I want to begin
a new study this week in the book of II Peter. I believe the ‘Key
Subject’ that Peter is dealing with in this book is ‘Apostasy’.
The word means the forsaking or abandonment of what one has before
preferred as their faith. This early church had some who had
professed faith but because of suffering they had returned to
Judaism. Judaism is the keeping of the Old Testament law and
rituals in order to please God.
The ‘Key Word’
is mentioned in Chapter 1, verses 12, 13, 15, and Chapter 3, verse
1. It is the word ‘remembrance’ which means a statue, a
model for imitation, a pattern, a continual blow of a hammer, and to
place in the mind as a memorial. Peter wants to place some statues
and patterns in the minds of his reader that would be a memorial and
continual blow of a hammer to remind them not to turn back from
following the Lord.
Let us look this
week at Chapter 1, verses 1-4 which says, “Simon
Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have
obtained like precious faith with us through their righteousness of
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto
you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According
as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto
life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us
to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and
precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine
nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through
I have entitled this
section “Professors And Possessors”. In verse 1a we have “The
Authority Of The Greeting”. Peter mentions himself in a ‘Position
Of Humility’. He refers to himself as Simon Peter, a servant.
The two names play on the surname our Lord gave him depicting the
change the gospel wrought in him. He was Simon, a little piece of a
hardened rock, changed to Peter, one strengthened in the soul.
There is also a ‘Position Of Honor’. He calls himself an ‘apostle
of Jesus Christ’. The word ‘apostle’ means one sent with
authority to represent another. Because of the gravity of the
subject Peter is to address he comes standing on the authority of
his position as an apostle.
We find in verse 1 “The
Address Of The Greetings”. This book is addressed ‘to them’.
(Vs. 1b) Peter tells us he has ‘a likeness with them’. They
have ‘obtained’ like precious faith with us. The word ‘obtained’
means to determine the reception by the casting of the lot. The
work of likeness is not done by luck and chance of choice but by
divine providence. We have obtained a like precious faith. The
faith is a creed or conviction that causes one to rely upon God.
The word ‘precious’ is of equal or likeness in value. Peter
also mentions his ‘Lineage With Them’. This precious faith
comes to all through the same channel. It came to us through the
righteousness of God our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Peter gives us in
verse 2 “The Admonition In The Greeting”. There is an ‘Avenue
Of Admonition’. In verses 2-3 we find the avenue is the ‘Knowledge
Of God’. The word ‘knowledge’ means to become fully
acquainted with so as to recognize. This is a continual life long
process of learning. What are we to seek to know? We are to know
of ‘His grace’ (to give us what we don’t deserve) ‘His
peace’ (the umpire of the soul to let us know when we are out of
bounds) ‘His divine power’ (enablement to do all things) and
‘His promise’ (the assurance of receiving His confessed
good). (Vs. 3-4)
We are told in verse
4b about an ‘Assuring Admonition’. Peter tells us that
through the knowledge of these truths we are partakers of the very
nature of God. It is this nature within us that separates the
professors from the possessor. If we have this nature in us we do
not have to produce the Christian life but the nature of God will
reproduce the Christ life in us and through us. Remember there need
be no fear of apostasy where the nature of God resides.