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. Indeed, you have the very faith of Christ (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 and peace encompass all the blessings of God.

(b) Multiplied. The original word (plethuno) is the same word that is translated as fullest measure in 1 Peter 1:2. “May grace and peace be yours in increasing abundance.” God’s grace abounds as we grow in the knowledge of his Son (1 Pet. 3:18).

(c) Knowledge. Knowing more about Jesus releases the favor of God in our lives. We are not blessed in proportion to the amount of effort we put in, but 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) 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.

(b) 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).

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

Growing in grace means growing in your understanding of the abundant provision that is yours through Christ (Phm. 1:6). 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). If you have Jesus, you have everything you need.

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

(e) 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, there is a precious promise in God’s word 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). This is a present reality to experience here and now. But you will not enjoy your new life if you are hearing the diabolical lies of DIY religion instead of the precious promises of God.

(c) Escaped the corruption. The broken and corrupt person you used to be died with Christ and no longer lives (Rom. 6:2–3). You now have a choice. You can walk according to the old desires of the flesh, or you can build your life around the precious promises of God. Choose the latter and you will live whole and free.

(d) Lust. The selfish desires of the flesh lead to evil and are behind many of the world’s problems (see entry for Jas. 3:16).

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.

(b) Diligence. The original word (spoude) can be translated as earnestness or hurry. It does not mean effort. Peter is saying, “Don’t waste any more time, but be eager and earnest to put God’s promises to work.”

(c) Faith is the foundation for all Christian growth but we do not provide the faith that makes us grow. Faith is received from God (2 Pet. 1:1). With the faith God gives us we access all the blessings of heaven.

(d) Excellence. The original word (arete) simply means excellence. (The word moral has been added by translators.) It is the same word that is translated as excellencies in 1 Peter 2:9.

Because Christ excelled, we can excel. We can be the head and not the tail. In the fields of art, science, politics, business, and education, godly men and women have long been pioneers and history-makers. As a result of their devotion to the Lord, they have blessed the world with innovation and excellence.

(e) Knowledge. Because you have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), you can know the will of God for your life. Indeed, 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 can endure. See entry for Rev. 14:12.

(c) Godliness or holy conduct. We can be holy because we are the holy offspring of our Holy Father (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, 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 or seven traits of the Christian life just listed (2 Pet. 1:6–7). These qualities increase as we work them out in our lives. God has given; we need to receive, and we receive by faith.

(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.

(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 (1 John 2:12). But if you don’t know you are forgiven, you will be tempted to engage in dead works. This is why Satan wants you focused on your old sins. He will tell you that you need to deal with them, that only some sins have been forgiven, and that you need to keep short accounts with God. His aim is to distract you and make you forget that you have been cleansed from all sin.

(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 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) 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.” Whenever they look to themselves to supply that which God has supplied, they 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 resist the temptation to take control and walk in the new way of the Spirit.

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

(c) 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 (1 Pet. 1:1), precious promises (1 Pet. 1:4), and everything else you need for life and godliness (1 Pet. 1:3), has abundantly provided you with an entrance into his kingdom. He did not sneak you in the 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 mature believers who have been well established in the truth 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 us.

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. This physical body. “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 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 was so keen to make sure we would not forget these truths that he wrote them down in a letter.

(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.

(b) We made known to you. We proclaimed what we saw about the Messiah.

(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. In contrast with false teachers speaking false words (2 Pet. 2:1, 3), Peter was an eyewitness of Christ’s life and ministry. He was present at the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus.

(e) Eyewitnesses of his majesty. On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John glimpsed Jesus 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 Jesus was honored by God himself leaving the disciples in no doubt as to his 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.” Peter is emphasizing his bona fides as a credible teacher (see entry for 2 Pet. 1:16).

(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 always confirms the written word of God.

When God speaks to us we can be sure that nothing he says 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 a powerful King.

(c) Pay attention to what the prophets said about the Messiah.

(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. 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 the 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 of 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 their revelation.

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