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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

2 Peter 1

Verse 1


From Simon Peter. As Simon, son of John, he lived his life in Judaism, until Jesus called him to catch men! Christ gave him the name of “Peter” (John 1:42). A servant. 2 Corinthians 4:5 and note. Apostle. See note on 1 Peter 1:1. To those. Peter does not give the names of the churches or Christians he writes to, but in 2 Peter 3:1 he mentions this is his second letter to them. Therefore, this Letter is addressed to those same churches mentioned in 1 Peter 1:1. Have been given a faith. Without the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, faith would be an impossibility!!! Then it is correct to say that Christians have been given a faith, in the sense of Acts 11:18. The Holy Spirit PRODUCES faith through the message of the Good News (Romans 10:17). It is God’s finished work in Christ that we reach out through faith to seize!

Verse 2


May grace and peace. This is God’s blessing through Christ to all who believe. Through your knowledge. See John 8:32 and note.

Verse 3


Has given us everything. God’s divine power gave to the apostles (and through them to us) the COMPLETE MESSAGE (Jude 1:3) which makes it possible to share His own glory and goodness!!! This means we need no new revelation, no voice of the living church, no tradition. The Bible and the Bible only is the Christian’s objective and infallible rule of faith and practice, alone sufficient that he may be established in the present truth (2 Peter 1:12).

Verse 4


In this way. “He has created faith and hope in us by giving us these precious promises!” [Johnson refers “In this way” to his own glory and goodness.] By means of these gifts. “So that you might reach out through faith to seize these things to make yourself part of them. Through your union with Christ, you may share the divine nature, and escape from destructive lust (1 Peter 4:2-5).”

Verse 5


For this very reason. “Because God has called us to share his own glory and goodness.” Peter teaches a practical religion which grows out of spiritual motives. Christians must cooperate actively with God, to build new characters as his children. Do your best to add. These qualities are not stair-steps, where you progress from one to the next. The idea is: in addition to your faith, seize goodness; in addition to your faith and goodness, seize knowledge; etc. The Expositor’s Greek Testament says: “Faith is not only illumination but character.” Faith. See James 2:19 and note. Goodness. Moral purity and ethical conduct. Knowledge. Understanding the mind of Christ revealed in the Scriptures. There can be no substitute for studying God’s word.

Verse 6


Self-control. See Romans 8:9 and note, Not asceticism, but self-discipline. Endurance. The active quality of holding firmly to the promises of Christ, confident that God rules and rewards! Godliness. Practical godliness. The life-style that grows out of a strong desire to be godlike in conduct. See Ephesians 4:22-24 and notes.

Verse 7


Brotherly love. See 1 John 4:19-21 and notes. Love, AGAPE. We see the kind of love which God and Christ showed to us in Christ-on-the-cross, and then we use this love in our relationship with everyone else! Only in this way will we fulfill the command to love our enemies. AGAPE makes it possible to love someone you do not like!!!

Verse 8


These. All of these together!!! You need. These are to become an integral part of Christian character. They will make you. “When your life is activated by these good qualities they will make you active and effective in your knowledge of the higher life of the Spirit!” Lipscomb says: “Either one abounds in good works, or his life is idle and fruitless. There is no alternative.”

Verse 9


But whoever. “The one who does not seize for himself and make an integral part of his life these qualities and attitudes I have mentioned, is purposely making himself blind to the truth of Christ, and making himself forget the promise to be holy he made to God in his baptism (1 Peter 3:21)!

Verse 10


So then. “Because some may forget their promise to God, you must try even harder to make these good qualities an integral part of your life.” To make. POIEISTHAI = to make or to do for one’s self. God’s call and his choice. See 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14 and notes. A permanent experience. It is impossible to avoid the human element in God’s call and his choice! Peter’s explanation is: If you do so, you will never fall away. [MacKnight thinks Peter has in mind the falling away and rejection of the Jews as a nation and the loss of their favored position as God’s people (Romans 11:11 and note).]

Verse 11


You will be given the full right. The one who does what 2 Peter 1:10 says to do and does not fall away, will receive from God the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom. Note that Christians are in the Kingdom now (Colossians 1:13), but eternal Kingdom refers to the time when Christ hands it over to the Father (1 Corinthians 15:23-24). The Church Militant becomes the Church Triumphant!!!

Verse 12


For this reason. “So that you will make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience and be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom, I always remind you of the TRUTH of the historical Christ, which you already know. You must make your faith perfect through your actions, as Abraham did (James 2:22).” Contrast 2 Peter 1:16.

Verse 13


I think it only right. Peter seems to apologize for writing this second letter so soon. But he expects to die very soon (2 Peter 1:14), and he wants to do as much as possible to make them stand firm in the truth. Compare Acts 20:31.

Verse 14


I know. See John 13:36; John 21:18-19. Traditional history of the early church places Peter at Rome during the last year of his life, and says that he was crucified upside down. If, as some think, Paul had already been executed, Peter would not need a special revelation from God to know that the time of his death was near!

Verse 15


A way for you to remember. By putting His word in a written form, God (working through Peter and the other writers) gave mankind a magic door through which they may come again and again to learn God’s truth and to be reminded of all the facts of the Good News which was given to the apostles!! Even though Peter and the other writers have been dead these many years, yet they still speak to us on the pages of Scripture!!!

Verse 16


We have not. See 1 Timothy 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:7; Titus 1:14. Peter points to the real, historical Christ Jesus. Mighty coming. This must be the First Coming, since: (1) the context speaks of history; (2) PAROUSIA simply means coming, arrival, and is a non-technical word. Without the First Coming, there could be no Second Coming. Peter says we saw!!! Compare 1 John 1:1-4.

Verse 17


We were there. See Matthew 17:1-8 and notes. Peter, James, and John were there when Jesus was transfigured. Peter points to this event as PROOF of the truth of the Good News!!! And certainly the transfiguration is also a GUARANTEE of the Second Coming!!!

Verse 18


We ourselves heard. Lumby says: “We learn here why the Apostles were taken with Jesus to witness His transfiguration. . . . He, and the rest with him, felt no doubt, that such a death as Jesus had spoken of would be, humanly speaking, the ruin of their hopes. . . . They heard that He who was to die was the very Son of God. The voice came from the glory of heaven; and from henceforth their hearts were still, even Peter’s voice being less heard than before. . . . God’s voice had been heard there attesting the Divinity of their Lord and Master; the place whereon they had thus stood was for evermore holy ground.”

Verse 19


Even more confident. Johnson says: “No class of evidence had more power with Jews than to show them that Jesus was the Christ (Messiah) of whom the prophets spoke.” The things mentioned in 2 Peter 1:16-18 make Peter and the others even more confident in the message proclaimed by the Old Testament prophets. This also gives us more confidence in the message of the Good News, especially the fact that Jesus is Coming Again!!! Until the Day dawns. MacKnight says; “Until the Day of Judgment dawns, and Christ, surrounded with the glory of the Father, appears like the morning-star, which, by assuring you of his coming, may be said to arise (shine) in your hearts. “See Revelation 22:16-17.

Verse 20


Above all else. The false teachers, whom Peter warns against, used made-up legends to interpret the prophecies, and even the Good News. Peter explains more about this in chapter 2. The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament! Therefore the interpretation placed on it by Christ and his apostles must be the standard or norm of its true meaning!!! For examples of this, see Acts 2:16-17; Acts 13:32-33; Acts 15:14-18. [This can also be taken as the NIV does. Johnson says: “It is not an interpretation of the knowledge and feelings of the prophet, but of the will of God.”]

Verse 21


For no prophetic message. MacKnight says: “For never, either anciently or lately, was prophecy uttered by the will of the prophet, but the holy prophets of God spoke their prophecies, being inspired by the Holy Spirit: So that the prophecies recorded in the scriptures are not the words of men, but of God,” He also says: “Not, however, like the heathen priestesses, by the agency of evil spirits, who deprived them of the exercise of their faculties (senses), but by the inspiration of the Spirit of God, during which they had the entire use of their rational powers (1 Corinthians 14:32).”

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.