1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
The Apostle Peter, via the Holy Spirit, was very concerned about false teachers and false beliefs within the church. Just as today, false preachers and teachers had crept in and were convincing the church that only they had the goods. These wolves in sheep’s clothing were convincing the Christians they didn’t have what they needed for salvation or the assurance of that salvation. They were diluting the gospel truths and preying on the Christians for their own personal gain, putting the church at risk.
The statics show this to be widespread today as well. The Barna Group recently 1surveyed 2000 U.S. adults, of which 69% identified as Christians. Of these self-identified Christians, only 6% appear to hold a 2biblical Christian worldview.
Rather than accept what has been provided to each of us and strive for the truth, most U.S. professing Christians today engage with these false teachers and cultural influencers with itching ears, hearing what they want to hear.
In this passage, Peter developed several key points to illustrate why the Christian does not need these false teachers and already have everything needed gifted to them by God. He caps it off with a commandment and a call. His key points include:
- All Christians have received the same gift of faith. This faith is the power to believe for salvation. There are no distinctions between any of His created persons. This includes no differences between Jews or Gentiles.
- All things pertaining to life – By Christ’s power genuine Christians have received everything necessary for salvation and growth.
- In godliness – Nothing is missing from God for the Christian to live a godly life. He has given every single individual everything needed to grow and persevere.
- Through Knowledge – This is not just education or information. The word indicates deep, intertwining intimacy with Jesus.
- Called to His glory and excellence – The effectual, saving call based on a true understanding of the evidence of Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
- Great and precious promises – Promises that include forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
- Partakers of the divine nature – Being born again in Christ. Becoming God’s children, and thus sharing His nature. We are presently becoming like Him. In eternity we will be conformed to Him in glorified bodies.
- Having escaped corruption – Through salvation the Christian has escaped death, which was birthed through man’s sinful desires.
- For this reason, make every effort – Through God’s grace we have received everything we need. Nothing is missing for us to come along side and utilize what He has given us. We are commanded to make every effort to glorify God in our lives through these qualities.
- Whoever lacks these qualities is shortsighted, even to blindness – Many profess to be Christians but neither understand who God is or the magnitude of what God has done for them. Missing the qualities in verses 5-7 leads to a lack of assurance of salvation and the understanding of their standing with God.
- Confirm your calling and election – How does the Christian obtain assurance? Through practice of these qualities. Witness of these qualities in him/herself confirms the assurance of salvation.
Peter, via the Holy Spirit, was deeply troubled by the failing of early Christians to understand what they had received and to develop it. They were falling prey to false teachers and doctrines. The statistics are clear, the same situation is occurring today. All Christians have received everything needed by grace. Through His power and gifts we are to strive to achieve these qualities and obtain assurance, thus negating the need for false teaching. We just need to use what we have been given.
2Barna defines “biblical worldview” as believing that absolute moral truth exists; the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches; Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic; a person cannot earn their way into Heaven by trying to be good or do good works; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.