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2 Peter Bible Study
1:1-7
"All Supplies Included"

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1) Simon Peter, a slave and Apostle of Jesus Christ, to those Gentiles who obtained by lot an equally privileged faith with us Jews by means of the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2) May grace and peace be multiplied to you by means of the complete knowledge of God and our Lord Jesus. 3) Because His divine power has freely given to us all that is needed for life and godliness through the complete knowledge of the One who called us through glory and goodness 4) through which things He has given to us valuable and very great promises, in order that through these you might become sharers in the divine nature, since you have fled the corruption which is in the world through lust, 5) now indeed, for this very reason, applying all diligence, supply in your faith goodness, and in your goodness knowledge, 6) and in your knowledge self-control, and in your self-control endurance, and in your endurance devoted service, 7) and in your devoted service brotherly love, and in your brotherly love sacrificial love.

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Have you ever bought a model airplane or car for your son? Many times the box will say something like: "All supplies included." To every parent this comforting thought means that no frantic search for glue, decals or paint will be necessary. How wonderful that this passage tells us the same thing about the Christian life! When we are given eternal life through trusting Christ as our Savior it comes with "all supplies included." What Peter says about this fact is an important foundation for our efforts to live godly lives.

Greetings  1:1-2

The author of this epistle is identified as Simon Peter. He calls himself "a slave and Apostle of Jesus Christ." Although the genuineness of the evidence of the Apostle Peter"s authorship has been debated, there is no reason to deny it. Second Peter should be dated around AD 64-68.

The salutation stresses the position of the epistle's recipients before God as equal to the apostles. Peter adds a blessing that states one of his themes: the complete knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. As he will show us, this complete knowledge of Christ serves several functions in the Christian life. Here that knowledge is said to be the means by which grace and peace are multiplied to us. God's free gifts, promises, and provision as well as our peaceful state of mind flow through knowing Christ and knowing about Him.

I.    Practice the productive Christian life revealed through God's genuine prophets.  1:3-21

This chapter represents the basic message the apostle wants to get across. Speculation and invention should be left out--the proper view of the Christians life we lead while on earth results in productivity and rewards. And this life is revealed by God through the prophets who were superintended by the Holy Spirit.

    A.  Success in the Christian life and rewards in heaven are gained by supplying yourselves from the resources God has provided.  3-11

In this paragraph Peter summarizes the basic dynamic of the Christian life. Nowhere else in Scripture will the student of the Bible get a more complete picture of how the Christian life works. This section addresses the question of who is responsible for success in the Christian life.

       1.   God has made all necessary provision for your Christian life. 3-4

Many teach that, in spite of this passage, there are elements of the Christian life, such as the "second blessing" and other experiences, that you must pray for, wait for or for which you must get someone to lay hands on you. It is sad that untaught or overly emotional Christians fall for this. Notice "all that is needed for life and godliness." 'All' makes it complete--nothing left out; "life and godliness" make it comprehensive--no aspect of our existence or our purpose are neglected. The Greek word here translated 'godliness,' eusebeia, does not literally mean "being like God." It is the old idea of piety and has to do with devoted service to God.  

Salvation gives us "complete knowledge of the one who called us" and this is a second reason why we don't need any more gifts or experiences. When our source of life and godliness is Christ and our completeness in Him we won't go following after these false teachers who make gullible people dependent on them. His glory and goodness are the basis for our calling and are the source of the wonderful promises that are our power and light. Peter identifies one of these promises specifically in 3:13. Other promises can be found in Matt. 28:20, Rom. 8:28, 1 Cor. 10:13 and Phil. 2:12-13.

The goal ("in order that") of these promises is not, as some teach (Mormons and some charismatics) for us to actually become divine, but for us to share in the divine nature. That is a big difference. We can't become all-powerful and all-knowing, but we can become holy and righteous. We can and must become like God in as many ways as possible. This is only possible because we have, in salvation, been  born again and, consequently received a new nature (John 3 and 2 Cor. 5:17). Now we are no longer part of Satan's world of corruption and lust.

      2.   Because of God's provision, you must supply the elements of the Christian life.  5-7

Once Peter has outlined God's part in our productive Christian life, he goes to the crux of the matter, our part. The seemingly awkward phrase, "now indeed, for this very reason," takes the reader back to the 'because' (or 'as' in some translations) of verse 3 and bases what he is going to say about our part on what he has already said about God's part. In short, because God has provided, we must supply or add. It's as if God has placed an enormous spiritual supply room at our disposal. All we have to do is go to it when we need support and resources. But, the point is, we must do it. The secret of the Christian life is being diligent to take what God has given us and develop it in our lives.

In order to enter the Christian life, we have exercised faith, but we must add to it a number of other Christian disciplines such as he mentions in verses 5 through 7. This is probably not supposed to be a complete list, just examples. But the seven graces mentioned are pretty representative of a solid Christian life.

  • goodness—morality, the opposite of evil (Phil. 4:8)
  • knowledge—knowledge of God from Scripture
           (2 Pet. 3:18)
  • self-control—opposite of the lust and gluttony of the world
           (1 Cor. 9:24-27)
  • endurance—patiently going on in spite of tests and trials
           (Heb. 12:1)
  • devoted service—service dedicated to God out of love for Him (1 Pet. 1:15, 16)
  • brotherly love—seeking the best for others (1 Pet. 1:22)
  • sacrificial love—this is what God had for us on the cross
           (Rom. 5:8)

It is worth stressing again that this is a wonderful picture of the dual involvement of God and the individual Christian in the Christian life. You can see this also in Phil. 2:12-13. There is none of the extreme teachings about the Christian life here. Some systems teach that we must stop trying and "let go and let God." But notice the balance of the true doctrine of holiness: God provides—we supply. 

Introductory Matters

2 Peter Flow Chart

2 Peter 1:8-11

2 Peter 1:12-15

2 Peter 1:16-21

2 Peter 2:1-3

2 Peter 2:3b-10a

2 Peter 2:10b-22

2 Peter 3:1-6

2 Peter 3:7-10

2 Peter 3:11-16

2 Peter 3:17-18
 
 

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