2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV):

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

In verse 4, Peter refers to "precious and very great promises", which are key to "become partakers of the divine nature". What promises exactly? Are these promises explicitly listed elsewhere in Scripture?

Possibly relevant (due to proximity in context): In 2 Peter 1:4 what does Peter mean by “partakers of the divine nature”?


John 1:

12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus promised us to become children of God, born of God.

1 Peter 1 echos this sentiment:

23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

2 Peter 1 reminds the reader of the same:

4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

Ephesians 1 spells out the promised Holy Spirit:

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

These are the promises: The Holy Spirit lives in us. We become children of God. We take on the divine nature of eternal life.

Ellicott makes an important point concerning the Greek word promise:

The Greek word occurs here and in 2Peter 3:13 only. Its termination indicates the things promised rather than the act of promising. They are "exceeding great," or rather "the greatest," because they contain an earnest of the completion and perfection of the Christian life; they are very "precious," because this earnest is in itself something real, and not mere empty words. Not the promises of the Old Testament are meant, that Christ should come; but those of the New Testament, that Christ should come again. The certainty of Christ's return to reward the righteous and punish the wicked is one of the main subjects of the Epistle.

The OT promises are mostly types of the true types in the NT.

  • Actually the promises are also those found in the Old Testament. The Bible is full of promises in both Testaments.
    – Adam
    Apr 23 at 22:01
  • I added Ellicott.
    – Tony Chan
    Apr 23 at 22:23

This is covenant language - all the divine covenants of the OT consisted of a series of covenant blessings (see appendix below). These New Covenant promises are often discussed in the NT:

  • Gal 3:29 - “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise”. Paul makes the same point in Rom 9:6-9, 11:11-22.
  • 1 Peter 2:9, 10 - But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. [Compare Ex 19:6, Hos 2:23.

The New Covenant promises to save all people. For example, The Old Covenant was to save people from slavery, Ex 20:1, 2, 23:23, Deut 5:6; the New Covenant is also designed to save people from slavery (of sin), Luke 4:18, 19, John 8:32, 34-36, Gal 3:22, 5:1, 13, 14, Acts 8:23, 13:38, 39, Rom 6:14, 18, 22, 8:1-4, 20, 21, James 1:25, 1 Peter 2:16, 2 Peter 2:19.

  • 1 John 2:25 - And this is what he promised us- eternal life
  • Luke 24:49 - And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
  • Gal 3:14 - so that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that through faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. See also Acts 2:33.
  • Gal 3:16 - The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say, “and to seeds,” meaning many, but “and to your seed,” meaning One, who is Christ.
  • Rom 4:16 - Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may rest on grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
  • Heb 4:1 - Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be deemed to have fallen short of it.
  • 1 Cor 7:1 - Therefore, beloved, since we have these promises [1 Cor 6:18], let us cleanse ourselves from everything that defiles body and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

APPENDIX - Covenant Blessings in the OT

  • Edenic Covenant - blessing for mankind, Gen 1:28; food plants, Gen 1:28, 2:16
  • Noahide Covenant - continuity of seasons, Gen 8:21, 22; no curse on ground, Gen 8:21; not to destroy animals and mankind, Gen 8:21, 9:11
  • Abrahamic Covenant - biological son + uncountable descendants + land of Canaan, Gen 15, 17
  • Israelite Covenant - save from slavery, Ex 20:1, 2; protect the people Ex 23:19, 20, 31; see more benefits in Lev 26:1-13, Deur 28:1-4; make them a nation of kings and priests, Ex 19:6
  • Levitical Covenant - make priests holy, Num 3:12, 13; have blessed priveleged status, Ex 32:29, Mal 2:5
  • Davidic Covenant - king over Israel, 2 Sam 7:9, 1 Kings 8:25, 2 Chron 21:7; defeat David's enemies, 2 Sam 7:9; great name, 2 Sam 7:9-11; always be a blood descendant on the throne, 2 Chron 13:5, forever, 2 Sam 7:13, 15, 16, Eze 37:26

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