In 2Peter 1, Peter’s main point is that pursuing a life of faith cannot be separated from pursuing godliness. He is not simply exhorting us to be nice people. He is calling us to consider the implications of the gospel we say we believe and whether or not our lifestyles reflect those implications.
In the 2Peter 1:12-21, Peter makes two points common to the New Testament:
- The people of God need to be reminded of the truths of the gospel.
- We can have confidence in those truths because they are grounded in the eye-witness testimony of the apostles of Jesus Christ and of the teaching of the Old Testament prophets.
12Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. 16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, 20knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.- 2Peter 1:12-21 ESV
- Peter gives his purpose for writing in 1:12-15.
- Peter feels an urgency to remind them of the truth of the gospel so that they won’t listen to the false ideas and voices.
- Peter believes his earthly life is almost over and history tells us he was right.
- Peter’s authority as an eye-witness to the life and ministry of Jesus Christ is particularly important to his readers because they are dealing with false teachers.
- At the transfiguration (Matthew 17), the Law represented by Moses and the prophets represented by Elijah bear witness along with the voice from heaven Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
- In rejecting the apostles’ teaching, the false teachers are not just rejecting a good philosophy. They are rejecting divine revelation.
- God has shed light into our darkness through the message He proclaimed through the prophets and His Son, confirming that Jesus is the Messiah.
- No prophet made up his message from his own imagination. Rather he was told it by God.
- Once we realize the Bible is a reasonably accurate historical document, then we have to take its claims about itself seriously.
- The Bible claims to be divine revelation. That leaves no middle ground to pick and choose which parts of it we want to believe.