2 PETER 1:1-15
Adult 1 Sunday School Class November 24, 2019
Theme: People can be harmed by corruption in the world. How can we guard against those negative influences? 2 Peter stresses the importance of supporting one’s faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.
The interpretation of the verses is in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
* 2 Peter 1-3 “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord. 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:”
Peter begins his letter by presenting his credentials as to who he is and by what authority he speaks to the churches in Asia Minor. He enforces the theology of Jesus Christ, in an effort to combat the intrusion of false prophets and teachers. These imitators are denying Jesus Christ and the Scriptures, and the promise of His Second Coming. When we accept Christ, He imparts the Holy Spirit to us and like the birth of a baby whose genetic DNA is set, so to our Christian DNA is established by our faith. God gives us all things that we will ever need for “life and godliness”.
* v.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.” When we accept Christ and gain salvation through our faith, we become partakers of the divine nature of God’s promises that brings us closer to Him.
We have moved toward God and away from the corruption in the world through human desires when we were “slaves to sin”. We must understand the “already/not yet” aspects of Christ’s salvation. When we become saved we must become “Christ like” and live an exemplary life that glorifies Christ on earth; that’s the “already” part. The “not yet” part is that once we are saved, we cannot wait to get to heaven to become like Jesus Christ. In our character and conduct, we must make ourselves a living sacrifice to draw the unsaved to Christ here on earth.
* vs.5 – 7, “And beside this, given all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
As we mature spiritually, as partakers of God’s divine nature, He adds to our faith virtue, and through progression ends up with charity (love). God gives us many promises for various situations: eternal life, forgiveness, healing, joy, peace, and prosperity, but God’s greatest promise was the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. Our divine nature allows us to grow spiritually and develop these attributes, and “conform to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).
* v. 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.” The 7 qualities mentioned in verses 5-7 that reside within Christians, are used to build up His earthly kingdom, will benefit not only the Christian, but all of those who see their embodiment of Christ and follow His Gospel. They will not be void of substance, but fruitful and their works will be an inspiration, and to improve the lives of others in doing the works of God
* v.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.”
Those who do not utilize the promises (vs 5 – 7) that God had given to them are blind, shortsighted because they intentionally dismiss from whence God had delivered them. They can only see things that are near or which they can touch, and are not farsighted enough to see future visions which God will offer them. “Old sins” are the sins you had before you were saved.
* v.10, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”
Peter reminds them to always remember that you have accepted Jesus Christ and are doing God’s work as He has directed you; and that you are saved by the blood of Jesus at the Cross. By living a godly life, you should never fall or stumble, meaning living a life apart from God; who has shown you mercy and grace with your salvation.
* v.11, “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
We are to continue to grow in the Word, and add to the special gifts which God has given us through Jesus Christ. By our obedience, we will be expanding God’s kingdom here on earth. He will give us abundant life filled with the riches of knowledge and holiness beyond our imagination. With this knowledge and growth in the Word, we will be able to defend against the false prophets who seek to destroy God’s church and the countless lives of others. If we can’t identify false prophets, then how can we save ourselves and others.
* v. 12, “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be establish in the present truth.”
Peter is saying for Christians to ‘always be vigilant and keep the theology which you have been taught. For if you relax in your spiritual life you might possible backslide and fall prey to the false teachings.’ So establish yourselves in the “truth”, that you may one day become independent and resist the corruption of the world and hold fast by remembering your teachings, and that your faith is continually being renewed.
* vs. 13 – 15, “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in his tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14. Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. 15. Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decrease to have these things always in remembrance.”
Peter is being introspective of his impending death as related to him by God. Peter’s last tasks are to insure that the church fully understands and practices the tenets of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and brings others into the kingdom. Christ expects the church to continue in discipleship, and to instruct Christians that people will die, but God and His Word is forever; and offers believers through faith, eternal life.