2 Peter 1
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” 2 Peter 1:1-2
Some very important things to note about this second letter that Peter wrote. First he introduces himself first as servant then as apostle. Peter was much more concerned with being recognized as a servant of Christ, than as his standing as an apostle of Christ. Second, he is writing this letter to fellow Christians and he is extending them peace and grace because of their knowledge of Jesus.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” 2 Peter 2:3-4
The way we exercise the power that is ours to claim, is through knowledge of God. He called us to be His and to be able to be a part of his own glory and excellence and through the knowledge that we gain of Him is how we live a life of godliness. When you start walking with Him and living with your life for Him, then you become a partaker of His divine nature. I love the way Peter phrases it here “his precious and very great promises”. The promises of God are precious and they are great! In other words, as we grow in our knowledge of Him is how we exercise power and it is the only way to live a life of godliness. I think people tend to shy away from feeling that they are living a godly life because they think it says something about themselves. But that’s not the point at all, you can only live a godly life because of who He is not because of who you are. I am one step away from slipping off the curb every single day, if not for the grace and peace of Him who flows through me.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 2:5-8
Have you ever come in contact with a new Christian who is so on fire for the Lord that their faith is spilling out all over everyone? It is a fun thing to watch! But the only way to sustain that is to build upon it. That’s what I love about these verses, everything about this walk builds to get us to love. And I know in my life sometimes it’s like I take a step back here and there and then have to start walking toward love again. When your faith is new and it’s exciting that builds virtue. As virtue in your life grows your knowledge of Him and who He is and what He has done for you grows and with that knowledge self-control kicks in, and then you become more steadfast and able to stand against the things of the world and the fiery darts of Satan and with that it builds godliness in you. Godliness produces more brotherly affection for your fellow man and as that grows you begin to love more like Jesus!
“Therefore brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:10-11
Peter makes it sound so simple here when he says practice these qualities. But really I think it’s us who make it hard. Many times we think if we have not arrived at the steadfastness or love for our fellow man, then we have failed. But we have to remember that godliness in us grows as our knowledge grows. Diligence is simply putting into practice dragging your will to the cross every day. Ask Him for the strength for the self-control you need, ask Him to help you be steadfast against the world, ask Him to help you to love your fellow man. Especially when some of them are not necessarily very lovable. You know there are just some people you have to pray for Jesus to love them through you, because you really don’t like them very well. Some people are just harder to love than others and if Jesus isn’t doing it through you then it just isn’t happening.
The last part of this chapter is Peter giving them a glimpse into some of the things of Christ, which he was fortunate enough to eyewitness.
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,’ we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.” 2 Peter 1:16-18
Peter is telling them, and us, I’m not just telling you about things I heard ABOUT, I am telling you about things I HEARD!! We have all had moments in our lives that are profound moments that we will never forget. Can you imagine if you had heard God’s voice audibly from heaven standing on a mountaintop? Peter heard it first hand, he heard God say “This is my beloved Son!” And he wants others to know it’s not a fable and it’s not a myth! Jesus is the Son of God!
The last three verses of this chapter is encouraging us to pay attention, for these words, these prophecies, the Scriptures, don’t come from mere men, they come from men who listen to God Himself by the Holy Spirit!
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” 2 Peter 1:19-21
Oh I love that picture and I pray, Holy Spirit carry me along and help me to be a lamp shining in a dark place!