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  • Simon, Peter's old name, refers to his old man by birth; Peter, his new name given by the Lord (John 1:41-42), refers to his new man by regeneration. Here the two names are combined as one, signifying that the old man Simon had become the new man Peter.

  • Slave indicates Peter's submission to the Lord, and apostle, the Lord's commission to him.

  • Referring to the Jewish believers in dispersion in the Gentile world (1 Pet. 1:1).

  • As the children of Israel were allotted a piece of the good land (Josh. 13:6; 14:1-5; 19:51). This implies that the "all things which relate to life and godliness" (v. 3), including the divine nature (v. 4) partaken of by the believers through the equally precious faith according to the precious and exceedingly great promises, are the real inheritance given to the believers by God in the New Testament.

  • Faith is the substantiation of the substance of the truth (Heb. 11:1), which is the reality of the contents of God's New Testament economy. The contents of God's New Testament economy are composed of the "all things which relate to life and godliness" (v. 3), that is, the Triune God dispensing Himself into us as life within and godliness without (see points 1, 2, 4, and 5 and the last paragraph of note 1 Tim. 1:11). The equally precious faith, allotted to us by God through the word of God's New Testament economy and the Spirit, responds to the reality of such contents and ushers us into the reality, making its substance the very element of our Christian life and experience. Such a faith is allotted to all the believers in Christ as their portion, which is equally precious to all who have received it. As such a portion from God, this faith is objective to us in the divine truth. But it brings all the contents of its substantiation into us, thus making them all, with itself (faith), subjective to us in our experience. This can be compared to the scenery (truth) and the seeing (faith) being objective to the camera (us). But when the light (the Spirit) brings the scenery to the film (our spirit) within the camera, both the seeing and the scenery become subjective to the camera.

  • The Greek word means of equal value or honor; hence, equally precious. Equal not in measure but in value and honor to all those who receive it.

  • Referring to the apostle Peter and all the other believers in the Jewish land. All the believers in the Gentile world share with all those in the Jewish land the same precious faith, which enables them to substantiate the blessing of life of the New Testament as their common portion allotted to them by God.

  • In the sphere of.

  • Our God is righteous. Through His righteousness He has allotted the precious faith as a divine portion equally to all believers in Christ, both Jewish and Gentile, without respect of persons. And now He is not only our God but also our Savior. Thus, His righteousness now is not the righteousness only of God nor only of Christ, but the righteousness of both our God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. In that the Lord is our Savior, His righteousness is His righteous act, His death on the cross in absolute obedience (Phil. 2:8), by which He accomplished redemption for us (Heb. 9:12), enabling us to be justified by God (Rom. 5:18). In that the Lord is our God, His righteousness is His justice, since, based on the righteous act, the redemption of our Savior Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:24-25), He justifies all the believers in Christ (Rom. 3:26), both Jewish and Gentile (Rom. 3:30). In and by such a twofold righteousness, the righteousness of both our God and our Savior, Jesus Christ, the precious faith, the precious substantiation of the New Testament blessing, has been allotted equally to all believers among all nations.

  • Jesus Christ is both our God and our Savior. This indicates that Jesus Christ is God being our Savior. He is the very God whom we worship, and He became our Savior to save us. At Peter's time this designated the believers in Christ and separated them from the Jews, who did not believe that Jesus Christ was God, and from the Romans, who believed that Caesar, not Jesus Christ, was God.

  • Or, Grace and peace be multiplied to you.

  • Grace and peace came to us through the God-allotted faith, which substantiates the life-blessing of the New Testament (v. 1). This faith was infused into us through the word of God, which conveys to us the real knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. In the sphere of the full knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, and by means of this increasing and increased knowledge, the grace and peace that we have received will be multiplied.

  • In the sphere of, by means of.

  • This refers to a thorough, experiential knowledge. The full knowledge of the Triune God is for our participation in and enjoyment of His divine life and divine nature. It is in contrast to the killing knowledge of the human logic of philosophy, which invaded the church in its apostasy.

  • Some MSS read, Jesus Christ our Lord.

  • Chapter two shows that this Epistle, like 2 Timothy, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude, was written in the time of the church's degradation and apostasy. Hence, apostasy was the background of this book. The burden of the writer was to inoculate the believers against the poison of apostasy. God's salvation is to impart Himself in His Trinity into the believers that He may be their life and life supply. This is God's economy, God's plan. The apostasy distracted the believers from the economy of God by leading them into the human logic of puzzling philosophies. This did not lead them to partake of the tree of life, which gives life, but to participate in the tree of knowledge, which brings in death (Gen. 2:9, 16-17). Thus the serpent deceived and seduced Eve (Gen. 3:1-6). In order to inoculate against this death-poison, in his healing Epistle the apostle first prescribed the divine power as the strongest and most effective antidote. This provides the believers with all things related to the generating and supplying divine life (not the killing knowledge) and the God-expressing godliness (not the show of human wisdom). This rich divine provision, which is covered in detail in the succeeding verses (to v. 11), is more than sufficient to enable the believers to live a proper Christian life and overcome the satanic apostasy.

    Divine denotes the eternal, unlimited, and almighty divinity of God. Hence, divine power is the power of the divine life, which is related to the divine nature.

  • I.e., imparted, infused, and planted into us by the all-inclusive life-giving Spirit, who regenerates us and indwells us (2 Cor. 3:6, 17; John 3:6; Rom. 8:11).

  • "All things which relate to life and godliness" are the various aspects of the divine life, typified by the riches of the produce of the good land in the Old Testament. They are the substance of our faith's substantiation allotted to us by God as our portion for our inheritance.

  • Life is within, enabling us to live, and godliness is without as the outward expression of the inward life. Life is the inward energy, the inward strength, to bring forth the outward godliness, which leads to and results in glory.

  • See note 22 in 1 Tim. 2.

  • The imparting into us of all the things of life is through the full knowledge of God, which is conveyed and revealed to us through His word. This becomes the faith (objective), in which our faith (subjective) is produced.

  • This refers to a thorough, experiential knowledge.

  • Referring to God, who is our Savior and our Lord Jesus Christ (vv. 1-2). He called us to His glory and virtue by His glory and virtue. His disciples saw His glory and virtue (v. 16; John 1:14) and were attracted by them. Then by this glory and virtue He called them to this glory and virtue. It is the same with all believers in Christ.

  • Or, to.

  • I.e., the expression of God, God expressed in splendor.

  • Lit., excellency (see note Phil. 4:87c), denoting the energy of life that enables us to overcome all obstacles and to carry out all excellent attributes. Glory is the divine goal; virtue is the energy and strength of life that enable us to reach the goal. This virtue, with all things relating to life, has been given to us by the divine power, but it needs to be developed on the way to glory.

  • Or, on account of, on the basis of. The Greek word has an instrumental sense, but it also denotes cause here.

  • Referring to glory and virtue in v. 3. Through and on the basis of the Lord's glory and virtue, by and to which we have been called, He has given us His precious and exceedingly great promises, such as in Matt. 28:20; John 6:57; 7:38-39; 10:28-29; 14:19-20, 23; 15:5; 16:13-15. All these promises are being carried out in His believers by His life-power as the excellent virtue, unto His glory.

  • Lit., greatest.

  • Through the precious and exceedingly great promises we, the believers in Christ, who is our God and Savior, have become partakers of His divine nature in an organic union with Him, into which we have entered through faith and baptism (John 3:15; Gal. 3:27; Matt. 28:19). The virtue (energy of life) of this divine nature carries us into His glory (godliness becoming the full expression of the Triune God).

  • In his first Epistle the apostle told the believers that Christ had redeemed them from their vain manner of life (1 Pet. 1:18-19) and that they should, thus, abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Pet. 2:11) and no longer live in the flesh in the lusts of men (1 Pet. 4:2). Here, in his second Epistle, he unveiled to them the energy, the strength, by which they were enabled to escape the corruption in lust, and the result of that escape. The energy is the virtue of the divine life, and the result is that the believers partake of the divine nature of God and thus enjoy all the riches of what the Triune God is. In our partaking of the divine nature and in our enjoying of all that God is, all the riches of the divine nature will be fully developed, as described in vv. 5-7. Having escaped the corruption of lust in the world and having thus removed the barriers to the growth of the divine life in us, we are freed to become partakers of the divine nature and to enjoy its riches to the fullest extent in its development by the virtue of God unto His glory.

  • See note 2 Pet. 2:15, point 3.

  • Or, in.

  • Lit., bringing in beside. Beside, along with, the precious and exceedingly great promises given to us by God, we should bring in all diligence to cooperate with the enabling of the dynamic divine nature for the carrying out of God's promises.

  • See note Phil. 1:193. What the divine power has given us in vv. 3-4 is developed in vv. 5-7. To supply virtue in faith is to develop virtue in the exercise of faith. This applies to all the other items.

  • This is the equally precious faith allotted to us by God (v. 1) as the common portion of the New Testament blessing of life for the initiation of the Christian life. This faith needs to be exercised that the virtue of the divine life may be developed in the succeeding steps and reach maturity.

  • Lit., excellency (see note Phil. 4:87c); denoting the energy of the divine life, which issues in vigorous action (cf. note 2 Pet. 1:311f).

  • Virtue, the vigorous action, needs the bountiful supply of the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord (vv. 2-3, 8) regarding all things that relate to the divine life and godliness and the partaking of the divine nature (vv. 3-4) for our enjoyment in the subsequent development.

  • Or, temperance; the exercise of control and restraint over one's self in its passions, desires, and habits. This needs to be supplied and developed in knowledge for the proper growth in life.

  • To exercise self-control is to deal with ourselves; to exercise endurance is to bear with others and with circumstances.

  • A living that is like God and that expresses God. As we exercise control over our self and bear with others and with circumstances, godliness needs to be developed in our spiritual life, that we may be like God and express Him.

  • The Greek word is composed of to have affection for and a brother; hence, a brotherly affection, a love characterized by delight and pleasure. In godliness, which is the expression of God, this love needs to be supplied for the brotherhood (1 Pet. 2:17; 3:8; Gal. 6:10), for our testimony to the world (John 13:34-35), and for the bearing of fruit (John 15:16-17).

  • The Greek word is used in the New Testament for the divine love, which God is in His nature (1 John 4:8, 16). It is nobler than human love. It adorns all the qualities of the Christian life (1 Cor. 13; Rom. 13:8-10; Gal. 5:13-14). It is stronger in ability and greater in capacity than human love (Matt. 5:44, 46), yet a believer who lives by the divine life (v. 3) and partakes of the divine nature (v. 4) can be saturated with it and express it in full. Such a love needs to be developed in brotherly love to govern it and flow in it for the full expression of God, who is this love. Faith can be considered the seed of life, and this nobler love, the fruit (v. 8) in its full development. The six steps of development in between are the stages of its growth unto maturity.

  • All the virtues covered in vv. 5-7, from faith to love.

  • The Greek word denotes that certain things exist in and belong to a person from the beginning, thus becoming his rightful possession to the present. This indicates that all the virtues mentioned above are the possession of the believers and exist in them forever through their experience of partaking of the divine nature in all its riches.

  • The divine virtues not only exist in and are possessed by the believers but also abound and multiply in them in the development and growth of the divine life.

  • This indicates that the virtues of the divine life and divine nature are the constituents of our spiritual constitution, our spiritual being, making us persons who do not have the elements of idleness and unfruitfulness.

  • Lit., unworking; hence, idle. One who is not idle may still be unfruitful. To be fruitful requires more growth in life and more supply of life. Idleness and unfruitfulness are constituents of our fallen being; working, the energizing of life, and fruitfulness are the constituents of our being that is growing in the divine life.

  • This indicates that what is covered in vv. 5-7 is the development of the growth of the divine life unto its maturity.

  • The constitution that has the spiritual virtues as its constituents advances in many steps toward the full knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, with a view to the full realization of the all-inclusive embodiment of the Triune God. In this section of the Word, three prepositions are used regarding the relationship between the experience of life and spiritual knowledge: in, in v. 2, referring to the sphere of the knowledge; through, in v. 3, referring to the channel of the knowledge; and unto, in v. 8, referring to the knowledge in view as a goal.

  • See note 2 Pet. 1:2b.

  • From the root word that means to close the eyes (because of strong light); hence, to be shortsighted. To be thus shortsighted is to be spiritually blind, unable to see something further in the divine life and divine nature of the Triune God dispensed into the believers as their bountiful supply.

  • The Greek phrase has the sense of willing to forget, i.e., willing to forget the experience of the cleansing of our past sins. That cleansing took place so that we could go on in the divine life by partaking of the divine nature to reach the maturity of life. This is not to deny the faithful profession we made when we believed in Christ and were baptized into Him, or to lose the assurance of salvation that we received at that time, but to neglect what the initiation of salvation meant to us.

  • Or, Therefore rather, brothers, be diligent...

  • I.e., to develop the spiritual virtues in the divine life, to advance in the growth of the divine life. This makes God's calling and selection of us firm.

  • Referring to the kingdom of God, which was given to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Dan. 7:13-14) and which will be manifested at His coming back (Luke 19:11-12). It will be a reward to His faithful believers, who pursue the growth in His life unto maturity and the development of the virtues of His nature that in the millennium they may participate in His kingship in God's glory (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 20:4, 6). To enter thus into the eternal kingdom of the Lord is related to entering into God's eternal glory, to which God has called us in Christ (1 Pet. 5:10; 1 Thes. 2:12 and note 1 Thes. 2:122c and note 1 Thes. 2:123d).

  • The bountiful supply that we enjoy in the development of the divine life and divine nature (vv. 3-7) will bountifully supply us a rich entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord. It will enable and qualify us to enter into the coming kingdom by all the riches of the divine life and divine nature as our excellent virtues (energy) unto the splendid glory of God. This is not merely to be saved but, after being saved, to pursue the growth and maturity in the divine life and thereby receive the kingdom reward. See note Heb. 12:281a.

  • I.e., the truth that is present with the believers, which they have already received and now possess. In the first section of this chapter, vv. 3-11, Peter used the provision of the divine life for the proper Christian life to inoculate against the apostasy. In the second section, vv. 12-21, he used the revelation of the divine truth, as the second antidote, to inoculate against the heresy in the apostasy, a heresy similar to today's modernism. The provision of life and the revelation of truth are the antidotes used by Peter in dealing with the apostasy.

  • The temporal body (2 Cor. 5:1).

  • I.e., to put off the body, to be unclothed of the body (2 Cor. 5:4), to leave the body, to die physically. Peter, like Paul (2 Tim. 4:6), knew that he would leave the world by martyrdom, and he was now ready for it.

  • Peter remembered the Lord's word to him concerning his death, given at the time the Lord charged him to feed His sheep (John 21:15-19).

  • Or, departure; i.e., to leave the world. The same word is used in Luke 9:31.

  • Lit., follow out.

  • Myths were the superstitious stories cleverly devised in Greek philosophy, which was related to the apostasy.

  • The Greek word means presence.

  • "«Admitted into immediate vision of the glory,» a word used for full initiation into the mysteries" (Darby). Peter realized that he, James, and John had been admitted into the highest degree of initiation at the Lord's transfiguration, admitted to be the initiated spectators of His majesty. He considered the transfiguration of the Lord a figure of His second coming, even as the Lord did in Luke 9:26-36. The Lord's transfiguration in glory was a fact, and he was in it. The Lord's coming back in glory also will be a fact, as real as the Lord's transfiguration, and he will be in it as well. This was not a cleverly devised myth told to the believers by the apostles.

  • I.e., magnificence, greatness in splendor, honor, and glory, even magnificent glory (v. 17), as that which appeared to the eyes of Peter and the other two disciples in the Lord's transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-2; Luke 9:32).

  • Or, carried along. So also in vv. 18, 21.

  • The overshadowing cloud at the Lord's transfiguration (Luke 9:34-35), like the shekinah glory that overshadowed the propitiation place (Exo. 25:20; 40:34).

  • And indicates that in addition to the truth of the Lord's transfiguration, covered in the preceding verses as the inoculation against superstitious myths, the truth of the prophetic word is used for a more sure confirmation.

  • Peter likened the word of prophecy in the Scripture to a lamp shining in a dark place. This indicates that
    1) this age is a dark place in the dark night (Rom. 13:12), and all the people of this world are moving and acting in darkness;
    2) the prophetic word of the Scripture, as the shining lamp to the believers, conveys spiritual light that shines in their darkness (not merely knowledge in letters for their mental apprehension), guiding them to enter into a bright day, even to pass through the dark night until the day of the Lord's appearing dawns.
    Before the Lord as the sunlight appears, we need this word as light to shine over our footsteps.

  • Or, murky place, a place that is squalid, dry, and neglected. This is a metaphor illustrating the darkness in the apostasy.

  • A metaphor illustrating a coming time that will be full of light, as a bright day dawning, with the morning star rising, before its dawning, in the hearts of the believers, who are illuminated and enlightened by giving heed to the shining word of prophecy in the Scripture. In the time of apostasy the believers do well to give heed in this matter, that the prophetic word, as a lamp, may shine through the darkness of apostasy until such a day dawns upon them. This will cause and encourage them to earnestly seek the Lord's presence and be watchful so that they will not miss the Lord in the secret part of His coming (parousia), when He will come as a thief (see note Matt. 24:271 and note 2 Thes. 2:83). Hence, this metaphor must allude to the coming age, the age of the kingdom, as a day that will dawn at the appearing (the coming) of the Lord (v. 16) as the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2), whose light will shine to break through the gloom of the dark night of this age. Preceding this, in the darkest hour of the night the Lord will appear as the morning star (Rev. 2:28; 22:16) to those who are watchful and looking for His dear appearing (2 Tim. 4:8). They have been enlightened by the shining of the prophetic word, which is able to lead them to the dawning day.

    If we give heed to the word in the Bible, which shines as a lamp in a dark place, we will have His rising in our hearts to shine in the darkness of apostasy where we are today, before His actual appearing as the morning star.

  • Referring to the prophet who spoke the prophecy or to the writer who wrote the prophecy.

  • Lit., loosening, untying; hence, disclosure, explanation, exposition. One's own interpretation means the prophet's or writer's own explanation or exposition, which would not be inspired by God through the Holy Spirit. The thought here is that no prophecy of Scripture is of the prophet's or writer's own concept, idea, or understanding; no prophecy comes from that source, the source of man; no prophecy originates from any prophet's or writer's private and personal thought. This is confirmed and explained by the succeeding verse.

  • For introduces an explanation of the preceding verse. No prophecy of Scripture is of the prophet's or writer's exposition, for no prophecy was ever borne, or carried along, by the will of man. Rather, men spoke from God while being borne by the Holy Spirit.

  • In Greek the same word as in vv. 17, 18. No prophecy was ever borne by the will of man. Man's will, desire, and wish, with his thought and exposition, were not the source from which any prophecy came; the source was God, by whose Holy Spirit men were borne, as a ship is borne by the wind, to speak out the will, desire, and wish of God.

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