This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.I am writing to all of you who share the same precious faith we have, faith given to us by Jesus Christ, our God and Savior, who makes us right with God.
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May God bless you with his special favor and wonderful peace as you come to know Jesus, our God and Lord, better and better.
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As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness!
And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.
So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.
Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.
Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.
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The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.
So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away.
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And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I plan to keep on reminding you of these things -- even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth.
Yes, I believe I should keep on reminding you of these things as long as I live.
But the Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that my days here on earth are numbered and I am soon to die.
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So I will work hard to make these things clear to you. I want you to remember them long after I am gone.
For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his coming again. We have seen his majestic splendor with our own eyes.
And he received honor and glory from God the Father when God's glorious, majestic voice called down from heaven, "This is my beloved Son; I am fully pleased with him."
We ourselves heard the voice when we were there with him on the holy mountain.
Because of that, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. Pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a light shining in a dark place -- until the day Christ appears and his brilliant light shines in your hearts.
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Above all, you must understand that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophets themselves
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or because they wanted to prophesy. It was the Holy Spirit who moved the prophets to speak from God.