2 Peter 1

2 Peter 1:1

Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

(a) Simon Peter; see entry for 1 Pet. 1:1.

(b) A bond-servant of God; see entry for Rom. 1:1.

(c) An apostle; see entry for 1 Cor. 1:1.

(d) Received a faith. Faith is not something we manufacture, but something receive. It is a gift from God (Eph. 2:8). Faith comes from hearing about the love of God that has been revealed to us through Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:17).

(e) A faith of the same kind as ours. There are different kinds of faith: There’s dead faith and saving faith (see entry for Jas. 2:14). There’s faith in ourselves, and faith in Christ. There’s faith that leads to works of self-righteousness, and faith that receives the gift of Christ’s righteousness. If you have the latter kind of faith, you have the same kind of faith as Peter and the apostles.

You may worry that you have insufficient faith or the wrong sort of faith. But if you believe that God has made you righteous for no reason other than he loves you, then you have the same precious faith as the apostles. Or perhaps you worry that you have insufficient faith or that you might have a failure of faith and deny Jesus. Something like this happened to Peter, yet he did not fall because Jesus was praying for him (Luke 22:32). You are not kept safe by your faithfulness to Christ but by his faithfulness to you. Christ lives in you, and it is his faith and his faithfulness that sustains you (see entry for Gal. 2:20).

(f) The righteousness of our God. God demonstrates his justice and rightness by freely giving us the faith we need. God asks nothing of us except that we trust him, and then he gives us the faith to trust him. How gracious, how good, and how righteous is our God!

(g) God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus is both Savior and God, meaning the Son is equal with the Father. “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30).

2 Peter 1:2

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

(a) Grace and peace. Peter opens his letter with the traditional New Testament salutation (see entry for Rom. 1:7). Grace encompasses all the blessings of God, while peace is the fruit of receiving his grace. Someone who is relying on their works instead of resting in his grace will have little peace because there is always more work to be done.

(b) Multiplied. The original word (plethuno) is the same word that is translated as fullest measure in 1 Peter 1:2. God’s grace multiplies and abounds as we grow in our understanding of his Son and what he has done for us (2 Pet. 3:18).

(c) Knowledge. Every spiritual blessing comes to us through our knowledge of the Lord – who he is, what he has done for us, what he has said and is now saying. We are not blessed on account of our effort or performance; we are blessed as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

(d) Jesus our Lord. The original word for Lord (kyrios) means the One who is supreme above all. Some called Jesus rabbi, prophet, or the Nazarene, but believers call him Lord (Rom. 10:13).

2 Peter 1:3

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

(a) His divine power. Manmade religion is fuelled by blood, sweat, and tears, but the gospel of grace rests on God’s supernatural provision and power. Religion demands that you do more and work harder, but grace declares, “See what God has done and receive!”

(b) Everything you need for today, tomorrow, and forevermore has been provided freely by grace and comes to you through your knowledge of Jesus Christ. Whatever questions you may be asking and whatever problems you may be facing, your answer begins with a deeper revelation of the Lord and his fathomless love for you.

(c) Life. God has given you everything you need for a good and healthy life. You have no needs that are not amply supplied by your heavenly Father (Ps. 23:1, Php. 4:19).

(d) The true knowledge of him can be contrasted with the false words taught by false teachers (2 Pet 2:1, 3).

Religion and philosophy will fill your mind with all kinds of head knowledge, but true growth comes via spiritual revelation. You do not need to know the Bible cover to cover to walk in the power and provision of God; you just need to know Christ in your situation. In him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col. 2:3). All the blessings of heaven are ours through him (Eph. 1:3).

(e) Him who called us. God calls us to himself so that we might be saved; see entry for 1 Peter 1:15.

(f) Glory. The original noun (doxa) means majesty, magnificence, splendor, preeminence, and exalted.

(g) Excellence; see entry for 2 Peter 1:5.

2 Peter 1:4

For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

(a) Promises. The precious promises of God are invitations to the abundant life that is ours in Christ. Just as Joshua led the Israelites into the Promised Land, Jesus has brought you into the Land of Promises, and it is a good land flowing with milk and honey. Whatever situation you are facing, God has a precious promise for you to stand on.

(b) Partakers of the divine nature. Christian, you are one with the Lord. You share the nature and mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16). “You may become partakers” means you can participate in Christ’s divine life here and now. However, you will not experience this blessed life if you are heeding the lies of DIY religion. This is why Peter opens his letter by reminding us of God’s gracious provision – “his divine power has granted us everything” – before warning us, in the next chapter, to steer clear of false teachers.

(c) Escaped the corruption. The broken and corrupt person you used to be died with Christ and no longer lives (Gal. 2:20). You have a choice. You can walk according to the old and cursed ways of the flesh, or you can participate in the new and blessed life of Christ Jesus (1 Pet. 1:14–15).

(d) Lust. The selfish desires of the flesh that corrupt us.

2 Peter 1:5

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

(a) For this very reason. Take advantage of God’s promises so that you may participate in his divine life. God’s promises are true whether you believe them or not, but they won’t do you any good unless you believe them.

(b) Diligence. The original noun (spoude) can be translated as speed or haste. It does not mean work hard for years and years. Peter is saying, “Don’t waste time walking after the flesh and the desires of your old way of life, but be eager and earnest to put God’s promises to work.” See also 1 Pet. 1:14.

(c) Faith is the foundation for all Christian growth, but we do not provide the faith that makes us grow. Faith is a gift to receive and we get it by hearing the good news of Jesus Christ. As we allow the Holy Spirit to reveal more of God’s love to us – love that has been revealed to us through his Son – our trust in him grows and our faith is strengthened (2 Pet. 3:18).

(d) Supply. Jesus is your rich supply (Col. 2:19). The wrong way to read this list is to think that we must manufacture or supply our own faith, excellence, self-control, etc. In the economy of grace everything we need is abundantly supplied by God (2 Pet. 1:11). Whatever needs we have the Lord will supply (Php. 4:19).

(e) Excellence. By the grace of God, you will do well in life.

Because God’s grace is powerful, you can expect to excel with your God-given gifts. (The original word (arete) simply means excellence. The adjective moral has been added by translators.) History is littered with examples of godly men and women who excelled in the fields of art, science, politics, business, and education.

(f) Knowledge. Because you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), you can know the will of God for your life. As you lean on the Holy Spirit, you can discover heavenly solutions for earthly problems.

2 Peter 1:6–7

and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

(a) Self-control or discipline is a fruit of the spirit (Gal. 5:22–23) and your antidote to the lusts of the flesh. Self-control is not about saying no to sin but saying yes to Jesus (see entry for Rom. 6:11).

(b) Perseverance or endurance. Your God-given faith gives you the strength to persevere and endure (Jas. 1:3). Because Christ endured, you will endure. See entry for Rev. 14:12.

(c) Godliness or holy conduct. . You don’t become holy by acting holy. But since you are the holy child of a holy Father, you can be holy in all your conduct (see entry for 1 Pet. 1:15).

(d) Brotherly kindness or affection for those in the family of God. The followers of Cain attack and kill their brothers (1 John 3:12), but the followers of Christ are known for their brotherly love (John 13:35). We love one another by clothing ourselves with humility, being hospitable and pursuing harmony (1 Pet. 3:8, 4:9, 5:5).

(e) Love is the ultimate expression of healed humanity (1 Tim. 1:5). God is love and when we abide in his love we are empowered to love others (see entry for 1 John 4:19).

2 Peter 1:8

For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

(a) These qualities are the seven traits of the Christian life just listed: excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (2 Pet. 1:5–7). These qualities describe the good life that is ours in Christ. To experience this new life – to partake of his divine nature – you need to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 3:18).

(b) Unfruitful. When we abide in the Vine, we bear his fruit effortlessly. But when we walk in the flesh – we lean on our own resources and understanding – we become ineffective and unfruitful. Peter provides an example of how this can happen in the next verse.

(c) True knowledge; see entry for 2 Pet. 1:3.

2 Peter 1:9

For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.

(a) These qualities; see previous verse.

(b) Blind or short-sighted. Because spiritual growth comes from revelation, the one thing that stops us from maturing is spiritual blindness. If we fail to see that our old self and our old sins were dealt with once and for all on the cross, we will not grow. The remedy to this sort of blindness is to open our eyes to the realities of our new life in Christ.

(c) Having forgotten. Forgetting that we are forgiven renders us unfruitful.

The gospel of grace declares you are eternally and completely forgiven (Acts 13:38, Eph. 1:7, Col. 2:13, 1 John 2:12). You have been cleansed from all sin (1 John 1:7). But if you forget you are forgiven you’ll be susceptible to the lie that says there are things you must do to get forgiven.

(d) Purification. You have been cleansed from all sin (1 John 1:7). All your sins – past, present, and future – were carried away by the Lamb of God (John 1:29, 1 John 2:2).

Receiving and walking in God’s forgiveness is where the rubber of your faith hits the road of his grace. If you wish to grow in grace, you need to believe that your old sins are gone. In Christ you are righteous, holy, and as pure as the driven snow (Is. 1:18).

(e) Former sins. Sinning was a part of your old life and it has no place in the new life you share with Christ (1 John 3:9). This is not to suggest you will never sin, but you are a sinner no more. You are a royal priest and a citizen of a holy nation (1 Pet. 2:9).

2 Peter 1:10

Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble;

(a) Diligent. The original verb (spoudazo) can be translated as hasten, be earnest or hurry. “Make this a priority.”

(b) Make certain about his calling. Don’t be in two minds about the certainty of God’s hold on your life (John 10:28). He who called you and chose you will perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you (1 Pet. 5:10).

Believers stumble into dead works when they are unsure about their position in Christ. They forget they are forgiven or they think they need to complete what Christ began. “Jesus got me started, but the rest is up to me.” But whenever we look to ourselves to supply that which God has supplied, we fall from grace. For this reason we need to be diligent to establish our hearts in the certainty of our Father’s love. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to convince us that we are holy and righteous and one with the Lord. We need to abandon our old ways of thinking and learn to walk in the new way of the Spirit.

(c) His calling and choosing. God called you and God chose you (Eph. 1:18,1 Pet. 1:1, 15). Your salvation is not something to be dismissed as a mere invention or a fleeting spiritual experience. The Maker of heaven and earth called you and you responded in faith. The day you were born again was the single most important day of your life.

(d) Practice these things. Make it a habit of looking to the Lord for your supply.

(e) You will never stumble. When your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you’ll never put a foot wrong.

2 Peter 1:11

for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.

(a) The entrance into the eternal kingdom. You will have a rich assurance of your salvation.

Just as we can be certain of God’s call (see previous verse), we can be certain of our salvation or entrance into the eternal kingdom. Yet many Christians are uncertain. They wonder if they are forgiven (verse 9), or if God really called them (verse 10). The remedy to this sort of anxiety is to remind ourselves of the Truth who lives within us (next verse).

(b) Abundantly supplied. The same God who supplies you with faith (2 Pet. 1:1), precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4), and everything else you need for life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3), has abundantly provided you with an entrance into his kingdom. He did not sneak you through side door. He adopted you into his family, clothed you with the garments of salvation, and wrapped you in the robe of his righteousness (Is. 61:10). Truly, you are saved by grace (Eph. 2:8).

2 Peter 1:12

Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you.

(a) Remind you. Even people who have been in church for years need to be reminded of God’s gracious provision.

(b) You already know that you have been forgiven, but you might forget (2 Pet. 1:9). You already know that God loves you, is pleased with you, and thinks the world of you, but you might get distracted and start to drift. We all need reminders lest we wander from the truth.

(c) Present with you. Jesus is the Truth who dwells within the believer and empowers us to live in the new way of the spirit.

2 Peter 1:13

I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder,

(a) This earthly dwelling is your physical body which can be contrasted with your inner self (your spirit and soul) or hidden person (1 Pet. 3:4). Peter is saying, “For as long as I’m on this earth I’m going to remind you of God’s abundant supply.”

(b) Stir you up. Rouse or wake you up. See also 2 Peter 3:1.

(c) Reminder; see previous verse.

2 Peter 1:14

knowing that the laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

(a) Laying aside. For the believer, death is little more than putting off this mortal body (or earthly dwelling).

(b) Imminent. Peter believed that he was going to die soon.

Jesus told Peter how he would spend the final years of his life (John 21:18–19). Apparently the prophecy was being fulfilled at the time of this letter, which was possibly written from a Roman prison. Early Church tradition teaches that Peter was beheaded by Nero in Rome in AD64.

2 Peter 1:15

And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind.

(a) Diligent. Peter wrote letters to ensure that we wouldn’t forget what he said.

(b) My departure. My death.

(c) Call these things to mind. We need to remember what we have been taught (see 2 Pet. 1:12).

2 Peter 1:16

For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty.

(a) Tales. Myths. Peter may be alluding to Gnostic speculations or Jewish myths (Tit. 1:14).

(b) We made known to you. “We told you that we saw our Lord Jesus Christ unveiled in power and glory.” Since it is unlikely that Peter visited the regions to which this letter was sent, he is likely referring to something he said in his first letter (e.g., 1 Pet. 5:1).

(c) The power and coming. Jesus came to earth as a humble baby, but he will return as a triumphant King. See entry for 2 Pet. 3:4.

(d) Eyewitnesses. Peter reminds us that his testimony is based on first-hand experience.

To the modern believer, Peter stands as a giant in the church. But in the early days there may have been some who dismissed him. “Isn’t he a Galilean fisherman?” “Didn’t he deny Jesus three times?” Whatever his flaws may have been, no one can deny that Peter had a front-row seat to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. In contrast with false teachers speaking false words (2 Pet. 2:1, 3), Peter speaks the truth.

(e) Eyewitnesses of his majesty. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John glimpsed the Lord in all his kingly glory (Matt. 17:2).

2 Peter 1:17

For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”—

(a) He received honor and glory. On the Mount of Transfiguration the Son of God was honored by God himself, leaving the disciples in no doubt as to Christ’s true identity.

(b) Glory; see entry for 2 Pet. 1:3.

(c) This is my beloved Son. God the Father loves God the Son. The heavenly affirmation was heard by all at Christ’s baptism (Matt. 3:17) and was repeated on the mountain (Matt. 17:5).

2 Peter 1:18

and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

(a) Heard. “We heard God speak on the mountain.” Again, Peter presents himself as a credible witness. In contrast with false teachers who speak of things they don’t know or understand (2 Pet. 2:18), Peter heard the audible voice of God.

(b) The holy mountain. The Mount of Transfiguration.

2 Peter 1:19

So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

(a) The prophetic word. Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah (e.g., Is. 9:6–7, 22:22, 53:3–9, 61:1–2).

(b) Made more sure. The audible voice of God (on the mountain) confirmed the written word of God (recorded by the prophets).

We can be sure that nothing God says to us will contradict what he has revealed in the scriptures. Peter heard God speaking on the mountain and what he heard confirmed what he knew from the old prophecies: Jesus was no mere rabbi or prophet. He is the Son of God and the King of kings.

(c) Pay attention to what the prophets said about the Messiah. Knowing what God has said through the scriptures is a good way to protect yourself from false teachers who deny the Lord (2 Pet. 2:1) and mockers who say he will never return (2 Pet. 3:3–4).

(d) A lamp. Whether spoken or written, the word of God shines in a dark world. By its light we find the true path (Ps. 119:105).

(e) The day dawns. The day the Lord returns in glory. For now, we navigate a dark world by the light of God’s sure word. But one day the Son will come like the rising sun, and all darkness will go.

(f) The morning star is Jesus himself (Rev. 22:16). We already have his Spirit within us, but when he returns to earth we will have him in person (Rev. 2:28). When that day dawns and the morning star rises in our hearts, all things will be made new (2 Pet. 3:13). There will be no more sorrow and no more death. When Christ returns it will be the beginning of life such as we can only dream of.

2 Peter 1:20–21

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

(a) Moved by the Holy Spirit. The prophecies in the Bible are not manmade but were divinely-inspired. The Holy Spirit revealed the words of God and the prophets spoke or wrote them down. We can be convinced that all prophecy recorded in Scripture is from God.

(b) The Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Christ (1 Pet. 1:11) or the Spirit of glory (1 Pet. 4:14) gave the prophets spiritual revelation.

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