2 Peter Chapter One
I. Content of the Chapter
Know the True Knowledge
A. The origin and nature of the true knowledge (v.1-4);
1. The channel and receiver of the true knowledge ---- the apostle and believers (v.1);
2. The profits of the true knowledge ---- grace and peace be multiplied (v.2);
3. The giving of the true knowledge and its nature ---- (v.3-4);
B. The pursuit and increase of the true knowledge (v.5-11);
1. The way of the increase of the true knowledge ---- eight steps (v.5-7);
2. The necessity of the increase of the true knowledge ---- four effects (v.8-11);
C. The connotation and basis of the true knowledge (v.12-21);
1. The connotation of the true knowledge ---- the Lord Jesus (v.12-18);
2. The basis of the true knowledge ---- the prophecies of the prophets (v.19-21);
II. Verse by Verse Commentary
2Pet. 1:1 “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:”
YLT: “Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who did obtain a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ:”
Meaning of Words: “bondservant”: slave, bondman; “apostle”: the one who is sent, messenger, ambassador; “righteousness”: equity, justification; “obtain”: determine by lot, obtain by lot, cast lots; “like precious”: of equal value or honor;
Literal Meaning: “Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ”, “bondservant and apostle” show Peter’s relation between the Lord and believers; “bondservant” is his status of serving the Lord; “apostle” is his status of teaching believers ---- he is sent by the Lord to preach the true knowledge, through which he serves the Lord and all the saints.
“Bondservant” in the original means a low bondman, but it also carries a meaning of dignity and honor because of the master the bondman serves, e.g. Moses was also called the servant of God (Deut. 34:5; Ps. 105:26). “A bondservant of Jesus Christ”, it contains the following meanings: 1) absolutely, we are of the Lord Jesus; 2) we have to obey and hear the Lord’s commands completely; 3) such relationship is not transient but everlasting, and even in the eternal world we are still the servants (Rev. 22:9).
“Simon Peter”, it is different from the first epistle, in which Peter calls him “Peter” only (see 1Pet. 1:1). And the spelling of the name “Simon” in the Hebrew is “Simeon”. It is different from the common-used Greek spelling “Simon” in the New Testament, but is the same with the way of calling by James (see Acts 15:14). That is why many Bible scholars believe that the Second Epistle of Peter was written by Jude, the physical brother of James (see Jude 1), at Peter’s dictation.
“By the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”, “our God and Savior Jesus Christ”, there is not a definite article before Savior, which shows that: 1) Savior Jesus Christ is God, and He and the Father are one (John 10:30); 2) the righteousness of Christ is the righteousness of God (Phil. 3:9); 3) the knowledge of the Lord Jesus is the knowledge of God (see v.2).
“The righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ”, someone Bible scholars think the righteousness means that the Lord Jesus Christ is the righteousness of God since the word righteousness is directly connected with “God” ---- it is because of not only love that God sent His only begotten Son to the world to fulfill the redemption but also the righteousness of God that He had to sent His sinless Son of God to become the Savior Jesus Christ ---- salvation is in none other than in Him (Acts 4:12). However, according to the grammar in the original, “righteousness” refers to both the righteousness of God and the righteousness of the Savior Jesus Christ, which shows that: 1) God is righteous and rewards in justice and uprightness without partiality; 2) all the people in the world have sinned, and no one can escape the righteous judgment of God; 3) the Son of God who knew no sin came was incarnated to the world and bore the righteous judgment of God on the cross for all and had thus accomplished the righteousness of God; 4) we appropriate the righteous fulfilled by Jesus Christ through faith in Him; 5) since God has judged Jesus Christ on the cross, He will never condemn those who have believed Jesus Christ for their sins in the past, or He is unrighteous; 6) the one righteous work of Jesus Christ has made Him our Savior; 7) the Savior Jesus Christ is righteous, who is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him (Heb. 7:25); 8) both the righteousness of God and the righteousness of the Savior Jesus Christ stand surety for us that our faith is precious so that He has to reward us exceeding great and precious promises (see v.4).
“To those who have obtained like precious faith with us”, “we”: the writer of this epistle and all the saints with him; “obtain”: it means obtaining or being rewarded by lot in the original ---- obtain by grace, not by works; “have obtained … with us”: it means that what the recipients of this epistle have obtained is completely the same with what the writer has obtained; “like precious faith”: it is the faith obtained from the Lord Jesus, for He is the leader and completer of our faith (see Heb. 12:2). And the faith is precious because the promises given to us according to faith are exceedingly great and precious (see v.4).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Bondservant” should be utterly submissive to the lord and speak and act according to the will of the lord without acting on his own. The worse defect of preachers today is misinterpretation of the Holy Scriptures and emphasizing men’s will more than on God’s will.
2) “Bondservant” first and then “apostle”, man has to firstly be submissive to the Lord and then be sent by the Lord. Man has to previously be possessed by the Lord, and then he will be enabled to go to gain men on behalf of the Lord.
3) “Simon Peter”, the double names represent Peter’s status and change in life and shows that he has been from the times of the Old Testament to the times of the New Testament. All the old things of Christians have passed away, and all have become new.
4) The righteousness of God and the righteousness of the Savior Jesus Christ have justified believers (see Rom. 3:26; 5:18) instead of condemning us (see Rom. 8:34).
5) Indeed we “have been justified by faith” (Gal. 3:8), but our faith is also given by the Lord (Heb. 12:2). Therefore, it is also “obtaining the faith by righteousness”.
6) “Have obtained like precious faith with us”, it shows that the apostle Peter puts himself on the same position with all believers. Peter does not think of him above others nor despises all believers.
7) There is no distinction between the faith we have obtained and the faith the apostles have obtained.
8) Our difference from men in the world before God is our faith. Without faith, we cannot match many people in the world at capability, dignity, wisdom and physique (see 1Cor. 1:26-27).
2Pet. 1:2 “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,”
YLT: “Grace to you, and peace be multiplied in the acknowledgement of God and of Jesus our Lord!”
Meaning of Words: “grace”: graciousness, favor; “knowledge”: full knowledge, discernment; “be multiplied”: more abundant, increase;
Literal Meaning: “grace and peace”, “grace” was a habitual word of greeting among the Greeks; “peace” was a habitual word of greeting among the Hebrews. Both of them are used to believers of the New Testament, which is not a meaningless formula. Seriously, only those who are in Christ have true grace and peace ---- grace means obtaining and enjoying God Himself and God’s works, and peace refers to the spiritual sound situation by grace.
“Be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”, it indicates that the multiplication of grace and peace is because of the knowledge of God. “Knowledge”: the true knowledge to the full, which refers to both the objective knowledge as well as the subjective knowledge through experiences. “Of God and of Jesus our Lord”, here it indicates again that God and the Lord Jesus are one (see v.1). Our knowledge of the Lord and of God should be compatible. “Be multiplied”: increase abundantly and unceasingly;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Knowledge” is the mother of all knowledge. Only this divine knowledge will bring the grace and peace that men desire.
2) True grace and peace come from true knowledge of God. The more we know God, the more will we enjoy the grace and peace of God. The more we Christians taste God and the Lord Jesus, the more will we experience grace and peace.
3) All the fullness of the Godhead bodily dwells in Christ (Col. 2:9). Therefore, the more we know the Lord Jesus, the more will we know God.
4) The difference of Christianity from other religions is that it is paid attention to of the ever-renewing relationship between God and men in Christianity and other religions only emphasize rational knowledge.
5) Our knowledge about God and the Lord Jesus should be on the increase. Let us not be satisfied with the knowledge we have obtained but pursue with diligence (see Phil. 3:10-14).
6) The sufficient and deep and thorough knowledge of the Holy Trinity is the foundation for us to press on the spiritual path as well as the precondition of resisting the heretical doctrines.
Pet. 1:3 “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,”
YLT: “As all things to us His divine power (the things pertaining unto life and piety) hath given, through the acknowledgement of him who did call us through glory and worthiness,”
Meaning of Words: “divine power”: the mighty power of God, mighty force; “pertain to”: concerning; “godliness”: piety, holiness; “virtue”: excellence, praise, manliness;
Literal Meaning: “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness”, “His divine power”: the mighty works of God; “all things that pertain to life and godliness”, here it points out the two spiritual realms of believers’ pursuit: 1) life refers to the spiritual inner life, and godliness refers to spiritual daily life; 2) life is obtained by faith (John 3:16) and godliness is received by hope (see Luke 2:25); 3) life is in relation to salvation (1Pet. 2:2), and godliness is in relation to victory (1Tim. 4:8); 4) the pursuit of the growth of life relates to the desiring of the word of God (1Pet. 2:2), and the pursuit of godliness relates to the desiring of the Lord’s revelation (2Tim. 4:8).
“Through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue”, “the knowledge”, here it points out again the profits of the true knowledge of the Lord (see v.2); “glory and virtue”: the nature of God: 1) glory responds to life, and virtue responds to godliness; 2) glory is the manifestation of God Himself (Ex. 33:18, 22), and virtue is the manifestation of God’s disposition (see 1Pet. 2:9); 3) glory emphasizes the mighty works of God (Num. 14:21-22), and virtue emphasizes the gracious works of God (Is. 63:7).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The main reason why the church is full of confusions and we Christians are unable to bear living witness is that we have lost the mark of pursuit and forsaken things pertaining to life and godliness and yet sought the letter and customs.
2) All things pertaining to life and godliness are bestowed. We can never obtain them through our own works. However, thanks God, all these things have been given to us. And the problem lies in how to discover and enjoy them.
3) God has called us to lead a life in godliness on the earth (see 1Pet. 1:17; 2:9). For this sake, He has firstly opened our eyes of heart so that we are enabled to know His glory and virtue, and will then equip us with the power of life and godliness.
4) The more we know the nature of God (glory and virtue), the more will be enjoy the power of life and godliness.
5) Indeed, we have to seek the growth of life and lead a life in godliness, but the fundamental motive power is the calling and reward of God. If He does not “draw” us, we cannot “run after” Him (see Songs 1:4).
Pet. 1:4 “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
YLT: “through which to us the most great and precious promises have been given, that through these ye may become partakers of a divine nature, having escaped from the corruption in the world in desires.”
Meaning of Words: “precious”: honorable; “exceedingly great”: greatest; “promise”: self-committal by assurance of conferring some good; “escape”: flee; “nature”: natural production, native disposition; “partaker”: sharer;
Literal Meaning: “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises”, “by which”: by the glory and virtue of Christ we have known; “have been given to …”, the past tense shows that we have obtained the promises when we believed the Lord; “exceedingly great and precious”: it shows that what we have been given are enormous and significant; “promises”: the rewards that God have guaranteed to give according to His faithfulness;
“Exceedingly great and precious promises”, some Bible expositors think the promises refer the two great accomplishments. However, here it mentions “…that through these” the promises shall be fulfilled. Therefore, the two things are not promises. In the broader sense, promises refer to all the promises in the Scriptures (e.g. Matt. 28:20; John 6:57; 7:38-39; 14:19-20, 23; 15:5; 16:13-15; etc.). In narrow sense, promises here relate to “all things that pertain to life and godliness” in verse three. Life corresponds to the divine nature, and godliness corresponds to the escape of the corruption in the world through lust.
“Having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”, “that …”, it suggests that what is mentioned below is fulfilled by the previous promises; “escape”: remove or decrease; “the corruption that is in the world through lust”: corruption in the world because of the flesh (see Gen. 6:3, 12; James 3:15-16).
“That through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”, “the divine nature of God”: the origin of all virtues in the life of God; the Scriptures especially emphasize His holiness (see Heb. 12:10, 14; 1Pet. 1:15-16; 2:9); “partaker”: he who partakes of (obtain and increase) …;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) God’s promises are exceedingly great and precious. However, it is a pity many believers do not understand to cherish God’s promises but seek many things outside of promises.
2) We have obtained the promises of God. The present problem is not to ask promises but to appropriate the precious promises of God.
3) All promises will be fulfilled (Heb. 10:23). However, if we are unwilling to follow Him, we cannot experience His promises personally (see Num. 32:11).
4) Loving Him is the secret of inheriting His promises (see James 2:5). If we love Him, we will not bear to sin against Him, especially against His holiness.
5) If we cherish and love God’s promises, we will be enabled to escape the corruption in the world through lust and be partakers of the divine nature.
6) Positively, the pursuit of the growth of life makes us partake more of the divine nature. Passively, the godliness in daily life delivers us from the corruption through lust.
7) The present social tide has gone against the nature of God. Therefore, if we escape the corruption in the world through lust, we must be partaker of the divine nature. Contrarily, the more we partake of the divine nature, the easier will we escape corruption.
Pet. 1:5 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,”
YLT: “And this same also -- all diligence having brought in besides, superadd in your faith the worthiness, and in the worthiness the knowledge,”
Meaning of Words: “add to”: furnish, supply; “virtue”: praise, manliness; “knowledge”: awareness, knowing;
Literal Meaning: “for this very reason”, for the reason of escaping corruption and being partakers of the divine nature; “giving all diligence”: it means paying extra efforts and cooperating with full power.
“Add to your faith virtue”, “faith”: it means that faith is the precondition of all spiritual things. One may have faith first and then the following things pertaining to life and godliness. “Add to”: all the character listed below are the natural manifestation of true faith, not external acts; “virtue”: it means that the excellent and superior character will produce good testimonies.
“To virtue knowledge”, “to … to”, it does not mean each point is added to one by one, but that the seven aspects of effects (see v.5-7) producing out of faith should be produced perfectly in balance. “Knowledge” is the knowledge that makes men know God truly (see v.2-3), through which men are enabled to judge of and approve things.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Everything that we need in a holy life has been granted by God early (see v.4). However, if we do not cooperate with God in diligence, He will never force us.
2) In the life of Christians, the grace of God and man’s diligence always make man’s life attain to perfection. Lazy men can never perfect the will of God.
3) Faith is the foundation of spiritual growth. No faith, no spiritual growth. It is important that whether there is faith, not whether it has been cultivated.
4) Faith is dead without works (James 2:17). The faith is living faith (James 2:18) when it is working together with virtue, or else the name of Christian is humiliated.
5) Virtue manifests our internal faith and testifies the power of true faith and increases our faith in practical experiences.
6) The virtue of Christians in life should be on the increase without cease.
7) Knowledge is obtained by practicing virtue in daily life. And the practice of virtue makes us know Christ deeper (see v.8; John 7:17).
8) Knowledge makes both of our faith and virtue in the right path and makes us know how to properly and soberly use it.
9) The order in the Scriptures is faith and works and knowledge ---- “believe and walk” and “seem to be difficult but walk with ease”. Such order is just opposite to the general doctrines ---- “know and believe” and “seem to be easy but walk with difficulty”.
Pet. 1:6 “to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,”
YLT: “and in the knowledge the temperance, and in the temperance the endurance, and in the endurance the piety,”
Meaning of Words: “self-control”: temperance; “perseverance”: patient continuance, hopeful endurance; “godliness”: piety, reverence;
Literal Meaning: “to knowledge self-control”, “self-control”: the power of temperance; Paul’s word ---- “I buffet my body and lead it captive” (1Cor. 9:27) is the best footnote of self-control. He can control himself not only in food but also in all aspects of life. Such self-control is not simply out of man’s willpower but the power that man is purposed to choose and regard and obey the Spirit (see Rom. 8:4-11).
“To self-control perseverance”, “perseverance”: the patient endurance in difficult situation and persistence to the end; such perseverance is not passively receiving everything, but actively enduring. It is higher than self-control, for it is an expression of love (see 1Cor. 13:4) and will be strengthened after tribulations (see Rom. 5:3).
“To perseverance godliness”, “godliness”: the pious attitude and life produced by the fear of God ---- dare not to walk presumptuously to sin against God;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Knowledge easily puffs up (see 1Cor. 8:1). If one has knowledge without self-control, he will go to another extremity and be rejected by God and men.
2) True knowledge will not lose self-control but lead men to have better self-control. Any doctrine that despises disciplines or goes astray from moral standard must be heresy.
3) Christians shall be self-controlled in various desires and earthly pursuit as well as spiritual things, such as reading the Scriptures, prayer, service etc.
4) Self-control is the resisting power against the lust for pleasures. Perseverance is the enduring power aiming at difficulties and tribulations.
5) The life of Christians is a challenge. Let us be perseverant in persecutions and difficulties and suffer each difficulty in life as a step of advancement.
6) Perseverance is out of true faith. There is nothing more efficacious than tribulation to trial the faith. And true faith must produce persistent perseverance (see Rom. 5:1-3; Mark 13:13).
7) All those who are godly before God must fear to sin against or humiliate God and show their holiness in their practical life to please God (see Heb. 12:14, 28).
8) Godliness is that God has been manifested in flesh (see 1Tim. 3:16). Therefore, piety is to manifest the image of God in daily life.
Pet. 1:7 “to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”
YLT: “and in the piety the brotherly kindness, and in the brotherly kindness the love;”
Meaning of Words: “brotherly kindness”: philadelphia; “love”: agape;
Literal Meaning: “to godliness brotherly kindness”, “brotherly kindness”, it refers to kinship and friendship; true love is produced out of true faith (see Gal. 5:6).
“And to brotherly kindness love”, “love”, it is the divine love, namely, the great selfless love (see John 3:16; 1Cor. 10; 1John 3:16).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Real godliness can not exist without brotherly kindness (see 1John 4:20).
2) The particularity of Christians is spontaneous brotherly kindness (see 1John 3:14; 4:17), through which all men shall know we are true disciples of Christ (John 13:35).
3) True brotherly love makes all brothers with one accord. Those who are of sects have not lived in the divine life. And their partiality proves that they live in their emotions.
4) Both friendship and divine love have to give. All those who only receive without giving have no reality of love, and are unworthy of mentioning love.
5) The qualities of love are: a) from the elder to the young: the more one has the bowel of a parent, the more will he be enabled to love; b) from the inward to the outward: one has the spirit of love first and then the words and deeds of love; c) from oneself to others: love one’s neighbor as himself ---- love oneself and then love brothers and finally love all.
Pet. 1:8 “For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
YLT: “for these things being to you and abounding, do make neither inert nor unfruitful in regard to the acknowledging of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
Meaning of Words: “abound”: increase, super-abound; “barren”: idle, slow, inactive, lazy, useless; “unfruitful”: without fruit;
Literal Meaning: “for if these things are yours and abound”, “abound”: have the form of godliness as well the power of godliness (see 2Tim. 3:5); besides, the inner reality is ever increasing unto abundance and fullness; “these things” refer to the eight spiritual qualities from verse five to seven.
“In the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”, “knowledge”: sure and full knowledge, the same word with the knowledge in verse two and three in the original; “in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”: the source and foundation of all spiritual blessings (see v.2, 3).
“You will be neither barren nor unfruitful”, “barren”: the opposite of diligence, namely, idleness without life; “unfruitful”: bear fruit of spiritual life, including the knowledge of truth, the growth of life, the progression of the preachment of the gospel, the fruit of service etc. Here, the fruit especially emphasizes the more knowledge of the Lord and the fruit produced by the knowledge of the Lord (see v.2-3, 11).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Abound…”, it is the natural result of the increase of the above-mentioned eight spiritual qualities (see v.5-7). Whenever they stop increasing, the fruit will not abound.
2) We shall not be satisfied with the present achievements, for it is the sign of spiritual death of no spiritual growth. He who is living will grow unceasingly, first stature and then capacity.
3) Godliness is absolutely connected with the knowledge of the Lord. The more abundant spiritual virtue we have, the more will we know the Lord. On the contrary, the more we know the Lord, the more virtue will we be given.
4) The pursuit of all knowledge should be the pursuit of the knowledge of what the Lord is, and what the Lord has and what the Lord does. Any knowledge should not go against the nature and will of the Lord.
5) He who is lazy cannot understand the Scriptures nor bear spiritual fruit. The devil most prefers to use lazy men, but God uses diligent men only.
Pet. 1:9 “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.”
YLT: “for he with whom these things are not present is blind, dim-sighted, having become forgetful of the cleansing of his old sins;”
Meaning of Words: “shortsighted”: cannot see far off, shut the eyes; “old”: in time past; “cleanse”: wash off, purge;
Literal Meaning: “for he who lacks these things”, “lack”: a shortage of…; “these things”: the above-mentioned eight spiritual qualities (see v.5-7);
“Is shortsighted, even to blindness”, “blindness”: it is not total blindness, but one has not seen what he is supposed to see or one does not understand even though he has seen (see Matt. 13:13-17); “is shortsighted”, see only what is apparent and superficial and partial and present rather than the long-term and significant things, such as the spiritual reality or the heavenly things or the lessons learnt in the past or the direction of the pursuit in future etc,
“And has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins”, here it suggests that such man had already been saved clearly, but his past spiritual experience has no effect on his present walking and pursuit. That is to say, he no longer seeks further favor even though he has already been favored ---- he has forsaken the key that links him to God.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) God is light. If we have really known Him and have fellowship with Him, we will walk in light (1John 1:5, 7). However, if one lacks the fruit of light, he is blind in darkness (see 1John 2:11).
2) Short-sightedness is a sort of blindness ---- regard earthly profit only and disregard heavenly reward; regard the present gain and disregard the loss in future; regard partly benefit and disregard the whole harvest.
3) There are three common mistakes that Christians often make ---- blindness, short-sightedness and be easy to forget. Not only men in the world but also Christians are easy to forget. No wonder that the Lord Jesus Himself set the Lord’s table and let us often remember His sacrificial love for us (see 1Cor. 11:23-25).
4) If a Christian has not grown up with diligence, he has willfully forgotten that his sins were remitted when he had believed the Lord. If one does not live in godliness, he has purposefully forgotten he is a man sanctified unto God.
Pet. 1:10 “Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;”
YLT: “wherefore, the rather, brethren, be diligent to make stedfast your calling and choice, for these things doing, ye may never stumble,”
Meaning of Words: “even more”: rather, better; “sure”: steady, firm; “stumble”: fall, offend;
Literal Meaning: “therefore, brethren, be even more diligent”, “therefore, brethren”, the brotherhood is manifested here, and the writer cares for them much; “be even more”: it is in an imperative tone in the original, which shows that “diligence” is of our necessity. “Diligent” is opposite to “barren” (see v.8). If one desires to bear fruit, he has to be diligent.
“To make your call and election sure”, “call and election sure”, according to the order of time, election is before call (see Rom. 8:30). However, according to experiences, we may first know the call of God and then understand the election of God; “call and election” are both out of the grace of God, not man’s works. However, the works after one has been saved have proved the good will of God’s call and election (see Eph. 2:9-10). “Sure”, objectively, God’s call and election will not be changed. However, subjectively, the call and election seem to be moved in our personal feelings. Therefore, “to make … sure”, it means making something firm and established in one’s feeling ---- those who are growing in grace will have no doubt about the grace they have been granted.
“For if you do these things you will never stumble”, “do”: do something continually; “these things”: the above-mentioned eight spiritual virtues (see v.5-7); “never stumble”: it does not mean never sinning (see 1John 1:8), but never losing directions or erring from the right path (see Is. 35:8; Heb. 12:13) so as not to be unable to recover after a setback in the way of path.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) It is useless for the one who has not been saved to pay much efforts with diligence. No matter how many “dead works” there are, man can in no wise obtain salvation by works. What they really need is to cease their own efforts or works, but believe the salvation the Lord has fulfilled only. However, those who have been saved need the working of God in their hearts to work out their own salvation (see Phil. 2:12-13).
2) Though the call and election are of God (see v.3), believers are responsible to prove the verity of God’s call through good works and spiritual growth. Therefore, believers will never stumble, but abundantly partake of the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus (see Luke 12:47-48; 1Cor. 3:10-15).
3) He who walks on the path to the kingdom of heavens shall not stop, but always press on. Once one stops, he will drop back. However, the strengthening power of the Spirit will make the walkers not faint or weary (see Is. 40:28-31).
Pet. 1:11 “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
YLT: “for so, richly shall be superadded to you the entrance into the age-during reign of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Meaning of Words: “abundantly”: richly, copiously; “entrance”: access; “kingdom”: royalty, realm;
Literal Meaning: “for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly”, “be supplied to”, it is the same with the phrase in verse five “add to”, which means furnishing and ministering and rewarding; “abundantly” has two aspects of meaning: 1) be furnished and supplied abundantly in the process; 2) be rewarded fully in the end; according to the original, this phrase was used to describe the situation that when Olympic winners returned to their hometown in glory, they were warmly welcomed by the throng of people on the both sides of the street. Here, it describes the glory of the overcomers into the heavenly kingdom.
“An entrance will be supplied to…”, we have obtained the privilege of “entering” the kingdom so that we are enabled to go with boldness.
“Into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, “our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”, it is a complete form of address to the Lord Jesus, appearing three times in the whole New Testament, in the Second Epistle of Peter (see 1:11; 2:20; 3:18); “the Lord” refers to His authority; “Savior” refers to His works; “Jesus”: His humanity; “Christ”: His being anointed of glory;
“The everlasting kingdom”: the eternal kingdom, which is opposite to the present short and transient “kingdom of the world” (see Rev. 11:15).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) In the process of Christians’ entering the kingdom of God, if we equip ourselves in life and disposition abundantly with diligence, God will also reward us abundantly.
2) Any great achievement, glory and reward we have obtained on the earth can not be compared with the “abundant” rewards in the heaven granted to overcomers on that day.
3) There are at least tow sorts of Christians: one is those who enter into the everlasting kingdom “abundantly”; and the other is those who are “scarcely” saved (1Pet. 4:18).
4) The fullness that will be given on that day starts from the cost paid today (see v.10). The more we give up today, the more will we be rewarded on that day.
Pet. 1:12 “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.”
YLT: “Wherefore, I will not be careless always to remind you concerning these things, though, having known them, and having been established in the present truth,”
Meaning of Words: “know”: see, perceive; “truth”: reality; “establish”: build up, be firm, strengthen; “remind”: cause to remember, bring to remembrance;
Literal Meaning: “for this reason always of these things, though you know…”, “know”: it emphasizes the objective knowledge; “these things”: all things pertaining to life and godliness (see v.3);
“And are established in the present truth”, “present”: what believers have now received and kept; “truth”: the truth of Christians’ faith; “are established”: be steadfast and firm;
“I will not be negligent to remind you”, “remind”, it shows that it is easy for men to forget. Therefore, we need to often mention and be “reminded” of these things.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) No matter physical parents or teachers, or spiritual shepherds, the effect of encouragement is always better than rebukes. When the learner feels the deep expectation of the teachers, he may often receive their instructions more earnestly.
2) Christians may also abandon the old for the new and feel bothered about the old knowledge we have heard before and like to hear new things. Such attitude may make us easy to be deceived by false teachers.
3) It is a good and progressive method of “reviewing what we have learned and learning a new” in our learning experiences. Therefore, we need to “be reminded” usually.
Pet. 1:13 “Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you,”
YLT: “and I think right, so long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up in reminding ,”
Meaning of Words: “think”: regard, believe; “as long as”: as … as possible; “stir up”: arouse, awake;
Literal Meaning: “I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent”, “this tent”: it is the corruptible physical body that sojourns on the earth (see 2Cor. 5:1); “as long as”, it suggests the author of this epistle has known he will have only a few days on the earth (see v.14).
“To stir you up by reminding you”, “remind”: help those who have “forgotten”; “stir up”: stimulate those who are “idle”;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Every day of Christian is a chance given by God. We have to seize each opportunity to build up ourselves and serve others.
2) To everything there is a season (see Eccl. 3:1, 17). If we have not caught the season, we will miss it. It is better to regret than to set one’s heart earlier to do what he has to do.
Pet. 1:14 “knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.”
YLT: “having known that soon is the laying aside of my tabernacle, even as also our Lord Jesus Christ did shew to me,”
Meaning of Words: “know”: see, perceive, understand, wish; “put off”: put away, lay aside; “shortly”: soon, swiftly: “show”: indicate, make plain by words;
Literal Meaning: “knowing that shortly I must put off my tent”, “put off my tent”: put off the physical body, namely, die and depart from the world (see 2Cor. 5:4); “shortly”, he foresaw that he would be martyred for the Lord like the apostle Paul (see 2Tim. 4:6).
“Just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me”, it refers to the prophecy of the Lord concerning Peter’s death (see John 21:18-19).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Tent” is merely our temporary dwelling place (see Heb. 11:9), not the permanent one. Let Christians not pay much attention to the corporeal needs and pleasures, but take forethought for the coming everlasting enjoyment (see Matt .16:25).
2) In the last days, it is appointed by the Lord whether we depart from the world to see the Lord (see 1Thess. 4:17) or meet the Lord when we are alive (see Phil. 1:23). Let us accept by faith all that He has measured for us.
Pet. 1:15 “Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.”
YLT: “and I will be diligent that also at every time ye have, after my outgoing, power to make to yourselves the remembrance of these things.”
Meaning of Words: “be careful to”: be diligent, make effort, be prompt; “decease”: departure, death; “always”: every time; “reminder”: put … in mind, have … in remembrance;
Literal Meaning: “moreover I will be careful to ensure”, it indicates that Peter endeavors to complete all the works the Lord has entrusted to Him as long as he is still alive on the earth.
“That you always have a reminder of these things after my decease”, the majority of the Bible expositors think Peter will be prompt in finishing the Gospel of Mark (many Bible expositors believe this gospel book was written by Mark at Peter’s dictation and all the other three gospel books had not come out at that time) so as to hand down real word materials for posterity to remember the Savior (see v.16-18) and get the first-hand experience of Him.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Be always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor in the Lord in not in vain (1Cor. 15:58).
2) Paperwork sometimes is more efficacious than verbal preachment, for it profits more people and spreads for a longer time.
Pet. 1:16 “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.”
YLT: “For, skilfully devised fables not having followed out, we did make known to you the power and presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, but eye-witnesses having become of his majesty --”
Meaning of Words: “coming”: presence; “follow”: imitate, yield to; “cunningly devised”: cleverly devised; “fables”: fiction, tale; “eyewitnesses”: lookers-on; “majesty”: mighty power, magnificence;
Literal Meaning: “when we made known to you the power of our Lord Jesus Christ”, “when we made known to you…”, in a broad sense, it was from Peter’s preachment at Pentecost (Acts 2) to the period of his writing the Second Epistle of Peter. Narrowly speaking, it referred to the period when he wrote the First Epistle of Peter, in which many things of Christ on the earth and prophecies concerning the Lord’s coming are mentioned. And Peter has mentioned the Lord’s coming again in the First Epistle of Peter many times (see 1Pet. 1:7, 13; 4:13; 5:1, 4). “The power of our Lord Jesus Christ”, it relates to the risen power of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus in His incarnation was humble and weak and powerless (see Heb. 2:9, 18; 4:15), but He will come again with great power (see Mark 13:26).
“Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, “coming”, it indicates the things of the Lord Jesus who will come and appear again (see 1Thess. 4:16; 5:23; 2Thess. 1:7; 2:8; Acts 1:11);
“We did not follow cunningly devised fables”, “did not follow”: it is not according to the human tales; “cunningly devised fables”: tales that are cleverly devised;
“But were eyewitnesses of His majesty”, “eyewitnesses”: the fact that he had witnessed on the mountain where the Lord was transfigured (see Matt. 17:1-2; Luke 9:32); “His majesty”, it means that when the express image of God’s person appears to men, the brilliancy of glory is truly much luminous and marvelous (see Heb. 1:3; Rev. 1:16).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The glory of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountain is sufficiently enough to prove his holy nature and the necessity of His glory second coming and the authenticity of the apostles’ preachment (see v.2-11).
2) The belief of Christians is by no means the product of human wisdom, but is according to the testimony of the first-hand experience borne by those have personally seen the Son of God (see 1John 1:1-2).
3) There are three aspects of the apostle’s knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ: a) the Son of man Jesus in the past history; b) the risen Lord living in believers now; c) the mighty Christ who is coming again.
4) Christians, through the eyes of faith, have also seen: a) the redemptive death of Christ on the cross; b) the risen Lord is living in us; c) the mighty Lord will come again.
5) When we preach the gospel to the world, we do not rely on clever and beautiful words, but bear witness of the Christ we have personally experienced.
Pet. 1:17 “For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."”
YLT: “for having received from God the Father honour and glory, such a voice being borne to him by the excellent glory: `This is My Son -- the beloved, in whom I was well pleased;'”
Meaning of Words: “Excellent”: magnificent; “Glory”: dignity, honor; “pleased”: take pleasure, be well;
Literal Meaning: “for He received from God the Father honor and glory”, “honor” emphasizes the manifestation of God’s nature; “glory” emphasizes the manifestation of the divine power; “receive from … honor and glory”, when He was transfigured on the mountain, His divine brilliancy showed that He had the glorious divine power, and the voice of God the Father also proved His honor of divinity ---- “He is My beloved Son” (see Matt. 17:2, 5; Luke 9:32, 35).
“When such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory”, “the Excellent Glory” refers to the bright cloud (see Matt. 17:5), which is also called “Shekinah”, signifying the coming and presence of God.
“This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased”, “My beloved Son” emphasizes His honorable nature; “in whom I am well pleased”, it refers to His mission and ministry of glory ---- all His works are for the will of God that He pleases.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) How “honorable and glorious” the Lord we believe is. However, it is a pity that the majority of Christians have merely objective knowledge of Him but no personal experience.
2) If we have the personal knowledge of the Lord, we will often see the Lord’s appearance and hear God’s voice.
3) Though we Christians are “the children of God” (see 1John 3:1), whether we have “pleased” God is decided by the situation of our pursuit after we are saved (see 1Thess. 4:1; Heb. 12:28).
Pet. 1:18 “And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”
YLT: “and this voice we -- we did hear, out of heaven borne, being with him in the holy mount.”
Meaning of Words: “with”: beside; “holy”: sanctified;
Literal Meaning: “we heard this voice which came from heaven”, “heard”, Peter mentions in verse sixteen he had witnessed His majesty and in this verse he heard the voice.
“When we were with Him on the holy mountain”, “we” referred to Peter and James and John (see Matt. 17:1; Luke 9:28); “the holy mountain” referred to the mountain on which the Lord was transfigured. The place God comes to is called “the holy land” (Ex. 3:5), and the mountain God comes upon is called “the holy mountain”.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If a Christian often experiences the revelation and presence of the Lord, wherever he is, even though in a common and filthy place, it will become “holy” because of the Lord’s presence.
2) There are three important elements for Christians’ bearing witness: a) be an eyewitness (see v.16); b) the testimony one has heard personally; c) the testimony one has experienced personally (“we were with Him”).
3) The effect of one individual’s (“I”) testimony is limited. But the corporate testimony of all (“we”) is authentic and efficacious.
Pet. 1:19 “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;”
YLT: “And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a morning star may arise -- in your hearts;”
Meaning of Words: “confirmed”: firmer, more sure, more steadfast; “word”: (logos); “light”: lamp; “shine”: appear, seem; “heed”: give attention, have regard; “draw”: glimmer; “rise”: be up;
Literal Meaning: “and so we have the prophetic word confirmed … as a light that shines in a dark place”, “the prophetic word confirmed”: the prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ in the Old Testament have provided us firmer proofs; “as a light”: it indicates that the word of God is a shining light, through which we obtain light (see Ps. 119:105; Pro. 6:23); “shines in the dark place”, it means that the light shines in our inner eyes that were once blind (see 2Cor. 4:3-4).
“Which you do well to heed”, fathom and meditate upon the lines of the Scriptures and look upon the divine revelation of the Spirit;
“Until the day dawns”, “until”: be diligent in the word of God without idleness and be persistent to the end; “the day dawns”, it refers to the first glimmer of dawn, which contains two meanings: a) when the word of God is opened (see Ps. 119:130); 2) when our spirit is awakened (see Rom. 13:11-12).
“And the morning star rises in your hearts”, “the morning star” has two aspects of meaning: a) the Lord Himself (Rev. 22:16); b) the prophecies are fulfilled (see Num. 24:17); “rises in your hearts”: know (see Luke 1:4) and see (see 2Cor. 4:6) truly in hearts;
This verse has two aspects of meaning in both narrow and broad sense: a) in the narrow sense, it refers to the knowledge of the prophecies concerning the second coming of Christ; b) in the broad sense, it contains the perfect revelation of the truth of the Scriptures including the second coming of Christ.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The prophecies are firmer than the apparent phenomenon we see. That is to say, God’s word is more steadfast than man’s experience. Believers shall not believe “spiritual experience” blindly, but take the word of God as the proof.
2) Our attitude towards the Lord’s word absolutely decides the amount of the light we will receive. The more careful one searches the word and the more he cherishes the divine word in heart, the more light will he obtain. Let not the man who is careless and negligent of the Lord’s word obtain some light from the Scriptures.
3) Those who spare more efforts in searching the Scriptures will be more spiritually enlightened.
4) Christ is the light, namely, the morning star. Believers have to find Christ from the Scriptures so that the Scripture shall profit us (see John 5:39-40).
5) The four steps of obtaining spiritual inspiration from the Scriptures: a) search the Scriptures ----heed the prophecies of the prophets; b) obtain the light in the word ---- until the day dawns; c) meet Christ ---- the morning star rises; d) it is confirmed in the Spirit ---- in your hearts;
Pet. 1:20 “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,”
YLT: “this first knowing, that no prophecy of the Writing doth come of private exposition,”
Meaning of Words: “first”: chiefly, the first of all; “know”: understand, perceive, be aware; “private”: apart, alone, pertaining to self; “interpretation”: explanation, application;
Literal Meaning: “knowing this first”, the chief knowledge about the Old Testament, and it also refers to the chief principle of interpreting the Scriptures (including the New Testament and the Old Testament).
“That no prophecy of Scripture”, it relates to all the prophecies in the Old Testament, especially the prophecies concerning Christ’s second coming. And it is also extended to all the Scriptures.
“Is of any private interpretation”, it suggests that the prophets did not utter or declare prophecies according to their own views (see Jer. 23:16; Ezek. 13:3) and also points that we shall in no wise explain the Scriptures “according to our private interpretation”; “of private interpretation”, it has two meanings: a) according to one’s own interest; 2) according to the scripture in one single place;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Holy Bible is by no means the product of flesh’s will, so it has the supreme authority.
2) Since those who prophesy or write the Scriptures have not done according to their own views, we shall also not interpret the Scriptures according to our private interpretation.
3) Preachers shall not add their own will to the word of God to distort the Scriptures. It is the most ungodly situation of abusing the divine word to fulfill one’s selfish will.
4) It is rather dangerous for those who like to explain certain truth according to one scripture only, which will not only misunderstand the truth but also be easy to produce heresy or extremity.
5) If we desire to understand one certain scripture, we have to search many places of scripture to compare and cite as proofs.
6) The correct interpretation of the Scriptures is the mere weapon of resisting the heretical doctrines.
Pet. 1:21 “for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”
YLT: “for not by will of man did ever prophecy come, but by the Holy Spirit borne on holy men of God spake.”
Meaning of Words: “came by”: carry, bear, move; “of man”: of human being; “will”: desire, pleasure, will; “more”: the same word with “come by”;
Literal Meaning: “for prophecy never came by the will of man”, “for” here it is explaining verse twenty; “prophecy never came by the will of man”, it means that the prophecy itself has never been carried by men ---- the desires and thoughts and views of men are not the origin of any prophecy.
“But holy men of God spoke”, apparently, prophecies are uttered by men, but actually it is that man’s mouth speaks the divine word for God.
“As they were moved by the Holy Spirit”, the Holy Spirit breathes out to move or drive men to prophesy according to the will of the Spirit just like the wind sails the boat.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Scriptures are fulfilled by the writers inspired by the Spirit. We, readers of the Scriptures, also need the inspiration of the Spirit so as to understand it right.
2) Since the Scriptures are the word of God, they are able to deal with the need of everyone in each generation with different backgrounds. Everyone can seek help from the Scriptures at all times and in all over the world
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Knowledge of Christ
A. The multiplied grace and peace because of the knowledge of Christ (v.2);
B. All things pertain to life and godliness because of the knowledge of Christ (v.3);
C. Obtain more knowledge of Christ because of
abundant spiritual growth (v.5
D. Bear fruit and get an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God because of the knowledge of Christ (v.8b-11);
E. From “fleshly sight” to “spiritual sight” concerning the knowledge of Christ (v.16-19);
Basic Principles of the Spiritual Arithmetic ---- Plus, Minus, Multiply, Divide
A. Plus---- be partakers of the divine nature, plus eight kinds of moral qualities (v.4b-7);
B. Minus---- escape the corruption that is in
the world through lust, minus sins
C. Multiply---- abundant moral qualities and full fruit (v.8, 11);
D. Divide ---- deny oneself and exalt Christ (v.15-18);
Eight Steps of Spiritual Growth
A. Faith (v
B. Virtue (v.5b);
C. Knowledge (v
D. Self-control (v
E. Perseverance (v.6b);
F. Godliness (v
G. Brotherly kindness (v
H. Love (v.7b);
A. Diligence is the necessary condition for us to develop our spiritual qualities (v.5-9);
B. Diligence is the necessary way of making our calling sure (v.10-11);
C. Diligence is the necessary performance of our fulfilling the ministry of serving the saints (v.12-15);
D. Diligence in the word of God is the necessary means of meeting Christ in spirit (v.19-21);
Five Negative Effects of the Lack of Growth
A. Not bear fruit ---- have no effective actions (v.8);
B. Blindness ---- lose the sight of God (v.9);
C. Shortsightedness ---- see only the earthly things and present things (v.9);
D. Be easy to forget ---- forget the experience in the Lord (v.9);
E. Stumble ---- be mixed in sins and the world again (v.10);
Four Effects of Growth
A. Bear much fruit (v.8);
B. Sure (v
C. Never stumble (v.10b);
D. Be supplied abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of God (v.11);
Two Great Bases of Christian’s Belief
A. Doctrines preached by the apostles ---- the New Testament (v.16-28);
B. Prophecies preached by the prophets ---- the Old Testament (v.19-21);
The Bible is the Word of God
A. Which is true and authentic (v
B. Which enlightens the hearts of men (v.19b);
C. Which has the power of the Spirit (v.20-21);
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou