Knowing God (1:1-4)
Diligence in the
Knowledge of Christ (1:5-11)
knowledge, divine power, life and goodness, exceedingly great and precious
promises, partakers of the divine nature, diligence, abound, abundantly,
remind, eyewitnesses, prophetic word, light, prophecy.
The righteousness of God refers
to the divine nature of justice and mercy, which He demonstrated by imparting
righteousness to (justifying) believers (Rom 3:21-22). Therefore, it is by the
righteousness of God and Jesus Christ, not our goodness, that we have obtained
our precious faith.
God’s grace and peace, and all
things that pertain to life and godliness, come to us through the knowledge of
God and of Jesus Christ (2-3). Through
the gospel of Jesus Christ, we come to know God and receive His gift of eternal
God has given to us all things
that pertain to life and godliness (3). This means that the purpose of
salvation is to give us a new life that reflects God’s likeness. Verse 4
further elaborates that the effect of salvation is deliverance from the
corruption of sinful desires, and the goal of salvation is that we may conform
to God’s nature.
The first type of believer
diligently seeks spiritual growth, leads an active godly life, and will enter
God’s kingdom with abundance. The second type of believer is barren,
unfruitful, shortsighted, has forgotten that he was
cleansed from his old sins, and even stumbles.
To be fruitful in the knowledge
of our Lord Jesus Christ, we must be active in our spiritual life. Verses 5 to
7 exhort us to be diligent in adding one spiritual quality after another. On
the other hand, according to verse 9, those who are lacking in these qualities
have forgotten that they ought to lead godly lives. Verse 10 once again urges
us to be diligent in doing what is commanded earlier in 5-7. Thus, the way to
build up our knowledge of the Lord is by practicing His word diligently and
constantly aiming for a life of holiness. It is in doing that we appreciate and
understand God’s divine nature as found in Jesus Christ.
If we diligently seek spiritual
growth by abounding in spiritual qualities, we will never stumble. A Christian
stumbles when he slumbers and gives the enemy a foothold. When we do not equip
ourselves with the full armor of God and strengthen our relationship with the
Lord, we are naturally vulnerable. Therefore, the best defense against the
temptations of the evil one is to be active in doing God’s word.
This verse does not suggest
that we can secure God’s call and election with good deeds, for God’s call and
election do not depend on our efforts. Rather, it teaches us that our spiritual
growth is an evidence of God’s calling, and our diligence in good works will be
a testimony that God’s saving grace has indeed taken its effect in our lives
(cf. Eph 2:10).
He will shortly put off his
tent. By this he refers to his departure from this world (cf. 2Cor 5:1-2).
He will continue to remind the
believers what they already know.
The purpose of the reminder is
to “stir up” the believers (13). Without constant reminders, it is easy to
forget the necessity of spiritual growth, fall into slumber, and even stumble
in the faith. Furthermore, the reminder is all the more necessary in light of
the threat of false teachings that threatens to undermine the believers’ faith
in the Lord.
The power and coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ (16), i.e. the Lord’s return.
Testimony by eyewitnesses of
the Lord’s majesty (16-18) and the prophecy of Scripture (19-21).
The Transfiguration (cf. Mt 17:1-8;
Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36).
On the mountain where Jesus
transfigured, He displayed His glory and majesty, and God spoke about Him in a
voice from heaven. The disciples witnessed the glorified Son of Man, who will
come again to the world in like manner. Thus, Peter confirms the truthfulness
of the Lord’s glorious coming with His personal testimony.
God’s prophetic word gives us
hope in despair and shows us the path of righteousness. It will guide us until
the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (the dawn and the rising of the morning
star refer to Christ’s coming; cf. Rom 13:11-12; Rev 22:16).
Prophecy does not come by the
will of man but by the movement of the Holy Spirit (20-21). The prophetic word
is the very word of God, spoken through the prophets of God. Because prophecies
are inspired by God, who is truthful and knows all things, we can safely trust
We must heed them (19). This
means paying close attention to them and obeying them carefully.