2 Peter 1:1 – 4
We are starting the second Epistle of Peter. It is one of the shortest book in the New Testament with just three chapters. The emphasis of this short letter is about false teachings and about false teachers. The author is of course Peter. “Simon” is Greek and “Peter” is the Hebrew. Simon is the name given to him at birth. Peter is the name given to him by Jesus. Peter did not use his name “Simon” in the first epistle. Jesus called him Cephas (Jn. 1:42) which means stone or rock in Aramaic. The Greek equivalent of Cephas is Petros which also means stone or rock. He identifies himself as a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ. The words “know” and knowledge” is used at least nine times and is considered as the key words. In the following weeks we will see what his message is and what can we learn from it.
I. Peter tells about his servanthood (2 Pet. 1:1)
A. The word servant here is doulos, in Greek it means a slave.
B. During the Roman Empire there were more than fifty million slaves. These slaves had few rights and their master can do anything to them.
C. The slaves have to be loyal, submissive, hardworking, and faithful to their master.
D. Peter identifies himself as a servant of Jesus Christ.
E. For me, to be called a servant of Jesus Christ is the highest role anyone here can have.
F. Christ is my master, my Lord. He owns me, I have no rights, no properties. Everything I have is His, my life, career, family, my future. I am at His disposal.
G. True joy comes from serving the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
H. Paul (Rom. 1:1), James (Jas. 1:1), Jude (Jude 1), and many other OT characters like Moses, Joshua, David, etc., calls themselves servant also. No wonder God used them in a very special way.
I. Many of us wants to do big or great things for God. The main thing here is just to serve. God will bless you if you will serve Him.
Illustration: Willing to do Little Thing
A good many are kept out of the service of Christ, deprived of the luxury of working for God, because they are trying to do some great thing. Let us be willing to do little things. And let us remember that nothing is small in which God is the source.
II. Peter’s Apostleship (2 Pet. 1:1)
A. Apostle refers to the twelve men who were chosen by Christ to lay the foundation of the church (Lk. 6:13-16; Eph. 2:20).
B. Apostle refers to Christian workers in general (2 Cor. 8:23; Acts 14:14; Ph. 2:25). The Greek word translated “apostle” (apostolos) is also translated “messenger” and “minister,” and is used to refer to Christian workers other than the Twelve. Christian workers were sent by the Lord from the churches to particular ministries.
C. God sends us out into the world as His ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). As ambassadors, we represent him to other people.
III. Precious Faith (2 Pet. 1:1).
A. Like precious faith here is used to designate equal in rank, position, value, and Honor.
B. What Peter is telling here is that all Christians have received the same precious saving faith like what he has. There is no difference between his faith and ours.
C. Since Peter is writing also for the Gentiles, he was telling them that the faith they have received is the same faith as what the Jews have got.
D. The faith that God gives us is of equal privilege to that of an apostle and that is very encouraging. Saving faith is exactly the same for every person.
E. The reason for this is that at the point of faith we received imputed righteousness. This is God’s righteousness that He puts into us when we believe.
F. The God who imputes righteousness to us is identified here as Jesus Christ. He is our Saviour, the God who manifested Himself in the flesh (Jn. 1:14)
IV. Grace and Peace (2 Pet. 1:2)
1. Is God’s favour (Ruth 2:2,10) to the undeserving,
2. Grace is the free, unmerited eternal salvation of God (Eph. 2:8-9).
3. A spiritual gift and empowerment (Acts 14:26).
4. God in His mercy does not give us what we do deserve; God in His grace gives us what we don’t deserve. Our God is “the God of all grace” (1 Peter 5:10), and He channels that grace to us through Jesus Christ (John 1:16).
1. The result of this experience is peace, peace with God (Rom 5:1) and the peace of God (Phil 4:6-7). In fact, God’s grace and peace are “multiplied” toward us as we walk with Him and trust His promises.
V. God’s power (2 Pet. 1:3)
A. The Christian life begins with saving faith, faith in the person of Jesus Christ. But when you know Jesus Christ personally, you also experience God’s power, and this power produces “life and godliness.”
B. When you are born into the family of God by faith in Christ, you are born complete. God gives you everything you will ever need “for life and godliness.” Nothing has to be added! “And ye are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10).
C. Through God’s power and His gracious provisions, He has provided everything we need for a fruitful Christian life.
VI. God’s precious promises (2 Pet. 1:4)
A. God has not only given us all that we need for life and godliness, but He has also given us His Word to enable us to develop this life and godliness.
B. These promises are great because they come from a great God and they lead to a great life.
C. They are precious because their value is beyond calculation. If we lost the Word of God, there would be no way to replace it.
D. Peter must have liked the word precious, for he wrote about the “precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1; 1 Peter 1:7), the “Precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4), the “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:19), the precious stone (1 Peter 2:4, 6), and the precious Saviour (1 Peter 2:7).
Illustration: Promises from God
A promise from God is a statement we can depend on with absolute confidence. Here are 12 promises for the Christian to claim.
1. God’s presence— “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5)
2. God’s protection—”I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward” (Gen. 15:1)
3. God’s power—”I will strengthen thee” (Isa. 41:10)
4. God’s provision—”I will help thee” (Isa. 41:10)
5. God’s leading—”And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them” (John 10:4)
6. God’s purposes— “I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil” (Jer. 29:11)
7. God’s rest—”Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28)
8. God’s cleansing— “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9)
9. God’s goodness— “No good thing will He withhold from them that work uprightly” (Psalm 84:11)
10. God’s faithfulness—”The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake” (1 Sam. 12:22)
11. God’s guidance—”The meek will He guide” (Psalm 25:9)
12. God’s wise plan—”All things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28)
Our Daily Bread, January 1, 1985
Greeting and saluting the Christian readers Peter tells them of the precious promises of
the gospel. Do you believe in God’s promises? Will you claim them as true and apply it to
your life? Christ’s promises are all true and He will fulfil it in due time. Will you receive
Him as your personal Saviour?