My Son Whom I Love
Comments for Study 1
2 Peter 1:1-21
Memory Verse: 17
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I. Greetings (1:1-2)
>1. Who is the sender of this letter?
* 2 Peter 1:1a "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ"
* "Simon Peter" -The letter starts out stating that Peter wrote the letter. (1:1, 12-15) His parents called him Simon. Jesus renamed him Peter (though at times he still called him Simon after that). The style and grammar of the letter matches Peter's style and grammar in his speeches as recorded in the gospels and Acts. The fact that Paul and Peter were well acquainted is evident in this letter. Peter calls Paul his dear friend. (3:15) The Greek grammar in this, Peter's second letter is not as accurate as his first letter probably because Peter dictated the first letter to Silas who used proper Greek.
Peter was from Bethsaida, a village on the north-eastern tip of the Sea of Galilee (John 1:44) and moved to Capernaum a few miles from Bethsaida. (Matthew 8:5, 8:14) He was married and a fisherman when he first met Jesus. Andrew, Peter's brother introduced him to Jesus when they were by the Jordan River where John the Baptist was conducting his ministry. (John 1:41-42) Shortly after this, Simon returned to his fishing job at the Sea of Galilee. While fishing one day Jesus joined him, performed a miracle, and invited Simon to be a "fisher of men". (Matthew 4:18-20) Peter followed Jesus from that point on for just over three years.
Jesus chose Peter as one of his twelve apostles and at times was given special treatment along with James and John. Peter's name is always given first in lists. (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16; Acts 1:13)
Peter was an eye witness of Jesus transfiguration (1:16-18; Matthew 17:1-5), death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. When the Holy Spirit came with power during Pentecost, Peter preached to Jews from all over the Roman world including the cities mentioned in this letter. (Acts 2:5-11) From Pentecost Peter became one of the main speakers and church elders in Jerusalem. Due to persecution he left Jerusalem and traveled throughout Judea, Samaria, and Galilee. During this time the Lord revealed to Peter that the Gentiles were to be equals with Jews in Jesus' church and kingdom. Eventually Peter traveled to Syria, Minor Asia, and Rome. Peter was killed in Rome at the end of Nero's reign.
* "a servant" -Peter was humble. He considered himself a servant. He did not Lord his authority over the congregations he wrote to or visited. Jesus said, "So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'" (Luke 17:10)
* The greatest praise a person can bestow on another is to imitate them. Becoming a servant like Jesus is true praise and worship.
* "apostle"-Apostle means sent on a mission with full authority of representation; an ambassador. Jesus chose twelve to be his apostles during his earthly ministry. (Mark 3:13-19) When Judas betrayed Jesus another was chosen to take his place. (Acts 1:12-26) Then Jesus called Paul, the fourteenth apostle. (Acts 9:1-30) Silas and a few others were also apostles. Apostles are the only ones that display all the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to support the mission that God has given them. Apostles were personally sent by Jesus, learning directly from Jesus.
* How we see ourselves is important. Do we see ourselves in the eyes of others, in our own eyes, or the eyes of Jesus? If we see ourselves in the eyes of Jesus he will help us understand ourselves more when we study the Bible and pray. After Jesus came to Paul and called him as an apostle, and after he changed his name (originally Saul), he saw himself in the eyes of Jesus. He later confessed, "But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:7-11)
* "Jesus Christ" -Jesus is Greek. Y'shua is Hebrew. Joshua is also Hebrew and almost the same as Y'shua (Some say the two are the same because "Y" and "J" are pronounced the same in Hebrew.) They mean the same, "the Lord saves". The angel told Joseph to name the baby in Mary's womb Jesus. Matthew 1:20-21 records, "...an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Christ is Jesus title, not his name. Much like President is a title and Obama is the man's name.
* The picture to the right is of an abandoned church in the vanishing medieval Armenian city, Ani, known as The City of a Churches near Kars, Turkey. This is on the north eastern side of the area Peter wrote his two letters to. Kars is in north-east Turkey.
>Who is the recipient and how are they identified?
* 2 Peter 1:1b "To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:"
* "To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ" -No one can obtain righteousness on their own. Righteousness is being right with God. When we sin and thus are not right with God only God can forgive us sin and make us right. Righteousness is only through Jesus Christ. Peter points out here that he is our Savior. He saves us from our unrighteous state and makes us right with God through his sacrifice.
* "have received a faith as precious as ours" -Peter states that we have received faith. Faith comes from God, not from ourselves. Because faith comes from God it is not our work. And so it is precious.
* "a faith" -Faith here is not a set of doctrine, but a God given ability to trust in Jesus.
* "our God" -The original Greek for God is "Theos". Peter is stating that Jesus is our God. For other verses that state Jesus deity see verses below.
* "Savior Jesus Christ" -The original Greek is "Soter Iesous Christos". Peter is stating that Jesus is our Savior.
* Romans 9:5 "Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen."
* Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
* Luke 5:20-21 "When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Friend, your sins are forgiven." The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?""
* John 1:1-3, 10, 14, 18 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made... He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him... The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth... No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known."
* John 5:18 "For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God."
* Philippians 2:5-6 "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,"
* Colossians 1:15-20 "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross."
* Colossians 2:9 "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form,"
* Also see Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:3, 8; 2 Peter 1:1; Revelation 1:13-18; 22:13 concerning Jesus' deity.
* John 20:28-29 "Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
>2. Where can we obtain grace and peace? (2, John 17:3)
* 2 Peter 1:2 "Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
* John 17:3 "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."
* "Grace" -Grace (charis in Greek, a greeting) is unmerited divine assistance.
* "peace" -Peace (eirene in Greek and shalom in Hebrew) comes from no longer resisting God, but following God's lead. (Rom. 5:1)
* "be yours" -God gives us grace and peace through our Savior Jesus Christ.
* "in abundance" -Jesus said that he came to give us peace through the Spirit. John 14:26-27 records Jesus saying, "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."
* "knowledge" -Peter repeats this word six (6) times in this letter. He does not use it once in his first letter because of the different in subjects. The first letter was dealing with attacks from outside the church. This letter is dealing with attacks from inside the church. The best way to deal with heresy is knowing God and knowing his word. Jesus taught his disciples for over three years. The apostles taught disciples of their own. Eventually in the middle ages monasteries started so that young men could be educated in the word of God. Colleges and universities started during the 16th century Reformation movement for the same reason. Since these turned secular seminaries and Christian colleges were started.
* "the knowledge of God" -Knowing God is not just intellectual understanding. Knowing here implies a personal relationship with God such as a husband and wife know each other. Knowing God does not exclude Bible study, and does not solely include it. Peter in this letter was combating the infant teachings and movement of what became the Gnostics some twenty years later. John's letters also deal with the threat of the early teachings of the Gnostics. The Gnostics would teach they possessed intellectual or spiritual knowledge of God that the apostles had either not taught, or that the congregations had misunderstood.
* Peter is stating that the first century believers he was writing to have all they need to know God. The knowledge about Jesus who is creator God given to us in the apostles teachings as recorded in the New Testament is all that we need in order to know about God and know God personally. No new revelation is needed such as the Gnostics said they had, Mohammed said he received, Joseph Smith said he received from Mormon, the Jehovah Witnesses say they have, and countless others cults say they have.
* The basic truths of the gospel must be accepted throughout our life. What are these? Don't know? Study the Bible with prayer alone and in a Bible study group. Do you want another source? A good source would be The Westminster Shorter Catechism.
* An old saying is, "If you want to know someone walk a mile in their shoes." If you want to know Jesus walk an eternity in his shoes.
* "Jesus our Lord" -"The main theological point is the close association of Christ with God. Indeed, the use of the word "Kurios", "Lord", as a title of Christ would in itself be sufficient to assure this. Much study has been devoted to this Greek word, the one chosen by the translators of the Hebrew Bible to stand for the divine Name in the original. It varied in meaning from the polite "Dire" an address to a stranger up to the full confession of the deity of Christ. When the early Christians used "Jesus is Lord" as a baptismal confession, they cannot have meant less than this." (Tyndale New Testament Studies and A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament by Arndit-Gingrich)
>Why list both?
* "grace and peace" -Although these words were commonly used in the greetings of secular letters, the words that Peter (and Paul) follows these up with show that he intended a spiritual dimension. He used "grace" twelve times and "peace" seven times in this letter.
>Why that order?
* Grace comes before peace. God's grace must be given to anyone if they are to have peace with him.
>What does this personally mean to you?
* Seek God first in all and everything.
II. Make Effort (1:3-11)
The main point in verses 3-9 is to live in a way as to please God because of the grace and knowledge of Jesus that we have been given.
>3. Does a Christian need anything for life and godliness? (3a)
* 2 Peter 1:3a "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness"
* "His divine power" -"His" here is Jesus. Jesus' divine power has given us everything. Paul says the same thing as Peter when he wrote Timothy. "So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life--not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." (2 Timothy 1:8-10)
* "everything we need for life and godliness" -We do not have to worry as Jesus taught, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:33-34)
* Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life." (John 14:6) John started out his gospel with, "In him (Jesus) was life, and that life was the light of men." (John 1:4)
* "godliness" -Godliness is having great reverence for God that practically directs one's actions. A Christian's lifestyle can reflect the attributes of God.
>Why or why not? (3b)
* 2 Peter 1:3b "through our knowledge of him"
* "through our knowledge of him" -We need to know Jesus personally as stated in question 2 above. How can we know Jesus? Jesus reveals himself to us when our hearts are open to him through prayer and Bible study that is inspired by the Holy Spirit. How can a man and a woman know each other if they do not spend time with each other? How can their relationship grow in love if they do not communicate with each other? How can they know each other's dreams, plans, and desires if they do lot listen? Tozer wrote, "...the man who would know God must give time to Him." (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)
* God wants us to know his as well as he knows us.
* The Christian is strong or weak depending upon how closely he has cultivated the knowledge of God. (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)
* The great need of the hour among persons spiritually hungry is twofold: First, to know the Scriptures, apart from which no saving truth will be vouchsafed by our Lord; the second, to be enlightened by the Spirit, apart from whom the Scriptures will not be understood. (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)
* When the Spirit presents Christ to our inner vision it has an exhilarating effect on the soul much as wine has on the body. The Spirit-filled man may literally dwell in a state of spiritual fervor amounting to a mild and pure inebriation. (The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge)
>How did God do this? (3c)
* 2 Peter 1:3c "him who called us by his own glory and goodness."
* "him who called us" -If the one and only holy God does not call a sinful person there is now way for that person to know God. Just as an ant cannot know about all the universe, man cannot know God unless God reveals himself to us. And God wants nothing more than to reveal himself to us. The first thing he want to reveal to us is his Son, Jesus. And this can only be done if we are made like him.
* "by his own glory" -The original Greek is "doxa". God's glory calls us. God's glory is his excellence of essence. God's glory was revealed to Israel many times. When he lead Israel to Mount Sinai he revealed his glory when he descended onto the mountain. God revealed his glory when Solomon finished the temple. God revealed his glory through his Son, Jesus Christ. God revealed his glory through the sending of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost.
* "goodness" -God's goodness calls us. God's goodness is his excellence of deeds.
>4. What has come through God's glory and goodness? (4)
* 2 Peter 1:4 "Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires."
* "Through these" -His glory and goodness.
* "he has given us" -Again Peter states that God is the one who is doing all this. God gives.
* "his very great and precious promises" -God has given us many promises (aka covenants); forgiveness of sins, eternal life with him, never departing from us, his Holy Spirit, eternal bliss within him, a place with him, his love and affection, his guiding, his helping, his wisdom, his gifts, his kingdom, etc. See the verses below for just a few of Jesus' promises.
* Matthew 4:19 "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will make you fishers of men."
* Matthew 5:18 "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
* Matthew 6:4 "so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
* Matthew 6:6 "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."
* Matthew 6:30 "If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?"
* Matthew 8:11 "I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven."
* Matthew 10:26 "So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."
* Matthew 10:32-33 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
>Why did he give us these?
* "through them" -"Them" here is Jesus glory and goodness as stated in verse 1:3c.
* "through them you may participate in the divine nature" -Peter is not stating that Christians are divine. Rather he is stating we participate in the divine nature becasue God's excellence dwells in us. We partake in God.
* "escape the corruption in the world" -Just as food is corrupted and steel rusts so all of creation is corrupted.
* "caused by evil desires" -All have inherited evil desires when Adam and Eve sinned. We have "the knowledge of good and evil". (Genesis 2:9, 17, 3:22)
* Adam and Eve were created with the divine nature. When they sinned they lost the divine nature, becoming naked (only flesh). They died spiritually. Through Jesus we gain the divine nature again.
>5. What does the qualities in verses 5-7 begin and end with?
* 2 Peter 1:5-7 "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love."
* "For this very reason" -The reason is that we participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world. Since these things are true, then we are to make every effort to participate and escape.
* "faith" -Peter opened the letter claiming our "faith as precious." (1) Faith is believing so much that you can trust Jesus that you live in a way that pleases God. Hebrews 11:1 states, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." James writes that faith without works is dead and useless. (James 2:14-20)
* "goodness" -Practically doing good to others.
* "knowledge" -Practically studying the Bible.
* "self-control" -Practically doing what the Bible teaches. According to many of the false teachers, knowledge made sel-control unnecessary; according to Peter, Christian knowledge leads to self-control.
* "perseverance" -Maintaining a life of obedience to the word because opposition from the disobedient will occur.
* "godliness" -Godliness is having great reverence for God that practically directs one's actions. Godliness and fear of God go hand in hand. Fear of God and awe of God go hand in hand. What possesses a person to have these qualities? They are build in characteristics of our very being. Fearing a lion, tiger, bear or snake is not the same as these three qualities; godliness, fear of God, and awe towards God. C.S. Lewis well explained these qualities uniqueness. If someone were to tell you a lion is in the next room and you had to go in there you would experience fear. However, if someone were to tell you a spirit is in the next room and you had to go in there you would experience dread. Finally, if someone were to tell you that God was in the next room and you were to go in there you would experience godliness, fear of God, and awe.
* "brotherly kindness" -Practically being kind to others who confess the name of Jesus, especially within our own congregation.
* "love" -Jesus said that love is the greatest command. Sometimes practical love is not easy. If practical love were always easy Jesus would not have commanded it. (John 13:34)
* One builds and add to another. They work together in unison of heart like a choir sings in harmony.
>What does the fact that we are encouraged to make every effort tells us? (3:14; Luke 13:24; Heb. 4:11)
* 2 Peter 3:14 "So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him."
* Luke 13:24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to."
* Hebrews 4:11 "Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience."
* Acts 4:12 "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
* "make ever effort" -Peter might have been thinking about Jesus' parable of the narrow door. Jesus said, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." (Luke 13:24) Living a life of faith is not easy at times. Much effort is needed to maintain any relationship. Yet when a relationship is worth it, then much effort to maintain and mature in that relationship is not much of a burden. Jesus said that his yoke is not hard. Yet there is a yoke, a burden as we commune with Jesus. (Matthew 11:29) We partake in his sufferings and this takes effort.
* Why make the effort? Why not take the easy path? Why not let life take us where it may? Why not live "care free" (though people who say such things have all kinds of worries)? Because as Peter had just written about, the salvation found in Jesus.
>If we possess these what will happen? (8)
* 2 Peter 1:8 "For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
* "For if you" -This phrase implies that we have daily decisions to be made.
* "possess these qualities" -Possess these qualities in all our being simultaneously. Elsewhere, the Bible describes these qualities as fruit from a cleansed heart through the blood of Jesus. (Matthew 7:17-19, 21:19; Luke 5:43-45, 13:8-9; John 15:1-8, 16; Romans 7:4-5; Colossians 1:9-10; Galatians 5:22-23)
* "in increasing measure" -Meaning practice them continually together throughout our life.
* "ineffective and unproductive" -Peter is not the only author in the Bible that links knowledge of God and his will with bearing fruit in every good work. Nor is it just found in the New Testament verses I quoted above.
* "in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" -Again, how can we not know Jesus if we don't spend time with Jesus and imitate him in our daily lives? Jesus tells us to learn from him.
* "Lord Jesus Christ" -Peter again uses Jesus' Old Testament name (Lord) and title (Christ).
* Knowledge, especially knowledge gained through Bible study does not negate the need to live by the word of God. The heretics claimed knowledge forsook the need for a pure lifestyle. Greeks had a very high regard for knowledge; more so than a pure lifestyle. Many Greeks were decadent. The heretics were blending Jesus' teaching with Greek cultural values even to the point where Jesus teachings were considered additives to Greek knowledge and wisdom. Eventually the Gnostic movement sprang from this belief.
>If we lack even one of these qualities what has happened to us? (9)
* 2 Peter 1:9 "But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."
* "he is nearsighted and blind" -I am nearsighted, meaning I can see thing well very up close, but cannot not see the distance very well at all. A blind person cannot see at all. Jesus often claimed that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and teachers of the law were blind meaning they could not see God and his way of redemption. (Matthew 15:12-14, 23:16-26; John 9:40-41, 12:40) The Pharisees and Sadducees were to sees that could not sees!
How a person can be both nearsighted and blind cannot be understood physically for it is impossible to be both at the same time. Rather, Peter is speaking spiritually. The heretics had some understanding of a few earthly things, but they do not know anything about the kingdom of God.
>How does remembering what Jesus did for us help us seek these qualities?
* "has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins" -The heritics within the churches Peter was writing were engaging in sinful activities. They had forgotten that God forgave sins because he hates sin. Sin is unholiness. God is holy, holy, holy. If they would remember that God got rid of their sin, they would not sin anymore.
* God is so repulsed by sin that his one and only Son had to suffer terribly on the cross and die to remove it. We should never forget. As the old hymn goes, "Lest I forget they agony. Lead me to Calvary."
Jennie Hussey (picture to the right) had a sister who was an invalid. Jennie, who was born on in 1874, was filled with compassion for her sister, dedicating much time to her care. But when she had free time, Jennie liked to write poems.
A deeply spiritual person with a strong commitment to Christ, she often expressed insights about what it meant to make Jesus her Lord. In 1921, she wrote a poem that told of how she had surrendered her life to serve Him. Jennie realized that Jesus set an example for us by being a servant and dying for our sins. And to her, He was the unrivalled Master of her life. She wrote, “King of my life, I crown Thee now, Thine shall the glory be; lest I forget Thy thorn crowned brow, lead me to Calvary.”
Through faith, she tried to express what Jesus went through for her. She wrote about her desire to see the tomb where He had been buried. And she realized that she needed to take up her cross daily and follow Him. She prayed, “May I be willing, Lord, to bear daily my cross for Thee; even Thy cup of grief to share, Thou hast borne all for me.” Everything in her life needed to point to what Jesus had done for her: “Lest I forget Gethsemane, lest I forget Thine agony; lest I forget Thy love for me, lead me to Calvary.”
>6. What is our calling and election? (10a; 1 Peter 2:9-10, 2:21-22, 3:8-9)
* 2 Peter 1:10a "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure."
* 1 Peter 2:9-10 "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy."
* 1 Peter 2:21-22 "To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.'"
* 1 Peter 3:8-9 "Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing."
* "Therefore" -Peter is moving onto a new subject that builds upon the point just made. The main point in verses 3-9 is to live in a way as to please God because of the grace and knowledge of Jesus that we have been given.
* "my brothers" -Peter considered those he is writing as his brothers. All of God's children are brothers in Christ no matter the age, race, social status, wealth, gender, or mental capability.
* "be all the more eager to make" -An eager person will jump at any chance to act. Eagerness is having and showing a keen interest, intense desire, or impatient expectancy. The KJV translates the Greek word "spoudazo" here as "give diligence".
* "your calling" -Jesus called us into his holy and eternal kingdom.
* "your... election" -Election is "eklege" in the original Greek meaning chosen, by implication also favorite. God has chosen us as his favorite.
>What does it mean to make it sure?
* "make your calling and election sure" -By cultivating the qualities listed in verses 5-7, they and us can be assured that God has chosen and called them and us. (Matthew 7:20) The genuineness of their profession will be demonstrated as they express these virtues. (Galatians 5:6; James 2:18) When God elects and calls, it is to obedience and holiness (1 Peter 1:2; Ephesians 1:3-6), and these fruits confirm their divine source. (NIV Study Bible)
* Do you love Jesus? Shout it out with words and actions.
>What kind of welcome can we look forward to if we make every effort? (10b-11)
* 2 Peter 1:10b-11 "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."
* "For if you do these things" -The things listed in verses 6 and 7.
* "you will never fall" -Imagine the life of faith as running a race. Falling would be equivalent to sinning due to a lack of faith.
* "you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom" -Entering the kingdom of heaven is only through Jesus, who at one teaching described himself as the gate. (John 10:7-9)
* "the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" -Peter does not write about entering heaven, for that is only part of the eternal kingdom.
* Matthew 25:46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
>How does Jesus' teaching in Matthew 10:32-33 help us understand this?
* Matthew 10:32-33 "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven."
* Jesus makes it clear that we all must appear before God with Father where Jesus will either acknowledge us or disown us.
* Jesus is the Majestic Prophet Priest King. His kingdom is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God should be no small topic for those who belong to it. The phrase the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven is repeated almost three hundred times in both Old and New Testaments. It is referred to 1,845 times in the Old Testament. Many of Jesus' parables concern the Kingdom of God. Jesus stated that he preached the good news of the Kingdom of God from town to town. (Luke 4:43, 8:1, 9:11) Jesus sent out his disciples to preach about the Kingdom of God. (Luke 9:1) Jesus often told people, “The Kingdom of God is near you,” or at least something similar to it. (Matt. 12:28, Mark 1:15, Mark 12:34, Luke 10:9, 11, 20) When the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, the second subject (after honoring God our Father) he told them to pray for was The Kingdom of God. “Thy kingdom come,” he taught his disciples to pray, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
The question is often raised, or at least should be raised; what is Jesus asking us to pray about? What was Jesus referring to when he spoke of the Kingdom of God? Is it a real place? Is it in this world? Is it the church (congregation of Jesus)? Is it in heaven or is it heaven itself? Is it something yet to come? Is it some mystical realm in another dimension? Will it be on the moon or some other planet in a galaxy far away? Is it the same as the Kingdom of Heaven? Sadly most today including many modern Christian's have either no idea or the wrong idea of the Kingdom of God (aka Kingdom of Heaven) because most, including modern believers seldom take time to think about the Kingdom of God let alone talk about it and study what the Bible has to say about it.
The definition of the Kingdom of God is simple and complex. The simplicity of it is that any kingdom is where a king has complete and unquestionable control and authority. Still, those of us under modern day governments cannot have a complete understanding of this type of kingship. Most modern day governments allow its citizens to have freedom to own land and a home and freedom to choose where we will live and what we will do. This is not so with kingdoms of the past and even some kingdoms today.
* J. Dwight Pentecost in this book "Things to Come" distinguishes between four (4) Biblical uses of the term "Kingdom of Heaven"; God's universal kingdom, a spiritual kingdom, the millennial Davidic kingdom, and the mystery form of the kingdom (in Matthew 13). He wrote,
"a) The spiritual kingdom, which is closely related with God's universal kingdom, is composed of the elect of all the ages, who have experienced a new birth by the power of the Holy Spirit. This kingdom cannot be entered apart from such a new birth. [He continues with a long list of support verses.]
"b) The millennial kingdom is declared to be a literal, earthy kingdom over which Christ rules from David's throne in fulfillment of the Davidic covenant.
"c) The mystery form of the kingdom (in Matthew 13) brings us a concept entirely distinct from the preceding two. That God was going to establish a kingdom on the earth was no mystery. [He continues with the history of man's continual rejection of God's sovereignty.] The mystery was the fact that when the One in whom this program was to be realized was publicly presented He would be rejected and an age would fall between His rejection and the fulfillment of God's purpose of sovereignty at His second advent. The mystery form of the kingdom, then, has reference to the age between two advents of Christ. The mysteries of the kingdom of heaven describe the conditions that prevail on the earth in that interim while the king is absent. These mysteries thus relate this present age to the eternal purpose of God in regard to His kingdom this mystery form of the kingdom is composed of saved and unsaved alike (wheat and tares, good and bad fish).”
* The above two points are taken from "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires". For more on the eternal kingdom of God please refer to that document found on this site.
III. The Power and Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ (1:12-21)
>7. What can we do to help others and ourselves grow in these qualities? (12-15)
* 2 Peter 1:12-15 "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things."
* "So I will always remind you of these things" -Remind them through this letter, preaching, Bible studies, and casual conversation.
* "as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me" -John's gospel records Jesus telling Peter, "I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go." Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. (John 21:18-19)
* "And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things" -Mark worked with Peter as he was writing the gospel of Mark. The apostles had been repeating Jesus' words for several years before Mark started his gospel. Peter helped Mark as he wrote.
>What is our present body like and what can we learn from this? (1 Cor. 15:42-44)
* "as long as I live in the tent of this body" -The flesh is only describe by Peter to be a tent. A tent is a temporary structure. The flesh is not who are are, it is only our appearance for now.
* 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 "So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body."
* We look forward to the resurrection when Jesus comes. At that time will will receive a new physical body.
>8. What does Peter tell us about Jesus' next arrival?
* 2 Peter 1:16 "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty."
* "the power" -God's power was displayed to the apostle when Jesus rose from the dead.
* "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" -Jesus promised he would come again.
* "we were eyewitnesses of his majesty" -Jesus' body was changed before Peter, James, and John. (Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9:1-10; Luke 9:28-36)
>When did Peter see what Jesus will look like when he comes again? (17-18; Matt. 17:4-6)
* 2 Peter 1:17-18 "For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain."
* Matthew 17:4-6 "Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.' While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!' When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified."
* Jesus told his disciples that some of them would not taste death before they would see "the Son of Man coming in his kingdom (his future majesty)". (Matthew 16:27-28) then Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain where his body was transformed into a glorious body. “His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus.” (Mark 9:3) Matthew 17:2 adds, “His face shone like the sun.” Then the Father told the three apostles that Jesus is his son. (Mark 9:7, Matt. 17:5) This is our first glimpse of the glorious future of Jesus and the glorious future of his bride and future queen (not the same as Babylon's claim to be the queen of heaven). This is the first glimpse of a resurrection body, for Jesus is the first to have one. That is why he is called the firstborn. (Rom. 8:29, Col. 1:15-18, Heb. 1:6, 11:29, 12:23, Rev. 1:5) Like him, Jesus' bride will have a resurrected body. Jesus' bride is not now as we will be for we will be changed. (1 Cor. 15:52)
The apostle John in the late years of his life saw Jesus in his resurrected body. In Revelation 19:11-16 he recorded, “I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God (a term John used at the beginning of his gospel to refer to Jesus).” Then John saw Jesus’ bride. He saw that, the armies of heaven were following (Jesus), riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.” Speaking again of Jesus, the King, John continued, “Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelations 1:12-16 is another place where John saw Jesus' glorious resurrection body.
* The above point is taken from "The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires". For more on the glorious resurrected Jesus please refer to that document found on this site.
>9. What is the word of the prophets compared to? (19)
* 2 Peter 1:19 "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts."
* "And we have the word of the prophets made more certain" -Peter had just stated that he and other apostles were eye witnesses to the majesty of our Lord Jesus Christ in the transfiguration and heard God claim that Jesus was his Son. Thus they saw the word of the prophets fulfilled (made more certain) concerning the first coming of the Messiah, God's son. Peter was saying that two witnessed to the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; God at the transfiguration, and the Scriptures. Both are in agreement with each other.
* "you will do well to pay attention to it" -Study the Old Testament and you will learn about Jesus. The Old Testament witnesses to man's fall from grace, God restoration plan, and how we are to live until the plan is complete. With Jesus first coming some of the plan has been completed. When we comes again more of the plan will be completed. Since the Old Testament speaks so much about Jesus' second coming and how we are to live until he comes again, we will do well to study it and obey the words in it. However, we should never forget the even greater importance of the New Testament. The Old Testament should be studied in view of the revelation of the New Testament.
* "as to a light shining in a dark place" -The world of men is without God. It is dark. The word of God shines light into the dark sinful world and heart of people. The word of God is compared to light shining in a dark place. "The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it" (John 1:5) With God the Spirit in us we can understand it.
* In short, Peter reminds us that as long as we sojourn in this world, we have need of the doctrine of the prophets as a guiding light; which being extinguished, we can do nothing else but wander in darkness; for he does not disjoin the prophecies from the gospel, when he teaches us that they shine to show us the way. His object only was to teach us that the whole course of our life ought to be guided by God's word; for otherwise we must be involved on every side in the darkness of ignorance; and the Lord does not shine on us, except when we take his word as our light. (Calvin's Commentaries)
>How is this true in our hearts?
* "until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts" -Studying, accepting, and obeying the word of God is like dawn. Jesus is the Word of God incarnate. (John 1:14) Jesus is the light dawning in a dark place. (John 1:9)
* "the morning star" -The Morning Star is the name given to the planet Venus when it brilliantly appears in the East (morning sky) before sunrise. Matthew Henry wrote in his commentary, “(Jesus) is the foundation of all light… as such has given to his churches this morning light of prophecy, to assure them of the light of that perfect day which is approaching.” Henry Morris wrote in his book The Revelation Record, “This is, thus, a blessed reminder to all His people in the churches, that they should watch through the night for His coming, not being led astray by Lucifer, who had aspired to rise above God but whose rebellion would soon be put down.”
Jesus wants his bride to always be ready and eagerly wait for his coming to take us away to be with him for eternity; at any moment, any day, any hour, and any second. (1 Cor. 15:51-52, Phil. 3:20, and 1 Thess. 1:10, and 1 Tim. 6:14, James 5:8) The trumpets blasts and the bride being taken away (rapture) is the next occurrence in the Hebrew calendar. This is when Jesus will appear in the heavens (though not touching the earth; Acts 1:9-11) and his angels reaping the harvest of believers (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Then we shall see him with our own eyes (Psalm 17:19, 1 John 3:2). The above verses are not the only place that Jesus tells us this. Many of his parables teach us this. (Matt. 13:30, 21:34, 25:19, Mark 4:29, 12:2) Imminence means something is about to happen. Jesus' bride has always looked to his coming to take them away imminently; including the apostles, Clement, Cyprian, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Letimer, A. W. Tozer, Billy Graham, etc.
* To say, "I will put off tomorrow getting right with God," is foolish.
* The apostolic revelation in Christ confirmed the revelations of the Old Testament prophets. Some Dead Sea Scrolls texts present the start of Numbers 24:17 as messianic, and an Old Testament text describes the coming day of the Lord in terms of a sunrise (Malachi 4:2) because God would come like the sun (cf. Psalm 84:11). The point here seems to be that the morning star (Venus) heralds the advent of dawn; a new age was about to dawn (cf. 2 Peter 1:11), but the Old Testament plus what was revealed by Jesus first coming was the greatest revelation the world would experience until his return in the day of the Lord. “You do well was a common way of suggesting that a person do something (i.e., “You ought to do this). (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament)
>10. How is prophecy different than this Bible study? (20)
* 2 Peter 1:20 "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation."
* "Above all" -Peter was dealing with heretics who claimed to have special revelations. Peter is going to tell his readers something very important about how God reveals his plans. We better pay attention to what Peter rights here too for to this very day people have claimed special new revelation from God.
* "you must understand" -We can understand by studying the Bible and seeing how God worked in the lives of his people and prophets.
* "no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation" -In other words, the revelations of God in times past did not come about by a person and/or prophet studying the Bible and then with his brain come up with a new revelation. In fact just the opposite has often occurred. People study the Bible and come up with a wrong interpretation. We can and are suppose to study the Bible to understand God and his will. But we cannot study the Bible and then come up with a new revelation.
* The preceding and following contexts indicate that the above understanding is correct. In verses 16-19 the subject discussed is the origin of the apostolic message. Did it come from human imaginings, or was it from God? In verse 21 again the subject is origin. No prophecy or Scripture arose from a merely human interpretation of things. This understanding of verse 20 is further supported by the explanatory "For" with which verse 21 begins. Verse 21 explains verse 20 by restating its content and then affirming God as the origin of prophecy. (NIV Study Bible)
>Why is this so?
* 2 Peter 1:21 "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
* "For"- This verse backs up the former verse.
* "prophecy never had its origin in the will of man" -We cannot be the source of prophecy. No prophet started out saying, "I say..." Rather they said, "This is the word of the Lord God..."
* "men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit"
* They did not of themselves, or according to their own will, foolishly deliver their own inventions. The meaning is, that the beginning of right knowledge is to give that credit to the holy prophets which is due to God. He calls them the holy men of God, because they faithfully executed the office committed to them, having sustained the person of God in their ministrations. He says that they were — not that they were bereaved of mind, (as the Gentiles imagined their prophets to have been,) but because they dared not to announce anything of their own, and obediently followed the Spirit as their guide, who ruled in their mouth as in his own sanctuary. Understand by prophecy of Scripture that which is contained in the holy Scriptures. (Calvin's Commentaries)
* Ancient Judaism and Greek thinkers generally viewed prophetic inspiration as a divine possession or frenzy, in which the prophets rational mind was replaced by the divine word. (The remark on the Jewish perspective is especially true of Diaspora Jewish ecstatics, like Philo and authors of the Sibylline Oracles.) The various literary styles of different Old Testament prophets indicates that this was not quite the case; inspiration still used human faculties and vocabulary (cf. 1 Peter 1:10-12; and 1 Cor. 7:40, 14:1-2, 14-19), although there may have been different levels and kinds of ecstasy (cf. 1 Cor. 14:2; and 2 Cor. 5:13, 12:4). On either model, however, inspiration could protect the inspired agents from error; contrast 2 Peter 2:1. (The IVP Bible Background Commentary – New Testament)
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