2 Peter 1:1-2 | “Making your calling and election sure” – I Part

  1. Intro
  2. Vs. 1a The secret of freedom
  3. Vs. 1b The basis of fairness
  4. Vs. 2 The blessing of fellowship
  1. Intro.

At the start of any new study it is always good to review what type of literature we are studying in the bible and what are the keys to our investigation. I do this personally but now do so to you all so you can see how I determined the context as well as the interpretation and application points that prayerfully will be ministering to us throughout our time in 2 Peter. The type of literature is the same as we have just finished a “New Testament letter” known as an epistle! Most of these letters no matter who the author was followed the same four-fold pattern which is made up of:

    2 Peter

Making your calling and election sure

  1. Chp. 1:1-4 Introduction1:1 Greetings1:2-4 “Jesus divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness
  2. Chp. 1:5-11 Statement of purpose “Making your calling and election sure
  3. Chp. 1:12-3:16 Main body of teaching: Three ways to, “Stir up pure minds (3:1)”
    1. 1:12-21 Confidence in the Word of God
      1. 1:12-15 The Word worked personally          
      1. 1:16-21 The Word worked prophetically
    1. 2:1-22 Condemnation of Counterfeits
      1. 2:1-3 Dangerous doctrine
      1. 2:4-9 Destructive conduct
      1. 2:10-17 Despise authority
      1. 2:18-22 Deceptive teaching
    1. 3:1-16 Certainty of Our Lord’s Return
      1. 3:1-7 Doubting the Day of the Lord
      1. 3:8-10 Delighted by the Promise of the Day of the Lord
      1. 3:11-16 Diligently looking forward to the Day of the Lord
  4. Chp. 3:17-18 Closing and benediction: “Grow in grace”

Before we begin our examination of the introduction of this letter I believe that we need to examine its relationship to 1 Peter. I do not believe that this letter was written after 1 Peter but rather before what is commonly called 1 Peter. First the title of both letters was not something that Peter placed on his letter but what others placed to reference the inspired text. Yes, there is an assumption based upon 2 Peter 3:1where Peter writes, “Beloved, I know write to you the SECOND TIME (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder)” But is this the second letter and 1 Peter the first? Does the evidence point to that or is 2 Peter the second letter to a letter that we no longer have? I believe the evidence suggests the later for several reasons:

  1. Readers: In 1 Peter he address his readers and says that they are Christians both Jews and gentiles of the dispersion form a fivefold region of Asia minor which would be in the region of Northern Turkey today. Peter doesn’t address one church but rather Christians who have in common circumstances that have led them to be on the run. It was written near the end of Peter’s life whereas it seems that 2 Peter was written prior to this. 2 Peter says nothing about suffering and in fact warns against false teachers who will come to dissuade the believer with regards to the 2nd coming of Christ, who are mainly gentiles familiar with Paul’s writings based upon 3:15-16 .    
    1. Content: 1 Peter deals with the attitude in the believer created by severe persecution. 2 Peter is a warning for all believers to be a guard against those foals teachers who would rob them from the truth that had grounded them in hope. The use of the word “NOW” in 3:1 in the Greek indicates a short time between these two letters which seems unlikely between the letter that we now have labeled 1 and 2 Peter. It is also clear that in 3:15-16 that the readers had available some of Paul’s letters and they were both sharing correspondence with the same readers and we know that Paul never wrote to Jewish readers exclusively but gentile readers and in this letter so is Peter whereas in 1 Peter he makes many indications that he is addressing primarily Jews. Contextually is makes far more sense that 1 Peter followed 2 Peter in the content as 2 Peter addresses false teachers who said they had special knowledge and specifically attacked the 2nd coming of Jesus which left un checked who rob the believer the hope that lies within concerning their great salvation which Peter wrote about in 1 Peter.              

We have in 2 Peter a letter where those that received it were facing serious problems just like we do today. There are two troubles that Christians have always faced: Troubles from without and troubles from within! It seems to me that often if we handle the troubles from within the troubles from without are far less! It’s no wonder that satan does all he can to increase our troubles from within. If you trace satan’s work from the beginning you will find that he has always attacked faith and trust in God’s Word as we see in in Genesis 3:1 where he craftily engendered the lie, “Has God indeed said…?” Satan has always been committed to spread doubt of God’s love and truth and has done so by creating a world system that is contrary to it as well as infiltrating God’s Church with agents who will sow seeds of doubt. An ineffective Christian is a great tool in his arsenal and there is no better way to accomplish this then to have people who can be used and counted on to disseminate doubt and no better place from them to do so then the pulpit of God’s Church!

  1. Some of these instruments spread doubt by passive means by simply not teaching the whole council of God’s word and make the church anemic in the essentials of the faith. It isn’t that they are aggressively spreading lies instead they just aren’t aggressively spreading truth by teaching through the Bible with transformational teaching.
    1. Then there are others who have secretly crept in have adopted a more aggressive agenda by actively teaching lies that appeal to the fallen old nature of the Christian. Such lies are that all truth is God’s truth, that God doesn’t want you ever to not get what you want and deserve. That God’s interest isn’t in your maturity in a relationship with Him. 

Peter was aware of this and took the time to write to these mostly gentile believers who were familiar with Paul’s letters. These false teachers were so wicked that they were twisting some of Paul’s words to fit their lies (3:15-16) and the bulk of there lies seems to have been aimed at the soon return of Jesus as 3:3-4 where he calls them “scoffers” who mockingly sow the doubt of “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” A church that is uncertain about the truth about which they believe and has no foundation will be easily moved and ineffective in outreach. Satan knows this. Furthermore, a church that doesn’t seek to continually grow in this the grace and knowledge of Jesus will also lack the maturity to be effective in its witness. Once you have the truth of God you must continue in it but before you can continue you must remember with great conviction the value of the truth which you started with! The bible is not a mathematical book that is concerned with numbers what the Bible is concerned about is truth! It is unfortunate that the church is more interested at times in numbers then it is truth. It cares not so much about home many attend but rather what one transformed by truth can be and do! The bible speaks of a message entrusted to a few for a multitude! Here in this section Peter will set the tone of the letter as it relates to the gospel and to the truth which they must grow in. In so doing he will give the readers three important truths:

  1. Vs. 1a The secret of freedom: “A bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ”.
  2. Vs. 1b The basis of fairness: “To those who have obtained like precious faith with us”.

Vs. 2 The blessing of fellowship: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”.