1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Confirm Your Calling and Election
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
2 Peter 1 Commentary
by Hank Workman
A few times a month (maybe it’s more) at noon the air is pierced with sirens. They reverberate throughout the town almost sinking deep to our bones. Their piercing sound can be heard all over. These tornado sirens are being tested so just in case a funnel cloud is coming our way we would all hear the noise and take shelter.
There is an interesting thing though that happens with this siren testing. Yes, it does initially jolt you but because we’ve heard it many times we choose to ignore it and wait it out. We disregard the warning sound waiting for it to end so we can go back to whatever we were doing.
Peter’s first letter was written for encouragement and with much instruction. It’s simply a wonderful letter packed so full of truth. The turning of this second letter is absolutely beautiful but the tone and theme is far different. He’s sounding an alarm. Written 3 years later, this letter contains Peter’s last words as he warns the reader of an impending attack – coming from within and outside the church’s walls. Outside the walls, Nero has taken his position as Emperor and persecution will be amped up horrifically. Within he speaks of an internal attack that will assault the Believers: complacency and heresy.
His instruction is that every Believer must hold fast to the unwavering facts of their faith. He challenges all to continue to grow and mature within it. They are to be alert to the changing of their culture and the way Truth is being sidelined and skewed. He bluntly warns of false teachers and doctrines that will attempt to make their way into the church. In fact, he details their behavior as being those who are jockeying for money, will distort the things of God for their own benefit, they will do whatever they feel like doing pulling the ‘grace card’ and will be marked by pride and arrogance.
Good grief, it sounds like today!
His antidote to our ears becoming deaf and settling into complacency is straight forward. Read slowly through these words – they are powerful and challenging.
“For this very reason do your best to add goodness to your faith; to your goodness add knowledge; 6 to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add endurance; to your endurance add godliness; 7 to your godliness add Christian affection; and to your Christian affection add love. 8 These are the qualities you need, and if you have them in abundance, they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 But if you do not have them, you are so shortsighted that you cannot see and have forgotten that you have been purified from your past sins. 10 So then, my friends, try even harder to make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith. 11 In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”2 Peter 1:5-11 GNB
The alarm has rung and the instruction is clear – hold fast in such shifting times to the faith of Jesus Christ. Do not compromise. 2 Peter 1 encourages us to hold tightly to the Word and continue the work Jesus has given each of us. Staying so close to Him, our feet will not stumble, our faith will strengthen.
2 Peter 1 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Peter was a bond-servant and apostle. This is a unique combination, being subject to all others in service and humility as well as being called by Jesus to follow and see firsthand the account of God in the flesh. He makes it clear he was a bond-servant first, and an apostle second, though most would consider his apostleship the greater of the two. In verses 5-8, Peter outlines character.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, 6 knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, 7 godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”2 Peter 1:5-8 HCSB
He goes as far as to say that you will not be fruitless if these qualities are increasing. “In your faith” implies a starting point and a gift. It’s a work by God that can only come from him. In that faith, the foundation, we diligently strive for moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. But notice, these come out of the faith God has provided, not from within ourselves.
Many people want to grow in knowledge but have not truly received or humbled themselves to the gift of faith. They open books, read blogs, listen to sermons, and wonder why they don’t experience change. In this scenario, the end goal does not center around a growing faith, but rather, a growing intellect. It’s not about what we know, but who we know since all the riches of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Christ.
On the other hand, as James says, “Faith without works is dead.” So, we simply cannot wait and receive these character traits passively. They are active words that required “all diligence” as Peter suggests. We do not work for them, but they pour out from our overflow. They come from our foundation of faith through Jesus Christ. Our faith in the cross, remembering our former life, understanding the dead nature of our flesh, realizing the lengths Christ went to in order to save us, and reflecting on the victory he achieved over sin and death upon resurrecting is what drives these traits!
If you look over this list, (like I do) and think, I have some work to do, then go back and reflect on the basis of your faith. Go back to the Gospel. Use your imagination put yourself back at Golgotha during the crucifixion. Go back and linger in the awe of the empty tomb alongside the disciples. Consider the cost and what it must have been like for the Father to send His only Son.
Let His sacrifice saturate your heart and mind as you meditate on His Word. Rejoice in celebration for your victory which is shared through Christ and Christ alone. Out of this faith is where we will experience the kind of character traits that Peter is writing about. We must strive with all diligence to live out of the abundance of faith found only in Jesus.