2 Peter 1 (English Standard Version)
The date and destination of this letter are uncertain, and the authorship has been disputed. Because of this, 2 Peter was the last book admitted to the canon of the New Testament Scripture.
In an culture that places decreasing value on God’s Word as “the” single authority of truth, Peter’s second letter is a timely series of reminders to help followers of Jesus guard against false teaching that proliferates in a truthless society.
1Simeon 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:
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Make Your Calling and Election Sure
3His 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, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises,
“He tells us too, that faith is ‘precious;’ and is it not precious? For it deals with precious things, with precious promises, with precious blood, with a precious redemption, with all the preciousness of the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
— Charles Haddon Spurgeon
from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael
Exceeding great and precious promises. — 2 Peter 1:4
“Promises precious and supreme,” “precious and wondrous,” “precious and very great.” To read the different translations is like turning a jewel in the light. Each turn shows some new beauty.
In the end we shall find every promise perfectly fulfilled. Then why should we not let our hearts rest in peace about everything that happens? For nothing can happen that can break a single one of these precious and exceeding great, supreme, and wondrous promises.
What depth it gives to Peter’s words when we remember that he was to die by crucifixion, and knew it. There is no promise of an easy passage, but there are countless promises for every day of the voyage, and for a welcome when He brings us to our desired haven (as Psalm 107:30 puts it).
Let us take one promise for our own today, live on it it, test it and prove it — and thank Him for it.
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.
Galatians 4:4-7 (New International Version)
But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
5For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
“There are two ways of entering a port. A ship may come in, waterlogged and crazy, just kept afloat by continual working at the pumps; or it may enter with every sail set, her pennon floating at the mast-head. The latter is what the apostle desires for himself and those who he addresses. He desired that an entrance abundant should be ministered unto them.
“An ‘abundant entrance’ was really a choral entrance. The idea was of a Roman conqueror coming into his city, welcomed by singers and musicians who would join him in a glorious, happy procession into the city.
“Will your entrance into heaven be like that? Will you enter it, saved so as by fire, or to receive a reward? Will you come unrecognized and unknown, or be welcomed by scores and hundreds to whom you have been the means of blessing, and who will wait you?”
— F. B. Meyer
12Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.
Established is the same word translated strengthen in Luke 22:32, when Jesus told Peter “when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” Here, Peter fulfilled that command of Jesus. He would establish and strengthen us by reminding us of the basics of the Christian life.
Christ’s Glory and the Prophetic Word
16For 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. 17For 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,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
Mark 9:2-8 (New Living Translation)
Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white, far whiter than any earthly bleach could ever make them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking with Jesus.
Peter exclaimed, “Rabbi, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He said this because he didn’t really know what else to say, for they were all terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly, when they looked around, Moses and Elijah were gone, and they saw only Jesus with them.
19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, 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,
Morning Star so radiant and holy
Shine on me in my great hour of need
Jesus Christ so beautiful and lovely
Shine over me
20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
How grateful I am for Scripture, a love letter from God which illuminates my way through all of life’s vicissitudes and helps guide me to eternal life (Thanks, Pastor Dave Mattson!). “Thy Word” is sung by the Maranatha Singers.
Thank you for visiting our church, Gloria Dei Lutheran, recently. It was wonderful to be a part of your “Walk Thru” class again. Are you quoting our Pastor Dave Mattson today?
Thank you — and yes, it was the outline of Pastor Dave’s sermon when I was there! His topic was “Why read the Bible?” and we very much enjoyed it!