2 Peter 1

 

8-9 The qualities that Peter has mentioned in verses 5-7 must continue to grow in us. If we do not keep growing spiritually, we will die spiritually. A plant either grows or it dies; it cannot remain the same. So it is with Christians. A plant can also be choked by weeds; in the same way, Christians can be spiritually choked by the cares and desires of the world, and thus become unproductive (Mark 4:7,18-19).

Therefore, let us strive to increase these virtues in our lives, so that we might bear much fruit for God. Because we glorify God most by bearing fruit for Him (John 15:8).

The Christian who does not have these qualities is spiritually blind. He is near-sighted; he can see only the nearby things of the world, but not the things of heaven. Such a Christian has forgotten that he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17); he has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins (see 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

10-11 Therefore … be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. In the work of our salvation, God has a part and we have a part. God must first choose us and call us (see John 6:44; Romans 8:29-30; 9:18; Ephesians 1:4-5 and comments). But after that, we ourselves must make our calling and election sure. God gives us faith (verse 1); but we must take that faith and place it on Jesus. God calls us; but we must then live a life worthy of that calling (Ephesians 4:1). We must continue to work out [our] salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12-13). If we do these things, we shall never fall; that is, we shall not lose our salvation. We may stumble and lose the way from time to time (James 3:2), but we shall not completely fall away. Not only that, if we do these things, we will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord (verse 11). We won’t just barely enter God’s kingdom—like the man Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 3:14-15, whose work was burned up but he himself escaped through the flames. No, we will receive a rich welcome into God’s kingdom; we will enter with praise, glory and honor (1 Peter 1:7).

12-14 Christians need constant reminding of the great truths and doctrines of the Bible. Therefore, as long as he lives, Peter will continue to strengthen his brothers and to remind them of the things of Christ. But, as he writes this letter, Peter’s death is near. He calls his body a tent, which is about to be taken down (see 2 Corinthians 5:1). Even though Jesus told Peter that he would be put to death on a cross just as Jesus had been (John 21:18-19), Peter shows no fear of death. Because for Peter death is the doorway through which he will enter into God’s eternal kingdom.

15 Peter told what he knew about Christ to Mark. Then, according to what he had learned from Peter, Mark wrote the New p>Testament Gospel called Mark’s Gospel. Thus, through Mark’s Gospel (and Peter’s own two letters), Peter provided a means for Christians to always be able to remember these things.

16 When Peter wrote this letter, false teachers had arisen who were claiming that they had received special knowledge of Christ. But, according to Peter, their “knowledge” consisted of cleverly invented stories. But Peter’s knowledge was not invented; the things Peter spoke about he had seen with his own eyes and heard with his own ears. Peter had seen Jesus’ majesty when Jesus was transfigured on the mountain (Mark 9:2-8). He had heard God speak from heaven saying that Jesus was His Son.

When Peter mentions here the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, he could be referring either to Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountain, or to His second coming at the end of the world, or to both. In Peter’s mind, Jesus would appear at His second coming just as He had appeared transfigured before Peter, James, and John on the mountain. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus’ second coming is mentioned immediately before Mark’s account of Jesus’ transfiguration (Mark 9:1); thus in the minds of both Peter and Mark, the two events seem to be connected.

17-18 God descended in a cloud onto the mountain, and gave honor and glory to Christ (see Mark 9:7). Peter never forgot what he saw and heard at that time. It was then that Peter gained the certain knowledge that Jesus was indeed the Son ofGod, the King whose kingdom would last forever (Psalm 2:7; Daniel 7:13-14).

19 The Old Testament PROPHETS hadspo-ken many prophecies concerning Christ. During His time on earth, Christ fulfilled all of these prophecies. Thus Christ, through His life, made more certain the word ofthe prophets; that is, He confirmed everything the prophets had written about Him. The prophets had prophesied about the coming of a Messiah,1 a Savior; and Jesus was that Messiah and Savior.

Therefore, we need to pay close attention to both the Old and New Testaments ofthe Bible. We are only aliens and strangers on this dark earth (1 Peter 1:1; 2:11), and the Bible is like a light shining in a dark place (Psalm 119:105). Therefore, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in [our] hearts—that is, until Christ comes again—we must diligently obey what is written in the Bible (see Romans 13:12). In Revelation 2:28 and 22:16, Christ is called the morning star. Christ will “rise in our hearts”; and when this happens, we shall be transformed into His likeness (see 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 John 3:2).

20-21 We can trust the Old Testament prophets, because they did not write according to their own thoughts and understanding, as the false prophets did. The Old Testament PROPHECIES did not come about by the prophet’s own interpretation. Rather, the prophets wrote down what God spoke to them. The prophets were carried along or moved by God’s HOLY SPIRIT. The Greek word for carried along was commonly used in connection with sailing ships; such ships were “carried along” by the wind (see Acts 27:17). The sailors would put up the sails, and the wind carried the ship along. In the same way, the Old Testament prophets put up their “sails,” and the Holy Spirit carried them along. The prophets opened their mouths, and the Holy Spirit guided their thoughts and their tongues. For this reason, we can have complete confidence that every verse in the Bible is God’s own word, written by the direction of His Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 3:16 and comment; General Article: How We Got Our Bible).

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