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Sunday December 5th 2010
The Second of Peter
1). 2Pe 1:5 ? But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
a). We had seen last week that because of that which we have access to through the mature, ?epignosis? knowledge of Christ [being partakers of the divine nature and receiving exceedingly great and precious promises] that we are exhorted, with faith as our foundation, to abundantly supply in our faith virtue and in our virtue, knowledge and in our knowledge self-control and in our self-control perseverance and in our perseverance godliness and in our godliness brotherly kindness and in our brotherly kindness ?agape? love.
b). And we saw that these verses, v5-7, picture for us the process to spiritual maturity and provide for us scripture?s own commentary on what it means to ?contend earnestly for the faith? as found in the Book of Jude.
c). We have seen that both our ?epignosis? knowledge and our progress to spiritual maturity come about through our correct reception of the word of God, as given in - Jas 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
And then following this the Holy Spirit?s work within us as He takes the Word and guides us into all truth thereby bringing about the metamorphosis through the renewing of our mind which will result in us being doers of the word and not hearers only.
d). Now, whereas it is true that we can study the scriptures on our own, and so we should, it would be foolish of us to ignore the fact that the Lord set in place specific ministries in the Church for the purpose of ministering the word as part of our process to maturity - Eph 4:11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we
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all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ-- 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
e). And we can conclude with all certainty that the ministry given by the Lord to the Church is an indispensable part of our process to maturity otherwise there would be no need to give this gift.
f). And of course the role of the apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor/teacher will have particular significance when we come to consider the false teachers in 2 Peter Chapters 2 + 3.
g). Particularly when we recall that it was 10 of the 12 tribal leaders who were responsible for the nation of Israel who had come out of Egypt refusing to enter the land with the result that a whole generation perished in the wilderness except Joshua and Caleb and all those under the age of twenty - Nu 32:9 "For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Israel, so that they did not go into the land which the LORD had given them.
h). And of course that it was the nation?s religious leaders, again because of their message, who turned a whole generation away from the proffered Kingdom at Christ?s first advent - Mt 23:13 ? "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
i). But more on this another time.
2). 2Pe 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
a). V8 told us that if these attributes that lead to maturity as we contend earnestly for the faith are our natural possession, through being partakers of the divine nature, then we will not be barren or unfruitful as we continue to press into the ?epignosis? knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
b). V9 then draws a sharp contrast between those who have these attributes as a natural possession and those who don?t - 2Pe 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
c). And of course for this Christian who is short sighted even to blindness and has chosen to forget that he was cleansed from his old sins there will be no
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partaking of the divine nature, there will be little to no proper understanding of the exceedingly great and precious promises, no growth to maturity and no fruit production, and ultimately no position in the coming Kingdom.
3). And so with the positive exhortation to fruit production on the one hand and the warning concerning spiritual blindness on the other in v5-9, the Holy Spirit through Peter then exhorts his readers further - 2Pe 1:10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
a). Even more diligent = Greek ? ?spoudazo, spoo-dad'-zo? = do your best, make every effort.
b). Make = Greek ? ?poieo, poy-eh'-o? = make for yourselves
c). In other words then we are to do our best to make sure for ourselves our call and election.
d). Call = Greek ? ?klesis, klay'-sis? from ?kaleo, kal-eh'-o? = the divine call of God.
e). And this divine call of God does not refer to our eternal salvation, but to the call of God to His Kingdom and glory - Heb 3:1 ? Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
f). Php 3:14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
g). 1Th 2:12 that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
h). Election = Greek ? ?ekloge, ek-log-ay? from ?eklegomai,
ek-leg'-om-ahee? = choose out.
i). And this word ?election? takes us directly to the Judgment Seat where those who are found faithful, those who have abundantly supplied in their faith, will be chosen out or called out from amongst all who are called.
j). If we compare this thought with - 1Co 3:11 ? For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13 each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. 14 If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
k). We see that we are dealing with the separation of those who receive a reward from those who will suffer loss.
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l). Paul also speaks of it this way in - Php 3:10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,11 if, by any means, I may attain to the [out] resurrection from the dead[those who suffer loss].12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
m). Pressing on to ?lay hold of? is exactly the idea conveyed in making our call and election sure.
n). for if you do these things you will never stumble; - if we make our call and election sure by abundantly supplying in our faith virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love through being partakers of the divine nature as a result of the epignosis knowledge of Christ then we will never stumble.
o). Stumble = Greek ? ?pote, pot-eh - ptaio, ptah'-yo? = fall into misery, become wretched.
p). And this stumbling of course would be with regards to entrance into the Kingdom ? if we ?do these things? we will never become wretched with regards to our entrance into the Kingdom.
q). In fact if we do ?these things? we are promised - 2Pe 1:11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
r). Entrance = Greek ? ?eisodos, ice'-od-os? ? made up of ?eis? = into and ?hodos? = road ? therefore ?the road into?.
s). The road into the Kingdom will be supplied abundantly for us.
t). And it would be interesting to note that Jesus describes Himself as ?
Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way [hodos].??..
4). 2Pe 1:12 ? For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.
a). And so, ?for this reason? ? really everything we have read from v1-11 ? Peter says he will not be negligent to remind them always of ?these things?.
b). In the original language the sense of this would be that Peter will be prepared in the future, just as in the past and the present to remind them of the truths they know whenever the necessity arises. Repetition is always good.
c). And he will do this even though they were stable and set fast, ?established?, in the truth that is present with them. This would be the truth which is present with them through the instruction of their teachers, not just that which they were hearing at that moment.
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5). 2Pe 1:13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me.
a). Think = Greek ? ?hegeomai?, hayg-eh'-om-ahee = to consider, deem, account.
b). Right = Greek ? ?dikaios?, dik'-ah-yos = to render each his due.
c). The idea expressed here then is that it is Peter?s solemn duty to ?stir up? his readers; and it will remain his solemn duty all the while he is alive ? ?in this tent?. And this will remain his solemn duty even knowing that his death is close at hand just as the Lord had shown him - Joh 21:18 "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish." 19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."
d). And what is particularly striking about this is that even with his impending death in view his focus is to keep stirring up those engaged in the race of the faith with respect to that which we have read in the first 11 verses of Peter?s second letter.
e). To stir = Greek ? ?diegeiro?, dee-eg-i'-ro = to wake fully; i.e. arouse (literally or figuratively):--arise, awake, raise, stir up.
f). Then we see here that the stirring up Peter is to do has to do with keeping his readers fully awake, so that they won?t fall into the sleep of complacency and lethargy and deception - Ro 13:11 ? And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
6). 2Pe 1:15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.
a). The literal idea in this verse is that Peter would do all that was possible to make sure that on each and every occasion that they would have need that they would be able to call to their remembrance ?these things? [v5-7] after Peter?s death.
b). What we would note here for ourselves is both the necessity and responsibility of calling ?these things? to our own remembrance even if we have no one to remind us.
c). Php 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are
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lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things.
7). 2Pe 1:16 ? For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
a). Peter goes on to tell them that when it was made known to them about the ?power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? it was not done through following ?cunningly devised fables?, not following after some manmade mythology, but they were ?eyewitnesses of His majesty? through personal experience.
b). Coming = Greek ? ?parousia?, par-oo-see'-ah = an actual presence and a near coming.
c). In this word then is the idea of details about Christ?s return and the timing for it. We would remember that the second coming of Christ begins with the rapture of the Church and would encompass all the events that lead to and include His feet touching the Mount of Olives once again.
d). And these verses reference Peter?s experience, along with James and John, of that which we have come to call the ?transfiguration?, recorded in ?
Mt 16:28 "Assuredly, I say to you, there are some standing here who shall not taste death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.".. 17:1 ? Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; 2 and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. 3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. 4 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, "Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"6 And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid.7 But Jesus came and touched them and said, "Arise, and do not be afraid." 8 When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only. 9 Now as they came down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man is risen from the dead."
e). That which Peter witnessed here on ?the holy mountain? was testimony sure of Christ?s deity and the reality of the Kingdom which is yet to come. To the Jewish eyes and ears of Peter, James and John this whole scene would call to mind an earlier time when God descended in a cloud on the top of a mountain ?
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Ex 24:16 Now the glory of the LORD rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day He called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud.
f). Zec 8:3 "Thus says the LORD: 'I will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the LORD of hosts, The Holy Mountain.'
g). And would take them to the scripture in - 2Sa 7:12 "When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son.
h). And - De 18:15 ? "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,??.18 'I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.19 'And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.
8). It is hard to imagine the impact of this event on Peter, James and John and it is no wonder that Peter makes reference to it to demonstrate the reality of Christ?s coming Kingdom and therefore the necessity of abundantly supplying in our faith. However, what he goes on to say in the verses that close our chapter is even more remarkable - 2Pe 1:19 ? And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
a). The beginning of v19, translated here as, ?And so we have the prophetic word confirmed? can be understood in either one of two ways ? It can mean that the voice that they heard speak to them from the cloud gives certainty to the prophetic word contained in the scriptures, or it can mean that the prophetic word contained in the scriptures is a surer confirmation of God?s truth than even their experience.
b). And given v20-21 it is the latter of the 2 that we would need to see.
c). The reality of the coming Kingdom of Christ, the things that pertain to life and godliness, the exceedingly great and precious promises cannot be embraced through personal experience, even the experience of Peter, James and John; they must rather be embraced through the scriptures, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.
d). For Peter?s original readers in possession only of the OT it was to be the endless evidence of Christ in these books, the prophetic fulfillment of the
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scriptures with regards to His life and death and resurrection that was to be their foundation for their hope as they looked to that which God had promised from Genesis onwards.
e). And so it must be for us also. It is the scripture alone, both OT and NT, to the exclusion of all else, that is to be the substance of our faith and the governing principle of our life as we look to the hope ahead of us - Heb 11:1 ? Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
f). It is the scripture, the prophetic word, that we would ?do well to heed? ?
Heb 2:1 ? Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.
g). And we need to heed because the prophetic word is like a lamp that shines in a dark place ? in a totally dark room we can see nothing, but once the light shines those things that were in the room all the time, that we couldn?t see when it was dark, now become visible.
h). We are in the province of the rulers of the darkness of this world and the darkness seeks to encroach upon us. It is the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, which if received properly, will light our path to the Kingdom.
i). Ps 119:105 ? NUN. Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.
j). And it is the word of God alone who is to be our source, ?until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts? ? until we stand at the Judgment Seat in that Day, and Christ, who is the Bright and Morning Star rises in our hearts
Re 2:26 "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 27 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' --as I also have received from My Father; 28 "and I will give him the morning star. 29 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."'
k). Re 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star."
l). V20 then says, ?Knowing this first?? and this phrase takes us back to the admonition, ?which you do well to heed?? That is, as Peter?s readers give their attention to the OT prophetic scriptures they are to keep in mind what follows in the rest of the verse and the one that follows - that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
m). Private = Greek ? ?idios?, id'-ee-os = unique, one?s own
n). Interpretation = Greek ? ?epilusis?, ep-il'-oo-sis from ?epiluo?,
ep-ee-loo'-o = to explain what is obscure and hard to understand
o). The context here does not refer to interpretation by the reader of scripture, but by the writer. No scripture ever came into being in the heart and
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mind of men in relation to their own particular agenda, but according to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit - 2Ti 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,
p). This may sound pretty obvious, but it is of the upmost importance given where we are about to go at the beginning of Chapter 2 - Jer 23:32 "Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams," says the LORD, "and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all," says the LORD.
q). The Holy Spirit has inspired all scripture both the OT and the NT and taken together they constitute God?s complete revelation to man, intact and without error and as such they are to be received without negotiation. They are what they are and must be embraced in their entirety even when it may be inconvenient to do so. To question the scriptures, to take away from them or add to them puts us on a par with the serpent and within range of his strike.
r). And it is here with the veracity of the scriptures confirmed that that the Holy Spirit?s focus, through Peter moves from faith with respect to the salvation of the soul to apostasy from that same faith.
s). And it is with apostasy from the faith that we shall continue next week, if the Lord is willing.