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Bible Commentaries

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable
2 Peter 3

 

 

Other Authors
Verse 1

Peter"s first letter was most likely1Peter. Of course, Peter may have written many epistles, so we cannot be sure that1Peter is in view. [Note: Bigg, p289.] The apostle implied that he wrote this present letter soon after the earlier one. This second epistle, he said, went to the same audience in northern Asia Minor (cf. 1 Peter 1:1), primarily Gentile Christians. His purpose in writing the second letter was to refresh his readers" memories (cf. 2 Peter 1:13). "Sincere" means unflawed by evil. He gave his readers credit for not having embraced the teaching of the heretics yet.

"An effective antidote to false doctrine is to recall and dwell on the teaching already perceived." [Note: Andrew McNab, "The General Epistles of Peter," in The New Bible Commentary, p1149.]

"The English "sincere" is from the Latin words sine cera, "without wax." Some pottery salesmen would use wax to cover cracks and weak places in pottery. Such a cover-up could be detected only by holding the jug up to the sun to see if any weaknesses were visible. Such a vase was "sun-judged" (the lit. meaning of the Gr. eilikrines). God wants His people to have sun-judged minds, not those in which their sin spots have been covered over." [Note: Gangel, p875.]


Verse 1-2

A. The Purpose of This Epistle3:1-2


Verses 1-16

V. THE PROSPECT FOR THE CHRISTIAN3:1-16

Peter turned from a negative warning against false teachers to make a positive declaration of the apostles" message to help his readers understand why he wrote this letter. His language had been strong and confrontational, but now he spoke with love and encouragement in gentle and endearing terms.

"While in chapter2the writer delivered a fervid denunciation of the false teachers and their immorality, in this section he renews his pastoral concern to fortify his readers in regard to another aspect of the danger facing them, namely, the heretical denial of Christ"s return." [Note: Hiebert, Second Peter . . ., p135.]

"In the third chapter Peter refutes the mockers" denial of Christ"s return ( 2 Peter 3:1-7), presents the correct view concerning Christ"s return ( 2 Peter 3:8-13), and concludes with timely exhortations to his readers in view of the dark and dangerous days facing them ( 2 Peter 3:14-18)." [Note: Idem, "Directives for Living in Dangerous Days," Bibliotheca Sacra141:564 (October-December1984):330-31.]

I like to think if the Book of2Peter as a bologna sandwich. Chapters1,3are the bread, the positive pastoral exhortations, and the middle chapter, 2 , is the bologna of the false teachers.


Verse 2

Again Peter put the teaching of the apostles, which these men received from Jesus Christ, on a level of authority equal with the writings of the Old Testament prophets (cf. 2 Peter 1:12-21; 2 Peter 3:16; Acts 1:16; Romans 9:29; Hebrews 4:7).

"The "commandment" is used here in the same way as in 2 Peter 2:21 ...: it emphasizes the ethical aspect of the Christian message because it is on this, along with the eschatological expectation, that the author wishes to insist, in opposition to the false teachers." [Note: Bauckham, p288.]


Verse 3

"First of all" means of primary importance (cf. 2 Peter 1:20). The "last days" Peter referred to here are the days before Jesus Christ"s return. This is the same way other writers of Scripture used the phrase "last days" (cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-5; 1 John 2:18-19). What the mockers said follows in 2 Peter 3:4. Here the emphasis is on their attitude of intellectual superiority and disdain of scriptural revelation. This attitude led them to immoral conduct.

"The adversaries who denied the Parousia were themselves a proof of its imminence." [Note: T. Fornberg, An Early Church in a Pluralistic Society: A Study of2Peter, p61.]

"A scoffer is someone who treats lightly that which ought to be taken seriously." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:463.]


Verses 3-6

B. Scoffing in the Last Days3:3-6

Peter warned his readers about the activity of mockers preceding the Lord"s return to enable them to deal with this test of their faith.

"Peter finally brings together two of the most important issues in the letter: the false teachers" skepticism about the return of Christ in glory (see 2 Peter 1:16-21) and their disdain for holiness (chap2)." [Note: Moo, p165.]


Verse 4

One could hardly find a better summary anywhere of the philosophy of naturalism that so thoroughly permeates contemporary western civilization than what this verse contains. Peter referred to a denial of supernaturalism and an assertion of uniformitarianism. In particular, the scoffers denied the promise of the Lord Jesus that He would return ( John 14:1-3; Acts 1:11; et al.). They assumed that God does not intervene in the world.

"Those who give way to their own lusts will always mock at any incentive to noble living." [Note: Wheaton, p1257.]

The "fathers" are probably physical forefathers, more likely the Old Testament patriarchs rather than the first generation of Christians. This is the normal use of the word in the New Testament.

Peter proceeded to answer the second statement in this verse in 2 Peter 3:5-7 and then responded to the scoffers" rhetorical question in 2 Peter 3:8-10. So this section has a somewhat chiastic structure.


Verse 5

"Escapes their notice" in the Greek means forgets purposely by disregarding information. Peter cited two events in the creation of the cosmos that show things have not always been as they are. God did intervene in the world in the past. When God spoke, the universe came into existence ( Genesis 1:6-8; cf. Hebrews 11:3). God spoke again and the dry land separated from ("out of") the waters ( Genesis 1:9-10). Thus God used water to form the dry land. God brought the whole universe into existence by His word and by water. Peter proceeded to say that He also used both means to destroy it (in Noah"s day, 2 Peter 3:6), and He will use two means to destroy it in the future, His word and fire ( 2 Peter 3:7).

"St. Peter says nothing that a simple Jew could not have gathered from his own reading of Genesis." [Note: Bigg, p293.]


Verse 6

The flood in Noah"s day was Peter"s third example. God spoke again and the earth flooded. "Through which" (a plural relative pronoun in Greek) probably refers to "the Word of God" and "water" ( 2 Peter 3:5).

". . . the author apparently takes the account of the Flood to imply a complete destruction of the created world by water [as opposed to a local flood or to the destruction of human beings only]." [Note: Sidebottom, p120.]

". . . in 2 Peter 3:6 his [Peter"s] emphasis is on the Flood as a universal judgment on sinful men and women. But he evidently conceives this judgment as having been executed by means of a cosmic catastrophe which affected the heavens as well as the earth." [Note: Bauckham, p299.]

This catastrophe involved the opening up of the heavens to deluge the earth with rain ( Genesis 7:11-12). Peter spoke of world history in three periods divided by two cataclysms: the world before the Flood ( 2 Peter 3:6), the present world ( 2 Peter 3:7), and the future world ( 2 Peter 3:13).


Verse 7

God has given orders that the present heavens and earth ( 2 Peter 3:5-6) will experience another judgment yet future. Then God will, with His word, destroy them by fire rather than by water (cf. 2 Peter 3:10; 2 Peter 3:12). This will evidently take place after the great white throne judgment and before the creation of the new heavens and new earth (cf. Revelation 20:11-15; Revelation 21:1). [Note: See Gangel, p876.] The world is presently "reserved" for fire in the sense that this is its inevitable destiny (cf. Deuteronomy 32:22; Isaiah 34:4 LXX Isaiah 66:15-16; Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1).


Verses 7-10

C. End-time Events3:7-10

Next Peter outlined what will surely happen so his readers would understand what will take place.


Verse 8

Again Peter reminded his readers to remember what they had learned previously ( 2 Peter 3:1) and not to forget, as the scoffers did ( 2 Peter 3:5). As far as God"s faithfulness to His promises, it does not matter if He gave His promise yesterday or a thousand years ago. He will still remain faithful and will fulfill every promise (cf. Psalm 90:4). The passage of a thousand years should not lead us to conclude that God will not fulfill what He has promised. The passing of time does not cause God to forget His promises. Peter was not saying that the "day of judgment" will last1 ,000 years since a day is as1 ,000 years with the Lord. This would contribute nothing to Peter"s argument against the scoffers.

This verse does not mean that God operates in a timeless state. Time is simply the way He and we measure the relationship of events to one another. The idea of a timeless existence is Platonic, not biblical. God"s relationship to time is different from ours since He is eternal, but this does not mean that eternity will be timeless. Eternity is endless time.

"Peter did not say that to God "one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years are one day." The point is not that time has no meaning for God but rather that His use of time is such that we cannot confine Him to our time schedules. His use of time is extensive, so that He may use a thousand years to do what we might feel should be done in a day, as well as intensive, doing in a day what we might feel could only be done in a thousand years." [Note: Hiebert, Second Peter . . ., p153. See also Bauckham, p310. See Zane C. Hodges, The Epistles of John , pp106-7 , for a good explanation of how Einstein"s special theory of relativity has introduced a new perspective on time that harmonizes with this verse.]

This statement does not negate the hope of the imminent return of the Lord either. Peter, as the other New Testament writers, spoke as though his readers would be alive at His return ( 2 Peter 1:19; 2 Peter 3:14). This was an indisputable hope of the early Christians. [Note: Fornberg, p68; Bauckham, p310.]


Verse 9

The fact that the fulfillment of the Lord Jesus" promise to return for His own ( John 14:2-3) lingers does not mean that God has forgotten His promise, was lying, or cannot fulfill it. "The Lord" seems to be a reference to Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Peter 3:15). It means that He is waiting to fulfill it so people will have time to repent. Unbelievers left on the earth will be able to repent after the Rapture, but it is better for them if they do so before that event. Multitudes will be saved during the seven-year Tribulation ( Revelation 7; Revelation 14), though it will be harder for them to be saved then than it is now ( 2 Thessalonians 2:11).

"In Greek the notion of repentance is of a change of outlook, in Hebrew thought a turning round and adopting a new way of life. The two are not incompatible." [Note: Sidebottom, p122.]

If God wants everyone to be saved, will not all be saved? [Note: See Ramesh P. Richard, "Soteriological Inclusivism and Dispensationalism," Bibliotheca Sacra151:601 (January-March1994):85-108.] The answer is no because this desire of God"s is not as strong as some other of His desires. For example, we know God desires that everyone have enough freedom to believe or disbelieve the gospel more strongly than He desires that everyone be saved. Otherwise everyone would end up believing. However that will not happen ( 2 Peter 3:7; Matthew 25:46). Somehow it will result in God"s greater glory for some to perish than for all to experience salvation. Nevertheless, God sincerely "desires" (Gr. boulomenos in contrast to the stronger thelontes, "determines") that every person come to salvation. [Note: See my discussion of God"s priorities in "What Prayer Will and Will Not Change," in Essays in Honor of J. Dwight Pentecost, pp107-11.]

"Three aspects of the will of God may be observed in Scripture: (1) the sovereign will of God ( Isaiah 46:9-11; Daniel 4:17; Daniel 4:35; Hebrews 2:4; Revelation 17:17); (2) the moral will of God, i.e. His moral law ( Mark 3:35; Ephesians 6:6; Hebrews 13:21); and (3) the desires of God coming from His heart of love ( Ezekiel 33:11; Matthew 23:37; 2 Peter 3:9). The sovereign will of God is certain of complete fulfillment, but the moral law is disobeyed by men, and the desires of God are fulfilled only to the extent that they are included in His sovereign will. God does not desire that any should perish, but it is clear that many will not be saved ( Revelation 21:8)." [Note: The New Scofield Reference Bible, pp1340-41.]

"No dispensationalist minimizes the importance of God"s saving purpose in the world. But whether it is God"s total purpose or even His principal purpose is open to question. The dispensationalist sees a broader purpose in God"s program for the world than salvation, and that purpose is His own glory [ Ephesians 1:6; Ephesians 1:12; Ephesians 1:14]. For the dispensationalist the glory of God is the governing principle and overall purpose, and the soteriological program is one of the principal means employed in bringing to pass the greatest demonstration of His own glory. Salvation is part and parcel of God"s program, but it cannot be equated with the entire purpose itself." [Note: Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, p102. The same statement appears in idem, Dispensationalism, p93. See pp46-47,102-5 in Dispensationalism Today, or pp40-41,93-95 in Dispensationalism, for a full discussion of God"s ultimate purpose being doxological rather than soteriological.]

"Soteriology . . . is obviously a major theme of biblical theology, though it clearly is not the central motif. This is evident in that salvation implies deliverance from something to something and is thus a functional rather than a teleological concept. In other words, salvation leads to a purpose that has been frustrated or interrupted and is not a purpose in itself." [Note: Eugene H. Merrill, "A Theology of the Pentateuch," in A Biblical Theology of the Old Testament, pp21-22.]

"The final cause of all God"s purposes is his own glory. . . . ( Revelation 4:11) ... ( Numbers 14:21) ... ( Isaiah 48:11) ... ( Ezekiel 20:9) ... ( 1 Corinthians 1:26-31; Ephesians 2:8-10)." [Note: Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, 1:535-36.]

"The final end of both election and reprobation is the Divine glory, in the manifestation of certain attributes.... Neither salvation nor damnation are ultimate ends, but means to an ultimate end: namely, the manifested glory of the triune God. ... 2 Corinthians 3:7; 2 Corinthians 3:9." [Note: William G. T. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:448.]

What Peter said about God not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance applies to the unsaved and the saved alike.


Verse 10

The phrase "day of the Lord" refers to a specific time yet future, as elsewhere in Scripture. This "day" will begin when Antichrist makes a covenant with Israel, and it will conclude with the burning up of the present heavens and earth ( Daniel 9:27; 2 Peter 3:12; et al.). Some ancient manuscripts read "the earth and its works will be laid bare [Gr. eurethesetai]." This could mean that the earth and its works will be exposed for what they really are. "Its works" probably refers to all that has been done on earth that has only temporal value (e.g, buildings, etc.). This day will come as a thief in that its beginning will take those unbelievers living on the earth then (after the Rapture) by surprise ( Matthew 24:37-39; Matthew 24:43-44; Luke 12:39-40; 1 Thessalonians 5:2; Revelation 3:3; Revelation 16:15). The term "heavens" probably refers to the earth"s atmosphere and the "second heaven" in which the stars and the planets exist, not God"s abode (the "third heaven"). The "elements" (Gr. stoicheia) apparently refer to the material building blocks of physical things (i.e, the atoms, molecules, and larger masses that are foundational to still larger things). Other views are that they are the heavenly bodies or the angelic powers.

After the Flood, God told Noah, "I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease" ( Genesis 8:21-22). He meant that He would not do so with another flood. He went on to say, "All flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth" ( Genesis 9:11 b; cf. 2 Peter 3:15). Peter"s announcement of a worldwide judgment by fire does not, therefore, contradict God"s promise in the Noahic Covenant.

When in the "day of the Lord" will this conflagration take place? Some believe it will happen at the beginning of the millennial kingdom. [Note: E.g, George N. H. Peters, The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 2:504-9.] Of these some believe this destruction will be only a limited renovation of the earth. [Note: E.g, Robert D. Culver, Daniel and the Latter Days, p188; and Walter Scott, Exposition of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, p418.] It seems more likely however that this holocaust will take place at the end of the Millennium and will result in the destruction of the universe as we know it ( Revelation 21:1; cf. Matthew 5:18; Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 16:17; Luke 21:33). [Note: For answers to the arguments of Peters and Culver, see R. Larry Overstreet, "A Study of2Peter3:10-13 ," Bibliotheca Sacra137:548 (October-December1980):358-68.]

"Peter clearly opposes those Christians who insisted that Christ had to return within a certain short period of time after his resurrection. But he by no means opposes the idea of imminence itself." [Note: Moo, p189.]

"Only the book of Revelation in the New Testament speaks so directly about the cosmic effects of the day of the Lord." [Note: Carson and Moo, p666.]


Verse 11

Peter believed that an understanding of the future should motivate the believer to live a holy life now. His question is rhetorical. Holy conduct refers to behavior that is separate from sin and set apart to please God. Godly means like God ( 2 Peter 1:3; 2 Peter 1:6-7; cf. 2 Peter 2:7; 2 Peter 2:10; 2 Peter 2:12-15; 2 Peter 2:18-20; 2 Peter 3:3; 1 Peter 1:15-16).


Verses 11-16

D. Living in View of the Future3:11-16

Peter drew application for his readers and focused their attention on how they should live presently in view of the future.


Verse 12

The Greek participle translated "hastening" or "speeding" (speudontes) sometimes means, "desiring earnestly" (RSV margin). [Note: A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, s.v. "speudo."] If Peter meant that here, the sense would be that believers not only look for the day of God but also desire earnestly to see it (cf. 2 Peter 3:8-10; Matthew 24:42; Matthew 25:13). [Note: Lenski, p348; Barbieri, p122.] The AV has "hastening unto" implying that Peter meant believers are rapidly approaching the day of God. Yet "unto" needs supplying; it is not in the text. Most of the translators and commentators, however, took speudontes in its usual sense of hastening. They assumed that Peter was thinking that believers can hasten the day of God by their prayers (cf. Matthew 6:10) and their preaching (cf. Matthew 24:14; Acts 3:19-20). [Note: Bigg, p298; Green, p140; Barclay, pp410-11; Kelly, p367; Blum, p287; Sidebottom, p123-24.] Believers affect God"s timetable by our witnessing and our praying as we bring people to Christ (cf. Joshua 10:12-14; 2 Kings 20:1-6; et al.). [Note: Cf. Constable, pp101-6.]

"Clearly this idea of hastening the End is the corollary of the explanation ( 2 Peter 3:9) that God defers the Parousia because he desires Christians to repent. Their repentance and holy living may therefore, from the human standpoint, hasten its coming. This does not detract from God"s sovereignty in determining the time of the End ..., but means only that his sovereign determination graciously takes human affairs into account." [Note: Bauckham, p325.]

The "day of God" may be a reference to the time yet future in which God will be all in all ( 1 Corinthians 15:28). [Note: Gerald B. Stanton, Kept from the Hour, p73; et al.] This will follow the creation of the new heavens and new earth ( Revelation 21:1). On the other hand this phrase may be another way of describing the day of the Lord. [Note: Fanning, p470.] The "day of God" in Revelation 16:14 refers to the time of the battle of Armageddon, which will be at the end of the Tribulation. Consequently I lean toward taking the day of God as another way of referring to the day of the Lord. The antecedent of "on account of which" (NASB) is the day of God. God will burn up the present heavens and earth because of that day (i.e, because the day of the Lord has reached its end).


Verse 13

We look forward to the new heavens and earth, not the destruction of the present heavens and earth. The reason is that the new heavens and earth will be where righteousness dwells. Unrighteousness characterizes the present world (cf. Jeremiah 23:5-7; Jeremiah 33:16; Daniel 9:24; Revelation 21:1; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 21:27). "His promise" of new heavens and earth is in Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; et al.

"Christians need to remember the ultimate, "bottom-line," purpose of biblical eschatology: to make us better Christians here and now." [Note: Moo, p202.]

"The purpose of prophetic truth is not speculation but motivation ..." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:466.]


Verse 14

"These things" probably refers to all of what Peter just finished saying in 2 Peter 3:10-13 rather than to the new world in which righteousness dwells ( 2 Peter 3:13; cf. the "these things" in 2 Peter 3:11). Peter again urged his readers to "diligent" action (cf. 2 Peter 1:5; 2 Peter 1:10). He wanted us to be at peace with God, and the implication is that he expected his readers to be alive when the Lord comes. [Note: Bauckham, p327.] "Spotless" means without defect or defilement (as in a spotless sacrifice, cf. 2 Peter 2:13; 1 Peter 1:19), and "blameless" means without justifiable cause for reproach. The false teachers were stains and blemishes ( 2 Peter 2:13), but believers need to be spotless and blameless.


Verse 15

We should view the Lord"s tarrying as a manifestation of His longsuffering that leads people to repentance and salvation rather than as an indication that He is never coming ( 2 Peter 3:9).

"While God is waiting, He is both giving time for the unbeliever to be saved, and for the believer to be working out his salvation (cf. Philippians 2:12-13) in terms of progress in sanctification." [Note: Wheaton, p1258.]

Peter regarded Paul as a "dear brother" who was one with him in his allegiance to God and His Word. Perhaps Peter had Romans 2:4 in mind when he said Paul wrote the same thing he had just said.


Verse 16

"These things" probably refers generally to future events (cf. 2 Peter 3:11; 2 Peter 3:14) and the importance of Christians living godly lives in view of them (e.g, 1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

"It is not only possible, but probable, that St. Peter received every one of St. Paul"s Epistles within a month or two of its publication. We cannot imagine that one apostle should have remained in ignorance of what other apostles were doing, and it is quite inconceivable that St. Peter should not have read Galatians and I Corinthians." [Note: Bigg, pp300-1.]

If Peter wrote this epistle in A.D67 or68 , it is possible that he could have read every one of Paul"s13inspired epistles. It is somewhat comforting to learn that even the Apostle Peter found some of what Paul wrote hard to understand! Peter also wrote some things in his two epistles that tax our understanding. The "untaught" (Gr. amatheis) are those who had not received teaching concerning all that God had revealed. The "unstable" (Gr. asteriktoi) are those who were not always consistent in their allegiance to God or the world, namely, double-minded, fence-straddling compromisers. These types of people misunderstood and, in some cases, deliberately misrepresented the meaning of Paul"s writings. However this only added to their own guilt before God.

"The verb "distort" (streblousin), occurring only here in the New Testament, means "to twist or wrench," specifically, "to stretch on the rack, to torture" [James Hope Moulton and George Milligan, The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources, p593]. They take Paul"s statements and twist and torture them, like victims on the rack, to force them to say what they want them to say." [Note: Hiebert, "Directives for ...," p335.]

Note that Peter regarded Paul"s writings as having equal authority with the Old Testament Scriptures. This statement reiterates what he said previously about the apostles" teaching being equal with the (Old Testament) prophets" writings ( 2 Peter 1:12-21; 2 Peter 3:2).

"That an Apostle should speak of the writings of a brother-Apostle in the same terms as the books of the Old Testament-viz, as Scripture-need not surprise us, especially when we remember the large claims made by St. Paul for his own words (1Thess. ii13; 2Thess. ii15; Eph. iii3-5. Comp. Acts xv28; Rev. xxii18 , 19)." [Note: Plummer, 8:462.]

"In attempting to destroy the Bible men destroy themselves." [Note: Williams, p111.]


Verse 17

Much of what Peter had written was warning that he summarized here. His appeal was tender throughout this epistle (cf. 2 Peter 3:1; 2 Peter 3:8; 2 Peter 3:14). The threat to his readers was the false teachers (ch2). Peter"s mental picture was of a torrent of false teaching knocking believers off their feet and sweeping them away. The possibility of loss of salvation is not in view, but loss of steadfastness is.

This is the fourth and last time Peter addressed his readers as "beloved" in this chapter, and in each instance he gave them a challenge. He told them to remember ( 2 Peter 3:1-2), to be informed ( 2 Peter 3:8), to be diligent ( 2 Peter 3:14), and to beware.


Verse 17-18

VI. CONCLUSION3:17-18

Peter concluded his epistle with a summary of what he had said and a doxology. He did so to condense his teaching for his readers and to redirect their living to glorify God again.


Verse 18

Next he added a positive exhortation (cf. 2 Peter 1:5-10). Rather than being swept away by error, his audience should keep on growing (present imperative in Greek) in God"s grace. They could do so by consciously depending on His resources (His power and promises, 2 Peter 1:3-4) and by growing in the knowledge (Gr. gnosei) of "our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (cf. 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:2). They could do the latter by getting more intimately acquainted with Him day by day ( 2 Peter 1:5-8).

"Christian knowledge fosters fellowship with God and deepens a consciousness of the believer"s obligation to live a life worthy of His grace." [Note: Hiebert, Second Peter . . ., p178.]

"The command to grow is an appeal to the will. But growth, in the spiritual as in the physical realm, is not produced by an assertion of the will. Yet the human will plays a decisive part in the experience of spiritual growth. Believers must will to remove the hindrances to growth while actively fostering the conditions which promote growth. When the conditions for spiritual growth are maintained the divinely implanted life will assuredly grow and mature....

"Growing knowledge fosters fellowship with God and deepens the consciousness of one"s obligations to lead a life worthy of His grace." [Note: Idem, "Directives for ...," p338.]

Continuing growth ". . . is the unfailing panacea for all spiritual ills." [Note: H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Epistles of Peter, p102.]

"We grow best in a loving family, and this is where the local church comes in. A baby needs a family for protection, provision, and affection. Tests prove that babies who are raised alone, without special love, tend to develop physical and emotional problems very early. The church is God"s "nursery" for the care and feeding of Christians, the God-ordained environment that encourages them to grow." [Note: Wiersbe, 2:471.]

The greatest goal for the Christian should be to glorify Jesus Christ ( 1 Corinthians 10:31). Only four epistles end with a doxology, including this one (cf. Romans 16:25-27; Philippians 4:20; Jude 24-25). Normally doxologies glorify God, but this one and two others glorify Jesus Christ (cf. 2 Timothy 4:18; Revelation 1:5-6). Peter"s final words focused his readers" attention anew on the ultimate priority of glorifying Christ. The day of eternity is the time when we will be living on the new earth ( 2 Peter 3:13).

 


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Bibliography Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 2 Peter 3:4". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/2-peter-3.html. 2012.

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