Basic Facts from… 2 Peter (Part 1)

Basic Facts from… 2 Peter (Part 1)

Peter declares in 2 Peter 1:3 that it is God who supplies everything we could ever need to live satisfying and contented lives. In a world where many people believed in and worshipped imaginary “gods” who never actually existed or had any power to aid anyone (cf. Acts 17:24-31), Peter is emphasizing to Christians that there is NO “other” source of blessings to equip us to cope with the challenges of life in this world. The blessings and benefits God provides to us – for both “daily living” and spiritual life (vs. 3) – are not simply acts of “random” goodness, however. The Father’s intention is that we use His gifts to become partakers (companions, “sharers”) in His divine “nature,” vs. 4. This is what Jesus was describing in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), when the master rewards the 5- and 2-talent servants by inviting them to “Enter into the joy of your Lord.”

Notice, however, that it IS necessary for us to escape (to “flee from”) the corruption (moral decay) that is present in the world in order to achieve our Father’s desire for us. That’s the purpose of His blessings, to lead us toward Him! Sin in our lives creates a barrier to fellowship with God (Isaiah 59:1 -2; Ezekiel 18:4 & 20), which WE cannot remove without His help (Ephesians 2:12). The extraordinary and priceless promises He gives to us are meant to motivate us to turn from sin and embrace His blessings so that we can escape the impact of sin in the world (and therefore, in our own lives too). James summarized what Peter is saying here by writing in James 1:17,

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

Everything the Father offers us – the forgiveness of sins, fellowship with Him in eternity, even the perspective to cope with the challenges and trials of daily living in the present world – is made available to us by means of the message (“the knowledge”) His Holy Spirit has revealed; the gospel. Because God offers us such privileges, Peter urges us in vv. 5-8 to take full advantage of them by very diligently developing in our lives the qualities we typically describe as “Christian graces.” Practicing these qualities help us to escape the world’s corruption because they will focus our attention and energies on pleasing God over pleasing ourselves (vs. 10, cf. 2 Timothy 2:4).

Peter not only offers “eyewitness” testimony to the historical authenticity of Jesus (1 Peter 1:16-18), in vs. 21 he emphasizes that genuine revelation from God (“prophecy”) never results from human demands or desires. Long ago, the prophet Jeremiah had pointed out that true prophecy originates with God, and that any “prophecy” produced by human will must therefore be false (Jeremiah 23:25- 26). Likewise, in vs. 20 Peter “pre-enforces” this point by stressing that God’s words are NOT intended to mean “different things to different people.” Paul had earlier written to the Ephesian Christians and declared that they should reach the same conclusions, and share the same understanding of God’s will for themselves that he had reached and understood concerning himself (Ephesians 3:4). Simply put, God does not allow us to “put our own spin” on God’s word, or “personalize” its meaning to suit ourselves – what He commands or forbids of one, He commands or forbids for all (cf. Romans 2:11).


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