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2Peter 1:1-11 (web)


1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us
in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:
1:2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied
in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,

Christian Maturity Produces Fruitfulness

1:3 seeing that his divine power has granted to us
all things that pertain to life and godliness,
through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue;
1:4 by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises;
that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature,
  • having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust.
  • 1:5 Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence,
  • in your faith supply moral excellence;
  • and in moral excellence, knowledge;
  • 1:6 and in knowledge, self-control;
  • and in self-control patience;
  • and in patience godliness;
  • 1:7 and in godliness brotherly affection;
  • and in brotherly affection, love.
  • 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound,
    they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful
    to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    1:9 For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near,
    having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.

    Christian Maturity Produces Assurance of Salvation

    1:10 Therefore, brothers,
    be more diligent to make your calling and election sure.
    For if you do these things, you will never stumble.
    1:11 For thus will be richly supplied to you the entrance
    into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    Discussion Questions

    What knowledge is essential to your growth as a Christian?
    What are the promises spoken of in vs 4?
    vs 4 What causes the corruption found in the world?
    vs 5-7 What are examples of each of these character qualities?
    vs 8 Why will these make you effective and productive in your knowledge of Christ?
    And what does it mean to be effective and productive?
    vs 9 Why does the lack of these qualities indicate that a person has forgotten that he had been cleansed from past sins?
    vs 10 How can you make sure that you are saved? (How is this different from salvation by works?)
    vs 11 Does this imply that some will receive a not-so-rich welcome into heaven? How might this play out in an awards ceremony?


    Grace and Peace

    2Peter 1:1,2 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

    In both of his epistles Peter starts off with his credentials, as Paul also does. To reject what Peter teaches is to reject the teachings of Jesus Christ. The letter was written to believers, those who had obtained saving faith.

    The knowledge of Jesus Christ leads to the abundant experience of grace and peace. Grace is undeserved mercy, such as we experience in the forgiveness of sins. There are two aspects to peace. One is the ending of hostility between us and God as it says, "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" Rom 5:1 The second is the experience of tranquility as a consequence to our being reconciled with God. "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27 So "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Php 4:6,7

    Attain Godliness Through Knowledge

    2Peter 1:3,4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

    "Knowledge" (epignosis) is used 3 times in chapter 1 and once in chapter 2. It's one of the themes in this short epistle. Knowing Christ personally is "gnosis" in Greek. But here Peter uses "epignosis" which means to know about something. An essential part of having a personal relationship with Christ first involves knowing facts about him. Life and godliness first involves knowledge which we get from the Word of God. For in the Bible are very great and precious promises which provide a basis for living the Christian life.

    As an example Paul notes a number of promises found in scripture:

    2Cor 6:16-18
    And goes on to say, "Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." 2Cor 7:1 which is what Peter is likewise saying. For participating in the divine nature involves a changed attitude with leads to a changed behavior. But as promises are involved, so is faith. Promises have no impact if one does not believe.

    What is the source of the corruption found in the world? The corruption in the world is caused by evil desires. Consequently the solution to such corruption involves not merely changes to public policy or human regulations, but rather involves changing one' desires.

    "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." Eph 2:1-3 But "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires" Eph 4:22 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Gal 5:16

    Add Virtues

    2Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

    Sanctification unto maturity involves effort on our part.

    2Peter 1:5-7 Virtues
    goodness Having believed, make up your mind to develop and apply Christian virtues.
    knowledge But do so based on proper information.
    self-control And having inferred applications from the Bible, control yourself to go out and actually do them.
    perseverance And don't do them just once, but develop applications that will become part of your lifestyle. 
    godliness And having attained such, never forget that God is the source of your life and that your behavior, no matter how virtuous, is ungodly unless God is central to it.
    brotherly kindness And now you are ready to help other Christians come to the point where you are.
    love And add to your discipleship ministry a genuine concern for the real needs of others in general.

    Virtues Invoke Fruitfulness

    2Peter 1:8,9 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

    These qualities mentioned in verses 5-7 are a matter of degree. Everyone has degrees of them, but let us increase in them. The word "ineffective" (argos Gk.) is more accurately "idle". For example it's used in Jesus' parable of the Workers in the Vineyard of those "standing idle in the marketplace" or as the NIV has it "doing nothing". Do you have alot of idleness with regards to your Christian faith? Do you find yourself doing nothing with regards to serving Christ? If you develop these attributes mentioned previously you will find yourself busy with the Lord's work because these character qualities will naturally lead you to fruitfulness. Likewise note the parable of the sower where fruitfulness was shown to be a function of the quality of the soil. "The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Lk 8:15

    But just as the parable mentions the seed which fell among thorns, so also with regards to these others who are short- sighted. For "the one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful." Mt 13:22 Such people are too distracted by the here and now to take to heart the things above. Or consider in the same parable the seed on rocky ground. He "is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away." Mt 13:20,21 Such people are too short-sighted to have considered the implications of their faith - the worldly troubles it would bring them. And thus they don't grow.  But if you cherish your having been cleansed from sins, you will grow in these attributes because everything else fades in significance to the redemption we have in Christ.

    Virtues Invoke Assurance

    2Peter 1:10,11 Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    While it is true "once saved, always saved", one cannot be sure that the "once saved" actually occurred if the effects of salvation are not evident in one's life, calling into question whether one's faith was genuine. Thus John writes, "No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1John 3:9,10 So one's assurance of salvation is to be proportional to degree to which one behaves as a child of God should. As you mature in godly character your confidence of your salvation status will also grow.

    And secondly as you mature in these attributes, you will be less likely to fall into sin, of which the immature often stumble over. A similar verse we find in Heb 12:1b "Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Here it even mentions "perseverance", one of the attributes Peter mentioned earlier.

    Furthermore is the incentive of reward in the manner in which we will be welcomed into the eternal kingdom. For as the parable of the talents notes, some will be welcomed more richly than others. Some will be commended richly. Others not so richly. Just as in many of his letters, Paul gives special commendation to those who worked hard in the ministry.

    2Peter 1:1-11 RAP

    2:1 Peter an apostle and servant of Christ
    To those who obtained a faith so nice
    So precious to us it affects our behavior
    By the righteousness of our God and Savior
    3 May grace and peace to you abound
    As in the knowledge of God it may be found
    His power has given all we need
    For a godly life, if we heed
    To our knowledge of Him who called us by His glory
    And His goodness too, just as in the story.
    4 Through these He has given promises so great
    So that in God's nature you may participate
    And escape the corruption the world inspires
    Which are caused by evil desires
    5 For this very reason try very hard
    To add goodness to your faith just like God
    6 And to your goodness knowledge also self-control
    7 Perseverance and godliness add to your soul
    And be kind as brothers like your Father above
    And last but not least you must add love
    8 If these qualities in you grow
    They will make you fruitful from what you know
    9 But if one has not one of these kind
    He is nearsighted and even blind
    For wasn't the point to be cleansed from sin?
    And doesn't he now call Jesus kin?
    10 Be careful to make sure your call
    For if you do these things you will never fall
    11 And you will receive a rich entry
    Into the kingdom (maybe this century!)

    The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

    Aug 25,2020