2 Peter 1 Bible Commentary

B. W. Johnson’s Bible Commentary

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(Read all of 2 Peter 1)
Introduction to Second Peter

Making the Calling and Election Sure.

SUMMARY.--Greetings. Adding to Faith the Christian Graces. Not Followed Fables. The Transfiguration.

      1-4. Simon Peter. To his first epistle he only prefixed the name given him by the Lord. Here he calls himself by both names, as found in Luke 5:8; John 13:6; 20:2; Acts 10:5, and many other places. A servant. Of Jesus as the Lord. And apostle. Of Jesus as the Messiah. To them that have obtained like precious faith. Who are also saints enjoying the precious promises. 2. Grace and peace. The usual apostolic benediction. These come through the knowledge, etc. Those who have learned to know God and his Son have eternal life (John 17:3). This knowledge is one that comes from fellowship with Christ. 3. Seeing that his divine power. It has granted us all things needful to live godly lives. Through the knowledge of him. These all come through the knowledge of God. By his own glory and virtue (Revision). God's power is manifested in his glory and virtue. It is his moral excellency and glory that move upon men, not physical power. 4. Whereby. By his glory and virtue. Exceeding great and precious promises. The splendid promises of the gospel. That through these. The offers of the gospel. Partakers of the divine nature. One of the promises was communion with God and fellowship with Christ. See John 14:23. Having escaped. All who come to Christ and are in him have escaped from sin and corruption.

      5-8. Yea, and for this very cause. Because God has called you with precious promises. What God has done calls on us to do our part. All diligence. No exertion must be spared. There must be the fullest co-operation with God. In your faith supply virtue. The Common Version is wrong. Faith is the basis of the Christian life and all are expected to possess it, but out of it must grow other excellencies. Virtue. Moral courage, the natural fruit of a trusting faith in God. Knowledge. The moral heroism must be guided by knowledge or it will run into "a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." 6. Temperance. Self control. Patience. Unflinching, patient endurance. Godliness. A reverence for things divine shown by growing more and more into the divine likeness. 7. Brotherly kindness. An active good will towards the saints. Love. The heart element which gives brotherly kindness its power and sweetness. 8. For if these things be in you. If these qualities abound they will be fruitful, showing that they have knowledge of Christ in reality.

      9-11. He that lacketh these things. The qualities named in verses 5-7. Is blind. Shows that he has a defective moral vision. Cannot see afar off. Is short sighted; does not see what his future good requires. Hath forgotten. If he could remember how he was cleansed from his own sinful state, he would show greater diligence lest he should again fall into sin. 10. Wherefore . . . the more diligence. Diligence to the end is needful in order to salvation. Calling and election. The calling is first in order; the election comes when we accept the call. Sure. Our own efforts are needed to make them sure. For if ye do these things. Those named above. Thus we will make the "calling and election sure." For then we shall never fall. 11. An abundant entrance. We will be richly prepared for entrance. Into the eternal kingdom. The heavenly kingdom.

      12-15. Wherefore. The language that follows anticipates his speedy decease (verse 15). 13. I think it meet. Right. As long as I am in this tabernacle. In the body, the present home of his spirit. 14. Knowing that shortly I must put off, etc. Must die very soon. Even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. Christ had predicted his death as a martyr (John 21:18, 19). It is to this prediction that Peter refers. 15. I will give diligence (Revision). He will so diligently admonish them that after his death they will remember his words.

      16-18. For we have not followed cunningly devised fables. There was no mistake or doubt about the gospel, no such fables as the myths of the Gentiles. When we made known unto you. Preached the coming into the world and the divine power of Christ. But were eye witnesses. Since the apostles were personal witnesses of Christ's glory, they knew whereof they spoke. 17. For he received from God the Father honor and glory. He cites one scene that had witnesses where the divine glory rested upon Christ. The glory of the Transfiguration is the prophecy of the glory which will be revealed when Christ comes. There came such a voice. God honored the Son by the Divine declaration. See Matt. 17:1-6. 18. And this voice we ourselves heard. Peter, and James and John, his companions on the holy mount. James was now dead, but John was still alive.

      19-21. We have also a more sure word of prophecy. Prophecy was a sure word, but when fulfilled in Christ and the gospel it seemed more sure. No class of evidence had more power with Jews than to show them that Jesus was the Christ of whom the prophets spoke. Whereunto. To prophecy. Take heed. Heed its predictions and statements concerning Christ. As unto a lamp. It was a lamp shining in the darkness of the past and giving some light before the day star arose. The day dawn. The full light of the New Testament. The day star. Christ. See Rev. 22:16. 20. Knowing this first. This is a reason for giving heed to the word of prophecy. That no prophecy . . . is of any private interpretation. Is not an interpretation of the knowledge and feelings of the prophet, but of the will of God. The next verse shows that this is the meaning. 21. For no prophecy. No scriptural prophecy is due to the will of man, but all came from men speaking from God when moved by the Holy Spirit. Prophecy is God's word, not the words of man.