Confirming Our Calling and Election
Passage: 2 Peter 1:1–1:11
Why Was 2 Peter Written? Peter’s purpose is to encourage his readers to mature in their understanding and practice of God’s grace in Christ because they are threatened by false teaching that might cut off their growth. For this reason, negative descriptions of and warnings about false teachers dominate the letter.
Big Picture of 2 Peter 1:1-11: Because God has given Christians all we need to become spiritually mature (3–4), we must actively pursue spiritual maturity (5–9) if we expect to receive a rich welcome into God’s eternal kingdom (10–11).
- Peter’s Greeting: When Peter begins his letter by referring to “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,” he is saying that Christians will only enjoy “grace and peace in abundance” as they grow in their relationship to God and to Jesus (1-2).
- God’s Provision: God’s glory and goodness have provided great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption of the world. In short, God has given Christians all that we need to become spiritually mature (3–4).
- The Believer’s Responsibility: Christians must actively pursue spiritual maturity (5–9).
- Add goodness to faith
- Add knowledge to goodness
- Add self-control to knowledge
- Add perseverance to self-control
- Add godliness to perseverance
- Add mutual affection to godliness
- Add love to mutual affection
“The issue is not merely whether Christians possess the virtues of vv. 5–7 (all Christians do to some degree) but whether they are continually growing in them. In contrast, spurious Christians, who claim that Christ has cleansed them but have shut their eyes to the truth, lack these virtues.” (Doug Moo)
- The Importance of Godliness: Christians must pursue spiritual maturity if we expect to be welcomed into God’s eternal kingdom (10–11).
*Sermon Note: I received invaluable assistance from D. A. Carson’s “Becoming Conversant With the Emerging Church” and Doug Moo’s “NIV Application Commentary: 2 Peter and Jude”