is one that almost proves the rule. In Hebrews, James, 1 and 3 John, there is no opening blessing; the remark holds good of all the rest. 2 Peter 1:3-4 are a brief introduction to the direct exhortations contained 2 Peter 1:5-11. The eagerness with which the writer goes direct to his subject is characteristic of St. Peter's temper.
His divine power.--The pronoun refers to "Jesus our Lord." The adjective occurs in the New Testament in these two verses (3 and 4) only; elsewhere we have the genitive case, "of God," "of the Lord," "of the Father," and the like.
All things that pertain unto.--All that are necessary for the attainment of. He does not give life and godliness in maturity, but supplies us with the means of winning them for ourselves. "All" is emphatic; nothing that is requisite is grudged us, and nothing is our own, it is all the gift of God.
Godliness.--The Greek word occurs Acts 3:12, in a speech of St. Peter, and four times in this Epistle; elsewhere only in those to Timothy and Titus. It belongs to the phraseology of the later books of the New Testament. "Godliness" is the realisation of God's abiding presence, the fruits of which are reverence and trust: "Thou God seest me;" "I have set God always before me, therefore I cannot fall." It is introduced here, perhaps, in opposition to the godlessness and irreverence of the false teachers. (Comp. 2 Timothy 3:5.)
Through the knowledge.--Through learning to know God as One who has called us to salvation. (Comp. 2 Peter 1:2.)
To glory and virtue.--Rather, by glory and virtue; or perhaps, by His own glory and virtue, according to another reading. "To" cannot be correct, whichever of the various readings is the right one, Tyndale, Cranmer, and Rheims have "by;" the error comes from Geneva, which has "unto." "Glory" points to the majesty of God, "virtue" to His activity. "Virtue" as applied to God is unusual, but occurs 1 Peter 2:9 (see Note there), a coincidence to be noted. The word is rendered there "praises," but "virtues" is given in the margin. The whole verse is strikingly parallel to this one, though very differently expressed.
hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness; referring not so much to a temporal life, though he gives that and preserves it, and furnishes with all the mercies and comforts of it; and which come to us, from him, in a covenant way, as his left hand blessings, and in great love; but rather a spiritual life, which he is the author and maintainer of, all the joys, pleasures, blessings, and supports of it, being given by him; as also eternal life, for that, and everything appertaining to it, are from him; he gives a meetness for it, which is his own grace, and a right unto it, which is his own righteousness; and he has power to give that itself to as many as the Father has given him, and he does give it to them; and likewise all things belonging to "godliness", or internal religion; and which is the means of eternal life, and leads on to it, and is connected with it, and has the promise both of this life, and of that which is to come; and everything relating to it, or is in it, or it consists of, is from Christ: the internal graces of the Spirit, as faith, hope, and love, which, when in exercise, are the principal parts of powerful godliness, are the gifts of Christ, are received out of his fulness, and of which he is the author and finisher; and he is the donor of all the fresh supplies of grace to maintain the inward power of religion, and to assist in the external exercise of it; all which things are given
through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue. The call here spoken of is not a bare outward call, by the ministry of the word, but an internal, special, and powerful one, which springs from the grace, and is according to the purpose of God, and is inseparably connected with justification and glorification; and is either of God the Father, who, as the God of all grace, calls to eternal glory by Christ; or rather of Christ himself, who calls by his Spirit and grace; and hence the saints are sometimes styled, the called of Jesus Christ, Romans 1:6 what they are called unto by him is, "glory and virtue"; by the former may be meant, the glorious state of the saints in the other world, and so answers to "life", eternal life, in the preceding clause; and by the latter, grace, and the spiritual blessings of grace here, and which answers to "godliness" in the said clause; for the saints are called both to grace and glory, and to the one, in order to the other. Some render it, "by glory and virtue"; and some copies, as the Alexandrian and others, and so the Vulgate Latin version, read, "by his own glory and virtue"; that is, by his glorious power, which makes the call as effectual, and is as illustrious a specimen of the glory of his power, as was the call of Lazarus out of the grave; unless the Gospel should rather be intended by glory and virtue, which is glorious in itself, and the power of God unto salvation, and is the means by which persons are called to the communion of Christ, and the obtaining of his glory: so then this phrase, "him that hath called us to glory and virtue", is a periphrasis of Christ, through a "knowledge" of whom, and which is not notional and speculative, but spiritual, experimental, fiducial, and practical, or along with such knowledge all the above things are given; for as God, in giving Christ, gives all things along with him, so the Spirit of Christ, which is a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, when he makes him known in the glory of his person, grace, and righteousness, also makes known the several things which are freely given of God and Christ: and this is what, among other things, makes the knowledge of Christ preferable to all other knowledge, or anything else.