“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
“Glory” here is the glory of Christ. He calls people to Himself through the knowledge of His glory. They perceive the wonder of Christ’s person and work; they become attracted to Him and come to believe in Him.
2 Ti 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
1 Pe 5:10-11, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
The Lord Jesus calls us through His unique glory and virtue. The word “own” does not occur in the New King James Version, but we find it in the Greek text. The term “own” bears the idea of private, unique, or peculiar possession. God called us to His “own unique glory.”
“Glory” may also refer to the ultimate triumph of the plan of God. You may be defeated, but you will ultimately triumph in the program of God. Some of you are vanquished because you accept defeat. The loser gives up. These kinds of people usually are ignorant of God’s provisions.
“Glory” is a term for dignity and refers to God’s essence, but here it means more. Glory is the fact that God designed a perfect plan for us in Christ. God prepared a program where He and we cannot lose.
“Virtue” occurs five times in the New Testament. God called us to virtue. “Virtue” is excellence or praises (1 Pe 2:9). This word has lost some of its meaning to us today. “Virtue” means excellence in workmanship. The work of Christ is a work of excellence. God calls us by His own merit and workmanship. Virtue is a quality of excellence that belongs to God.
We will ultimately triumph in God’s plan for us.
Called to glory carries the idea that God designed a perfect plan for us. God prepared a plan where He cannot lose. You say, “He included me in His plan. Doesn’t that make Him a loser?” No, God cannot fail because He provided for any contingency we might face. Stand by for a shock – God’s plan is greater than yours! Even at your best, you are at your worst in God’s eyes. God’s program is greater than your sin.
God’s glory is His perfect character, plus the plan that comes from it. A perfect God cannot design an imperfect program. The strategy would indeed be flawed if it depended on man and what man does. There is no place in God’s plan for the energy of the flesh.
Grace depends on who God is and what God has done, never on who we are and what we do. That is why we must function under His power and provision. God’s glory takes His perfect plan and relates it to us. He will reveal His ultimate glory in eternity; that is where God makes the plan experientially perfect in us. He made it judicially perfect when He sacrificed Christ on the cross.
God calls us to His Excellency. He is building an excellent character in us. He called us with a definite purpose in mind. God is in the business of reproducing His Son in us (2 Ti 1:9). I do not think any of us have been mistaken for the Lord Jesus lately. One of these days, we will be like Him. In the meantime, we are supposed to become more and more like Him.
2 Co 3:18, But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.