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 (James & 1, 2 Peter)
Lesson - 18
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Lesson 18



Blessing of Knowing God (1:1-4)

Diligence in the Knowledge of Christ (1:5-11)

Careful Reminder (1:12-15)

Truthful Testimony (1:16-21)

Key Words/Phrases

Precious faith, 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.

Segment Analysis

1.      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.

2.      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 life.

3.      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.

4.      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.

5.      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.

6.      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.

7.      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).

8.      He will shortly put off his tent. By this he refers to his departure from this world (cf. 2Cor 5:1-2).

9.      He will continue to remind the believers what they already know.

10.  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.

11.  The power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (16), i.e. the Lord’s return.

12.  Testimony by eyewitnesses of the Lord’s majesty (16-18) and the prophecy of Scripture (19-21).

13.  The Transfiguration (cf. Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36).

14.  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.

15.  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).

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 their guidance.

17.  We must heed them (19). This means paying close attention to them and obeying them carefully.


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