2 Peter 1: 1-2
Peter begins by reminding us that through Jesus we have all been given the same opportunity for faith in God. Jesus is our sure hope. Peter also wrote Hebrews. And in Hebrews 11:1, Peter says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Even if it does not look like or feel like it, we can be assured of God’s faithfulness, that Jesus saves, and the Holy Spirit help us stand in faith and hope.
In verse 2, the Amplified version describes our sure hope….”May grace (God’s favor) and peace (which is perfect well being, all necessary good, all spiritual prosperity, and freedom from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts) be multiplied to you in the (full, personal, precise, and correct) knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
Read through that again, bit by bit, and give each bit more thought. WOW ! Now there is something in which to pursue and find assured hope in the new year!
2 Peter 1: 3-4
These verses put simply….God, in His power, gives us everything we NEED in this life and to grow in becoming like Him. This is accomplished by a personal and full knowledge of Him. He has given us His precious and exceedingly great promises so that through them we can escape the moral decay, rottenness, corruption, covetousness, lust, and greed of the world and actually become partakers of His divine nature!
This growing process is called sanctification, meaning being set apart from the world to be set apart unto God! Yes, I want that! Thank You Lord!
2 Peter 1: 5-8
Verse 5 begins with “For this very reason”. So, we need to recall that in the previous verses Peter discussed God’s promises and blessings to us who are now His people through Jesus Christ. “For this very reason” we should behave accordingly and grow up to be like Him.
In verses 5-7, Peter tells us how. First, we give attention and diligence to God and His Word. We employ every effort to exercise our faith to develop excellence and virtue of character by following Him. In exercising good virtuous character, we pursue more knowledge of God and His Word. When we continue to do what He says, then we develop control of self….in mind, emotions, and behavior. We need to practice control of self in order to develop steadfastness, endurance, and patience. This will lead to godliness in our thoughts and behavior. If we truly do develop in godliness, then we will truly grow in brotherly affection, kindness, and the love of Christ in and through us. The people in the world do not have any of these opportunities or hopes!
Verse 8….these virtuous qualities are now open to us who are in Christ, and within reach. They can increasingly abound in us. We can be freed from sin and grow in righteousness. These goals and exercises for growth will keep us from being idle and unfruitful. If we are actively pursuing in this way, we cannot be lost. Our relationship with Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit just grows and gets stronger! Amazingly, we can have hopes and goals to a full, deep, and personal knowledge of Jesus, the Anointed One!
2 Peter 1: 9-11
Here we learn that if you are not attentive to God and not growing progressively in the characteristics mentioned in verses 5-8, then there are consequences. You are still spiritually blind and will only see what is near to you in the outside world. You are also oblivious to the fact that you are continually cleansed from your sins. In other words, you continue to live like the world and bear the guilt of it. No true child of God wants that! We have been set free in order to live in the freedom from sin and guilt where forgiveness opens the door to live freely in righteousness. We are overcomers of the world by practicing and living in Christ consciously, actively and consistently. Therefore, be eager to strengthen, grow in, and make steadfast your calling as a follower of Christ. If you do, you will not stumble or fall. Jesus will hold you up. Yoke up with Jesus. Matthew 11: 28-30. Our rich reward is the abundant provision for entry into the eternal kingdom of Jesus our Savior and Lord! We are so abundantly blessed in Jesus! Coming to know Him more and following Him closely brings great reward and true riches!
Looking back on what we have read in 2 Peter 1, here are my thoughts. When a person comes to believe that Jesus is the Savior, that is just the beginning. If a person stops there, they will likely just keep living like the world. That is not what God intended. We are to grow in our knowledge of Him and His Word and exercise our faith to strengthen it. We should be pursuing and learning of Him and His righteousness. If we expect blessings from God (Matthew 5 – the beatitudes/blessings). Our relationship should continue to get closer and stronger. Good relationships take effort.
I am reminded of Jesus messages to the 7 churches in the beginning of Revelation. He was warning about things that can separate us from Him….like troubles, persecutions, distractions, deceptions, false teachers, false prophets, being too busy, cares and temptations of the world, etc. These are the same things Jesus warned would steal the seed of His Word from our hearts and lives….in the parable of the sower and the seed (Matthew 13).
I am especially thinking of His message in Revelation 3: 14-22 to the “lukewarm” church. 2 Peter 1 gives a similar message in that if a person is lukewarm in their efforts to follow Jesus or grow in relationship and in virtuous growth in their own personal character, then there are consequences. Both Jesus and Peter give strong warning about being “lukewarm” and careless in spritual growth.
Are you pursuing to know God more, to be obedient to His Word, to grow to be more like Him? Can a person really expect His blessings if they are not walking through everyday life in partnership with Him? Today is a good day to stop everything in order to visit with Him alone, one with one.
2 Peter 1: 12-15
In these verses, we see that Peter is stressing the importance of his messages in previous verses 1-11. He intends to always remind them until they are firm on the truth. He is going to remind them until the day he dies, which he believes may not be too far off. He wants to be sure that even after he dies, they will be able to call these things to mind. What he said in the previous verses is that improtant. Can you remember what his mesage was about? If not, maybe you need to read it again and again to become firm in this really improtant truth.
2 Peter 1: 16-21
Peter has been teaching us about the opportunity to be saved by Jesus and then to live with Him as Lord. He has explained the great spiritual and personal blessings in becoming and being a follower and companion of Jesus. He has given a description of how this growth in relationship process works. He has stressed that this is the most important message of truth that he can encourage and remind people to remember.
Now, in verses 16-21, Peter explains how we can know this is the truth and stand on a firm foundation. These are not cleverly devised stories of doctrines. Peter, himself, and others were eyewitnesses of Jesus authority, majesty, and glory. They were with Him. They heard the voice from heaven at Jesus baptism, saying “This is My Son, My Beloved….” (Matthew 3: 13-17). They were eyewitnesses at Jesus transfiguration on the Holy mountain (Matthew 17: 1-9). They actually saw and heard these great things!
BUT, that is not even the greatest testimony and proof of the truth that Jesus is the Messiah (Savior and Lord). Prophecy in the Word of God is even a more sure evidence!!! Jesus fulfills all the multitude of prophecies!!! The prophetic Words about the Messiah are like the lamp shining to pierce the darness and show the Way! It is the light of the Morning Star rising in your heart!
Know that scriptural prophecy does not originate or be interpreted from any person or their human skill. It was impelled by the Holy Spirit through men speaking and writing for God. It involved many men, over many thousands of years, yet with consistency and accuracy. And Jesus fulfills all prophecy to the smallest detail! We have a sure foundation of truth. Jesus is our Rock foundation (Matthew 7: 24-29). Jesus is the true Savior and Lord. Take the magnificent opportunity Jesus offers to leave the world of sin and come into a living a growing relationship with Him!