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1:1-21 GOD’S POWER AT WORK IN BELIEVERS
The truly Christian character (1:1-15)
In his righteousness, God has given all Christians, from elderly apostles to new converts, equal blessing through the gospel (1:1-2). He has also given them everything they need to live lives of holiness in a world that is corrupt through uncontrolled passions. The lives of believers must be in keeping with the life of God that has been given them. God’s promises are the assurance of his help in reaching this goal (3-4).
Faith that is genuine will produce lives of moral goodness, but only if believers apply some determination and effort. True Christians will want to increase in the knowledge of God, and this will teach them self-control and endurance, leading to godliness. As they know more of God and his ways, they will love others more (5-7). Those who eagerly seek these qualities will be useful for God, but those who neglect them are in danger of falling again under the power of sin from which they have been saved (8-9). By developing the truly Christian character, believers receive added assurance that they belong to God now and will enjoy his presence in the coming eternal kingdom (10-11).
Peter knows that he must continually remind Christians of their responsibilities, for even the mature can become lazy (12). By sending this letter to them now, he is making sure that they will have a constant reminder after he has gone. He expects that very soon he will face the execution that Jesus spoke of more than thirty years earlier (13-15; cf John 21:18-19).
Evidence of Christ’s power and glory (1:16-21)
In speaking as he has concerning God’s power to change lives, Peter has not been giving some theory out of his own imagination. He himself saw the power of God of which he speaks. He also saw something of the majesty and glory that will be revealed when Christ returns, for he was one of the three chosen disciples who were with Christ at the time of his transfiguration. Besides seeing the evidence of God’s power, Peter heard the testimony that the Father spoke concerning his Son. What Peter speaks of is not a myth, but an actual event that happened at a certain place and a certain time in history. It cannot be denied (16-18; cf. Mark 9:2-8).
Apart from Peter’s own witness of the power and glory of Christ, there is the witness of the Old Testament writings. Prophecies concerning Christ’s first coming were fulfilled, and this gives assurance that those concerning his second coming will also be fulfilled. These prophecies are like a lamp in the night. They are useful and helpful until the full light dawns at the return of Christ (19).
It is important that Christians pay attention to these prophecies, for they are not stories that people have invented (cf. v. 16), but messages from God. They were given through God’s Spirit, and people can understand them properly only with the help of the same Spirit (20-21).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Peter 1". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent