CCLXXIII. God Calling us by His Glory and Virtue.

2 PET. i. 3. “According as His Divine power hath given unto
us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the
knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”

THE thought of God that is fruitful of all joy, spontaneity,
and glad activity, is of Him as a “giving” God. The
thought of a God who only demands and commands, cuts
the nerve of all service. These words are laid as the
foundation of the great command that follows, “Beside
this,” etc.

I. God’s call to us; how it comes. The translation
should be “by His own glory and virtue.”
1. God’s glory. The meaning all starts from the Old
Testament name for the supernatural light that lay be-
tween the cherubim and brooded over the ark and mercy
seat. It is the irradiation and perpetual pouring out of the
light and the perfectness and the beauty of His own self-
revelation.
2. “Virtue” here means energy or power. The two are
at bottom oneā€”the light that streams out, and the energy
born of it.
God summons men by the raying out of His own per-
fect beauty, and the might with which the beams go out
into the darkness.
This is all gathered together in Jesus Christ. Christ is
both light and power.
II. What is the purpose for which God calls us? It is
not to scourge or avenge, but to give.
What magnificent confidence Peter has in the universal
character of God. The gift must bear a proportion to the
giver.
The gift is Christ. In Him is all.
III. How can we receive the gift?
Through knowledge. Not knowledge of head, but of
the heart. We must know Him with the knowledge that is
possession, with the knowledge that has its roots in love.
Alexander Maclaren, D.D.

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