free while helping to build churches and support pastors in Uganda.
Click here to learn more!
"Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained like precious faith with us." 2Pe 1:1
What a thought it is, that if you and I possess one grain of living faith, the same precious grace is in our hearts that was in the hearts of all the saints of God, from Abel the first martyr, in all the saints of the Old Testament, in all the prophets, and martyrs, and servants and apostles of God; and will exist in the bosom of every saint down to the remotest period of time. There is but "one faith," as there is "one God, one Lord, and one baptism;" and it is by the possession of this "like precious faith" that all the family of God are knit together into one glorious body, of which the Lord Jesus Christ is the risen Head. You, in yourself, may be very poor and needy, for faith makes us to feel our poverty and need; you may think and feel yourself unworthy of the least notice of God’s favoring eye; but if the blessed Spirit has raised up one grain of living faith in your soul, you stand on the same holy platform with saints, apostles, prophets, and martyrs, and you are as much "accepted in the Beloved," as much loved of God, and as much a member of the mystical body of Christ, as though you were the Apostle Peter, Paul, Enoch, Abel, Isaiah, or any of the prophets.
"Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord." 2Pe 1:2
If we do not know Jesus for ourselves, by some spiritual discovery of his Person and work, what testimony have we of a saving interest in his grace? Because, there is no grace except that which flows through him, for "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." This is what we should ever labor after.
Our daily, hourly desire and prayer should be, to have spiritual discoveries of Christ; to see him by the eye of faith; to enter into his glorious Person and finished work; to realize his presence, taste his love, and know him and the power of his resurrection. This is what Paul so earnestly labored after (Php 3:10); and for the excellency of this knowledge he suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but dung that he might win Christ. To know him as our Surety and Sin-bearer, our Advocate and Intercessor, our Friend, Husband, and Brother; to know our saving interest in him, and our union with him; our place in his heart, our name on his breast, our memorial on the palms of his hands—what can surpass the blessedness of such a knowledge as this?
Through this spiritual, experimental knowledge of him, grace flows. As a watercourse opening upon a river brings down its irrigating stream into the parched meadow, so a knowledge of Christ opens up a channel through which the grace that is in him flows into the barren, parched soul. Thus, as through grace alone we know him, so every fresh communication of grace not only makes him better known, but flows in through that very knowledge.
The grace that comes through this knowledge of him brings also peace; for he is "our peace." He has "broken down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of two, one new man, so making peace." He, therefore, came and preached peace "to those who were afar off and to those who were near." His blood speaks peace to a guilty conscience; his voice says peace to the winds and waves of the surging heart; his last legacy was, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you;" his dying promise was, "In me you shall have peace;" and, as the Prince of peace at God’s right hand, he is able to fill us with "all joy and peace in believing," for his kingdom is "righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." And thus, through a knowledge of him as our Lord, "grace and peace" are both "multiplied."
"Therefore brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things, you shall never fall." —2Pe 1:10
Have you any testimony to your effectual calling? Has grace indeed laid hold of your heart? O that you might know more fully—more powerfully—what a blessed hope of eternal life is laid up in the bosom of this heavenly calling, that it might cheer and encourage you to press on more and more to realize all that is given you in Christ, both for here and hereafter, in present grace and in future glory! In knowing what is the hope of their effectual calling, the saints of God learn that this hope embraces all things which are made theirs in Christ, whether life or death, or things present or things to come, that all are theirs; and for this blessed and all-sufficient reason, that they are Christ’s and Christ is God’s. It is by making sure our calling that we make sure our election—for the one is the sure evidence of the other; and thus, if doubt and uncertainty hang over our calling, the same doubt and uncertainty must rest upon our election to eternal life. But as these doubts and fears are removed by the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Christ, and we can clearly see and fully believe that the grace of God effectually called us out of darkness into his marvelous light, then we see by faith what is laid up in the bosom of this calling, and what a glorious hope of eternal life is thereby afforded as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and thus abound in hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
"Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." 2Pe 1:10-11
I believe many of God’s people, if not most, have much ado to "make their calling and election sure." They are not a people to take things for granted; they cannot sit at ease and say, "I have no doubt that I am a child of God;" they need something powerful, something applied, something spoken by the mouth of God himself; and short of that, they must be exercised with doubts and fears as to their state before him. Now let conscience speak; let us turn over the leaves of conscience. What says that faithful witness? Has God spoken with power to your soul? Has he pardoned your sins? Has he given you a sweet testimony of your saving interest in the Son of his love? Say you, "Why, I do not know that I can say all that, I do not know that God has pardoned my sins."
Well, we will come a little lower then; if you cannot say that, we will take a little lower ground; can you say that you are sighing and groaning and crying at times, not always, but as the Lord works in you, for the sweet manifestations of Jesus’ love to your souls? Here is a door open for you, the door of hope in the valley of Achor. Can you come in here? Well, these are marks of being one of God’s peculiar people. But you cannot be satisfied, short of God himself making it known to you; you need an immediate testimony from his blessed mouth, and nothing but that can satisfy you, and when he sheds abroad his love in your soul, it will give you peace and comfort, and nothing short of that can.
"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto you do well that you take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts." 2Pe 1:19
The "sure word of prophecy" is the mind of God revealed in the Scripture of truth. This is compared to "a light shining in a dark place." This "dark place" is the heart of man, and a dark place it is; and the light shining in the dark place is when the Spirit of God pours his own heavenly light into the dark heart. The Spirit of God works by the word of God. He makes use of the Scriptures of truth, by means of these blessed Scriptures to communicate light. There is no light in the Scriptures themselves; they cannot teach a man to profit, that being God’s prerogative. They are a dead letter, nothing but a collection of words and syllables; there is no light in them, no, not a particle, but what the Spirit of God throws upon them when he shines through them.
I might compare the Scriptures to the moon—the moon has no light in herself, but she borrows all her light from the sun—blot out the sun from the sky, and the moon would cease to shine. Or I might compare the Scriptures to what James compares them—"If any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass." Here the Scriptures are compared to a mirror, or looking-glass. But light must shine upon the glass. Of what use is a looking-glass in a dark night? It reflects no image; it presents to you no likeness; you discern not your features therein; it might be nothing else but a naked board, as far as any reflection it gives of your face. But let light come into the room, or let the sun rise and shine upon it, and your countenance is reflected therein. So with the word of God; it is utterly ineffectual until the Spirit shines upon it; and when he shines upon it, he casts at the same time a ray of light into your heart; and as he shines with this twofold ray, first upon the word, and then into your soul, he reflects from the word your very image, and you see yourself just as you are, clearly portrayed. Now this is the light shining in a dark place; the light of God’s truth shining into your dark heart. This becomes "a sure word" to you; faith is raised up in your heart to credit what God has revealed; the shining in of this light into the dark place causes you to believe; and you, believing in the light which is thus come into your dark heart, receive the word of prophecy as a sure word.
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man—but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." 2Pe 1:20-21
The Bible is put into our hands as a revelation from God. As such we have received it from our fathers. As such, and as such only, does it claim our attention and our obedience. If it is not the word of God—we speak with reverence—it is an imposture. Now, if we can but firmly establish the necessity of a revelation from God, we have laid a strong foundation for a belief that the Bible is that revelation; for no other is worth a moment’s examination. This argument from necessity, then, is very strong—stronger, perhaps, than it at first appears, and as extensive in application as firm in strength. To feel the force of this argument, cast your eyes for a few moments over creation, and see what a provision has been made everywhere by its All-wise and All-powerful Creator for necessity. From man, at the head of creation, down to the lowest organized structure, there is not a necessity for which provision has not been made, and that in exact proportion to its needs. You yourself came into this world a poor, naked, helpless infant, full of necessities, and must have perished from the womb unless provision had been made for them. Who filled for you your mother’s breast with milk and your mother’s heart with love?
But you have a soul as well as a body—no less naked, no less necessitous. Shall, then, the body have its necessities, and these be provided for, and shall the soul have its necessities too, and for these there be no provision made? Is there no milk for the soul as well as for the body? no "sincere milk of the word that it may grow thereby?" The craving after God felt by every new-born soul, the eagerness with which it flies at once to get comfort and instruction from the word, the holy joy with which it hails every ray of heavenly light that shines on its dark path, evidently show how deep the necessity of a divine revelation is laid in the relationship between man and his Maker.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Philpot, Joseph Charles. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1". Philpot's Commentary on select texts of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany