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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
2 Peter 1

 

 


Other Authors
Verse 1-2

Salutation - In 2 Peter 1:1-2 the author gives a customary salutation to his readers. Within these two verses we find the theme of this Epistle, which is the believer's perseverance against false doctrines by the office and ministry of God the Father. We have emphasis placed upon the Father's role in our election in 2 Peter 1:1, and our response by growing in the knowledge of Jesus seen in 2 Peter 1:2. Significantly, God the Father has provided His Word of promise, and we are to understand His Word in our minds so that we can choose to persevere.

A Comparison of the Recipients within the Salutation of the Petrine and Pauline Epistles- The apostle Peter does not use the phrase "saints" in his salutations as does Paul the apostle, whom he mentions in his second epistle ( 2 Peter 3:15). The reason may result from the fact that Peter did not have the same revelation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that was given to Paul the apostle, whose epistles laid down the doctrines of the New Testament Church and which describes the identity of every believer in Christ as "saints" before God. Instead, Peter addresses his recipients as "elect" ( 1 Peter 1:1) and as "those of like precious faith" ( 2 Peter 1:1). Peter does not appear to make as much of a distinction between the Jew and the New Testament Church with these phrases. For example, the Jews understood that the nation of Israel was God's elect, so Peter defines this divine election in light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in his opening salutation ( 1 Peter 1:1-2). Also, the Jews had faith in God as well as the New Testament believers, so Peter defines this faith in God in light of the redemptive work of Jesus Christ ( 2 Peter 1:1-2). Both Jew and Christian believe in the same God, but the Christian's knowledge of God has been greatly enlightened through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Messiah ( 2 Peter 1:2).

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

2 Peter 1:1 — "Simon Peter" - Comments- The name συμεὼ ν πέ τρος has a variant reading in some Greek manuscripts of σίμων πέ τρος, with συμεὼ ν (Simeon) being Peter's Jewish (Semitic) name שׁמעון, and σίμων (Simon) its Hellenistic (Greek) form. This variation occurs because Peter's Semitic name συμεὼ ν occurs only twice in the New Testament ( Acts 15:14, 2 Peter 1:1), while the apostle is called by the Greek form of his name σίμων approximately fifty times. The early Church fathers consistently used the name σίμων. 75]

75] Richard J. Bauckham, Jude , 2Peter, in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 50 (Dallas, Texas: Word, Incorporated, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on 2Peter .

Acts 15:14, "Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name."

2 Peter 1:1 — "a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ" - Comments- In the phrase "a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ" the author declares himself as one of the twelve apostles, which apostolic authority is clearly reflected throughout the first and second epistles of Peter.

2 Peter 1:1 — "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us" - Word Study on "obtained" - BDAG translates the Greek word λαγχά νω (G 2975) to mean, "to be appointed or chosen by lot." This Greek word is used 4times in the New Testament ( Luke 1:9. John 19:24, Acts 1:17, 2 Peter 1:1), being translated in the KJV as "obtain 2, be (one"s) lot 1, cast lots 1."

Luke 1:9, "According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord."

John 19:24, "They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did."

Acts 1:17, "For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry."

Word Study on "like precious" - BDAG translates the phrase "like precious," to mean, "equal in value" and "the same kind." Thayer says, "equally precious, equally honored."

Comments- Many different types of faiths, or doctrines, in God exist today, but only one is the precious saving faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. As mightily God was working in and through Peter and the apostles, our faith is just as precious and honored in God's eyes. God is willing to honor and move in our lives, as we trust Him, just as He did for those early apostles. Note in 1 Timothy 1:12-17 that Paul the apostle was saved as an example of God"s longsuffering towards mankind.

Comments- The phrase "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us" is unique to the New Testament. Peter uses a verb that means these believers had received their faith by divine allotment, perhaps alluding to the divine allotment of land given to the twelve tribes of Israel during the time of the conquest of Canaan by Joshua. However, theirs is a spiritual inheritance. It places emphasis upon their divine election by God the Father, in contrast to pointing out their role in accepting Christ to receive salvation.

This epistle is clearly addressed to those who have been born again through faith in Christ Jesus, and washed clean in His precious blood. It will be important to note that all New Testament epistles are addressed to regenerated believers, and not to the lost, whether Jew or Gentile.

Since Peter will confront false teachers in the second chapter he opens his epistle by establishing the fact that there is a genuine faith in Christ that is precious and valuable, one that believers must strive to maintain in the midst of other false doctrines infiltrating the churches.

2 Peter 1:1 — "through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" - Comments- Peter emphasizes in his opening verse of 2Peter that God's standard of righteousness is impartial to everyone. God respects no person in His will to redeem and bless mankind. This is why Peter says that through God's righteousness all believers have obtained like precious faith.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

2 Peter 1:2 — "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you" - Comments (1) - J. Vernon McGee says that the word "grace" in Paul's greetings was a formal greeting used in Greek letters of his day, while the word "peace" was the customary Jewish greeting. 76] Thus, Paul would be addressing both Greeks and Jews. However, Paul uses these same two words in his epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon , which weakens the idea that Paul intended to make such a distinction between two ethnic groups when using "grace" and "peace." James Denny explains the relationship of these two words as a cause and effect. He says that grace is God's unmerited favor upon mankind, and the peace is the result of receiving His grace and forgiveness of sins. 77] Charles Simeon says phrase "‘grace and peace' comprehended all the blessings of the Gospel." 78]

76] J. Vernon McGee, The Epistle to the Romans , in Thru the Bible With J. Vernon McGee (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub, 1998), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Romans 1:1.

77] James Denney, The Epistles to the Thessalonians, in The Expositor's Bible, eds. William R. Nicoll and Oscar L. Joseph (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, n.d.), 15-16.

78] Charles Simeon, 2 Peter , in Horae Homileticae, vol 20: James to Jude (London: Holdsworth and Ball, 1833), 285.

Comments (2) - In a similar way that the early apostles were instructed by Jesus to let their peace come upon the home of their host ( Matthew 10:13), so did Paul the apostle open every one of his thirteen New Testament epistles with a blessing of God's peace and grace upon his readers. Matthew 10:13 shows that you can bless a house by speaking God"s peace upon it.

Matthew 10:13, "And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you."

This practice of speaking blessings upon God's children may have its roots in the Priestly blessing of Numbers 6:22-27, where God instructed Moses to have the priests speak a blessing upon the children of Israel. We see in Ruth 2:4 that this blessing became a part of the Jewish culture when greeting people. Boaz blessed his workers in the field and his reapers replied with a blessing.

Ruth 2:4, "And, behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem, and said unto the reapers, The LORD be with you. And they answered him, The LORD bless thee."

We also see this practiced by the king in 2 Samuel 15:20 where David says, "mercy and truth be with thee."

2 Samuel 15:20, "Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee."

Thus, this word of blessing was a part of the Hebrew and Jewish culture. This provides us the background as to why Paul was speaking a blessing upon the church at Ephesus, especially that God would grant them more of His grace and abiding peace that they would have otherwise not known. In faith, we too, can receive this same blessing into our lives. Paul actually pronounces and invokes a blessing of divine grace and peace upon his readers with these words, "Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ." I do not believe this blessing is unconditional, but rather conditional. In other words, it is based upon the response of his hearers. The more they obey these divine truths laid forth in this epistle, the more God's grace and peace is multiplied in their lives. We recall how the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, with six tribes standing upon Mount Gerizim to bless the people and six tribes upon Mount Ebal to curse the disobedient ( Deuteronomy 27:11-26). Thus, the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28:1-68 were placed upon the land. All who obeyed the Law received these blessings, and all who disobeyed received this list of curses. In the same way, Paul invokes a blessing into the body of Christ for all who will hearken unto the divine truths of this epistle.

We see this obligation of the recipients in translation of Beck, "As you know God and our Lord Jesus, may you enjoy more and more of His love and peace." ( 2 Peter 1:2)

2 Peter 1:2"through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" - Comments- We first experienced God's grace and peace through the knowledge of Jesus as our Saviour ( John 17:3). Through this growing knowledge of our Saviour, God's grace and peace are multiplied towards us. We grow in this knowledge through partaking of His Word. This idea is continued in the next verse, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue."

John 17:3, "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent."


Verse 3-4

We Partake of His Divine Nature through the Promises of His Word - Peter will emphasize the Father's role in our election ( 2 Peter 1:3-4) by first explaining how His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3), by which He has given unto us great and precious promises ( 2 Peter 1:4).

2 Peter 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

2 Peter 1:3 — "According as his divine power" - Comments- God the Father's divine power is imparted unto us through the working of the Holy Spirit that indwells us.

Scripture References- Note similar verses:

Ephesians 3:16, "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;"

Ephesians 3:20, "Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,"

2 Peter 1:3 — "hath given unto us" - Comments- Notice that the verb is past tense in the Greek text, which is called the perfect tense. Dana and Mantey say, "The perfect is the tense of complete action…That Isaiah , it views action as a finished product." 79] If this is the case, then 2 Peter 1:3 tells us God has already made provision for everything we need in our lives regarding "life and godliness." We must then ask the question, "What is my role in receiving and walking in this abundant life and godly character?" The message in 2Peter is designed to answer this question for us.

79] H. E. Dana and Julius R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament (London: The MacMillan Company, c 1927, 1955), 200.

2 Peter 1:3"all things that pertain unto life and godliness" - Comments- God has provided everything we need to live an abundant life with a godly character. This abundant life includes peace of mind, health, financial prosperity, and wisdom in our relationships with others. Abundant life encompasses every area of our lives. These things become a part of our lives through the growing knowledge of God's Word.

2 Peter 1:3 — "through the knowledge of Him" - Comments- We must get to know God the Father and Jesus Christ His son through God's Word and through fellowship with Him in prayer. This epistle closes by exhorting us to grow in this grace and knowledge in order not to fall ( 2 Peter 3:17-18).

2 Peter 3:17-18, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

There is a place and a season in a believer's life for miracles and deliverance; but we must not neglect the important aspect of daily Christian growth and development through the knowledge of God and His ways, which come through His Word. In other words, a miracle does not make us partakers of His divine nature, as we note how the children of Israel were delivered from Egyptian bondage, and turned to worship a golden calf in the wilderness. Second Peter will say that through Christian growth we are brought into conformity with his divine nature. This maturity and strength of divine character is what gives us the wisdom to escape from the corruption the world system that binds the unrepentant world. We may have been marvelously set free from bondages of sin at conversion; but it is by applying God's Word to our lives that we are able to stay free and avoid being entangled again, as noted in 2 Peter 2:20 (see also Galatians 5:1, 2 Timothy 2:4).

2 Peter 2:20, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."

Galatians 5:1, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."

2 Timothy 2:4, "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier."

2 Peter 1:3 — "that hath called us"- Comments- God has a destiny for each one of us. He had called each one of us and has a plan for our lives. It is now up to us to appropriate His heavenly provision that is now available to every human being through faith in Christ Jesus in order to accomplish this plan for our individual lives.

2 Peter 1:3 — "to glory and virtue" - Comments- The phrase "to glory and virtue" in 2 Peter 1:3 has some textual variations in the many ancient Greek manuscripts.

1. Instrumental Case- Some ancient manuscripts read ιδια δοξη και αρετη (by his own glory and goodness) (ASV, NIV), making the words instrumental of means as its case (A. T. Robertson). 80] Thus, we understand that by the means of His divine character He has been able to call us and elect us.

80] A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (New York: Hodder and Stoughton, 1914), 532-533.

2. Dative Case - Many translations translate the phrase using the dative case, "to his own glory and excellence" (RSV, KJV). With the dative we understand this phrase to mean that the Father has called us to partake of His glory and same virtuous character.

3. Genitive Case- Some ancient manuscripts read δια δοξης και αρετης (through glory and worthiness) (YLT), making the words genitive in case. With this reading we understand the phrase to say that it is by, or through, His glory and virtue He has chosen to give us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Edwin A. Blum renders it to mean that God is revealing His "spendor" ( δό ξα) and "moral excellence" ( ἀ ρετή) through the work of redemption for mankind. 81]

81] Edwin A. Blum, 2 Peter , in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 12, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, and Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House, 1976-1992), in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), "Introduction."

This is the reason for so many variations in leading modern English translations listed below:

ASV, "by his own glory and virtue"

KJV, "to glory and virtue"

NIV, "by his own glory and goodness"

RSV, "to his own glory and excellence"

YLT, "through glory and worthiness"

Peter refers to this glory in his earlier epistle as "His marvelous light" ( 1 Peter 2:9).

1 Peter 2:9, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"

We find a similar statement in 2 Timothy 1:9, "called us…according to his own purpose and grace."

2 Timothy 1:9, "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"

Daniel Whitby says the word "glory" can refer to the manifest presence of the Holy Ghost, and interprets the word "virtue" as the miracle working "power" of God in confirming His Word preached. 82] This phrase then becomes similar to Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 2:4, "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man"s Wisdom of Solomon , but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power."

82] Daniel Whitby, A Commentary on the Gospels and Epistles, in A Critical Commentary and Paraphrase on Old and New Testament and the Apocrypha, vol 4, ed. R. J. Pitman (Philadelphia: Cary and Hart, 1845), 1973; Deissmann, in The Century Bible.

A more practical comment from W. H. Bennett says the word "virtue" is used in the LXX "to translate the words meaning ‘glory' and ‘praiseworthiness'." He suggests that Peter is using "glory and virtue" as synonyms. 83]

83] W. H. Bennett, ed. The General Epistles: James , Peter, John and Jude , in The Century Bible: A Modern Commentary, vol 17, ed. W. F. Adeney (London: The Caxton Publishing Company, n.d.), 260.

2 Peter 1:3Comments - 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God has supplied everything we need to live an abundant life through our knowledge and understanding of His Word. We know from Romans 8:28-30 that God has predestined us to be conformed to the image of His Son. 2 Peter 1:3 makes a similar statement, "through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue," as a way of placing emphasis on the process of transformation into the image of His Son Jesus Christ. This transformation takes place as we partake of His Word.

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

2 Peter 1:4 — "Whereby" - Comments- Many scholars understand the Greek phrase δι᾿ ὧν to refer back to "glory and virtue." The context of this passage suggests that this prepositional phrase refers to the entire phrase "him that hath called us to glory and virtue," so that it is because God has called us to glory and virtue, He has also provided us the means to acquire spiritual maturity through appropriating His exceeding great and precious promises.

2 Peter 1:4 — "are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises" - Comments- The idea of God the Father providing us promises reflects His active, rather than passive, role of divine election in our lives. In other words, He planned all things and made provision for us before the foundation of the world, so that we could be conformed to His divine nature. In contrast, 1John uses the phrase "Word of life" to reflect the role of Jesus Christ in our redemption. It is also important to note that God's grace and peace are sustained in our lives as we appropriate our faith in His Word, which contain these "great and precious promises." Our efforts are amplified in the following verses 2 Peter 1:5-7, which explain how we are to actively add to our faith God's divine nature as we grow in the knowledge and wisdom of God's ways.

2 Peter 1:4 — "that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature" - Comments- The phrase "divine nature" means taking on a God-like or Christ-like personality and character. Note that we can be saved and still not have these characteristics in our lives. This is why the verb is in the subjunctive mood, the mood of potentiality, rather than certainty. In other words, we now have the potential to partake of God's divine nature. Now, through God's promises, i.e, His Word, we can renew our mind and present our bodies to serve God so that we can become more and more like Him. Then the three-fold man can become like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is a choice that we must make on a daily basis.

According to the Scriptures, we are created in God's image, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." ( Genesis 1:27) We reflect divinity in our three-fold make-up of spirit, soul and body ( Deuteronomy 6:4-5). It is for this reason that the Scriptures call us "gods," "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." ( Psalm 82:6, John 10:34-35) Since the time of the Fall, the depraved nature of mankind has separated him from God. Therefore, Jesus redeemed mankind, so that his spirit can be reborn, which then allows him to go through the process of sanctification, that allows him again to partake of the divine nature, which was God's original intent and purpose in creating man.

We initially of God's divine nature in our spirit when we are born again into God"s likeness. But our soul and body have to develop into God's divine nature or likeness. By partaking of God's divine nature, it means that we become like Jesus, growing into godly love ( 2 Peter 1:7). Thus, 2 Peter 1:5-7 will describe the process of partaking of His divine nature.

Scripture References- Note other Scriptures that reflect the believer's need to partake of God's divine nature:

Ephesians 4:24, "And that ye put on the new Prayer of Manasseh , which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Hebrews 12:10, "For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness."

2 Peter 1:4 — "having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" - Comments- The word "corruption" means, "ruin, destruction." The reason that this world is corrupt is because of lust. I live as a missionary in Uganda, East Africa. Many of these African cultures have large-scale corruption problems, so much so that the international financial organizations that have been created to help underdeveloped nations cannot even help; because so much financial aid is diverted into individual pockets. Corruption leads to ruin and destruction.

2 Peter 1:4Comments- The underlying theme of the epistle of 2Peter is the perseverance of the saints from false doctrines, so that we overcome through the true and living Word of God. We see 2 Peter 1:4 telling us that His "exceeding great and precious promises" are our way of overcoming, or persevering as we partake of His divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world.

Note another reference to the divine promises:

2 Corinthians 7:1, "Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."

Note another reference to putting off our corrupt nature and partaking of these promises by putting on the new man:

Ephesians 4:22-24, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old Prayer of Manasseh , which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new Prayer of Manasseh , which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Peter will discuss at length in 2 Peter 2:1-22 the character of those false teachers who attempt to lure unstable believers back into lusts and the corruption of this world.


Verses 3-15

Foreknowledge: The Role of the God the Father's Foreknowledge in Our Divine Calling and Election - The epistle of 2Peter will focus upon the role of God the Father in our divine election, and more particularly, in our perseverance through the knowledge of His Word. 2 Peter 1:3-15 reveals the role of God the Father in providing His Word to us in order to secure our election. The central message of 2 Peter 1:3-15 is the apostle' call for every believer "to make his calling and election sure" ( 2 Peter 1:10), which is accomplished by "partaking of His divine nature" through His "exceeding great and precious promises" ( 2 Peter 1:4). God has given us His Word so that we secure our election. As we partake of His Word, our lives will follow the course of developing the virtues outlined in 2 Peter 1:5-7. This passage reflects the underlying themes of 2Peter by expounding upon the believer's calling and election through the foreknowledge of God the Father. Peter will emphasize the Father's role in our election ( 2 Peter 1:3-4) by first explaining how His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness ( 2 Peter 1:3), by which He has given unto us great and precious promises ( 2 Peter 1:4). This emphasis is reflected in the opening salutation, "it is by His righteousness that we have been obtained "like precious faith" ( 2 Peter 1:1). He will then emphasize our role in responding to this calling and election by growing in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ ( 2 Peter 1:5-11), which is initially reflected in the salutation, "through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord" ( 2 Peter 1:2). Peter then discusses his soon departure from this earth foreordained by God the Father and his effort to write this epistle to leave the Church with divine instructions on becoming established in God's Word ( 2 Peter 1:12-15). Peter tells us that through His divine election the Father makes provision for our perseverance through His "exceeding great and precious promises" ( 2 Peter 1:4), to which we must believe and follow.

We find the foundational theme of the perseverance of the saints emphasized within this introductory passage of 2Peter when it says, "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness," ( 2 Peter 1:3). In other words, Peter is going to write about God's plan for the believer to persevere unto life and godliness. The epistle's secondary theme of persevering against false doctrine through the knowledge of God is also emphasized in the phrases, "through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord," ( 2 Peter 1:2) and "through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue," ( 2 Peter 1:3). Thus, we immediately see the message of this Epistle telling us how to persevere and overcome false doctrine through the knowledge of God.

In addition, we note that this passage of Scripture places emphasis upon man's mental realm of understanding, since our role is to grow in the knowledge of God by partaking of His divine character. This emphasis of our mind is contrasted to 1John, which emphasizes our way of overcoming false doctrine through a pure heart; and Jude's epistle emphasizes overcoming through a godly lifestyle, or our physical actions.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. We Partake of His Divine Nature through the Promises of His Word — 2 Peter 1:3-4

2. How to Become Partakers of His Divine Nature — 2 Peter 1:5-11

3. Peter's Impending Departure: The Occasion of His Writing — 2 Peter 1:12-15

Steps to Godliness - 2 Peter 1:3-11 gives us steps that we can take in order to ensure our entrance into Heaven. We find out that by pursuing the knowledge of God's Word we are able to become partakers of His divine nature and escape the corruption of this world. We can find a similar passage in Proverbs 4:1-27 which tells us that as we partake of God's Word we are able to transform our hearts ( Proverbs 4:1-9) renew our minds ( Proverbs 4:10-19) and direct our bodies ( Proverbs 4:20-27) towards godliness.


Verses 5-11

How to Become Partakers of His Divine Nature - 2 Peter 1:5-11 gives us a list of virtues that characterizes our Christian grown as we strive to become "partakers of His divine nature"( 2 Peter 1:4) by making our "calling and election sure" ( 2 Peter 1:10). The eight virtues listed here are faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness and love. Note that our faith is the basic ingredient, or the foundation, that supports our growth upon which all other virtues are laid. If we are going to have anything in the Kingdom of God, we must start with our faith in God's Word for that area of our lives. The last virtue listed is love, which means that our objective is to walk in the god-kind of love towards others. Peter will confront false teachers shortly in this epistle; but first he lays down these virtues as a foundation for his argument against them, showing that the love walk is the ultimate goal of every believer.

These divine virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7 reflect the Father's redemptive plan for every believer.

faith — necessary for justification

virtue — necessary for beginning the process of sanctification

knowledge — necessary for indoctrination

temperance — necessary for divine service

patience — necessary for perseverance

godliness — glorification

brotherly kindness — glorification

love — glorification

However, they are described from the perspective of our mental development in God's Word as a "shield" to endure false doctrine and as necessary virtues to development a Christ-like character. Therefore, 2 Peter 1:8 says we will not be unfruitful if we pursue this spiritual journey.

Illustration- When I hire an employee, I expect him or her to learn the duties of the job. If I hire a marketing agent, there is great potential for him to make money and become a success, just as Peter states that there are many promises in God's Word available for us to prosper. In the phrase "giving all diligence," Peter is asking us to apply the same zeal that we received at the time of salvation to our growth and development in the knowledge of God's Word so that these promises take place in our lives.

Scripture References- A similar list of virtues is found in Galatians 5:22-23, which calls these virtues the fruit of Spirit. The three virtues of faith, temperance and love are found in both lists.

Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

We also find similar lists of spiritual development in Romans 5:2-6 and James 1:3-4.

Romans 5:1-6, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only Song of Solomon , but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

James 1:3-4, "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

2 Peter 1:5 — "And beside this, giving all diligence" - Comments- Other translations read, "Because of this," or "For this very reason." Because God has done everything He can do to supply us with the power to grown into Christian maturity, we must take the next step. 84] We must now become diligent to appropriate God's promises. Even though we are saved, we must be diligent to grow into "love," and be like Jesus, lest we slide back into our former sins. Walking in mature love does not automatically happen at the new birth; rather, it is a process we must partake of.

84] W. H. Bennett, ed. The General Epistles: James , Peter, John and Jude , in The Century Bible: A Modern Commentary, vol 17, ed. W. F. Adeney (London: The Caxton Publishing Company, n.d.), 261.

The world gives diligence to provide themselves security by pursuing earthly possessions. Jesus told the parable of the rich fool who stored up much wealth and said to himself, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." ( Luke 12:13-21) The philosopher and wise man give diligence to make their souls secure by pursuing human reason and understanding. Religious men give diligence to make their souls secure by pursuing adhering to religious doctrines, but the child of God gives diligence to walk humbly before the Lord in love and faith, and in the knowledge of His Word.

2 Peter 1:5"add to your faith virtue" - Word Study on "add to your faith" - Comments- The Greek word for "add" is "epichoregeo" ( ἐ πιχορηγέ ω) (G 2023). Strong says this word literally means, "to furnish besides, i.e. fully present," and figuratively "to aid, contribute." Zodhiates says it means, "to furnish upon, i.e, besides, in addition, to supply further, to add more unto. With the acc, to supply, furnish, or furnish abundantly." BDAG says it means, "furnish or provide (at one's own expense)." Strong says it is a compound word, being formed from ἐπί (G 1909), which has a variety of meanings, "upon, on, at, on, at, by, to, over, on, at, across, against," and χορηγέω (G 5524), which means, "to furnish." The Enhanced Strong says this compound word is used 5 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as "minister 2, minister nourishment 1, add 1, minister unto 1." John Brown of Edinburgh suggests this word means "to bring together- into proper combination and correspondence," meaning the list of virtues that follows must be brought together into the life of a believer in order to achieve the desired results, which is "making one's calling and election sure" ( 2 Peter 1:10). 85]

85] John Brown, Parting Counsels: An Exposition of the First Chapter of the Second Epistle of the Apostle Peter, With Four Additional Discourses (Edinburgh: William Oliphant and Sons, 1856), 62.

Peter is addressing believers who have already "obtained like precious faith" ( 2 Peter 1:1). They had taken the first step towards partaking of His divine nature by believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since God has made a way for His children to grow into maturity, Peter exhorts them to add the following virtues to their lives of faith in Christ.

Word Study on "virtue"- The Greek word "virtue" ( αρετή) (G 703) is usually understood in its broad, general meaning, "moral excellence, right acting and thinking." Strong defines it as "a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action." The Enhanced Strong says this Greek word is used 5 times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as "virtue 4, praise 1." Other translations read, "integrity, courage, or moral excellence." It literally means, "manliness," coming from the root word ( ά ρρην) (G 730), which means, "a male."

Comments- Within the context of this passage in 2Peter, it stands alongside other "virtues." Thus, John Brown calls it "energy," or "courage." 86] Kenneth Copeland also calls it "moral energy," or "courage." 87] This word means to have the courage to do what the Word of God says to do when all others put pressure on you to do it their way. It is bravely facing adversity while keeping one's confession in Jesus Christ. In contrast, John Brown notes that while many Jewish leaders believed in Jesus, few were willing to acknowledge Him publicly out of fear ( John 12:42). 88] He also notes it was lack of virtue that causes Peter to deny the Lord three times. Within the context of 2Peter αρετή means a new believer makes a moral decision to follow Christ publicly in an effort to exhibit His divine virtues. It is a believer's awareness that right and wrong exists and one must endeavor to always choose what is morally right in God's eyes regardless of what others think. The virtuous woman in Proverbs 31:10-31 is a woman of strong character, choosing wisdom above folly. Walking in virtue is the second step to Christian maturity after believing in Jesus.

86] John Brown, Parting Counsels: An Exposition of the First Chapter of the Second Epistle of the Apostle Peter, With Four Additional Discourses (Edinburgh: William Oliphant and Sons, 1856), 62.

87] Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

88] John Brown, Parting Counsels: An Exposition of the First Chapter of the Second Epistle of the Apostle Peter, With Four Additional Discourses (Edinburgh: William Oliphant and Sons, 1856), 68.

John 12:42, "Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:"

2 Peter 1:5 — "and to virtue knowledge" - Comments- In order to live the Christian life effectively we must come to know God through His Word and through a personal relationship. To their faith, they must add energy and courage to serve the Lord, but this energy must be directed and guided by the Word of God. As they renew their minds with the knowledge of God's Word, they are better able to focus their energies effectively.

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

2 Peter 3:18, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."

2 Peter 1:5Comments- David Barton does an excellent job of explaining the relationship of the three virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5 : faith, virtue, knowledge. 89] He refers to an early American document called The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which is identified as the first federal education bill in the United States, giving conditions for new states to enter the Union. He quotes from article three of this ordinance and highlights the words, "religion, morality and knowledge."

89] David Barton, interviewed by Kenneth Copeland, Believer's Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

"Article 3. Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged. The utmost good faith shall always be observed towards the Indians; their lands and property shall never be taken from them without their consent; and, in their property, rights, and liberty, they shall never be invaded or disturbed, unless in just and lawful wars authorized by Congress; but laws founded in justice and humanity, shall from time to time be made for preventing wrongs being done to them, and for preserving peace and friendship with them." 90]

90] U. S. Congress, 1787, The Northwest Ordinance, in "Supplement to the First Volume of the Columbian Magazine," (Philadelphia: Pennsylvania, 1787, 855) [on-line]; accessed 8 December 2008; available from http://www.earlyamerica.com/earlyamerica/milestones/ordinance/text.html; Internet.

He explained the third article of this document by saying that any state that wanted to join the Union would have to base its education upon religion first, morality second, and knowledge third. In other words, the most important aspect of a child's education would be his understanding of religion, that there is a Creator God how oversees the affairs of mankind. The second aspect of this educational system is morals, which teaches that God has established rights and wrongs for mankind, and every person is accountable to his Creator and live by these moral values. Third is knowledge, which includes a child's education in other secular aspects of society, such as medicine, science or law. Barton says that "religion, morality, and knowledge" are the same as "faith, virtue, and knowledge" found in 2 Peter 1:5. In other words, these first three virtues serve as the foundation for shaping a child's character during his educational years. The other virtues are developed in subsequent stages of growth and maturity.

Here is a clear example of the importance of this priority in learning. Having lived in Africa for a number of years, I have been amazed at both the level of education of most people along with the high level of corruption. Because of corruption, the country cannot build a safe structure, or a state of the art piece of infrastructure for the nation. African countries often must hire outside supervisors to oversee such projects in order to maintain the quality of the product. The knowledge and skills are in the country, but corrupt hearts block the progress of such projects and therefore, stifle a nation's growth and development. A society must be able to use its knowledge coupled with integrity in order to prosper.

Another verse that gives us insight into this issue is 1 Corinthians 8:1, which tells us that knowledge in and by itself puffs up when not mixed with the God-kind of love. With a person's spiritual development, knowledge causes someone to look upon others with a heart of pride.

1 Corinthians 8:1, "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."

Another verse in Proverbs 1:7 tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. In other words, fear is the necessary ingredient of the heart in order to be able to properly gain and manage our knowledge of the world around us.

Proverbs 1:7, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction."

2 Peter 1:6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

2 Peter 1:6 — "And to knowledge temperance" - Comments- Temperance refers to man's "self-control". The same Greek word is used in Galatians 5:22-23. John Brown says it refers "not merely to moderation in the indulgence of the appetites, but self-command." 91] As these believers make needed efforts to walk in God's Word, they must exercise self control in the world they live. There will be persecutions from the world as well as temptations from their own flesh. There are many temptations that befall a believer, and they must use God's Word to guide them through their spiritual journeys.

91] John Brown, Parting Counsels: An Exposition of the First Chapter of the Second Epistle of the Apostle Peter, With Four Additional Discourses (Edinburgh: William Oliphant and Sons, 1856), 62.

Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

2 Peter 1:6 — "and to temperance patience" - Comments - The word "patience" ( ὑ πομονή) (G 5281) literally means, "to abide or endure under." The Christian journey is long, and requires that a person faint not at the task ahead. As they exercise temperance in their conduct, they must not grow weary and go back into fleshly indulgences. It can be compared to a person who decides to go on a diet, and avoid certain food. The key to this success is patience, to go through the period of time necessary to get results from such a diet.

Luke 21:19, "In your patience possess ye your souls."

James 1:3-4, "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."

2 Peter 1:6 — "and to patience godliness" - Comments - Godliness means, "piety, devotion and loyalty to God." This means an obedient lifestyle. Jack Hayford defines godliness as orthopraxy. Since orthodoxy refers to a system of beliefs, then orthopraxy would refer to the practice of those beliefs. 92] This is what we call godliness.

92] Jack Hayford, "Sermon," (Jack Hayford Ministries, Van Nuys, California).

2 Peter 1:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

2 Peter 1:7 — "And to godliness brotherly kindness" - Comments - Brotherly kindness simply means, "doing good."

Galatians 6:10, "As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."

2 Peter 1:7"and to brotherly kindness charity" - Comments - We must grow from just being kind to our brothers into a more mature love that sacrifices our lives for one another. This is the type of love that says, "Not my will be done, O God, but thine."

Matthew 26:39, "And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."

2 Peter 1:8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:8 — "they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful" - Comments- We must bear fruit unto God"s glory ( James 2:20) or else we will be cut off ( John 15:2; John 15:6).

James 2:20, "But wilt thou know, O vain Prayer of Manasseh , that faith without works is dead?"

John 15:2, "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit."

John 15:6, "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned."

2 Peter 1:8 — "in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" - Comments- Referring back to 2 Peter 1:3, "…through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue," the emphasis of 2Peter is upon the believer's perseverance against false doctrine by establishing the mind of man with the knowledge of God.

2 Peter 1:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

2 Peter 1:9 — "But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off" - Comments- Peter now describes the condition of those believers who do not persevere in growing in the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord; for he will fall back into darkness. We know that this is a description of someone who was once born again, because the last statement of this verse tells us that he has been purged from his old sins.

The description of blindness in 2 Peter 1:9 does not refer to physical blindness, but rather spiritual and mental blindness. It refers to a person's mindset, or way of thinking. Note:

2 Corinthians 4:4, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them."

This person is described as being shortsighted because in his blindness he cannot see or understand the consequences returning to his sins. The epistle of 2Peter emphasizes perseverance. Within this context a short-sighted person would be someone who makes decisions based upon immediate benefits rather than long-term consequences.

2 Peter 1:9 — "and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins" - Comments- We know that this is a description of someone who was once born again. Note a similar verse:

James 1:23-24, "For 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: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."

2 Peter 1:9Comments- The emphasis of 2Peter is on the role of a believer's mental faculties in helping him persevere until the end by overcoming false teachings. Thus, the phrases "blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins" in 2 Peter 1:9 refers to the believer who was once saved, but now his mind has become darkened and he cannot see and understand the future outcome of his blindness, and his mind has forgotten the redemptive work of Christ Jesus in his life. The following verse ( 2 Peter 1:10) will imply that these people have fallen, or stumbled, when it says, "for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

2 Peter 1:10 — "Wherefore the rather, brethren" - Comments- Peter's deduction in 2 Peter 1:10 is based upon the exhortation and warning he has just stated in 2 Peter 1:8-9. Rather than falling back and forgetting their redemption, they should move forward into spiritual growth. They must grow and abound in God's graces, lest they fall short and forget their salvation and calling.

2 Peter 1:10 — "give diligence" - Comments- The same Greek word is used in 2 Timothy 2:15.

2 Timothy 2:15, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

2 Peter 1:10 — "to make your calling and election sure" - Comments- The word "sure" means "firm, permanent." Many are called, but few are chosen. Note:

Matthew 22:14, "For many are called, but few are chosen."

How do we make our calling and election sure? We do so by doing the Word in truth. Note:

1 John 3:18, "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him."

Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse:

2 Corinthians 13:5, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?"

2 Peter 1:10 — "for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall" - Comments- BDAG translates the Greek word for "stumble, fall" as "to be lost, to be ruined (of losing salvation)." The Greek construction of the phrase "never fall" is written as an emphatic subjunctive. We could translate it "in no way fall." Rotherham reads, "in nowise shall ye stumble at any time." Note a similar emphatic Greek construction in Galatians 5:16 :

Galatians 5:16, "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

How bad it hurts to fall. Why do we fall? In the Christian life we fall because of lust and covetousness. Note:

Mark 4:18-19, "And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful."

1 Timothy 6:9-10, "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

2 Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

Note a similar verse:

Psalm 15:5, "He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved."

If these hearers will do these things Peter tells them to do in this epistle, they will not be like those whom he will describe later in 2 Peter 2:20-22, who return to their old lifestyle. Thus, this epistle is an exhortation for believers to endure and not backslide. Peter tells them what to do to make their calling and election sure. They are to give "all diligence, add(ing) to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." ( 2 Peter 1:5-7)

2 Peter 1:10Comments - The apostle Peter will close this epistle with the same warning against falling away and exhortation to grow in Christian maturity, saying, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen." ( 2 Peter 3:17-18)

2 Peter 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

2 Peter 1:11Comments- Peter will use the phrase "Lord and Saviour" on four occasions in his second epistle ( 2 Peter 1:11; 2 Peter 2:20; 2 Peter 3:2; 2 Peter 3:18), a phrase unique to the New Testament. There are two phases in the Christian life: conversion and discipleship. We make Jesus Christ our Saviour when we are converted to the Christian faith, but we make Him our Lord when we serve Him and become discipled in the Faith.

2 Peter 1:11, "For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

2 Peter 2:20, "For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning."

2 Peter 3:2, "That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:"

2 Peter 3:18, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."


Verses 12-15

Peter's Impending Departure: The Occasion of His Writing - In 2 Peter 1:12-15 the Apostle reveals that he will be departing from this life shortly. This verse gives us the occasion, or the circumstances, that prompted him to write to the churches.

2 Peter 1:12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth.

2 Peter 1:12Scripture Reference- We have a similar phrase in Jude 1:5.

Jude 1:5, "I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not."

2 Peter 1:13Comments - Rather than allowing these believers to forget the "cleansing of their former sins" ( 2 Peter 1:9), the apostle Peter determines to give them an enduring reminder of their calling and election in 2 Peter 1:13

2 Peter 1:13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

2 Peter 1:13 — "Yea, I think it meet" - Word Study on "meet" - Webster says the English word "meet" means, "Suitable; fit; proper; appropriate; qualified; convenient."

2 Peter 1:13 — "to stir you up by putting you in remembrance" - Word Study on "stir up" - The idea of stirring up someone carries the idea of "arousing or waking someone out of sleep." It would be like waking a child on a school morning, being persistence to make him get out of bed.

2 Peter 1:14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

2 Peter 1:14Comments- According to 2 Peter 1:14 Peter knew that his death was imminent. Perhaps Peter was referring to Jesus' prophecy of his death in John 21:18-19. However, in my opinion this statement appears to more likely refer to a recent and specific revelation from the Lord, since Peter is putting his death within a specific time frame, which was not done when Jesus spoke of his death around thirty-five years earlier on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.

John 21:18-19, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. This spake Hebrews , signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me."

2 Peter 1:15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

2 Peter 1:15Comments- A man's last words are usually the most important words he can speak. Especially important are these words here from Jesus' apostle under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Thus, Peter warns in verse 19 with the words "take heed."

Comments- It is possible that 2 Peter 1:15 is a reference to Peter instructing John Mark to write the Gospel of Mark , so that Peter is referring to the fact that Mark was recording the message of the Gospel that Peter had preached.


Verses 16-19

Our Justification: Jesus' Role in our Perseverance Against False Doctrines - 2 Peter 1:16-19 reveals the role of God the Father in providing His Word to us through Jesus Christ His Son in order to secure our salvation. In this passage of Scripture, Peter gives us a brief description of the events that took place on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-8, where he was an eye-witness of Jesus" majesty. God the Father testified of Jesus's role in our salvation when He said, "This is My Beloved Song of Solomon , in whom I am well pleased," ( 2 Peter 1:16-18). We place our faith in this word of testimony by believing in Jesus Christ as God's Son. Therefore we should take heed (verse 19).

The Witness of Jesus' Glory on the Mount of Transfiguration - Perhaps no other event that has taken place on earth compares to the event of Jesus manifesting His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration. Many prophets and men of old have had divine visitations and seen angels or had visions. Even the miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ are not to be compared to God descending upon earth to reveal the Glory of His Only Begotten Son. If we compare this event to God's descent upon Mount Sinai, when the earth shook and the dark clouds came down, we see that it was terrible and fearful; but the manifestation of Christ was glorious.

2 Peter 1:16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

2 Peter 1:16 — "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables" - Comments- In the statement, "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables," Peter alludes to the Greco-Roman myths that dominated the mindset of the culture of Asia Minor. This region was the center of pagan worship with many temples dedicated to their gods of mythology. Peter assures them in 2 Peter 1:16 that his testimony is not on the level of such mythological stories.

2 Peter 1:16 — "when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" - Word Study on "majesty" - The Greek word for "majesty" is "megaleiotes" ( μεγαλειό της) (G 3168) - Strong says that this word means, "superbness, i.e. glory or splendor." BDAG defines it as "grandeur, sublimity, or majesty." The Enhanced Strong says it is used 3times in the New Testament, being translated in the KJV as, "mighty power 1, magnificence 1, majesty 1." The other two uses are found in Luke 9:43 and Acts 19:27.

Comments- It is interesting to note that Luke uses this same Greek word in a section of narrative material that includes His Transfiguration.

Luke 9:43, "And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,"

Acts 19:27, "So that not only this our craft is in danger to be set at nought; but also that the temple of the great goddess Diana should be despised, and her magnificence should be destroyed, whom all Asia and the world worshippeth."

Peter is referring to his experience on the Mount of Transfiguration with the Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in Matthew 17:1-8.

2 Peter 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Song of Solomon , in whom I am well pleased.

2 Peter 1:18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

2 Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

2 Peter 1:19 — "We have also a more sure word of prophecy" - Comments- 2 Peter 1:19 teaches us that God's Word is more certain and takes priority over our lives than divine encounters. Perhaps a good example of this is told by Andrew Wommack. When he was an older teenager he had a series of divine visitations over a period of forty days. After this had ended he was left struggling with the question of what did he do to cause these events and what did he do to cause them to stop. Soon afterwards, he was drafted into the military and sent to Vietnam. There he spent thirteen months in the bunkers with other soldiers. In this environment, with dirty pictures pasted on the walls around him, he began to backslide and get tempted. He then made the decision to take his Bible and read it on a regular basis. He spent around fifteen hours per day reading his Bible during this thirteen-month say in Vietnam. He realized through this experience that it is not divine encounters that keep us close to the Lord, though these do affect our lives, but it is our time each day in God's Word that keeps us. 93] This is essentially the message of 2 Peter 1:19, that God's Word is more sure help us persevere than even the divine encounter that Peter experiences on the Mount of Transfiguration.

93] Andrew Wommack, Gospel Truth (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Andrew Wommack Ministries), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Perhaps no other person on earth experienced a greater testimony of God"s redemption plan through the Lord Jesus Christ than Peter experiencing the vision on the Mount of Transfiguration. This must have been the greatest vision that a person has ever experienced on earth. Yet, this experience is of lest surety and authority than the Word of God. God"s Word is absolutely sure, or certain, and of absolute authority. The Scriptures are even firmer than the Transfiguration event. All of our experiences come short of this weight of authority. Paul referred to the fact that if he or an angel from heaven spoke anything contrary to what he had spoken to them, they this angelic visit would be of less authority than the Word of God, which Paul had already spoken to them.

Galatians 1:8, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed."

The phrase "word of prophecy" refers to prophetic Scriptures in the Old Testament as well as the inspired Scriptures written up to the time of Peter's epistle.

Romans 16:26, "But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:"

Why did Peter call the Scriptures a "word of prophecy"? Perhaps he did so because he is contrasting the divine, supernatural inspiration of the Scriptures with his divine experience on the Mount of Transfiguration. In other words, the Scriptures were delivered supernaturally by a divine encounter called prophecy. In addition, we know that the Old Testament canon was delivered through the office and ministry of the prophet.

2 Peter 1:19 — "whereunto" - Comments- Or, "to which." That Isaiah , we should be careful to take heed unto the word of prophecy.

2 Peter 1:19 — "ye do well that ye take heed" - Comments- Note a similar statement in Hebrews 2:1 to give earnest heed to what has been preached unto us.

Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip."

2 Peter 1:19 — "as unto a light that shineth in a dark place" - Comments- Heed the Word of God like you would follow a light in a dark place or along a dark pathway.

2 Peter 1:19 — "until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" - Comments- The phrase "day star" literally means, "the one bearing or giving light." Note that the only star that can be seen during the daytime is the Sun. Thus, it is the "day star."

This phrase "until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts" in 2 Peter 1:19 refers to spiritual understanding or enlightenment. The progression of dawn turning into the full brightness of day is figurative of God's prophetic word being developed into its fullness in our lives. Peter opened this second Epistle with a description of how our growing knowledge of God's Word plays a role in developing our character into His divine nature. This progression is explained as faith " virtue " knowledge " self-control " perseverance " godliness " brotherly kindness " love.

Scripture References- Note similar passages of Scripture in Proverbs 4:18 and 2 Corinthians 4:4-5.

Proverbs 4:18, "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day."

2 Corinthians 4:4-5, "In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus" sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."

2 Peter 1:19Comments- Why are we being urged in 2 Peter 1:19 to take such careful heed to these words of prophecy? 2 Peter 1:20-21 explains that the prophecy is from God, and thus, carried supreme authority over every other thing in our lives. If we will submit our hearts and lives to the Word of God and allow it to have supreme authority in our lives, then we will begin to grow in our revelation of its meaning. God's Word will become brighter and brighter in our hearts day by day just as the sun brightens the day hour by hour.


Verses 20-22

Our Indoctrination: The Holy Spirit's Role in our Perseverance against False Doctrines ( Jude 1:4-13) - Just because God made a way of redemption for mankind does not mean that our redemption comes without an effort on our part. 2 Peter 2:1-3 states that false teachers will enter the congregations of believers and deceive many; however, their judgment is certain. Peter will confirm this statement by giving three testimonies of God's divine judgment from the Old Testament Scriptures, which are sufficient to confirm his statement. He will refer to the fallen angels bound in Hell ( 2 Peter 2:4), to the destruction of wicked men by the Flood in the days of Noah ( 2 Peter 2:5), and to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah ( 2 Peter 2:6-8). Peter promises us that God will deliver us from such deception ( 2 Peter 2:9), having used Lot as an example ( 2 Peter 2:7-8). Therefore, he describes the characteristics of false teachers in the church ( 2 Peter 2:10-22). Peter tells his readers in the next chapter that they can be delivered from this danger by paying attention to the Holy Scriptures and Holy Apostles ( 2 Peter 3:1-2).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Inspiration of the Holy Scriptures — 2 Peter 1:20-21

2. Warning of False Teachers — 2 Peter 2:1-3

3. Three Testimonies of God's Judgment against the Ungodly — 2 Peter 2:4-9

4. Characteristics of False Teachers — 2 Peter 2:10-16

5. Judgment of False Teachers — 2 Peter 2:17-22

How Church Denominations are Created by Man - 2 Peter 2:1-22 reveals to us the reason why the Church is so divided today and why it is faced divisions throughout Church history. There is only one doctrine in God's Holy Word, but men have crept in and created doctrinal divisions, which we see today as denominations. This has greatly weakened the body of Christ. Man created denominations, and not God.

2 Peter 1:20-21 — The Inspiration of the Holy Scripture - 2 Peter 1:20 to 2 Peter 2:22 reveals the role of God the Father in providing His Word to us through the Holy Spirit to secure our salvation. He did this by the inspiration of the Scriptures ( 2 Peter 1:20-21).

2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

2 Peter 1:20Comments- We may translated the phrase, "of any private interpretation" to read, "of its own explanation." That Isaiah , the meaning of the Scriptures is not subject to someone"s own interpretation. God has His intended meaning and interpretation. For example, when Isaiah wrote the book of Isaiah , it was not his own explanation or interpretation of the events around him; rather, it was God"s explanation and interpretation.

Various translations interpret this phrase:

1. "not from the prophet's own interpretation" - NIV, The Living Bible, Wuest. 94]

94] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest's Word Studies From the Greek New Testament for the English Reader, vol 2 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, c 1973, 1977), 35.

2. "not a matter of one's own interpretation" - NASB, RSV.

3. The KJV can be interpreted either way.

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

2 Peter 1:21 — "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man" - Comments- The Holy Scriptures are not just some book or writings that some man decided to write. It did not originate by an act of the human will. The Holy Bible is inspired and written by Almighty God, our Creator, telling and warning a sinful creature of his only hope in Jesus Christ through His blood sacrifice for mankind.

We see Luke referring to people who took it upon themselves to write accounts of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, only four of the Gospels were inspired by God and placed in the Scriptures.

Luke 1:1, "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,"

Paul told Timothy that "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," ( 2 Timothy 3:16). Luke's opening statement in his Gospel reveals its divine inspiration when he says, "It seemed good to me also," indicating that he felt led by the Holy Spirit to write his Gospel. He uses the Greek word δοκέ ω (G 1380), which means, "to be of opinion, think, suppose," in this verse. Luke had no divine visitation telling him to write it, no dream or vision. He simply felt in his heart that this was the right thing for him to do. We have Luke using this same Greek word again in Acts 15:25-28 in conjunction with being led by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 15:25-28, "It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;"

Luke says in 2 Peter 1:3 that he felt the peace, the inspiration to write an orderly account of Christ's life. This was something that the Holy Spirit placed within his heart. But he would not have said to Theophilos that God told him to write this account, since he is believed to be a Roman official. Rather, Luke uses laymen's terms to explain why he wrote.

In contrast to this statement of inspiration, Luke's opening words to this Gospel say, "Forasmuch as many have taken in hand…" ( 2 Peter 1:1) In other words, many other people took it upon themselves to write a Gospel account of the life and events of Jesus' earthly ministry. It was their own decision that they took into their own hands. Because they were not inspired by God to write, they wrote from their own will. This is why 2 Peter 1:21 says, "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

2 Peter 1:21"but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" - Scripture References- Note other verses referring to the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures:

2 Samuel 23:2, "The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue."

Luke 1:70, "As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:"

Acts 2:16, "But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;"

Acts 3:18, "But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled."

2 Timothy 3:16, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

Hebrews 1:1, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,"

1 Peter 1:11, "Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/2-peter-1.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, December 1st, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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