As we move onto studying Peter’s second letter we notice that he now addresses it to “those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, have been given a faith as precious as ours.
He is now writing to a body of believers who have matured in their faith but he now needs to write to them about some of the false teaching and leniency (of evildoers) that has started to creep into the church and remind them to be watchful for Christ’s return.
God’s divine power has given us everything we need to live a truly religious life through our knowledge of the one who called us to share in his own glory and goodness (v3)
Through our knowledge of God we have everything we need spiritually. Godliness is a reverence towards him that affects every part of our lives. Through this we have the promised precious gifts so that we can escape our earthly desires and share in his Holy Spirit.
Verses 5 to 8 show how our faith develops with maturity so that we can become effective and fruitful Christians
- add goodness to your faith
- to your goodness add knowledge
- to your knowledge add self-control
- to your self-control add endurance
- to your endurance add godliness
- to your godliness add christian affection
- to your christian affection add love
Note that this is not an order in which we develop; adding each virtue onto the next once we have achieved the previous; but as we grow, these all develop simultaneously to complement each other
So then my brothers and sisters, try even harder to make God’s call and his choice of you a permanent experience; if you do so, you will never abandon your faith. In this way you will be given the full right to enter the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (v 10-11)
As we saw in our studies of Hebrews and James, our salvation is not just a one off event that happened one day long ago (Has it happened to you?) but is an ongoing process of learning to trust God and being changed and transformed into his likeness so that we can be fully prepared to enter into his kingdom.
Thinking again about the comparison I made in previous posts of the Christian life being like a train journey, some people will have had a very long journey with lots of stops, changes, waits along the way, whereas others may get on at the very end and only travel a short distance. We all have to travel different routes, but the destination is still the same. If we get off the train, we will never reach the final destination. Even when they did reach the promised land, some of the Israelites chose not to cross over and settled where they were.
Peter know that he was nearing the end of his journey and so wanted to encourage the believers to continue once he was no around. He spoke from personal witness and experience – “I was there” he says, “I saw it with my own eyes” “Jesus himself told me” Not only did he have the message proclaimed by the prophets but he was witness to their fulfillment and through that came the understanding from the Holy Spirit.
Quotes from The Good News Bible