2Peter 1:1,2 Simon
Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who
righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received
as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance
knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
In both of his epistles Peter starts off with his credentials,
also does. To reject what Peter teaches is to reject the
Jesus Christ. The letter was written to believers, those who had
obtained saving faith.
The knowledge of Jesus Christ leads to the abundant experience
and peace. Grace is undeserved mercy, such as we experience in
forgiveness of sins. There are two aspects to peace. One is the
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"
The second is
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
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
requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which
all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through
Jesus." Php 4:6,7
Godliness Through Knowledge
2Peter 1:3,4 His
everything we need for life and godliness
through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory
goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and
promises, so that through them you may participate in the
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
personally is "gnosis" in Greek. But here Peter uses "epignosis"
means to know about something. An essential part of having a
relationship with Christ first involves knowing facts about him.
and godliness first involves knowledge which we get from the
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
live with them and walk among them, and I will be their
God, and they
will be my people." (Lev 26:12)
separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean
thing, and I will receive you." (Is 52:11)
be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,
Lord Almighty."(Hos 1:10)
And goes on to say, "Since
these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves
from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting
out of reverence for God." 2Cor
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.
have no impact if one does not believe.
What is the source of the corruption found in the world? The
in the world is caused by evil desires. Consequently the
such corruption involves not merely changes to public policy or
regulations, but rather involves changing one' desires.
"As for you, you were dead
transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you
the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the
spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of
lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our
nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest,
by nature objects of wrath." Eph
But "You were
taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off
self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires"
Eph 4:22 "So I say, live by the Spirit,
will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." Gal
2Peter 1:5-7 For this very reason, make
to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and
knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;
perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness;
brotherly kindness, love.
Sanctification unto maturity involves effort on our part.
|2Peter 1:5-7 Virtues
||Having believed, make up your mind to develop and
||But do so based on proper information.
||And having inferred applications from the Bible,
go out and actually do them.
||And don't do them just once, but develop
part of your lifestyle.
||And having attained such, never forget that God is
life and that your behavior, no matter how virtuous,
is ungodly unless
God is central to it.
||And now you are ready to help other Christians come
||And add to your discipleship ministry a genuine
needs of others in general.
2Peter 1:8,9 For if you possess these
increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective
unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But
does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has
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
more accurately "idle". For example it's used in Jesus' parable
of the Workers
in the Vineyard
of those "standing idle in the
or as the NIV has it "doing nothing". Do you have alot of
regards to your Christian faith? Do you find yourself doing
with regards to serving Christ? If you develop these attributes
previously you will find yourself busy with the Lord's work
these character qualities will naturally lead you to
Likewise note the
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
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
also with regards to these others who are short- sighted. For "the one who received the seed
fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the
this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it
unfruitful." Mt 13:22
distracted by the here and now to take to heart the
things above. Or consider in the same parable the seed on rocky
He "is the man who hears
and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he
only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because
word, he quickly falls away."
Such people are too short-sighted to have
the implications of their faith - the worldly troubles it would
them. And thus they don't grow. But if you cherish your
been cleansed from sins, you will grow in these attributes
everything else fades in significance to the redemption we have
2Peter 1:10,11 Therefore, my brothers, be all
eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do
things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich
the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
While it is true "once saved, always saved", one cannot be sure
the "once saved" actually occurred if the effects of salvation
evident in one's life, calling into question whether one's faith
genuine. Thus John writes,
who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed
him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
how we know who the children of God are and who the children
devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child
nor is anyone who does not love his brother." 1John 3:9,10
salvation is to be proportional to degree to which one behaves
child of God should. As you mature in godly character your
of your salvation status will also grow.
And secondly as you mature in these attributes, you will be less
to fall into sin, of which the immature often stumble over. A
verse we find in Heb 12:1b
"Let us throw off
hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run
perseverance the race marked out for us."
Here it even
", one of
attributes Peter mentioned earlier.
Furthermore is the incentive of reward in the manner in which we
be welcomed into the eternal kingdom. For as the parable of
notes, some will be welcomed more richly than
will be commended richly. Others not so richly. Just as in many
letters, Paul gives special commendation to those who worked