THE WAY TO ENTER INTO THE KINGDOM
I love what Peter says concerning the kingdom. In such a sweet, dear, and precious way Peter tells us how we can enter into the kingdom. Second Peter 1:1 and 3 say, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ...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." Here Peter says that we have all received a precious faith. Do not think that we can have faith out of ourselves. We cannot have faith. The precious faith is not something which originated from within us but was given by God. We receive the precious faith from God. Then Peter says that His divine power has given to us all things that pertain unto life and godliness. How marvelous that God has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness! If we have the Lord Jesus within us as a seed, we have all the things pertaining to life and godliness. As such a seed within us, the Lord Jesus is all-inclusive. Do not forget that the seed of a little plant is all-inclusive. A carnation seed is all-inclusive. Everything of the carnation plant is included in the seed. The root, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the blossom, the color, the substance, and the shape are all included within the seed. Even all the beauty of the carnation life is included within the seed. Once the seed is sown into the earth, everything related to its life is sown there. Today, the Lord Jesus is within us as the seed. Within that seed are all the things that pertain to life within and godliness without.
Partakers of the Divine Nature
Verse 4 goes on to say, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." God has not only given all things pertaining to life and godliness, but He has also given us the great and precious promises by which we can be partakers of the divine nature. In verse 1 we have received faith; in verse 3 we have received all things pertaining to life and godliness; in verse 4 we have received the great and precious promises by which we can be partakers of the divine nature. How marvelous are these items!
Developing the Life Seed
What then shall we do? Only one thing—let Him grow! But we must realize that to let Him grow needs our cooperation. Therefore, verse 5 goes on to say, "And besides this, giving all diligence, develop in your faith virtue; and in your virtue, knowledge..." (lit.). We have received the precious faith, but we need to develop many things by cooperating with His life within us. We need to develop the first thing and then the second thing and then the third thing and then the fourth thing. Again and again we must develop something. How can we develop something? We must learn all the time to open ourselves to the Lord. When we call on His name, "O Lord Jesus," we open ourselves to Him. Then we need to pray-read the Word and have some contact with the Lord, and go along with the Lord day by day. This will develop so many things within our being.
First a little seed develops the root. Then it develops the stem and later the branches. The branches develop the leaves, and afterward come the blossoms. We do have faith within as the seed, and now we just need to open ourselves. We need to pray-read His Word and to love the Lord and take Him in. If day by day we will follow Him, go along with Him, and obey His inward leading, something will be developed within us. Something will grow within us. This is the growth in life. At the very end of his Epistle Peter says "Grow in grace" (2 Pet. 3:18). What does this mean? This means to develop the very seed which has been sown into us.
(The Kingdom, Chapter 50, by Witness Lee)