2 PETER CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION TO 2 PETER
2nd Peter was written to warn the church against false teachers and false doctrine. This epistle stresses to us the importance of biblical knowledge, so as to be able to discern true doctrine from false doctrine.
Doctrine = A precise and accurate summary of what the bible says on a topic and is used to define the difference between truth and error, orthodoxy and heresy. Ref: page 101, Biblical Theology In The Life of The Church by Michael Lawrence.
Key verses: 1:20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 1:21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
If the 1st century church had to be watchful and discern false doctrine, certainly the 21st century has to do the same.
For the early church, some examples of false doctrine were:
-Falling back to 1st covenant of law rather than grace. (Acts 15:1)
-False Philosophies. (Colossians 2:6,f)
-Denial of the literal resurrection. (1 Cor 15:f)
-Using God’s grace as an excuse to continue in sin. (2nd Peter, 1st, 2nd & 3rd John and Jude)
1:1 From Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have been granted a faith just as precious as ours. 1:2 May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
Peter refers to himself as a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. Some translations use servant, some bond-servant and some slave. The idea here is total devotion. It’s also customarily used as a highest title of honor. Some of the greatest men in history have been called “servants of God”.
He also says in verse 1 that the Christian is granted a faith just as precious as ours. John Wesley referred to “prevenient grace” meaning it’s precedes our decision, it’s initiated and given by God. God reaches out to us giving us the ability to have faith in Him. It’s popular today to have “faith” that things will work out, but that’s not the same as faith in God. Some faith today is merely faith in faith.
Peter also calls this faith “precious”. In what ways and reasons would you consider your faith in God to be “precious”?
What comes to mind when you read the words in verse 2, “grace and peace”? Grace is undeserved favor. Pease can have different meanings. So in what ways do Christians have peace? See John 14:27, 16:23, Romans 5:1, 8:6, Gal 5:22–23.
Another key word used a lot in this epistle is “knowledge”.. The knowledge he refers to prevents Christians from being deceived into believing a false doctrine.
So what is the most trusted place for Christian to obtain knowledge? The knowledge that’s based on absolute truth. Truth that isn’t different for different people? Yes, the bible.
Believers’ Salvation and the Work of God
1:3 I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence. 1:4 Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. 1.5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence knowledge;1:6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; 1:7 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love.1:8 For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. 1:9 But concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins. 1:10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin. 1:11 For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.
We have everything necessary for life and godliness. Seems we are without excuse since we have the bible and Spirit of God to guide us. So how do we best avail ourselves of these resources? What is our duty having everything necessary?
What does it mean to become partakers of the divine nature? It doesn’t mean we become divine, but rather we become children of God. Sometimes someone will say “we’re all God’s children”. The truth is only Christians are God’s children. He created all people, but all people are not children of God. Only Christ’s followers in faith.
Verse 5–11 are great verses.
“For this very reason” he starts out. The provisions, that is, that God has made for the believer mentioned in verse 3 & 4.
What a great list here of things to add to our faith! (So faith is the beginning, not the end all). And he says “Make every effort”! Must be pretty important huh? Ask yourself what each one of these mean in the context of a Christian life. I need to write these down on a list and put it where I’ll see it each day… Excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, unselfish love. If we follow this we won’t become ineffective and unproductive in our pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. Important enough to make every effort.
Otherwise we’re not looking past our noses, nearsighted and have forgotten of Jesus’ cleansing us of our past sins he says. If a person thinks of what Christ has done for them, the logical and expected behavior is to make every effort to grow in his/her Christian walk. Christian growth is continuous isn’t it? Do we ever feel like we’ve arrived?
make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. Important stuff here especially for those new in the faith.
Another benefit of pursuing Christian growth is it keeps us from stumbling into sin. Christianity really is a new life isn’t it, rather than something we add to our existing life. Jesus called it being born again. Threw Nicodemus for a loop.
Can a profession of faith without a changed life bring assurance of one’s calling and election?
It’s true that pursuing these attributes don’t produce salvation, rather they are evidence of a true salvation. This section highlights the importance for us whom are more mature in the faith to disciple those new in the faith. It really is a new life, not an add on.
Salvation Based on the Word of God
1:12 Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. 1:13 Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder, 1:14 since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. 1:15 Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things. 1:16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur. 1:17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 1:18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 1:19 Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 1:20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 1:21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
How can we constantly be reminded of our provisions through Jesus, our duty as followers, our hope in heaven? Through daily reading our bibles. It brings us joy, hope, assurance and the knowledge we are loved by God and keeps us from sinning against him. There is so much available to us in the way of help to have a pattern of daily bible reading. Many different plans you can follow, apps that read to you. I encourage everyone to make time to at least read through the entire bible once per year, every year.