Have you ever considered Saul’s failure as God’s chosen the christ, God’s Anointed? Saul had everything going for him. Despite the advantage of being God’s anointed king, Saul made mistake after mistake. He was arrogant, prideful, and even reckless. God turned his back on Saul, and it was all downhill from there.
What did Saul do that was so bad? The first sin described in 1 Samuel 13:8-9, involved his prideful, impatient, and reckless decision to act as a priest and offer a sacrifice at Gilgal. He was supposed to wait for Samuel, but he decided to disobey. As an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin, he knew all too well that he had no right to offer a sacrifice. Only priests from the tribe of Levy could perform such religious rites.
Saul was not done there. He again sinned as described by 1 Samuel 15:3, when battling the Amalekites. Samuel told Saul that God commanded him to kill everyone and everything. Saul allowed Agag, king of the Amalekites, to live, and allowed his soldiers to keep the best animals. When Samuel questioned Saul, he lied.
God gave Saul everything he needed to succeed as king of Israel. You might be thinking at this point that if you had the gifts God gave Saul, you could really do a good work. However, God has given you the power you need. Look at verse one of 2 Peter. Peter is telling the believers of the time that they had a faith of equal standing to his. Peter goes on to say in verse three that God has provided them with all things necessary for life and godliness, and in verse 4, has allowed them to be partakers of the divine nature.
You might respond by saying that you could not be king of Israel like Saul, or heal people, or raise them from the dead, like the Apostles. Well, God is not asking you to. We can’t all be Christian leaders, but we can be the Christians God intends. He will provide you with the strength to walk your Christian walk. Read verses 1-4, and I’ll meet you on the other side.
There is always a catch, and here it comes. There is stuff for us to do. That is what the Keyword Commentary is telling us. Do you wish God would just use his divine power to work out everything for you? I do, but he does not.
God wants us to play a part in our Christian walk. Take a look at verse five. Peter wants us to “supplement” our faith. The word used here by the ESV is supplement. Other versions use the word “add” or “supply.” The word has the meaning of adding to something, and in this case it is our faith. God wants us to grow in our faith so that we can “become partakers of the divine nature.” We have a responsibility here. We don’t just stand around soaking in the power of the Holy Spirit. We have to live and act in a certain way, and God determines the way.
Now comes the hard part. We are going to have to walk the Christian walk while fulfilling the following requirements. As a matter of fact, I will state that we can’t walk the Christian walk without following these requirements. And what are the requirements you might ask? It’s not good from a sinner’s perspective. Here’s the list: Virtue, knowledge, self control, steadfastness, Godliness, brotherly affection, and love.
That is quite a list. As usual, when God gives us a list, and we dig into the meanings, we find the list is comprehensive. We don’t get a break. It is going to be hard work, and will include lots of failure on our part. What does each mean? It would be a lot easier to not know, but since the second one is knowledge, that does not seem to be an option.
We should dig in to each one and find out what God wants from us. After all, there is a lot riding on this. Also, before we get started, notice how each requirement is linked to the next. We must add virtue, and to virtue, knowledge.