This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you
This is a transition to another part of the epistle; for the apostle having largely described false teachers, the secret enemies of the Christian religion under a profession of it, passes on to take notice of the more open adversaries and profane scoffers of it; and from their ridicule of the doctrine of Christ's second coming, he proceeds to treat of that, and of the destruction of the world, and the future happiness of the saints: he calls this epistle his "second epistle", because he had written another before to the same persons; and that the author of this epistle was an apostle, is evident from ( 2 Peter 3:2 ) ; and which, compared with ( 2 Peter 1:18 ) shows him to be the Apostle Peter, whose name it bears, and who was an eyewitness to the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, ( Matthew 17:1 Matthew 17:2 ) ( Mark 9:2 ) : he addresses these saints here, as also in ( 2 Peter 3:8 2 Peter 3:14 2 Peter 3:17 ) , under the character of "beloved"; because they were the beloved of God, being chosen by him according to his foreknowledge, and regenerated by him, according to his abundant mercy; and were openly his people, and had obtained mercy from him, and like precious faith with the apostles; and were also the beloved of Christ, being redeemed by him, not with gold and silver, but with his precious blood; for whom he suffered, and who were partakers of his sufferings, and the benefits arising from them, and who had all things given them by him, pertaining to life and godliness, and exceeding great and precious promises; and were likewise beloved by the apostle, though strangers, and not merely as Jews, or because they were his countrymen, but because they were the elect of God, the redeemed of Christ, and who were sanctified by the Spirit, and had the same kind of faith he himself had. The Syriac and Arabic versions read, "my beloved"; and the Ethiopic version, "my brethren": his end in writing both this and the former epistle follows;
in [both] which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance;
that this was his view both in this and the former epistle, appears from ( 1 Peter 1:13 ) ( 2 Peter 1:12-15 ) ; he calls their minds pure; not that they were so naturally, for the minds and consciences of men are universally defiled with sin; nor are the minds of all men pure who seem to be so in their own eyes, or appear so to others; nor can any man, by his own power or works, make himself pure from sin; only the blood of Christ purges and cleanses from it; and a pure mind is a mind sprinkled with that blood, and which receives the truth as it is in Jesus, in the power and purity of it, and that holds the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Some versions, as the Vulgate Latin and Arabic, render the word "sincere", as it is in ( Philippians 1:10 ) ; and may design the sincerity of their hearts in the worship of God, in the doctrines of Christ, and to one another, and of the grace of the Spirit of God in them; as that their faith was unfeigned, their hope without hypocrisy, and their love without dissimulation, and their repentance real and genuine; but yet they needed to be stirred up by way of remembrance, both of the truth of the Gospel, and the duties of religion; for saints are apt to be forgetful of the word, both of its doctrines and its exhortations; and it is the business of the ministers of the word to put them in mind of them, either by preaching or by writing; and which shows the necessity and usefulness of the standing ministry of the Gospel: the particulars he put them in mind of next follow.