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2 Peter Chapter One


2 Peter 1

The Second Epistle of Peter is even more simple than the First. Like those of Jude and John, it is written essentially with a view to the seducers, who, with large promises of liberty, beguiled souls into sin and licentiousness, denying the coming of Christ, and in fact disowning all His rights over them. The epistle admonishes the same Christians to whom the First was written, pointing out the characteristic features of these false teachers; denouncing them with the utmost energy; explaining the long-sufferance of God, and announcing a judgment which, like His patience, would befit the majesty of Him who was to execute it.

But before giving these warnings, which begin with chapter 2, the apostle exhorts Christians to make their own calling and election sure-not evidently in the heart of God, but as a fact in their own hearts, and in practical life, by walking in such a manner as not to stumble; so that testimony to their portion in Christ should be always evident, and an abundant entrance be ministered to them.

These exhortations are founded, first, on that which is already given to Christians; secondly, on that which is future-namely, the manifestation of the glory of the kingdom. In touching upon this last subject, he indicates a still more excellent portion-the bright Morning Star, the heavenly Christ Himself and our association with Him before He appears as the Sun of righteousness. Thirdly, we shall see that the warnings are founded also on another basis-namely, the dissolution of the heavens and the earth, proving the instability of all that unbelief rested upon, and furnishing for the same reason a solemn warning to the saints to induce them to walk in holiness.

The apostle describes his brethren as having obtained the same precious [1] to the promises made to the fathers, for that surely is the force of the word "righteousness" in this place. The faithfulness of the God of Israel had bestowed on His people this faith (that is to say, Christianity), which was so precious to them. Faith here is the portion we have now in the things that God gives, which in Christianity are revealed as truths, while the things promised are not yet come. It was in this way that the believing Jews were to possess the Messiah, and all that God gave in Him, as the Lord had said. " Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. There are many mansions in my Father's house; I go to prepare a place for you." That is to say, " You do not visibly possess God; you enjoy Him by believing in Him. It is the same with respect to Me: you will not possess Me corporeally, but you,shall enjoy all that is in Me--righteousness, and all the promises of God-by believing." It was thus that these believing Jews, to whom Peter wrote, possessed the Lord: they had received this precious faith.

He wishes them, as is the custom, " Grace and peace," adding, " through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." It is the knowledge of God and of Jesus, which is the centre and the support of faith, that which nourishes it, and in which it is developed and divinely enlarged, and which guards it from the vain imaginings of seducers. But there is a living power with this knowledge-a divine power in that which God is to believers-as He is revealed in this knowledge to faith; and this divine power has given to us all that pertains to life and godliness. By the realising knowledge which we possess of Him who has called us, this divine power becomes available and efficacious for all that appertains to life and godliness--"he knowledge of him who hath called us by glory and by virtue."

Thus we have here, the call of God to pursue glory as our object, gaining the victory by virtue-spiritual courage-over all the enemies that we find in our path. It is not a law given to a people already gathered together, but glory proposed in order to be reached by spiritual energy. Moreover we have divine power acting according to its own efficacy, for the life of God in us, and for godliness.

How precious it is to know that faith can use this divine power, realised in the life of the soul, directing it towards glory as its end! What a safeguard from the efforts of the enemy, if we are really established in the consciousness of this divine power acting on our behalf in grace! The heart is led to make glory its object; and virtue, the strength of spiritual life, is developed on the way to it. Divine power has given us all needed.

Now, in connection with these two things-namely, with glory and with the energy of life-very great and precious promises are given us; for all the promises in Christ are developed either in the glory or in the life which leads to it. By means of these promises we are made partakers of the divine nature; for this divine power, which is realised in life and godliness, is connected with these great and precious promises that relate either to the glory, or to virtue in the life that leads to it-that is to say, it is divine power which develops itself, in realising the glory and heavenly walk which characterises it in its own nature. We are thus made morally partakers of the divine nature, by divine power acting in us and fixing the soul on what is divinely revealed. Precious truth! Privilege so exalted! and which renders us capable of enjoying God Himself, as well as all good.

By the same action of this divine power, we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust; for the divine power delivers us from it. Not only do we not yield to it, but we are occupied elsewhere, and the action of the enemy upon the flesh is kept off; the desires from which one could not cleanse oneself are removed; the corrupt relationship of the heart with its object ceases. It is a real deliverance; we have the mastery over ourselves in this respect; we are set free from sin.

But it is not enough to have escaped by faith from even the inward dominion of the desires of the flesh; we must add to faith-to that faith which realises divine power, and the glory of Christ that shall be revealed-we must add to faith, virtue. This is the first thing. It is, as we have said, the moral courage which overcomes difficulties, and governs the heart by curbing all action of the old nature. It is an energy by which the heart is master of itself, and is able to choose the good, and to cast aside the evil, as a thing conquered and unworthy of oneself. This indeed is grace; but the apostle is here speaking of the thing itself, as it is realised in the heart, and not of its source. I have said that this is the first thing; because, practically, this self-government-this virtue, this moral energy-is deliverance from evil, and renders communion with God possible. It is the one thing which gives reality to all the rest, for without virtue we are not really with God. Can divine power develop itself in the laxity of the flesh? And if we are not really with God-if the new nature is not acting-knowledge is but the puffing up of the flesh; patience but a natural quality, or else hypocrisy; and so on with the rest. But where there is this virtue, it is very precious to add knowledge to it. We have then divine wisdom and intelligence to guide our walk: the heart is enlarged, sanctified, spiritually developed, by a more complete and profound acquaintance with God, who acts in the heart and is reflected in the walk. We are guarded from more errors-we are more humble, more sober-minded: we know better where our treasure is, and what it is, and that everything else is but vanity and a hindrance. It is therefore a true knowledge of God that is here meant.

Thus walking in the knowledge of God, the flesh, the will, the desires, are bridled; all their practical power diminishes, and they disappear as habits of the soul; they are not fed. We are moderate; there is self-restraint; we do not give way to our desires; temperance is added to knowledge. The apostle is not speaking of the walk, but of the state of the heart in the walk. Still, being thus governed, and the will bridled, one bears patiently with others; and the circumstances that must be passed through are, in all respects, borne according to the will of God, be they what they may. We add patience to temperance. The heart, that spiritual life, is then free to enjoy its true objects-a principle of deep importance in the christian life. When the flesh is at work in one way or another (even if its action is purely inward), if there is anything whatever that the conscience ought to be exercised about, the soul cannot be in the enjoyment of communion with God in the light because the effect of the light is then to bring the conscience into exercise. But when the conscience has nothing that is not already judged in the light, the new man is in action with regard to God, whether in realising the joy of His presence or in glorifying Him in a life characterised by godliness. We enjoy communion with God; we walk with God; we add to patience godliness.

The heart being thus in communion with God, affection flows out freely towards those who are dear to Him, and who, sharing the same nature, necessarily draw out the affections of the spiritual heart: brotherly love is developed.

There is another principle, which crowns and governs and gives character to all others: it is charity, love properly so called. This, in its root, is the nature of God Himself, the source and perfection of every other quality that adorns christian life. The distinction between love and brotherly love is of deep importance; the former is indeed, as we have just said, the source whence the latter flows; but as this brotherly love exists in mortal men, it may be mingled in its exercise with sentiments that are merely human. with individual affection, with the effect of personal attractions, or that of habit, of suitability in natural character. Nothing is sweeter than brotherly affections; their maintenance is of the highest importance in the assembly; but they may degenerate, as they may grow cool; and if love, if God, does not hold the chief place, they may displace Him-set Him aside--shut Him out. Divine love, which is the very nature of God, directs, rules, and gives character to brotherly love; otherwise it is that which pleases us-that is, our own heart-that governs us. If divine love governs me, I love all my brethren; I love them because they belong to Christ; there is no partiality. I shall have greater enjoyment in a spiritual brother; but I shall occupy myself about my weak brother with a love that rises above his weakness and has tender consideration for it. I shall concern myself with my brother's sin, from love to God, in order to restore my brother, rebuking him, if needful; nor, if divine love be in exercise, can brotherly love, or its name, be associated with disobedience. In a word, God will have His place in all my relationships. To exact brotherly love in such a manner as to shut out the requirements of that which God is, and of His claims upon us, is to shut out God in the most plausible way, in order to gratify our own hearts. Divine love then, which acts according to the nature, character, and will of God, is that which ought to direct and characterise our whole christian walk, and have authority over every movement of our hearts. Without this, all that brotherly love can do is to substitute man for God. Divine love is the bond of perfectness, for it is God, who is love, working in us and making Himself the governing object of all that passes in the heart.

Now, if these things are in us, the knowledge of Jesus will not be barren in our hearts. But if, on the contrary, they are wanting, we are blind; we cannot see far into the things of God: our view is contracted; it is limited by the narrowness of a heart governed by its own will, and turned aside by its own lusts. We forget that we have been cleansed from our old sins; we lose sight of the position Christianity has given us. This state of things is not the loss of assurance, but the forgetfulness of the true christian profession into which we are brought-purity in contrast with the ways of the world.

Therefore we ought to use diligence, in order to have the consciousness of our election fresh and strong, so as to walk in spiritual liberty. Thus doing, we shall not stumble; and thus an abundant entrance into the eternal kingdom will be our portion. Here, as throughout, we see that the apostle's mind is occupied with the government of God, applying it to His dealing with believers, in reference to their conduct and its practical consequences. He is not speaking in an absolute way of pardon and salvation, but of the kingdom-of the manifestation of His power who judges righteously-whose sceptre is a sceptre of righteousness. Walking in the ways of God, we have part in that kingdom, entering into it with assurance, without difficulty, without that hesitation of soul which is experienced by those who grieve the Holy Ghost, and get a bad conscience, and allow themselves in things that do not accord with the character of the kingdom, or who shew by their negligence that their heart is not in it. If on the contrary the heart cleaves to the kingdom, and our ways are suitable to it, our conscience is in unison with its glory. The way is open before us: we see into the distance, and we go forward, having no impediments in our way. Nothing turns us aside as we walk in the path that leads to the kingdom, occupied with things suitable to it. God has no controversy with one who walks thus. The entrance into the kingdom is widely opened to him according to the ways of God in government.

The apostle desires, therefore, to remind them of these things, although they knew them, purposing, so long as he was in his earthly tabernacle, to stir up their pure hearts to keep them in remembrance; for soon would he have laid aside his earthly vessel, as the Lord had told him, and by thus writing to them, he took care that they should always bear them in mind. It is very plain that he was not expecting other apostles to be raised up, nor an ecclesiastical succession to take their place as guardians of the faith, or as possessing sufficient authority to be a foundation for the faith of believers. He was to provide for this himself, in order that, on his removal, they might find something on his part that would remind the faithful of the instructions he had given them. For this purpose he wrote his epistle.

The divine importance and certainty of that which he taught were worthy of this labour. We have not, says the apostle, followed cunningly devised fables when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of His majesty.

The apostle is speaking, as his words plainly shew, of the transfiguration. I notice it here, in order to mark more evidently that in his thoughts of the Lord's coming he does not go beyond His appearing in glory. For the moment He was hidden from those who trusted in Him: this was a great trial of their faith, for the Jews were accustomed, as we know, to look for a visible and glorious Messiah. To believe without seeing was the lesson they had to learn; and it was a magnificent support to their faith, this fact, that the apostle, who taught them, had, with his two companions, seen, with their own eyes, the glory of Christ manifested-had seen it displayed before them, together with that of former saints who share His kingdom. At that time Jesus received, in testimony from God the Father, honour and glory; a voice addressing Him from the excellent glory-from the cloud, which was to a Jew the well-known dwelling place of Jehovah the Most High God-owning Him as His well-beloved Son; a voice which the three apostles also heard (even as they saw His glory), when they were with Him on the holy mount. [2] We see that it is here the glory of the kingdom, and not the dwelling, in the Father's house for ever with the Lord, which occupies the apostle. It is a manifestation to men living on the earth; it is the power of the Lord, the glory which He receives from God the Father as the Messiah, acknowledged to be His Son, and crowned with glory and honour before the eyes of the world. It is into the everlasting kingdom that the apostle wishes them to have an enlarged entrance. It is the power and glory that Christ received from God, which the apostle saw, and to which he bears testimony. We shall indeed have this glory, but it is not our portion, properly so called: for this is within the house, to be the bride of the Lamb, and it does not display itself to the world. With regard however to the assembly the two things cannot be separated; if we are the bride, we shall assuredly participate in the glory of the kingdom. To the Jew, who was accustomed to look for this glory (whatever might be his idea respecting it), the fact of the apostle's having seen it was of inestimable importance. It was the heavenly glory of the kingdom, as it shall be manifested to the world; a glory that shall be seen when the Lord returns in power. (Compare Mark 9:1) It is a communicated glory which comes from the excellent glory. Moreover the testimony of the prophets relates to the manifested glory; they spoke of the kingdom and glory, and the brightness of the transfiguration was a splendid confirmation of their words. We have, says the apostle, the words of the prophets confirmed. Those words proclaimed indeed the glory of the kingdom which was to come, and the judgment of the world, which was to make way for its establishment on earth. This announcement was a light in the darkness of our world, truly a dark place, that had no other light than the testimony which God had given, through the prophets, of that which shall happen to it, and of the future kingdom whose light shall finally dispel the darkness of separation from God in which the world lies. Prophecy was a light that shone during the darkness of the night; but there was another light for those that watched.

For the remnant of the Jews, the Sun of righteousness should rise with healing in His wings; the wicked should be trodden as ashes under the feet of the righteous. The Christian, instructed in his own privileges, knows the Lord in a different way from this, although he believes in those solemn truths. He watches during the night which is already far spent. He sees in his heart, by faith, [3] the dawn of day, and the rising of the bright star of the morning. He knows the Lord as they know Him who believe in Him before He is manifested, as coming for the pure heavenly joy of His own before the brightness of the day shines forth. They who watch see the dawn of day; they see the morning star. Thus we have our portion in Christ not only in the day, and as the prophets spoke of Him, which all relates to the earth, although the blessing comes from on high; we have the secret of Christ and of our union with Him, and of His coming to receive us to Himself as the morning star, before the day comes. We are His during the night; we shall be with Him in the truth of that heavenly bond which unites us to Him, as set apart for Himself while the world does not see Him. We shall be gathered to Him, before the world sees Him, that we may enjoy Himself, and in order that the world may see us with Him when He appears.

The joy of our portion is, that we shall be with Himself, "for ever with the Lord." Prophecy enlightens the Christian, and separates him from the world, by testimony to its judgment, and the glory of the coming kingdom. The testimony of the Spirit to the assembly does this, by the attraction of Christ Himself, the bright Morning Star-our portion while the world is still buried in sleep.

The bright morning star is Christ Himself, when (before the day, which will be produced by His appearing) He is ready to receive the assembly, that she may enter into His own peculiar joy. Thus it is said, "I am the bright and morning star." (Rev. 22:16.) This is what He is for the assembly, as He is the root and offspring of David for Israel. Consequently, as soon as He says " the morning star," the Spirit, who dwells in the assembly and inspires her thoughts, and the bride, the assembly itself which waits for her Lord, say, " Come !" Thus, in Revelation 2:28, the faithful in Thyatira are promised by the Lord that He will give them the morning star, that is to say, joy with Himself in heaven. The kingdom and the power had been already promised them according to Christ's own rights (vers. 26, 27); but the assembly's proper portion is Christ Himself. In addition to the declaration of the prophets, with regard to the kingdom, it is thus that the assembly expects Him.

The apostle goes on to warn the faithful, that the prophecies of scripture were not like the utterances of human will, and were not to be interpreted as though each had a separate solution-as though every prophecy were sufficient to itself for the explanation of its full meaning. They were all parts of one whole, having one and the same object, even the kingdom of God; and each event was a preliminary step towards this object, and a link in the chain of God's government which led to it, impossible to be explained, unless the aim of the whole were apprehended-the revealed aim of the counsels of God in the glory of His Christ. For holy men, moved by the Holy Ghost, pronounced these oracles, one and the same Spirit directing and co-ordaining the whole for the development of the ways of God to the eye of faith, ways which would terminate in the establishment of that kingdom, the glory of which had appeared at the transfiguration.

Thus we have here (chap. 1) these three things:--First, divine power for all that appertains to life and godliness, a declaration of infinite value, the pledge of our true liberty. Divine power acts in us, it gives to us all needed to enable us to walk in the christian life.

Secondly, there is the government of God, in connection with the faithfulness of the believer, in order that a wide and abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom may be granted us, and that we may not stumble. The great result of this government will be manifested in the establishment of the kingdom, the glory of which was seen on the holy mount by the three apostles.

But, thirdly, for the Christian there was something better than the kingdom, something to which the apostle merely alludes, for it was not the especial subject of the communications of the Holy Ghost to him as it was to the Apostle Paul, namely, Christ taking the assembly to Himself, a point not found either in the promises or the prophecies, but which forms the precious and inestimable joy and hope of the Christian taught of God.

This first chapter has thus taught us the divine aspect of the christian position, given to the apostle for the instruction, in the last days, of believers from among the circumcision.


[1] This passage may be translated "of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ," and perhaps ought to be so rendered since it speaks of the faithfulness of God to His promise. The Epistle to the Hebrews dwells also on the fact that Jesus is Jehovah.

[2] In Luke 9 the higher part of the blessing is brought before us. They feared when they entered into thecloud. God had talked with Moses from the cloud face to face, but here they enter into it. The heavenly and eternal character, what is perpetual, is much more brought out in Luke.

[3] This is the construction of the sentence: "We have also the prophetic word confirmed, in giving heed to which ye do well (as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day shall dawn, and the morning star arise, in your hearts."

── John DarbySynopsis of 2 Peter


2 Peter 1

Chapter Contents

Exhortations to add the exercise of various other graces to faith (1-11) The apostle looks forward to his approaching decease. (12-15) And confirms the truth of the gospel, relating to Christ's appearing to judgment. (16-21)

Commentary on 2 Peter 1:1-11

(Read 2 Peter 1:1-11)

Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance. Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of their calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect entrance to heaven.

Commentary on 2 Peter 1:12-15

(Read 2 Peter 1:12-15)

We must be established in the belief of the truth, that we may not be shaken by every wind of doctrine; and especially in the truth necessary for us to know in our day, what belongs to our peace, and what is opposed in our time. The body is but a tabernacle, or tent, of the soul. It is a mean and movable dwelling. The nearness of death makes the apostle diligent in the business of life. Nothing can so give composure in the prospect, or in the hour, of death, as to know that we have faithfully and simply followed the Lord Jesus, and sought his glory. Those who fear the Lord, talk of his loving-kindness. This is the way to spread the knowledge of the Lord; and by the written word, they are enabled to do this.

Commentary on 2 Peter 1:16-21

(Read 2 Peter 1:16-21)

The gospel is no weak thing, but comes in power, Romans 1:16. The law sets before us our wretched state by sin, but there it leaves us. It discovers our disease, but does not make known the cure. It is the sight of Jesus crucified, in the gospel, that heals the soul. Try to dissuade the covetous worlding from his greediness, one ounce of gold weighs down all reasons. Offer to stay a furious man from anger by arguments, he has not patience to hear them. Try to detain the licentious, one smile is stronger with him than all reason. But come with the gospel, and urge them with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, shed to save their souls from hell, and to satisfy for their sins, and this is that powerful pleading which makes good men confess that their hearts burn within them, and bad men, even an Agrippa, to say they are almost persuaded to be Christians, Acts 26:28. God is well pleased with Christ, and with us in him. This is the Messiah who was promised, through whom all who believe in him shall be accepted and saved. The truth and reality of the gospel also are foretold by the prophets and penmenof the Old Testament, who spake and wrote under influence, and according to the direction of the Spirit of God. How firm and sure should our faith be, who have such a firm and sure word to rest upon! When the light of the Scripture is darted into the blind mind and dark understanding, by the Holy Spirit of God, it is like the day-break that advances, and diffuses itself through the whole soul, till it makes perfect day. As the Scripture is the revelation of the mind and will of God, every man ought to search it, to understand the sense and meaning. The Christian knows that book to be the word of God, in which he tastes a sweetness, and feels a power, and sees a glory, truly divine. And the prophecies already fulfilled in the person and salvation of Christ, and in the great concerns of the church and the world, form an unanswerable proof of the truth of Christianity. The Holy Ghost inspired holy men to speak and write. He so assisted and directed them in delivering what they had received from him, that they clearly expressed what they made known. So that the Scriptures are to be accounted the words of the Holy Ghost, and all the plainness and simplicity, all the power and all the propriety of the words and expressions, come from God. Mix faith with what you find in the Scriptures, and esteem and reverence the Bible as a book written by holy men, taught by the Holy Ghost.

── Matthew HenryConcise Commentary on 2 Peter


2 Peter 1

Verse 1

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

To them that have obtained — Not by their own works, but by the free grace of God.

Like precious faith with us — The apostles. The faith of those who have not seen, being equally precious with that of those who saw our Lord in the flesh.

Through the righteousness — Both active and passive.

Of our God and Saviour — It is this alone by which the justice of God is satisfied, and for the sake of which he gives this precious faith.

Verse 2

[2] Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Through the divine, experimental knowledge of God and of Christ.

Verse 3

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

As his divine power has given us all things — There is a wonderful cheerfulness in this exordium, which begins with the exhortation itself.

That pertain to life and godliness — To the present, natural life, and to the continuance and increase of spiritual life. Through that divine knowledge of him - Of Christ.

Who hath called us by — His own glorious power, to eternal glory, as the end; by Christian virtue or fortitude, as the means.

Verse 4

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

Through which — Glory and fortitude. He hath given us exceeding great, and inconceivably precious promises - Both the promises and the things promised, which follow in their due season, that, sustained and encouraged by the promises, we may obtain all that he has promised. That, having escaped the manifold corruption which is in the world - From that fruitful fountain, evil desire. Ye may become partakers of the divine nature - Being renewed in the image of God, and having communion with them, so as to dwell in God and God in you.

Verse 5

[5] And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

For this very reason — Because God hath given you so great blessings.

Giving all diligence — It is a very uncommon word which we render giving. It literally signifies, bringing in by the by, or over and above: implying, that good works the work; yet not unless we are diligent. Our diligence is to follow the gift of God, and is followed by an increase of all his gifts.

Add to — And in all the other gifts of God. Superadd the latter, without losing the former. The Greek word properly means lead up, as in dance, one of these after the other, in a beautiful order. Your faith, that "evidence of things not seen," termed before "the knowledge of God and of Christ," the root of all Christian graces.

Courage — Whereby ye may conquer all enemies and difficulties, and execute whatever faith dictates. In this most beautiful connexion, each preceding grace leads to the following; each following, tempers and perfects the preceding. They are set down in the order of nature, rather than the order of time. For though every grace bears a relation to every other, yet here they are so nicely ranged, that those which have the closest dependence on each other are placed together.

And to your courage knowledge — Wisdom, teaching how to exercise it on all occasions.

Verse 6

[6] And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

And to your knowledge temperance; and to your temperance patience — Bear and forbear; sustain and abstain; deny yourself and take up your cross daily. The more knowledge you have, the more renounce your own will; indulge yourself the less. "Knowledge puffeth up," and the great boasters of knowledge (the Gnostics) were those that "turned the grace of God into wantonness." But see that your knowledge be attended with temperance. Christian temperance implies the voluntary abstaining from all pleasure which does not lead to God. It extends to all things inward and outward: the due government of every thought, as well as affection. "It is using the world," so to use all outward, and so to restrain all inward things, that they may become a means of what is spiritual; a scaling ladder to ascend to what is above. Intemperance is to abuse the world. He that uses anything below, looking no higher, and getting no farther, is intemperate. He that uses the creature only so as to attain to more of the Creator, is alone temperate, and walks as Christ himself walked.

And to patience godliness — Its proper support: a continual sense of God's presence and providence, and a filial fear of, and confidence in, him; otherwise your patience may be pride, surliness, stoicism; but not Christianity.

Verse 7

[7] And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

And to godliness brotherly kindness — No sullenness, sternness, moroseness: "sour godliness," so called, is of the devil. Of Christian godliness it may always be said, "Mild, sweet, serene, and tender is her mood, Nor grave with sternness, nor with lightness free: Against example resolutely good, Fervent in zeal, and warm in charity." And to brotherly kindness love - The pure and perfect love of God and of all mankind. The apostle here makes an advance upon the preceding article, brotherly kindness, which seems only to relate to the love of Christians toward one another.

Verse 8

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

For these being really in you — Added to your faith.

And abounding — Increasing more and more, otherwise we fall short.

Make you neither slothful nor unfruitful — Do not suffer you to be faint in your mind, or without fruit in your lives. If there is less faithfulness, less care and watchfulness, since we were pardoned, than there was before, and less diligence, less outward obedience, than when we were seeking remission of sin, we are both slothful and unfruitful in the knowledge of Christ, that is, in the faith, which then cannot work by love.

Verse 9

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

But he that wanteth these — That does not add them to his faith.

Is blind — The eyes of his understanding are again closed. He cannot see God, or his pardoning love. He has lost the evidence of things not seen.

Not able to see afar off — Literally, purblind. He has lost sight of the precious promises: perfect love and heaven are equally out of his sight. Nay, he cannot now see what himself once enjoyed. Having, as it were, forgot the purification from his former sins - Scarce knowing what he himself then felt, when his sins were forgiven.

Verse 10

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

Wherefore — Considering the miserable state of these apostates.

Brethren — St. Peter nowhere uses this appellation in either of his epistles, but in this important exhortation.

Be the more diligent — By courage, knowledge, temperance, etc.

To make your calling and election firm — God hath called you by his word and his Spirit; he hath elected you, separated you from the world, through sanctification of the Spirit. O cast not away these inestimable benefits! If ye are thus diligent to make your election firm, ye shall never finally fall.

Verse 11

[11] For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

For if ye do so, an entrance shall be ministered to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom - Ye shall go in full triumph to glory.

Verse 12

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

Wherefore — Since everlasting destruction attends your sloth, everlasting glory your diligence, I will not neglect always to remind you of these things - Therefore he wrote another, so soon after the former, epistle.

Though ye are established in the present truth — That truth which I am now declaring.

Verse 13

[13] Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

In this tabernacle — Or tent. How short is our abode in the body! How easily does a believer pass out of it!

Verse 14

[14] Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.

Even as the Lord Jesus showed me — In the manner which had foretold, John 21:18, etc. It is not improbable, he had also showed him that the time was now drawing nigh.

Verse 15

[15] Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.

That ye may be able — By having this epistle among you.

Verse 16

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

These things are worthy to be always had in remembrance For they are not cunningly devised fables - Like those common among the heathens.

While we made known to you the power and coming — That is, the powerful coming of Christ in glory. But if what they advanced of Christ was not true, if it was of their own invention, then to impose such a lie on the world as it was, in the very nature of things, above all human power to defend, and to do this at the expense of life and all things only to enrage the whole world, Jews and gentiles, against them, was no cunning, but was the greatest folly that men could have been guilty of.

But were eyewitnesses of his majesty — At his transfiguration, which was a specimen of his glory at the last day.

Verse 17

[17] For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

For he received divine honour and inexpressible glory - Shining from heaven above the brightness of the sun.

When there came such a voice from the excellent glory — That is, from God the Father. Matthew 17:5.

Verse 18

[18] And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

And we — Peter, James, and John. St. John was still alive.

Being with him in the holy mount — Made so by that glorious manifestation, as mount Horeb was of old, Exodus 3:4,5.

Verse 19

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

And we — St. Peter here speaks in the name of all Christians.

Have the word of prophecy — The words of Moses, Isaiah, and all the prophets, are one and the same word, every way consistent with itself. St. Peter does not cite any particular passage, but speaks of their entire testimony.

More confirmed — By that display of his glorious majesty. To which word ye do well that ye take heed, as to a lamp which shone in a dark place - Wherein there was neither light nor window. Such anciently was the whole world, except that little spot where this lamp shone.

Till the day should dawn — Till the full light of the gospel should break through the darkness. As is the difference between the light of a lamp and that of the day, such is that between the light of the Old Testament and of the New.

And the morning star — Jesus Christ, Revelation 22:16.

Arise in your hearts — Be revealed in you.

Verse 20

[20] Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Ye do well, as knowing this, that no scripture prophecy is of private interpretation - It is not any man's own word. It is God, not the prophet himself, who thereby interprets things till then unknown.

Verse 21

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

For prophecy came not of old by the will of man — Of any mere man whatever.

But the holy men of God — Devoted to him, and set apart by him for that purpose, spake and wrote.

Being moved — Literally, carried. They were purely passive therein.

── John WesleyExplanatory Notes on 2 Peter


Chapter 1. Quality to Increase

Precious Promise
Godly Life

I. Seek Spiritual Growth

  1. Make Every Effort
  2. Eight Virtues
  3. Produce Fruits

II. Alert for Departing the Tent of Body

  1. The Body as Tent
  2. Put Aside Soon
  3. Refresh Memory

III. Prophecy as a Light Shining in a Dark Place

  1. Foretaste of the Coming of the Lord
  2. The Rising of the Morning Star
  3. The Fulfillment of the Prophecy

── Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament

Precious Gifts From God (1:1-4)
      1. Like what?  Like the faith that Peter himself has!
      2. While the "objective" sense of faith (i.e., the gospel - cf. 
         Ju 3) may be in view here, I suspect that Peter has in 
         reference the "subjective" sense of faith (the faith one has 
         in the gospel)
      1. The word is doreomai {do-reh'-om-ahee}, and is in the middle 
         voice, suggesting that "faith" is both given and received
      2. That faith is "given" is evident from:
         a. Ro 10:17; Jn 20:30-31 - faith comes from the Word of God;
            if God had not given His Word, saving faith would not be 
         b. 1 Pe 1:20-21 - it is through Christ we believe in God; if
            God had not sent Christ, many of us would still be idol 
         c. 2 Pe 1:1 - it is "by the righteousness of our God and 
            Savior Jesus Christ" that we have faith; because of Jesus' 
            Divine sacrifice, saving faith is possible!
      3. But faith "given" is not truly "obtained" unless it is also 
         faith "received"
         a. One must be willing to accept the Word with faith - cf. 
            He 4:2
         b. We must therefore be willing to receive the gift which God 
            gives (in this case, the gift of faith made possible 
            through His Word)
      1. Most certainly because of the "object" of our faith:  Jesus 
         Christ, the Son of God!
      2. But also because the "faith itself" (trust, conviction) is of 
         great value to God; consider how God viewed Abraham's faith - 
         cf. Ro 4:3; He 11:1-2
      3. And one might add, because of all the blessings enjoyed by 
         those with such faith!
[This leads us to the next "gift" described by Peter...]
      1. Grace - the greeting which requests God's unmerited favor upon
         the person addressed
      2. Peace - the greeting requesting the natural result of God's 
      1. All men experience God's favor and its result to some degree 
         - cf. Mt 5:45
      2. But only in Christ can one enjoy the "fullness" of God's favor
         and peace
         a. Only in Christ can one have "every spiritual blessing" - 
            Ep 1:3
         b. Only in Christ can have "the peace of God which surpasses 
            all understanding" - Ph 4:6-7
      3. Such fullness comes "in the knowledge of God and of Jesus 
         a. This "knowledge" will be a recurring theme in this epistle 
            - 2 Pe 1:3, 5-6, 8; 2:20; 3:18
         b. What this "knowledge" entails will be the focus of our next
         c. But notice for the time being that "growing in grace" must 
            go hand-in-hand with "growing in knowledge" - cf. 2 Pe 3:18
[To the "multiplicity" of grace and peace, and to obtaining of "like 
precious faith", we can add a third "precious gift from God"...]
      1. "Life" in this context refers to our spiritual life and 
      2. "Godliness" refers to the pious conduct which comes out of 
         devotion to God
      3. Thus, everything we need for spiritual life and serving God 
         acceptably has been given to us!
      1. It is by the power of God that we have new life! - cf. Co 2:
         12-13; Ti 3:4-5
      2. It is by the power of God that we can live godly lives! - cf. 
         Ph 2:12-13; 4:13
      1. Experiencing true "life" and "godliness" can only come through
         the "knowledge" of Him who has called us by glory and virtue 
         - i.e., the knowledge of Jesus Christ
      2. As will be seen in our next lesson, this "knowledge" is much 
         more than an academic, intellectual knowledge, it is a 
         knowledge borne of developing and experiencing life in Jesus
[Finally, consider one more "precious gift from God"...]
      1. Through them, we may be "partakers of the divine nature"
         a. We may share in things related to the nature of God!
         b. One of these has already been mentioned in our text:  His 
            divine power! - 1:3
      2. Through them, we have "escaped the corruption that is in the 
         world through lust"
         a. We cannot escape such "corruption" on our own
         b. But through these "great and precious" promises, we have 
            done so!
      1. Promises already received:
         a. The forgiveness of sins
            1) Promised by the prophets - Ac 10:43
            2) Received upon obedience to the gospel - Ac 2:38; 22:16
         b. The gift of the Holy Spirit
            1) Promised by Jesus - Jn 7:37-39
            2) Received upon obedience to the gospel - Ac 2:38; 5:32; 
               Ep 1:13-14; Ga 4:6
         c. The assurance of God's care and strength
            1) Promised by God Himself - Isa 41:10
            2) Enjoyed by those in Christ - 1 Co 10:13; He 13:5-6
      2. Promises yet to be received:
         a. The redemption of our body, at the Resurrection - Ro 8:23;
            1 Co 15:50-53
         b. The inheritance that is reserved in heaven - 1 Pe 1:3-4
         c. The new heavens and new earth - 2 Pe 3:13
1. All these promises are "exceedingly great and precious," yet Peter 
   seems to have in mind those promises already received...
   a. Such as the forgiveness of sins, and the gift of the Holy Spirit
   b. For through such promises we have already...
      1) Become "partakers of the divine nature" - e.g., Ro 5:1-2
      2) "Escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust" - 
         e.g., Ro 8:1-2
2. But having received these promises does not ensure that we will 
   receive those that pertain to the future...
   a. There is the real danger of apostasy - cf. 2 Pe 2:20-22
   b. Thus the need for the warning at the close of this epistle - cf. 
      2 Pe 3:17
3. To remain faithful to the Lord, then, let us never forget these
   "Precious Gifts From God"...
   a. A precious faith like Peter's
   b. Grace and peace multiplied
   c. All things that pertain to life and godliness
   d. Exceedingly great and precious promises
Have you received those precious promises proclaimed on the Day of
Pentecost? - cf. Ac 2:36-39


Growing In The Knowledge Of Jesus Christ (1:5-11)
1. In our previous lesson ("Precious Gifts From God"), we noticed that
   a certain "knowledge" is the source of wonderful blessings...
   a. Grace and peace is multiplied "in the knowledge of God and of 
      Jesus our Lord" - 2 Pe 1:2
   b. All things that pertain to life and godliness are given "through
      the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue" - 2 Pe
2. Also noted was how Peter closes his epistle with this admonition:
   "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
       Jesus Christ." - 2 Pe 3:18
3. This raises several questions...
   a. What does it mean to "grow in the knowledge of our Lord and
      Savior Jesus Christ"?
   b. How can we be sure that we are growing in this "knowledge"?
   c. Why is Peter so concerned that we grow in this "knowledge"?
4. In 2 Pe 1:5-11, we find the answers to these questions, and in
   this lesson we shall examine this passage closely (READ)
[First, consider...]
      1. These "graces" are listed in 2 Pe 1:5-7
      2. Briefly defined...
         a. FAITH is "conviction, strong assurance"
         b. VIRTUE is "moral excellence, goodness"
         c. KNOWLEDGE is "correct insight"
         d. SELF-CONTROL is "self-discipline"
         e. PERSEVERANCE is "bearing up under trials"
         f. GODLINESS is "godly character out of devotion to God"
         g. BROTHERLY KINDNESS is "love toward brethren"
         h. LOVE is "active goodwill toward those in need"
      3. Notice carefully 2 Pe 1:8
         a. We must "abound" in these eight "graces"
         b. Only then can it be said that we are "growing in the 
            knowledge of Jesus Christ"
      4. Therefore it something more than simply increasing our 
         "intellectual" knowledge of Jesus Christ!
         a. Though such knowledge has a place, it is just one of the
            graces necessary
         b. Peter is talking about growing in a FULL AND PERSONAL 
            knowledge of Jesus Christ!
            1) Which comes by developing the "Christ-like" attributes
               defined above
            2) The more we grow in these "graces", the more we really 
               "know" Jesus (for He is the perfect personification of 
               these "graces")
      5. That it involves more than intellectual knowledge is also 
         evident from the Greek word used for knowledge in 2 Pe 1:2-3,8
         a. The word is epignosis {ep-ig'-no-sis}, meaning "to become
            thoroughly acquainted with, to know thoroughly, to know
            accurately, know well" (THAYER)
         b. Such knowledge comes only as we DEMONSTRATE these "Christ-
            like graces" in our lives
      1. Notice the word "add" (or "supply") in 2 Pe 1:5
         a. Before each grace mentioned, the word is implied
         b. The word in Greek is epichoregeo {ep-ee-khor-ayg-eh'-o}
            1) "Originally, to found and support a chorus, to lead a
               choir, to keep in tune"
            2) "Then, to supply or provide"
         c. This word therefore suggests the idea of "each grace 
            working in harmony with the others to produce an overall 
      2. Notice also the preposition "to" (or "in") in 2 Pe 1:5-7
         a. This suggests that "each grace is to temper and make 
            perfect the grace that goes before it"
         b. To illustrate:
            1) "to knowledge (add) self-control" - the grace of 
               self-control enables one to apply properly the knowledge
               one has
            2) "to self-control (add) perseverance" - self-control in
               turn needs the quality of perseverance to be consistent
               day after day
      3. Thus each grace is necessary!
         a. They must all be developed in conjunction with each other
         b. We cannot be selective and just pick the ones we like and 
            leave others behind
      1. Notice the word "diligence" in 2 Pe 1:5,10
      2. It means "earnestness, zeal, sometimes with haste"
      3. To grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ requires much effort
      4. We do not "accidentally" or "naturally" develop these graces!
      5. If we are not careful, we may be like the teacher in the
         following illustration:
         In his book Folk Psalms of Faith, Ray Stedman tells a story of
         a woman who had been a school teacher for 25 years.  When she
         heard about a job that would mean a promotion, she applied for
         the position. However, someone who had been teaching for only
         one year was hired instead.  She went to the principal and 
         asked why.  The principal responded, "I'm sorry, but you 
         haven't had 25 years of experience as you claim; you've had 
         only one year's experience 25 times." During that whole time 
         the teacher had not improved.
[We may have been Christians for a number of years.  But unless we 
continue to grow, we are simply repeating the first year over and over 
Is the effort worth it?  In the context of this passage Peter gives 
THREE reasons why we should "give all diligence" to grow in this 
knowledge of Jesus Christ...]
      AND "AMNESIA" - 2 Pe 1:9
      1. Our religion is "short-sighted" if we are not growing in the 
         knowledge of Jesus Christ!
         a. For what is the ultimate objective of being a Christian?
         b. To become like Christ! - cf. Ro 8:29; Co 3:9-11
         c. As we have seen, this is what it really means to grow in
            the knowledge of Christ
      2. Failure to so grow is an indication that we forgot why we were
         redeemed by the blood of Christ in the first place!
         a. To have our sins forgiven, yes...
         b. But then, that we might present ourselves to God and become
            what He wants us to be - LIKE HIS SON!
      1. This does not mean we will never sin - cf. 1 Jn 1:8,10
      2. The word "stumble" in Greek means "to fall into misery, become
         wretched; cf. the loss of salvation" (Thayer)
      3. We will never stumble so as to fall short of our ultimate 
      4. But this is true ONLY if we are "giving all diligence" to grow
         in the knowledge of Christ and thereby "making our calling and
         election sure"
      SUPPLIED - 2 Pe 1:11
      1. This "everlasting kingdom" is likely the "heavenly kingdom" 
         referred to by Paul in 2 Ti 4:18
      2. In other words, the ultimate destiny of the redeemed!
      3. What is meant by the idea of an "abundant entrance"?
         a. "You may be able to enter, not as having escaped from a 
            shipwreck, or from fire,but as it were in triumph." 
         b. By possessing the eight graces, we will be able to live 
            victoriously in this life and to joyously anticipate what 
            lies ahead - cf. 2 Ti 4:6-8
1. These three reasons should sufficiently motivate us to be diligent 
   in growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ
2. Give all diligence to make our calling and election sure, by making 
   every effort to add these "graces" to our lives!
3. Or have we forgotten that we were purged from our old sins?
   a. We have, if we are apathetic in our desire to grow in these 
   b. If so, we need to repent and pray for forgiveness!
Are you growing in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord?


Perspectives From An Aged Apostle (1:12-15)
1. When a person faces impending death, their mind usually turns to 
   thinking about things most important to them
2. For example, when Jesus knew His death was imminent, His prayer in 
   John 17 reveals that the unity of believers was a great concern to 
   Him - Jn 17:20-21
3. From our text for this lesson, it is evident that the apostle Peter 
   knew his time on earth was short - 2 Pe 1:12-15 (READ)
4. What sort of things were on the mind of Peter at this time?  What 
   did this apostle of our Lord consider to be of great importance?
5. There are several things we can glean from this passage in answer to
   these questions, that I call "Perspectives From An Aged Apostle"
[For example, consider...]
      1. He does not want to be negligent in reminding them - 2 Pe 1:12
      2. He thinks it proper to remind them - 2 Pe 1:13
      3. He is even taking steps to ensure that they are reminded after
         his death - 2 Pe 1:15
      1. Peter's concern is not a reflection on their present condition
         - 2 Pe 1:13
         a. It is not as though they don't know what they should know
         b. It is not as though they weren't established in what they 
      2. But there is always the need to "stir up"
         a. The Greek word is diegeiro {dee-eg-i'-ro}, and means "to 
            wake fully, i.e. arouse (lit. or fig.):--arise, awake, 
            raise, stir up"
         b. The tendency is for one to become slack in their service to
         c. Somehow we need to be constantly "aroused, awakened"
         d. Being reminded of things that are important is one way to 
            do this!
      1. Through frequent assembling with other Christians - He 10:
      2. Through daily Bible reading -- this is how Peter continues to 
         remind us after his death - cf. 2 Pe 1:15
[Do we appreciate the importance of being reminded, especially of 
things pertaining to the Christian life?  May the concerns of an aged 
apostle help us to appreciate this need!
Peter also shares with us...]
      1. Peter views his body as a "tabernacle" (KJV) or "tent" (NKJV) 
         - 2 Pe 1:13-14
      2. In other words, a temporary housing for his "inner man" which 
         continues after death - cf. Mt 10:28
      3. Does this not contradict the view of the "Jehovah's Witnesses"
         who claim that the body IS the soul, and not a housing for the
      4. Paul's concept of the body was the same as Peter's - cf. 2 Co
      1. Peter speaks of his impending death, which the Lord had showed
         him - 2 Pe 1:14 (a possible reference to Jn 21:18-19?)
      2. He first describes his dying as "I must put off my tent"
         a. Again, this reflects his view of the body
         b. And the differentiation between the soul ("I") and the body
            ("my tent")
      3. In further describing his death, he uses the Greek word exodos
         {ex'-od-os} - 2 Pe 1:15
         a. Which means "an exit, i.e. (fig.) death:--decease, 
         b. It is the same word used to describe the Israel's "exodus" 
            from Egyptian bondage
         c. Far from viewing death as an end, Peter sees it as a an 
            exit from one world to the next
[Our apprehension of dying can be lessened if we adopt this aged 
apostle's view of the body and death.  It can certainly help keep 
things in proper perspective!
Finally, let's try to glean from our text...]  
      1. "I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things"
         - 2 Pe 1:12
      2. "I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder 
         of these things" - 2 Pe 2:15
      -- What are "these things" that Peter is so concerned about?
      1. "These things" must refer to what Peter had described in 
         previous verses
      2. Which we saw in our previous lesson dealt with "Growing In The
         Knowledge Of Jesus Christ" - 2 Pe 1:5-11
      3. Does this not say something about the importance of our 
         previous study?
         a. Peter knew his time on earth was short, that death was 
         b. In what little time he had left, he wanted to remind them 
            of that which was most important
         c. Even his last words in this epistle come back to this theme
            - 2 Pe 3:18
         d. It is evident, then, that "growing in the knowledge of 
            Jesus Christ" as defined by Peter in verses 5-11 should be
            of utmost importance to the Christian!
            1) Other things certainly have their place (e.g., the 
               identity, organization, work, and worship of the church)
            2) But if there is to be a priority for the growing 
               Christian, let it be that which Peter was most concerned
               about during his final days on earth!
1. I have often benefited greatly from the time spent visiting with 
   aged saints, who knew that their time on earth was short...
   a. They were often prone to speak of noble themes, such as the 
      meaning of life and death, and what is really important in life
   b. Their perspective on things was sharpened, both by their
      experience and by the realization that life is but a vapor
2. What a privilege it must have been for those Christians in the first
   century who were around Peter as his end drew near!
   a. To be able to sit at his feet, and listen to his words of
      exhortation and warning
   b. To receive counsel from one who knew our Lord intimately, and
      served Him long and faithfully
3. Fortunately for us, Peter was indeed "careful to ensure that you
   always have a reminder of these things" after his decease, and we
   have that reminder in his epistles!
Will we take advantage of the "Perspectives Of An Aged Apostle", and
allow his "reminders" to stir us up?


The Foundation For Our Precious Faith (1:16-21)
1. We saw in our first lesson that this Second Epistle of Peter was
   addressed to "those who have obtained like precious faith with us"
   - cf. 2 Pe 1:1
2. We also pointed out that the "precious faith" is most likely the 
   personal conviction or trust in Jesus Christ one must have in order 
   to be pleasing to God
3. But upon what foundation does our "precious faith" in Christ rest?
   a. Is it just "blind faith", or perhaps credulity on our part?
   b. While that may be the case for some, it is certainly not what the
      apostles expected or even desired
4. Beginning with the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost, and 
   continuing throughout their preaching and teaching, the apostles 
   appealed to two lines of evidences upon which our faith is to 
   a. The testimony of apostolic eyewitnesses - e.g., Ac 2:32; 3:14-15;
      5:30-32; 10:39-43; 13:30-31
   b. The testimony of Old Testament prophecy - e.g., Ac 2:25-31;
      3:22-24; Ac 10:43; 13:32-41; 17:2-3
5. Even in this Second Epistle, we find Peter referring to these "two 
   lines of evidence" as we consider the text for our study - 2 Pe 1:
   16-21 (READ)
[This passage should help to reinforce the validity of our faith in 
Jesus, as that which is based upon a solid foundation!
For example, let's consider more closely what Peter has to say 
      1. Or to put it as found in other translations:
         a. "We were not following cleverly devised legends" (Weymouth)
         b. "For they were no fictitious stories that we followed"
         c. "It was not on tales artfully spun that we relied" (NEB)
      2. But as we shall see, if what they claim did not happen, this
         is the only reasonable alternative!
         a. Either they were telling the truth...
         b. ...Or they were carefully and purposely fabricating lies!
      3. Why is this the only alternative?  Because...
      1. They claimed to be "eyewitnesses" of what they made known 
         concerning Jesus' coming and power!
      2. As "eyewitnesses" they could not have been deceived...
         a. Their interaction with Jesus was too intimate
         b. As Peter said to the household of Cornelius:  "who ate and 
            drank with Him after He arose from the dead." - Ac 10:41
         c. As John wrote in his first epistle:  "...which we have 
            heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have 
            looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the 
            Word of life" - 1 Jn 1:1
      1. Peter refers to the event that occurred at "The Mount of 
         Transfiguration" - cf. Mt 17:1-9; Mk 9:2-9; Lk 9:28-36
      2. An event which depicted the power, majesty, honor and glory 
         Jesus had
      3. Why this event as a sample of their testimony?
         a. It certainly proclaims the majesty of Jesus
         b. It certainly illustrates the nature of their testimony...
            1) They "saw" Jesus transfigured before them, and joined 
               with Moses and Elijah
            2) They "heard" the voice which came from the "Excellent
               Glory" (God the Father)
      4. The fact that this event, like many others in the life of 
         Jesus, was seen by a plurality of witnesses ("we were with 
         Him") serves to strengthen the force of their testimony
      1. Peter and the rest of the apostles really leave us with only 
         two possibilities
         a. Either they are telling the truth about Jesus...
         b. ...Or they did the very thing that Peter denied in this 
            passage ("follow cunningly devised fables")!
      2. Which is more reasonable, to believe the apostles told the 
         truth, or were blatant liars, frauds, and deceivers?
         a. In the context of the lives they lived, the suffering they 
            endured, the scriptures they left behind, there is only 
            reasonable conclusion...
         b. ...They were in fact "eyewitnesses of His majesty"!
[The foundation of our precious faith, then, rests upon the testimony 
of the apostles.  Even Jesus realized this would be the case (cf. Jn
But there is even more that serves to support our faith in Jesus 
      1. The reference here is to the prophecies of the Old Testament
         a. Which bore witness to the coming Messiah - e.g., Isa 9:6-7;
         b. To which the apostles often appealed in their efforts to 
            convince others that Jesus was the Christ - e.g., Ac 17:2-3
      2. These prophecies have been "made more sure" by their very 
         fulfillment in Jesus!
         a. Before their fulfillment, one could only hope such words 
            were really from God
         b. In their fulfillment, our faith is not only strengthened in
            the subject of such prophecies (Jesus Christ), but in the 
            origin of the prophecies themselves!
      3. It is these fulfilled prophecies which serve to support our 
      1. Though fulfilled, Christians should still carefully study the 
         Old Testament Scriptures
      2. Even as Paul commanded Timothy to do - 2 Ti 3:14-15
      3. For their value is like "a light that shines in a dark place"
         a. Like apostolic testimony, they help to confirm our faith in
         b. They also help the Christian become "wise for salvation 
            through faith which is in Christ Jesus" - cf. 2 Ti 3:15
         c. They are therefore a source for developing patience, 
            comfort and hope - cf. Ro 15:4
      4. And they will serve such purpose "until the day dawns and the 
         morning star rises in your hearts"
         a. A likely reference to the coming of our Lord, described by 
            John as "the Bright and Morning Star" - cf. Re 22:16
         b. Whose coming will be seen by all ("every eye will see 
            Him"), but will be appreciated most fully "in the hearts" 
            of those who anxiously await Him!
      1. To appreciate the value of prophecy in supporting our faith, 
         it is important to know how prophecy originates
      2. As Peter explains...
         a. "no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation"
            1) This phrase is difficult, and has been variously 
               a) "No prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own 
                  interpretation" (RSV; cf. KJV, NKJV, NASB, and JB)
               b) "No prophecy of Scripture ever came about by a 
                  prophet's own ideas" (SEB; cf. NIV)
            2) I believe both the immediate context (v. 21) and the 
               remote context (1 Pe 1:10-12) of Peter's comments 
               support the latter translation (b)
         b. "for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men 
            of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit"
            1) This explains what Peter meant in verse 20
            2) Thus the prophecies of the Old Testament were not the 
               views or concepts of mere men, but the expressions of 
               Spirit-inspired spokesmen for God!
      3. Realizing this, their fulfilled prophecies serve to strengthen
         our faith...
         a. Our faith in the Old Testament as the inspired word of God!
         b. Our faith in Jesus as the Messiah, of Whom the inspired 
            prophets wrote!
1. Indeed, our faith is certainly "precious", because it rests upon the
   weighty testimony of...
   a. Apostolic eyewitnesses
      1) Who saw and heard the things Jesus did
      2) Who despite great suffering never recanted their testimony
   b. Divinely inspired prophecy
      1) Spoken in ages past by men moved by the Spirit of God
      2) Confirmed to be true by their fulfillment
2. Such faith is not "blind", or "credulous", but a conviction based 
   upon solid evidence!
3. Is this the sort of faith in Jesus you have?  It should be, for by
   such faith you can have...
   a. Eternal life - cf. Jn 20:30-31
   b. Remission of sins - cf. Ac 10:43
But it must also be an obedient faith (cf. Ro 1:5; 6:17; 16:26), and
the first steps of faith are clearly outlined by Jesus and His
apostles... - cf. Mk 16:15-16; Ac 2:36-38


--《Executable Outlines


Quality to increase

Precious promise

Godly life


I.  Seek spiritual growth

1.    Make every effort

2.    Eight virtues

3.    Produce fruits

II.Alert for departing the tent of body

1.    The body as tent

2.    Put aside soon

3.    Refresh memory

III.       Prophecy as a light shining in a dark place

1.    Foretaste of the coming of the Lord

2.    The rising of the morning star

3.    The fulfillment of the prophecy

-- Chih-Hsin ChangAn Outline of The New Testament


The Superlative Christian Life Is—

I. The Reward of the utmost possible diligence—all diligence (v.5)

II. Acquired by the best possible process—adding in (not ’to’)(v.5)

III. The Expression of the highest possible character (made up of faith, valour, knowledge, continence, patience, piety, brotherly kindness and love)(v.5~7)

IV. Productive of the happiest possible results—a fruitful life, a clear vision, an unswerving course, and an abundant entrance (v.8~12)

── Archibald NaismithOutlines for Sermons