2 Peter Chapter 1
Written about the close of the first century, and probably had not been widely circulated among the Christian congregations at that time.
There is a touching tenderness in the epistle of the aged Apostle Peter to the household of faith, showing that, while he realized that the time of his departure was drawing nigh, his solicitude for the growth and development of the Church was increasing. Accordingly, he writes two general epistles, not so much to advance new truth, as to call to remembrance truths already learned and fully received, and to counsel all to faithfulness and to growth in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
In this epistle the Apostle is urging upon the whole Church the importance of developing the fruits of the holy Spirit. Then he reminds them of the vision of the coming Kingdom which he himself and St. James and St. John saw in the holy mount. He points out the need that careful attention be given to the study of prophecy. He warns them of the false teachers who will be manifested among them. He reminds them of the condemnation and overthrow that came to the angels who turned from obedience to God, of the catastrophe that befell Sodom and Gomorrah because of their corruption, of the destruction of the ungodly in the Deluge, of the perverse and wicked course of Balaam the prophet, and its consequences. Then he charges that some of them were following his course, and next he discussed the fact that things will not always continue as they have been; that evil shall not always triumph; but that a great change impends, which will be the introduction of a new feature of the divine plan; namely, the establishment of God's Kingdom upon earth.
2 Peter 1:1 Symeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ:
Clarke: Simon Peter - Symeon, Συμεων, is the reading of almost all the versions, and of all the most important MSS. And this is the more remarkable, as the surname of Peter occurs upwards of seventy times in the New Testament, and is invariably read Σιμων, Simon, except here, and in Act_15:14, where James gives him the name of Symeon.
A servant - Employed in his Master’s work.
And an apostle - Commissioned immediately by Jesus Christ himself to preach to the Gentiles, and to write these epistles for the edification of the Church.
Precious faith - Ισοτιμον πιστιν· Valuable faith; faith worth a great price, and faith which cost a great price. …It is necessary however to state, that the word precious literally signifies valuable, of great price, costly; and was not used in that low sense in which it is now employed when our translation was made. That faith must be of infinite value, the grace of which Christ purchased by his blood; and it must be of infinite value also when it is the very instrument by which the we are saved unto eternal life.
With us - God having given to you - believing Gentiles, the same faith and salvation which he had given to us - believing Jews.
Through the righteousness of God - Through his method of bringing a lost world, both Jews and Gentiles, to salvation by Jesus Christ; through his gracious impartiality, providing for Gentiles as well as Jews. See the notes on Rom_3:21-26 (note).
Guzik: 1. (2Pe_1:1) Introducing a letter from Peter, to believers.
Simon Peter: The Apostle calls himself Simon Peter. Perhaps, since he writes this letter later in life, he still doesn’t want to forget where he came from, and that sometimes he is still more like the old Simon than the new Peter.
A bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ: The order of these titles is important. Peter considers himself first a bondservant, and then an apostle.
Russell: precious faith -- "The faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 1:3)
How precious is your faith to you?
2 Peter 1:2 TPT May grace and perfect peace cascade over you as you live in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Guzik: Peter indicates that grace and peace - those two most precious of gifts - are ours in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. As we know God we gain these essentials for living.
b. His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness: However, not only grace and peace - but all things that pertain to life and godliness are ours through the knowledge of Him. Knowing God is the key to all things that pertain to life and godliness.
i. We are willing to try almost anything except the knowledge of Him. We will trust in the schemes and plans of men instead of the knowledge of Him. We will try knowing ourselves instead of the knowledge of Him. We need to come to the same place the Apostle Paul did, when he said that I may know Him (Php_3:10).
ii. The Greek word knowledge doesn’t refer to a casual acquaintance. It means an exact, complete, and thorough knowledge.
c. How do we come to knowledge of Him? It comes as we learn of Him through His Word, through prayer, and through the community of God’s people. It is true that we need God alone, but God does not meet us only in our “aloneness” but also in the community of His people.
Clarke: Through the knowledge of God - By the acknowledging of God, and of Jesus our Lord. For those who acknowledge him in all their ways, he will direct their steps. Those who know Christ; and do not acknowledge him before men, can get no multiplication of grace and peace.
Russell: Grace and peace -- As we grow in grace, we will grow in peace. The majority of Christians lack a knowledge of the things which are necessary to preserve to them the grace and peace found through their primary faith in the Lord as their Redeemer; and lack a sufficiency of knowledge to multiply these.
Be multiplied -- If our hearts leaped for joy when we realized the first droppings of grace and peace, how should our songs abound now, with the increasing evidences of divine favor--with this multiplication now experienced. Such should be the experience of all who have obtained like precious faith with Him. This increase of blessing should come through an increasing knowledge.
Knowledge of God -- Intimate acquaintance with Him, His character and the divine plan, gained through the study of His Word. "This is life eternal; that they might know thee, the only true God." (Joh_17:3)
The influence of this knowledge and fellowship with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, reacts upon our own hearts, and has a cleansing and sanctifying effect. The knowledge of the truth is the sanctifying power, the peace-and-joy-imparting power, and the evidence of divine grace and favor.
Do you know the Lord? (How much time have you put into knowing Him?)
Do you have peace?
2 Peter 1:3 TPT Everything we could ever need for life and complete devotion to God has already been deposited in us by his divine power. For all this was lavished upon us through the rich experience of knowing him who has called us by name and invited us to come to him through a glorious manifestation of his goodness.
Russell: Called us -- God requires certain conditions of those who will run in the race. Guilty sinners are not invited nor desired in the Kingdom. All repentant believers are called or invited to consecrate themselves to the Lord.
To glory -- By his own glory (Sinaitic manuscript). "Out of the darkness into his marvelous light." (1Pe_2:9)
Guzik: Who called us: This knowledge of God comes to those who are called. It is knowledge, but it is not mere intellectual understanding or intuition. It is the knowledge that comes by experience - the experience God’s people have of God Himself.
i. As well, the word knowledge here doesn’t speak of a casual knowing. It means an exact, complete, and thorough knowledge.
JFB: life and godliness — Spiritual life must exist first before there can be true godliness. Knowledge of God experimentally is the first step to life (Joh_17:3). The child must have vital breath. first, and then cry to, and walk in the ways of, his father. It is not by godliness that we obtain life, but by life, godliness. To life stands opposed corruption; to godliness, lust (2Pe_1:4)
Barnes: That hath called us to glory and virtue - Margin: “by.” Greek, “through glory,” etc. ..But the original word (ἀρετή aretē) is not as limited in its signification as the English word is, but is rather a word which denotes a good quality or excellence of any kind. In the ancient classics it is used to denote manliness, vigor, courage, valor, fortitude; and the word would rather denote “energy” or “power” of some kind, than what we commonly understand by virtue, and would be, therefore, properly applied to the “energy” or “efficiency” which God has displayed in the work of our salvation. Indeed, when applied to moral excellence at all, as it is in 2Pe_1:5, of this chapter, and often elsewhere, it is perhaps with a reference to the “energy, boldness, vigor,” or “courage” which is evinced in overcoming our evil propensities, and resisting allurements and temptations. According to this interpretation, the passage teaches that it is “by a glorious Divine efficiency” that we are called into the kingdom of God.
Are you called of God?
Are you using what God has given you?
2 Peter 1:4 Williams It is through these that He has given us His precious and glorious promises, so that through them, after you have escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires, you may come to share in the divine nature.
Meyer: Precious faith, 2Pe_1:1, answers to precious promises, 2Pe_1:4. Notice that God has given us every provision for a godly life, through the knowledge of Jesus, but that we must avail ourselves of it. The promises are great and precious, but we must appropriate and absorb them, if we are through them to partake of the divine nature. Our redemption has been secured by our Savior, but we must constantly advance and add to the golden links already securely stapled in faith.
Russell: Are given unto us -- These are not given to inspire thankfulness and consecration, for they are given only to the consecrated to strengthen and nerve us and to enable us to "overcome" in fulfillment of our covenant of consecration.
Exceeding great -- If our fellowmen are willing to endure great hardships for the trivial rewards that are theirs, what should we be willing to endure who thoroughly believe in the things which God has in reservation for the faithful?
Precious promises -- Of God's Word. Which relate to the life which now is and also to that which is to come; which sustain and strengthen. These promises working in us to will and to do God's good pleasure--sanctification. God has provided these to us to be stimulated, strengthened, developed, thereby becoming more firm for righteousness and in opposition to whatever is sinful.
The new creature is made strong by these in proportion as he perceives the significance of them and feeds on them. These hopes and promises are so glorious that all earthly things fade into insignificance in comparison with them. There is nothing that compares with them. The more we know of the plan and of the privileges which we may have in it, the more we are enthused. It is when the Lord's servants get a glimpse of these promises that have to do with the coming eternity, that they begin to realize in true measure the love of God shed abroad in their hearts.
When trials arise--call to mind these precious promises, remembering they belong to you. They inspire hope and courage, urging us to greater faithfulness. By the use of these we may make our calling and election sure. Our faith must properly grasp these or our hearts will not be moved by the message of God's grace and our prospects of becoming kings and priests in the Kingdom.
That by these -- By the strength and courage which they infuse. The strength and encouragement which they would afford us, as they did Jesus, to be "obedient even unto death." (Phi_2:8)
Partakers of -- The first resurrection. Joint-inheritors with our Lord. A partaker with him of the divine nature. Partake with our Lord in his new life. What a rich promise is here! How exceedingly great and precious!
The divine nature -- The grade of spirit body being promised to the overcoming "Bride" or "Body of Christ", the "Royal Priesthood." The highest form of the spirit nature. A prominent element of which is immortality, or inherent life. The saints are to be made like unto Christ's glorious body, who is now "the express image of the Father," (Heb_1:3) "the King immortal, invisible," (1Ti_1:17) "dwelling in light which no man can approach unto, whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1Ti_6:16)
"So much better than the angels." (Heb_1:4)
God has set before us the grandest reward imaginable for the doing of that which is merely our duty and reasonable service--which would bring us the largest measure of joy and peace, aside from a future reward.
Having escaped -- We are free. "We are saved by hope." (Rom_8:24) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." (Rom_8:1) "If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." (2Pe_2:20) Unbelievers have not escaped.
The corruption -- The condemnation that is on the world. We are no longer dying because of the divine "curse" or "wrath" but in view of our justification and subsequent presentation as living sacrifices, our death is reckoned as a part of Christ's sacrifice. Only a few who have been blessed with hearing ears and understanding hearts are redeemed from the curse or sentence of eternal death.
Is in the world -- The great mass of mankind outside the household of faith are still under the original sentence--eternal death.
Lust -- Worldly desires and ambitions. Our word lust has changed its meaning a great deal. In the Greek it has a much wider meaning. In the original, it means any earthly desires, for instance, the lust for power.
Guzik: By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises: What good are the glory and virtue of God that called us? By them He gave us exceedingly great and precious promises. This means that the promises of God are based upon His glory and virtue, and therefore perfectly reliable. God would never compromise His glory and virtue.
i. Psa_138:2 reminds us that God honors His word even above His name. We never have to doubt any promise of God. Instead we should let God be true but every man a liar (Rom_3:4).
ii. For these reasons, God’s promises are both exceedingly great (in the sense of being large and imposing), and they are precious, in the sense of being valuable.
2 Peter 1:5 (MKJV) But also in this very thing, bringing in all diligence, filling out your faith with virtue, and with virtue, knowledge;
Clarke: And beside this - Notwithstanding what God hath done for you, in order that ye may not receive the grace of God in vain;
Giving all diligence - Furnishing all earnestness and activity: the original is very emphatic.
Virtue - Αρετην· Courage or fortitude, to enable you to profess the faith before men, in these times of persecution.
Knowledge - True wisdom, by which your faith will be increased, and your courage directed, and preserved from degenerating into rashness.
Russell: Giving all diligence -- In view of the warfare before us, of the subtlety of our temptations and of the weakness of the flesh, the faithful Apostle urges all diligence in the cultivation of the Christian graces and remembrance of the precious truths.
"Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." (Phi_2:12)
Add -- While all of these virtues are imperative requirements of those who would be esteemed of God as faithful, they are only of value as they are added to, or built upon a foundation of faith. Cultivating Christian character cannot be done in a day; but it must be a gradual, daily, life-work; a process of addition, adding virtue to virtue, grace to grace, day by day and hour by hour. We do this repeatedly in respect to all the graces, which keep growing, developing in us and rounding out and deepening and broadening us as spiritual new creatures.
Faith in a personal righteous God must steadily cultivate those elements of character which are always pleasing and acceptable to him and which are most essential to our final overcoming.
To your faith -- The foundation. The basis of character. Your "precious faith" as described in verse 1.
Your abiding confidence in the divine plan of salvation, which centers in the redemption accomplished through the precious blood of Christ. No righteousness of our own without this foundation of faith can avail anything to commend us to God. All our works of righteousness must be built upon this faith. Not faith in everything or every person, but faith in God--in His plan of redemption through the vicarious, or substitutionary sacrifice of Christ, and all His rich promises built upon that sure foundation.
Faith of itself is very good as a start, but God requires more than this. Faith is a good thing; but faith without virtuous works is dead; and to hold the truth in unrighteousness is worse than never to have received it.
Faith is fundamental, and these graces are as the house of wisdom built upon it. (Pro_9:1)
Virtue -- Fortitude. Strength of character in righteousness. Courage.
It implies much more than merely abstaining from evil; but living truthfully, that is, true to His covenant, which to willfully violate would be equivalent to swearing falsely. It implies the cultivation of the strictest integrity in our dealings, both with God and with our fellowmen; scrupulous honesty, justice and truth being the only standards. True excellence of character, such as will mark you as separate from the world and its spirit.
Psa 15:2-5 KJV He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. 3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. 4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. 5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Virtue leads not only to passive, but also to active, goodness--in benevolent charity which seeks to alleviate suffering, to sympathize with sorrow, to comfort those in distress and to elevate and bless others.
Knowledge -- Knowledge of God and His righteous will concerning us as revealed in His Word. Knowledge of God's character, that we may the more thoroughly imitate it; and of His truth, that we may more fully conform to its teachings.
If faith be held firmly, and fortitude of character result, this, under the Spirit's guidance, will bring the faithful one to deeper and wider expanses of knowledge. Give all diligence to the study of the divine oracles--neglect of this divinely appointed means of knowledge is equivalent to setting up our own imperfect standard of righteousness and ignoring the divine standard. Knowledge is valuable to the sanctifying of the spirit only when we comply with the conditions that we shall mortify the self-will of the flesh and cultivate more and more of the Spirit of our Lord.
"This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (Joh_17:3)
Guzik: Giving all diligence: We are partakers of the divine nature, but once we are made spiritual sons and daughters, growth in the Christian life doesn’t just happen to us. We are supposed to give all diligence to our walk with the Lord.
The scope of the list demonstrates that God wants us to have a well-rounded Christian life, complete in every fashion. We can’t be content with an incomplete Christian life. (Guzik)
Are you adding Virtue (strength of character) and Knowledge of God to your faith?
Are you lazy or diligent about it?
2 Peter 1:6 TPT and to understanding add the strength of self-control, and to self-control add patient endurance, and to patient endurance add godliness,
Clarke: Temperance - A proper and limited use of all earthly enjoyments, keeping every sense under proper restraints, and never permitting the animal part to subjugate the rational.
Patience - Bearing all trials and difficulties with an even mind, enduring in all, and persevering through all.
Godliness - Piety towards God; a deep, reverential, religious fear; not only worshipping God with every becoming outward act, but adoring, loving, and magnifying Him in the heart: a disposition indispensably necessary to salvation, but exceedingly rare among professors.
Russell: Temperance -- The knowledge we gain of God through His Word should lead us to greater moderation--in thought, word and action; on business, pleasure, food and raiment. Be moderate--exercising self-control in all things--in eating, drinking, home arrangements, conduct, thoughts, words and deeds. Moderation, self-restraint in all things--we are not to be hasty and hot-tempered, or rash and thoughtless, but evenly balanced, thoughtful and considerate.
It has to do with all our sentiments, thoughts, tastes, appetites, labors, pleasures, sorrows and hopes--and accompanied by faith, fortitude, knowledge from on high, implies increased zeal and activity in divine things, and increased moderation in earthly things. And its accompanying spirit of kindness, and gentleness everywhere, in the shop, store, schoolroom, in traveling, in visiting, at home, with the various members of the family--and above all, in the church. One of the most important elements of good character.
"He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a city." (Pro_16:32)
"Let your moderation be known unto all men." (Phi_4:5)
Patience -- "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." (Jam_1:4)
This grace smooths the way for every other, because all must be acquired under the process of patient and continuous self-discipline. Not a step of progress can be gained without it's exercise--not one of the graces more beautifully adorns the Christian character, or wins the approval of the world's conscience, or glorifies the God of all grace whose truth inspires it.
It is long-suffering meekness earnestly striving to stem the tide of human imperfection and weakness, and endeavoring with painstaking care to regain the divine likeness--it is slow to wrath and plenteous in mercy--it is quick to perceive the paths of truth and righteousness, and prompt to walk in them.
Time is a very necessary element in the process of perfecting every good thing. The fruit hastily plucked is unripe, hard, sour, bitter fruit.
Barnes: And to knowledge temperance - The word here refers to the mastery over all our evil inclinations and appetites. We are to allow none of them to obtain control over us. This would include, of course, abstinence from intoxicating drinks; but it would also embrace all evil passions and propensities. Everything is to be confined within proper limits, and to no propensity of our nature are we to give indulgence beyond the limits which the law of God allows.
2 Peter 1:7 TPT and to godliness add mercy toward your brothers and sisters, and to mercy toward others add unending love.
Barnes: And to brotherly kindness charity - Love to all mankind. There is to be a special affection for Christians as of the same family; there is to be a true and warm love, however, for all the race.
Russell: Godliness -- God-likeness, hearty, cheerful, loving conformity to His will. Devout, controlling reverence for God, which yields a hearty, cheerful conformity to His will--fervency of spirit in serving the Lord. A condition in which the love of God is shed in the heart, influencing all the thoughts and words and deeds. A careful study and imitation of the divine character as presented in the divine Word.
This is a later development and vital element in the Christian character. It springs spontaneously from appreciative and grateful hearts, whose delight is in the law of the Lord; in meditation, prayer and praise.
Brotherly kindness -- Greek, phileo, duty love, a love which has a cause or demand upon it. The Greek word Philadelphia signifies brotherly love.
We may not love our brethren's peculiarities, their features, but we love them as brethren, whether black or white, bond or free, because they are brethren, comrades in the same race. To make due allowance for inherited weaknesses and circumstantial misfortunes of others --to deal patiently and helpfully so far as wisdom may dictate, with a view to the correction of those faults, even at the expense of self-interest, if necessary and prudent.
Accept a brother's proffered aid and meekly bear reproof, determining to overcome deformities of character, and prove a help rather than a hindrance to others; no longer fostering old dispositions.
This of necessity grows out of godliness. As god-likeness presupposes the other graces mentioned, so its development implies an enlargement of our hearts to all who are of the household of faith.
Charity -- Love. Greek, agape, the higher grade of love.
While all the foregoing are elements of love, we super-add love itself in the fullest sense toward the Lord, the brethren, humanity, the brute creation and our enemies. We might divide the race-course into four quarters: duty-love; love for the Lord because we see something of the glorious majesty of His character; love for the brethren; perfect love--for all, even our enemies.
As we get agape love it means that we love all. We must reach this climax of love before we can be counted worthy of a place in the new creation.
Love for God and for the brethren; love deep and pure and true; which thinketh no evil and doth not puff itself up; is not easily offended; rejoiceth always in the truth and never in iniquity; the climax of Christian attainment in the present life, the grace of all graces, which never fades, and which will be perfected when we receive the new resurrection body. Love unfeigned for the unrighteous and unlovely, as well as for the good and beautiful.
A love which is ever ready to manifest itself in wise and helpful activity for saint and sinner; and which pities, helps, comforts, cheers and blesses all within its reach--manifesting and cultivating the disposition which must be found in every member of the Christ company.
A process of addition leading up to the sum of all graces. We do not attain to the perfection of love at the beginning of our course, but it is the mark or standard which indicates the end of the course.
Love is last, and greatest. The chief of all graces.
True love on our part will manifest itself in obedience--disobedience is an evidence of the loss of love as viewed from the Lord's standpoint.
Clarke: Charity - Love to the whole human race, even to your persecutors: love to God and the brethren they had; love to all mankind they must also have. True religion is neither selfish nor insulated; where the love of God is, bigotry cannot exist. Narrow, selfish people, and people of a party, who scarcely have any hope of the salvation of those who do not believe as they believe, and who do not follow with them, have scarcely any religion, though in their own apprehension none is so truly orthodox or religious as themselves.
Guzik: The scope of the list demonstrates that God wants us to have a well-rounded Christian life, complete in every fashion. We can’t be content with an incomplete Christian life.
Are you diligently working on these traits?
2 Peter 1:8 TPT Since these virtues are already planted deep within, and you possess them in abundant supply, they will keep you from being inactive or fruitless in your pursuit of knowing Jesus Christ more intimately.
(GW) If you have these qualities and they are increasing, it demonstrates that your knowledge about our Lord Jesus Christ is living and productive.
(Williams) For if you have these qualities and they continue to increase in you, they will make you neither idle nor unproductive in attaining a full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Clarke: For if these things be in you and abound - If ye possess all there graces, and they increase and abound in your souls, they will make - show, you to be neither idle, nor unfruitful, in the acknowledgment of our Lord Jesus Christ. The common translation is here very unhappy: barren and unfruitful certainly convey the same ideas; but idle or inactive, which is the proper sense of αργους, takes away this tautology, and restores the sense. The graces already mentioned by the apostle are in themselves active principles; he who was possessed of them, and had them abounding in him, could not be inactive; and he who is not inactive in the way of life must be fruitful. I may add, that he who is thus active, and consequently fruitful, will ever be ready at all hazard to acknowledge his Lord and Savior, by whom he has been brought into this state of salvation. (Clarke)
Guzik: The words barren and unfruitful characterize the lives of many Christians, who lack these qualities because they lack in their knowledge of God - knowing Him in the fuller and deeper sense.
Abound: Some may feel good that these qualities are seen in us from time to time. But Peter says they should abound in us.
Russell: These things -- All these fruits. The things previously specified in verses 5-7.
In you -- The Lord's people, begotten of the Spirit. The epistle of Christ written in our hearts.
And abound -- If you have them in some measure, keep on cultivating them, so that they abound more and more and rule in you. It is the abounding of these graces of character added to our faith in Christ as our Redeemer and Savior that insures the soul against the possibility of falling.
May it be possible to have a measure of the Lord's spirit with very little abounding, and hence have merely an enjoyment of some spiritual things, on special occasions at church, etc.?
Neither be barren -- Idle, inactive.
Unfruitful -- In proportion as we find the fruits of the spirit, we expect to find the Spirit which produces those fruits. All possessing this Spirit will be able to grow both in grace and knowledge.
The contrary effects of the spirit of the world upon those who profess to be children of God--the result of a neglect to study and assimilate the Word.
In the knowledge -- Personal intimacy, acquaintance. Acquaintance with the Lord and participation in His spirit.
Closer fellowship with the Father and the Lord Jesus, so that the Lord will be able and willing to communicate to us more clearly a knowledge of his gracious plans and character.
You cannot grow in love faster than you grow in knowledge; and you cannot grow in favor, except by complying with God's instructions. This instruction, this knowledge, is found in His Word.
Are you active or idle in your desire to understand the Lord?
2 Peter 1:9 TPT But if anyone lacks these things, he is blind, constantly closing his eyes to the mysteries of our faith, and forgetting his innocence--for his past sins have been washed away.
Guzik: If we lack these things, it shows we have “eye trouble.” We are shortsighted, unable to see God, only ourselves. This makes us virtually blind, showing we have forgotten that we were cleansed from his old sins.
Remembering what Jesus did for us - such as cleansing us from our sins - prompts us to give all diligence to our walk with God. Basing our walk with God on what He did for us in the foundation for a healthy, growing Christian life.
Russell: He that lacketh -- He who does not appreciate the necessity of this. If a spirit begotten new creature fails to see the privilege of cultivating the Master's spirit--the spirit of holiness--it is because he is not making progress.
Is blind -- The great majority of the race accept divine blessings daily with but little appreciation, with but little thankfulness. It is only those who have the eye of faith, whose eyes of understanding have been opened, who can appreciate the divine glories and benefits at the present time.
Cannot see afar off -- Unable to see the deep things of God. Looks merely at the things of this present life, and will be unprepared for the graduation examinations prior to the inauguration of the new dispensation--now at hand. Cannot grasp or appreciate the things future in the unfolding of our Father's plan.
He cannot see them as an inspiring and impelling power, though he may know of them theoretically, and hold the truth even in unrighteousness. (Rom_1:18)
"Thine eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is very far off." (Isa_33:17)
Hath forgotten -- There is a danger of forgetting and falling into the idea that everyone must suffer the full penalty for his own sins. The effect of forgetting this is the neglect of the Christian graces.
From his old sins -- The word "sin" has merely the thought of transgression; and many of our transgressions are wholly without iniquitous intention. The word "iniquity" carries with it the sense of wickedness. Should any return to sin, "as a sow to her wallowing in the mire," (2Pe_2:22), he removes the covering of sins, and falls back where he was before.
Barnes: And cannot see afar off - The word used here, which does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, (μυωπάζων muōpazōn,) means to shut the eyes; i. e., to contract the eyelids, to blink, to twinkle, as one who cannot see clearly, and hence to be “near-sighted.” The meaning here is, that he is like one who has an indistinct vision; one who can see only the objects that are near him, but who has no correct apprehension of objects that are more remote. He sees but a little way into the true nature and design of the gospel. He does not take those large and clear views which would enable him to comprehend the whole system at a glance.
And hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins - He does not remember the obligation which grows out of the fact that a system has been devised to purify the heart, and that he has been so far brought under the power of that system as to have his sins forgiven. If he had any just view of that, he would see that he was under obligation to make as high attainments as possible, and to cultivate to the utmost extent the Christian graces.
Benson: But he that lacketh these things — And does not add them to his faith; is blind — With respect to spiritual things. The eyes of his understanding are again closed; he hath lost the evidence of things not seen; he no longer sees by faith God reconciled to him in Christ. Inward and outward holiness being the natural fruit of the knowledge of Christ, the person who pretends to have that knowledge, and yet does not aspire and labour after that holiness, is blind with respect to the nature of true Christianity; and cannot see afar off — Namely, the things of another world, but only the things of this world, which are present. The word μυωπαζων signifies literally, he is pur-blind. He has lost sight of the precious promises: perfect love and heaven are equally out of sight. Nay, he cannot now see what he himself once enjoyed, having, as it were, forgot that he was purged, &c.
Clarke: But he that lacketh these things - He, whether Jew or Gentile, who professes to have Faith in God, and has not added to that Faith fortitude, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and universal love; is blind - his understanding is darkened, and cannot see afar off, μυωπαζων, shutting his eyes against the light, winking, not able to look truth in the face, nor to behold that God whom he once knew was reconciled to him: and thus it appears he is wilfully blind, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins - has at last, through his nonimprovement of the grace which he received from God, his faith ceasing to work by love, lost the evidence of things not seen; for, having grieved the Holy Spirit by not showing forth the virtues of him who called him into his marvellous light, he has lost the testimony of his sonship; and then, darkness and hardness having taken place of light and filial confidence, he first calls all his former experience into doubt, and questions whether he has not put enthusiasm in the place of religion. By these means his darkness and hardness increase, his memory becomes indistinct and confused, till at length he forgets the work of God on his soul, next denies it, and at last asserts that the knowledge of salvation, by the remission of sins, is impossible, and that no man can be saved from sin in this life. Indeed, some go so far as to deny the Lord that bought them; to renounce Jesus Christ as having made atonement for them; and finish their career of apostasy by utterly denying him. Many cases of this kind have I known; and they are all the consequence of believers not continuing to be workers together with God, after they had experienced His pardoning love.
Reader, see that the light that is in thee become not darkness; for if it do, how great a darkness!
Gill: and cannot see afar off: at least, not the good land that is afar off, the kingdom of heaven; the invisible glories of the other world; things that are not seen, which are eternal, which one that has true faith has a glimpse and sight of; nor Christ, who is in heaven at the right hand of God, and the things of Christ, his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, carried within the vail; nor even what is within himself, the sins of his heart, the pollution of his nature, and the evil that dwells there; he sees not that he is poor, and wretched, and miserable, but fancies himself to be rich, and in need of nothing; he sees nothing but outward things, the things of time and sense, worldly and earthly things, which are near him, and all around him, which he minds, on which his heart is set, and he pursues with rigour. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "trying with the hand", as blind men do, feeling and groping to find the way; see Act_17:27, (Gill)
JFB: Perhaps a degree of willfulness in the blindness is implied in the Greek, “closing the eyes,” which constitutes its culpability; hating and rebelling against the light shining around him.
forgotten — Greek, “contracted forgetfulness,” willful and culpable obliviousness. (JFB)
Robertson: Seeing only what is near (muōpazōn). Present active participle of muōpazō, a rare verb from muōps (in Aristotle for a near-sighted man) and that from mueō tous ōpas (to close the eyes in order to see, not to keep from seeing).
Are you blind?
Do you remember that you were washed? How does that affect your present life?
2 Peter 1:10 TPT For this reason, beloved ones, be eager to confirm and validate that God has invited you to salvation and claimed you as his own. If you do these things, you will never stumble.
Guzik: Be even more diligent to make your call and election sure: How can we be sure that God called us, and that we are His elect? By doing these things spoken of in 1Pe_1:5-7 (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love). As we see these things in our life, we know that our lives are becoming more like the nature of Jesus. It shows that we are being conformed to the image of His Son (Rom_8:29).
It is possible for an unsaved person to do many moral and religious duties. But the these things Peter speaks of are matters of the heart, and should be evident in anyone born again. Simply put, if we are called, if we are elect, then we are born again - and if we are born again, it shows in the way that we live.
For if you do these things you will never stumble: In pursuing these things we keep from stumbling. Continual growth and progress in the Christian life is the sure way to keep from stumbling.
Russell: Wherefore the rather -- As though Peter said on this account you must criticize yourselves very closely to see that you are developing the real fruits of the spirit, which will have prominently among them an increasing knowledge of our Lord.
Give diligence -- Give the more earnest heed, by adding these graces. Be watchful and take necessary precautions to prevent blight and decay of character and to guard against the intrusion of evil powers and influences calculated to sap the life of the new creature.
To make your calling -- How highly we, who belong to the Gospel dispensation, should value its privileges and opportunities, seeking to make our calling and election sure.
Those who do not have experiences of growth in grace and knowledge are deficient, and cannot hope to make their calling and election sure.
These things -- The things mentioned in the preceding verses. The eight elements which must go toward making up the Christian character. The steady persistent cultivation of these graces of character will clarify our spiritual vision, enabling us the more fully to comprehend the truth of God.
"If any man's work abide which he hath built." (1Co_3:14)
"Let us, dearly beloved, cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord." (2Co_7:1)
Ye shall never fall -- The implication is that there would be some tendency to fall, some testings, and that this development of character would be necessary so that the individual might be able to stand. Fortified by development of character, these will not fall, no matter what the trial that the Lord may permit to come upon them. If there is a fall in our case, it will be due to failure to do our part. Some will not manifest sufficient zeal. These will come through great tribulations. If by these experiences they are brought to a full loyalty to the Lord, they will be granted everlasting life.
This is the time long foretold, when "a thousand shall fall at thy side and ten thousand at thy right hand," (Psa_91:7) because they have neglected the necessary development of character, and have been deluded.
Wherefore - Seeing the danger of apostasy, and the fearful end of them who obey not the Gospel, and thus receive the grace of God in vain; give all diligence, σπουδασατε, hasten, be deeply careful, labor with the most intense purpose of soul. (Clarke)
JFB: Wherefore — seeking the blessed consequence of having, and the evil effects of not having, these graces (2Pe_1:8, 2Pe_1:9).
the rather — the more earnestly.
brethren — marking that it is affection for them which constrains him so earnestly to urge them. Nowhere else does he so address them, which makes his calling them so here the more emphatical.
give diligence — The Greek aorist implies one lifelong effect [Alford].
fall — Greek, “stumble” and fall finally (Rom_11:11). Metaphor from one stumbling in a race (1Co_9:24).
Are you doing the things Peter tells you to do?
2 Peter 1:11 Weymouth And so a triumphant admission into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will be freely granted to you.
Guzik: This is the ultimate reward, why it is worth it to be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure.
Russell: For so an entrance -- But so doing. With the characteristics of the Master deeply engraved upon our hearts. They that add to their faith all the graces of the spirit shall have an abundant entrance into the Kingdom.
Abundantly -- There will be a glorious welcome, a joyous greeting, among all the heavenly hosts when the laurels of victory are placed upon the heads of all the overcoming soldiers of the cross. All this abundance of grace and glory is the possible inheritance of even the weakest saint who humbly looks to God for strength from day to day to endure hardness as a good soldier.
Of our Lord -- If the very thought of the coming glories has lifted us up above the world and its cares, its trials, its follies and its pleasures, how much more will the realities mean to us when we shall be perfect and like our Lord and share his glory!
Clarke: For so an entrance shall be ministered - If ye give diligence; and do not fall, an abundant, free, honorable, and triumphant entrance shall be ministered to you into the everlasting kingdom. There seems to be here an allusion to the triumphs granted by the Romans to their generals who had distinguished themselves by putting an end to a war, or doing some signal military service to the state. (See the whole account of this military pageant in the note on 2Co_2:14.) “Ye shall have a triumph, in consequence of having conquered your foes, and led captivity captive.”
Do you appreciate the great privilege that you have been given when God called you?
Are you adding the graces that Peter listed so that you will receive that abundant (triumphant) entrance into heaven?
2 Peter 1:12 TPT I won’t hesitate to continually remind you of these truths, even though you are aware of them and are well established in the present measure of truth you have already embraced.
Guzik: Peter just wrote about the promise of entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God (2Pe_1:11). Because coming to that kingdom is so important, it is helpful and necessary for Peter to remind you always of the basics of the Christian life.
b. I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know: Even though his readers were did know the truth, in light of what was at stake - their eternal destiny - it is worth it to go over these things again and again.
i. A sports team going for the championship will practice the same fundamentals over and over again. They do this, even though they know the techniques, because they know what is at stake.
ii. For this reason, Christians should never get tired hearing the basics of the Christian life. We should rejoice every time Jesus Christ and His gospel and plan for our lives is preached.
JFB: I will not be negligent — The oldest manuscripts read, “I will be about always to put you in remembrance” (an accumulated future: I will regard you as always needing to be reminded): compare “I will endeavor,” 2Pe_1:15. “I will be sure always to remind you” [Alford]. “Always”; implying the reason why he writes the second Epistle so soon after the first. He feels there is likely to be more and more need of admonition on account of the increasing corruption (2Pe_2:1, 2Pe_2:2).
Russell: Know them -- Too many have contented themselves with knowing the truth, without making special efforts to live it, daily and hourly.
And be established -- Signifies that we have carefully studied and proved it by "the law and the testimony," (Isa_8:20) and are convinced of its verity, so that our faith is steadfast and immovable.
We have been permitted to see, not only the various features of the plan, but also the necessity and reasonableness of all its various measures in order to the full accomplishment of its glorious outcome. It is indeed a most blessed condition, bringing with it such peace and joy as the world can neither give nor take away. But we need to bear in mind that our election to the high position to which we are called is not yet made sure. The race for the prize of our calling is still before us.
If the truth is received into good and honest hearts, we have the assurance that we shall never fall. To be established in the faith is one thing, but to be established in Christian character and in all the graces of the spirit is quite another.
2 Peter 1:13 TPT And as long as I live I will continue to awaken you with this reminder,
Guzik: I think it is right: Because of what is at stake, Peter knows it is right to remind people constantly, especially because he knows that the days of his earthly life are soon coming to an end.
Gill: to stir you up; to the lively exercise of grace, and constant performance of duty: by putting you in remembrance: of the said things; for saints are apt to be forgetful of their duty, and backward to it, and sluggish and slothful in it.
2 Peter 1:14 TPT since our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One, has clearly revealed that my departure is near.
Shortly I must put off my tent: Peter considered his body no more than a tent. A tent is a temporary place to live. Tents should be taken care of, but you wouldn’t invest large resources into fixing up a tent. You save your real resources for a more permanent place to live. Our more permanent place to live is heaven, and we should invest more in heaven than in our tent. (Guzik)
Russell: I must put off -- While Peter realized that the time of his departure was drawing nigh, his solicitude for the growth and development of the Church was increasing.
This my tabernacle -- The flesh. It was consecrated to death and it must fully die. The human is to die--the earthly form must be laid off.
As our Lord -- As did Jesus, so must we all, fully lose humanity. As Jesus our pattern showed us--but the new life hid with Christ will not die, though it slept until now.
Hath shewed me -- "When thou shalt be old thou shalt stretch forth thy hands and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldest not." (Joh_21:18)
2 Peter 1:15 TPT Indeed, I’m passionate to share these things with you so that you will always remember them after my exodus from this life.
Guzik: I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder: Peter put this reminder in a letter, so that we could have a constant reminder even after his departure.
MacKnight: “The apostle’s care in this was highly commendable; because the most important truths, if they are not remembered, have no influence on the mind. The gradation in this passage is beautiful. He proposed to put the brethren in remembrance of some revealed truths, with which they were acquainted; he proposed to do this, not once or twice, but always, as long as he lived; nay, he proposed [by leaving this written testimony among them] to put them in remembrance of these things after his death. Wherefore the ministers of the gospel, following Peter’s example, ought to insist most on the things which are of most importance to their people, although they are already well instructed in them, the influence of truth depending not so much upon the knowledge, as upon the frequent recollection of it.”
Russell: In remembrance -- The Church to this day may profit by his brotherly counsel. The Apostles laid up in store food for the Church in future days.
What are you passionate that the brethren remember?
2 Peter 1:16 TPT We were not retelling some masterfully crafted legend when we informed you of the power and appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we saw his magnificence and splendor unveiled before our very eyes.
Guzik: We did not follow cunningly devised fables: Peter solemnly declares that the testimony of the apostles - testimony they endured torture and gave their lives for - was not based on clever fables or even half truths, but on eyewitness testimony, that they were eyewitnesses of His majesty.
Fables translates the ancient Greek word mythos. Some people think the gospel and the Biblical record are just ancient myths. They may admire their power as myths, but Peter rightly insists that his message was no myth - it was history, seen by eyewitnesses.
Russell: Coming -- Greek, parousia, presence
Eyewitnesses -- Three apostles witnessed the vision--Peter, James and John. (Mar_9:2-13)
The transfiguration scene was a "vision"--the unreal appeared real--and it was well suited for the purpose. It was to establish the faith of the apostles, and the early Church. This vision, helpful as it was at the time, became secondary as Peter came to a better understanding of prophecy which describes our Lord's second coming and Kingdom.
Barnes: For we have not followed cunningly devised fables - That is, fictions or stories invented by artful men, and resting on no solid foundation. The doctrines which they held about the coming of the Saviour were not, like many of the opinions of the Greeks, defended by weak and sophistical reasoning, but were based on solid evidence - evidence furnished by the personal observation of competent witnesses. It is true of the gospel, in general, that it is not founded on cunningly devised fables; but the particular point referred to here is the promised coming of the Saviour. The evidence of that fact Peter proposes now to adduce.
When we made known unto you - Probably Peter here refers particularly to statements respecting the coming of the Saviour in his first epistle, 1Pe_1:5, 1Pe_1:13; 1Pe_4:13; but this was a common topic in the preaching, and in the epistles, of the apostles. It may, therefore, have referred to statements made to them at some time in his preaching, as well as to what he said in his former epistle. The apostles laid great stress on the second coming of the Saviour, and often dwelt upon it.
Do you think the Bible is Fairy Tales? Or do you believe it?
2 Peter 1:17 Weymouth He received honour and glory from God the Father, and out of the wondrous glory words such as these were spoken to Him, "This is My dearly-loved Son, in whom I take delight."
Guzik: Eyewitnesses of His majesty: When did Peter eyewitness the majesty of Jesus? There were many occasions, but one probably stuck out in his mind: the transfiguration of Jesus, recorded in Mat_17:1-8, Mar_9:1-9, and Luk_9:28-36. We know this because Peter quotes here what God the Father said to Jesus at the Transfiguration: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
i. At the transfiguration, Jesus was transformed in glory before the apostles, not merely changed in outward appearance. The effect was extremely striking; Jesus became so bright in appearance that it was hard to look at Jesus. He shined like the sun (Mat_17:2).
This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: At the transfiguration, the Father spoke from heaven to declare His approval of and joy in the Son. As Peter writes this, we sense the words are still ringing in Peter’s ears, because at the transfiguration, he made the mistake of making Jesus equal with Moses and Elijah, who appeared along with Him.
i. Those words from heaven were important, because Jesus had just told His disciples that He would have to be crucified, and that His followers would also have to take up their cross to follow Him (Mar_8:31-38). His disciples needed this word of assurance to keep trusting in Jesus, and needed to hear that Jesus was still well pleasing to the Father, even though He said He would be crucified.
ii. The words from heaven also clearly put Jesus above the Law and the Prophets. Jesus was not merely another, or even a better law giver or prophet, He is the beloved Son.
iii. Essentially, the voice from heaven was a rebuke to Peter (Mar_9:7). Yet now, what was once a rebuke, is a sweet memory.
2 Peter 1:18 TPT And we ourselves heard that voice resound from the heavens while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Benson: This voice we heard — Namely, Peter, James, and John. St. John was still alive when Peter wrote this; when we were with him in the holy mount — The mount made holy by that glorious manifestation, as mount Horeb was of old by the peculiar presence of God, Exo_3:4-5.
2 Peter 1:19 TPT And so we have been given the prophetic word—the written message of the prophets, made more reliable and fully validated by the confirming voice of God on the Mount of Transfiguration. And you will continue to do well if you stay focused on it. For this prophetic message is like a piercing light shining in a gloomy place until the dawning of a new day, when the Morning Star rises in your hearts.
Guzik: And so we have the prophetic word confirmed: Peter’s experience at the transfiguration was amazing. But even more sure than Peter’s personal experience is the testimony of God’s word about who Jesus is. The fulfillment of the prophetic word confirmed is a certain, reliable testimony of the truth of the Scriptures.
b. Which you do well to heed: When we consider the prophetic testimony to Jesus, we do well to heed it. There are at least 332 distinct Old Testament predictions regarding the Messiah that Jesus fulfilled perfectly. The combination of this evidence together, from a simple statistical perspective, is absolutely overwhelming.
As a light that shines in a dark place: No wonder Peter can say that the prophetic word is confirmed, and that it is as a light that shines in a dark place, something we should cling to until the day dawns and Jesus returns.
Russell: We -- The Church. The child of God. The worldly will be in darkness as to God's purpose and methods.
More sure -- Surer even than these outward signs of the transfiguration. The Apostle was honoring the Bible above any vision. So highly did Peter esteem the prophecy of the Old Testament that he considered it better evidence than his own sight.
Word of prophecy -- With the written Word of God in our possession now, we neither have need of traditions of men nor of old wives' fables, nor of astrologers; guides.
That ye take heed -- In respect to his plans, present and future. Urging a watching attitude on the part of the saints--not a watching of the sky, but a watching for the fulfillment of all that God had spoken by the holy prophets concerning the "times of restitution." (Act_3:21) Return to Bible study with our hearts uplifted to God that he may give us the light promised to his faithful people in the end of this age.
As unto a light -- The Word of the Lord is the only light and guide for his people.
That shineth -- With knowledge of God. The holy Spirit is the light of the Church by which we are specially guided into the truth. The Bible is a light to the path of God's people in the midst of this darkness.
"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
"Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is heaven." (Mat_5:16)
Until the day dawn -- Prophecy will have freshly important truths for us, all the way along until day-dawn. God's Word is to shine more and more brightly down to the very end of the Gospel age.
"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day." (Pro_4:18)
JFB: day star — Greek, the morning star,” as Rev_22:16. The Lord Jesus.
Do you believe the Bible is above creeds or customs or traditions?
2 Peter 1:20 TPT You must understand this at the outset: Interpretation of scriptural prophecy requires the Holy Spirit, for it does not originate from someone’s own imagination.
Guzik: No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation: Even in Peter’s day, enemies of Jesus were twisting the prophecies, giving them personal and bizarre meanings so as to exclude Jesus from their fulfillment. But Peter says that prophecy is not of any private interpretation, but its meaning is evident and can be confirmed by others.
Russell: Private interpretation -- To understand any science or book it should be read according to its own principles of interpretation. Moved by one Spirit it should be taken as a whole and not disconnectedly. We should compare Scripture with Scripture.
Barnes: That no prophecy of the Scripture - No prophecy contained in the inspired records. The word “scripture” here shows that the apostle referred particularly to the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament. The remark which he makes about prophecy is general, though it is designed to bear on a particular class of the prophecies.
Gill: is of any private interpretation: not that this is levelled against the right of private judgment of Scripture; or to be understood as if a private believer had not a right of reading, searching, examining, and judging, and interpreting the Scriptures himself, by virtue of the unction which teacheth all things; and who, as a spiritual man, judgeth all things; otherwise, why are such commended as doing well, by taking heed to prophecy, in the preceding verse, and this given as a reason to encourage them to it? the words may be rendered, "of one's own interpretation"; that is, such as a natural man forms of himself, by the mere force of natural parts and wisdom, without the assistance of the Spirit of God; and which is done without comparing spiritual things with spiritual; and which is not agreeably to the Scripture, to the analogy of faith, and mind of Christ; though rather this phrase should be rendered, "no prophecy of the Scripture is of a man's own impulse", invention, or composition; is not human, but purely divine: and this sense carries in it a reason why the sure word of prophecy, concerning the second coming of Christ, should be taken heed to, and made use of as a light, till he does come.
Do you try to understand prophecies?
Do you compare scripture with scripture?
2 Peter 1:21 TPT No true prophecy comes from human initiative but is inspired by the moving of the Holy Spirit upon those who spoke the message that came from God.
Russell: By the will of man -- They were not the imaginings of longing human hearts.
Barnes: By the will of man - It was not of human origin; not discovered by the human mind. The word “will,” here seems to be used in the sense of “prompting” or “suggestion;” men did not speak by their own suggestion, but as truth was brought to them by God.
Robertson: Moved by the Holy Ghost (hupo pneumatos hagiou pheromenoi). Present passive participle of pherō, moved from time to time. There they “spoke from God.” Peter is not here warning against personal interpretation of prophecy as the Roman Catholics say, but against the folly of upstart prophets with no impulse from God.
Do you study the Prophecies in the Bible?