Living Word Magazine
1:1 From Simeon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, have been granted a faith just as precious as ours.
The author of the letter is Simon Peter, one of the original twelve apostles. Although he could claim the office and title of an apostle he is simply the servant of Jesus Christ. He addresses his letter to all who have obtained the same precious faith that the apostles had. There is only one faith Eph4.5. Jews and Gentiles alike share the same faith in Christ. It is the gift of God Eph2.8. God gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Having judged sin upon the cross, God is able to justify and pardon guilty sinners for their crimes "through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ." (Rom. 3:25-26).
1:2 May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord!
The grace (unmerited favour of God) and perfect wholeness and heart peace which are ours through the Lord Jesus Christ will overflow in our lives as we grow in the full, personal, precise and correct knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Growing in Grace and Godliness
1:3 I can pray this because his divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and godliness through the rich knowledge of the one who called us by his own glory and excellence.
All that we need to live a godly life has been freely bestowed upon us by God's divine power in action, by which he has made us his children Jms 1.18. By this same action, God reveals His Son in us (2 Cor. 3:18) and to us (2 Cor. 4:6) God has called us to share in his glory, which is the excellence of his own nature., that he might change us into his own likeness (Rom. 8:29). Godliness means "God likeness" (Eph. 5:1). He accomplishes this in us as we come to know him more and more.
1:4 Through these things he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.
God has revealed His Son to us through His Word. All that we receive from God comes through faith in His word. We are made partakers of the divine nature since through His word we have been born of God (see 1 Pet 1:23). So it is through the word of God that we receive all that we need to grow in the likeness of Christ. Since Christ died for our sin, our sinful nature is reckoned by God as having died with Him. We now share the eternal life of Christ. This is how we have escaped the corruption that is in the world. This works out practically as we learn to say "no" to the old nature, and "yes" to the new. This is the way we "grow in godliness" as Peter unfolds in the next few verses.
1:5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge;
Peter gives instructions on how to develop Christ likeness. On our part we must do our utmost to grow in Christ, using all the means God has given us. As we do, God will lead us to grow in Him, at His pace. A baby does not grow into an adult overnight, nor will we mature in Christ overnight. As we grow in Christ certain characteristics will develop and become evident in our lives. We have already received saving faith in Christ as the gift of God. As we exercise this faith in following Christ it will cause us to develop the characteristic of virtue, "the excellence of Christ's character" AMP. J. B. Phillips call it "Real goodness of life". We must also develop knowledge- the true knowledge of God, his will and ways.
1:6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness;
As we come to recognise God's will, so we become more self controlled. This leads us to develop patience or perseverance in Christian experience. That is, we will go on in the Lord despite the problems that come our way. Our perseverance will lead us to develop other Christ like qualities, summed up in the word "godliness". To be like Christ means will we develop brotherly kindness, and that deep down genuine brotherly or sisterly love which is the summation of Christian character.
1:7-8 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love. For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately.
If these qualities are present and continuing to grow in our lives, then our lives, being changed will have a beneficial effect on all around us. We will be living as witnesses as see Christ in us. Our lives will not be "all for nothing". The only thing a person takes with them into eternity is their character and this is being developed in us now, the spiritual fruit of Christ likeness.
Make Your Calling Sure
1:9 But concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.
There is a danger for those who do not heed Peter's exhortation. Those who, having received the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour, fail to go on and develop in their spiritual life are blind. That is, they have no understanding of God's purpose in saving them from their sins. No one can stay where they are in their spiritual life, if you are not going forward you can only go back.
1:10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin.
Going on with Christ is the only safeguard against the danger of backsliding and turning away from the faith (Heb. 2:1). Going on with Christ is the way heavenward, and God will open the gates of the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ wide to welcome us inside.
1:11 For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.
The Word of God - To be Remembered v12-15; Was Witnessed v16-18 and Is Inspired v19-21.
1:12-13 Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder,
It is because Peter realises the importance of Christians being diligent about going on with God that as long as he lived, he would not neglect his God given duty to feed Christ's sheep and lambs. He knows that constant exhortation is necessary even for those who are already mature in faith.
1:14 since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, because our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me.
Peter refers to the approaching time of his death. The Lord Jesus Christ had clearly foretold this after his resurrection. Peter was to be executed. Tradition tells that he was crucified upside down. Yet Peter sees this merely as a laying aside of his body, his temporary home, so that he might put on his eternal home in heaven (2 Cor. 5:1).
1:15 Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things.
Peter wanted the church to have a permanent record of his teachings, just as he received them from the Lord Jesus Christ. That is why we have 1 and 2 Peter in our Bibles today.
1:16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return of our Lord Jesus Christ; no, we were eyewitnesses of his grandeur.
What Peter wrote was so important that it had to be preserved for all generations. It is not a book of fables - a story deliberately written by men in order to teach a moral lesson. Instead, it is the eyewitness account of one who had lived 3½ years with Jesus Christ, who saw his glory on the holy mountain and who was a witness of his death and resurrection.
1:17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: "This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted."
Peter is referring to the time when he, James and John had seen the Lord transfigured before them, and a voice came from heaven to them which said "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 17:1-5). We know its true, says Peter, we heard it, we were there!
1:18-19 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
Moreover, we possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. All that they had witnessed of the Lord Jesus Christ had been in fulfilment of the prophetic Scriptures about him. Peter exhorts his readers to take heed to the Word of God. In this dark world of sin, it is the only light that will guide us to God and to heaven. If we follow it will lead us all the way to where there is no darkness but only the eternal light of God's presence. That is when we shall be forever with the Lord. 1:20-21 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet's own imagination, for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. Peter gives his readers a basic lesson in bible study. It is a lesson that Jesus Himself gave. John10.35 We believe that the bible is the infallible word of God. God is the author of this book. Holy men of God were moved upon by the God the Holy Spirit and wrote down exactly what He told them to write down - even though they often did not fully understand it (see 1 Peter 1:10-12). The scripture cannot be understood merely by mans skill in finding interpretations of it. Only God, through His Son and Spirit can give us the interpretation. It means what God wants it to, not what men want it too (2 Tim. 3:16).
Further Reading Resources for you - Peter
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