2 Peter 1:1-11 Growth is Intentional

            GROWTH IS INTENTIONAL
    2 Peter 1:1-11              May 6 2007

    The Apostle Peter wrote 2 Peter toward the end
    of his life, about A.D. 64-65. He possibly wrote
    this letter to the same or some of the same
    churches of Asia Minor to which he wrote
    1 Peter.
    Beyond theological heresy, these teacher also
    were guilty of moral error. They rejected all
    moral standards in the name of Christian freedom.
    They possibly – but if so erroneously – claimed to
    base their heresies in the writing of Paul and his
    stress on Christian liberty.
    Peter refuted these heretical teachers, calling
    believers to the truths of the gospel and to ethical
    and moral living. He refuted the teachers’ claims
    by citing his personal testimony of witnessing the
    life of Jesus and by citing the Hebrews Scriptures.

    1. Begin With Faith (2 Pet. 1:1-2)

2Pet. 1:1   Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus
Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our
God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as
precious as ours: 1:2   Grace and peace be yours in
abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus
our Lord.

    Simon Peter.( Mt 16:18; John 1:42). Servant.(Ro 1:1).
    Apostle. (Mk 6:30; 1Co 1:1; Heb 3:1). To those.
    Probably the same people as those in (1Pet. 1:1).
    God and savior Jesus Christ . Assumes that Jesus
    is both God and Savior. For other passages that
    ascribe deity to Christ see note on (Rom 9:5).
    Have recived. God in his justice (“righteousness”)
    imparts to people the ability to believe. A Faith.
    Not here a body of truth to be believed —the faith
    —but the act of believing, or the God-given capacity
    to trust in Christ for salvation. Grace and peace. (
    John 4:2; John 14:27; 20:19; Gal 1:3; Eph 1:2).
    Knowledge of God and of Jesus. The concept of
    Christian knowledge is prominent in 2 Peter (2 Pet.
    1:3,5,8; 3:18). Peter was combating heretical
    teaching, and one of the best antidotes for heresy
    is the statement of true knowledge.

    2. Trust God’s Provisions (2 Pet. 3-4)

2Pet. 1:3   His divine power has given us everything we
need for life and godliness through our knowledge of
him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 1:4  
Through these he has given us his very great and precious
promises, so that through them you may participate in
the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world
caused by evil desires.

    Everything we need for life and godliness. God has
    made available all that we need spiritually through
    our knowledge of him. If indeed 2 Peter was written
    to combat an incipient Gnosticism, the apostle may
    be insisting that the knowledge possessed by those
    in apostolic circles was entirely adequate to meet
    their spiritual needs. No secret, esoteric knowledge
    is necessary for salvation (1 John: Gnosticism). Glory
    and goodness. The excellence of God: “Glory” expresses
    the excellence of his being —his attributes and essence;
    “goodness” depicts excellence expressed in deeds —
    virtue in action. Through these. Through God’s excellence
    —internal and external —he has given us great promises.
    Their nature is suggested in the words that follow:
    participation in the divine nature and escape from
    worldly corruption. Participate in the divine nature.
    Does not indicate that Christians become divine in any
    sense, but only that we are indwelt by God through his
    Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). Our humanity and his deity,
    as well as the human personality and the divine, remain
    distinct and separate.

    3. Build Your Character (2 Pet. 1:5-7)

2Pet. 1:5   For this very reason, make every effort to add
to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 1:6  
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control,
perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 1:7   and to
godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.

    (2 Pet.1:5-9) The virtues that will produce a well-
    rounded, fruitful Christian life. (2 pet.1:5) Faith. The
    root of the Christian life (2 Pet. 1:1 ). Goodness. (2 Pet.
    1: 3). Knowledge.(2 Pet. 1: 2-3). Self- Control . According
    to many of the false teachers, knowledge made self-
    control unnecessary; according to Peter, Christian
    knowledge leads to self-control. Godliness. A genuine
    reverence toward God that governs one’s attitude toward
    every aspect of life. Brotherly kindness. Warmhearted
    affection toward all in the family of faith. Love. The kind
    of outgoing, selfless attitude that leads one to sacrifice
    for the good of others (1Pet. 4:8).

    4. Confirm Your Salvation (2 Pet. 1:8_11)

2Pet. 1:8   For if you possess these qualities in increasing
measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and
unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1:9   But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and
blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his
past sins. 1:10   Therefore, my brothers, be all the more
eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do
these things, you will never fall, 1:11   and you will receive
a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and
Savior Jesus Christ.

    If you possess these qualities. Peter does not mean
    to imply that the believer is to cultivate each listed
    quality in turn, one after the other until all have been
    perfected. Instead, they are all to be cultivated
    simultaneously. In increasing measure . Peter has
    continuing spiritual growth in mind. Keep you from
    being. . . Unproductive in your knowledge . The Christian’s
    knowledge should affect the way he lives. It does not
    set him free from moral restraints, as the heretics taught
    (1 John: Gnosticism). Rather, it produces holiness and all
    such virtues (Col 1:9-12).
    Nearsighted and blind. Since one cannot be both at the
    same time, Peter may have in mind a possible alternative
    meaning for “nearsighted,” namely, “to shut the eyes.”
    Such a person is blind because he has closed his eyes to
    the truth.
    Make your calling and election sure. By cultivating the
    qualities listed in (2 Pet.1:5-7), they and others can be
    assured that God has chosen them and called them (Matt.
    7:20). The genuineness of their profession will be
    demonstrated as they express these virtues (Gal 5:6;
    Jas 2:18). When God elects and calls, it is to obedience
    and holiness (1Pet.1:2; Eph 1:3-6), and these fruits
    confirm their divine source. Never fall. Those who in this
    way give evidence of their faith will never cease to
    persevere.
    Receive a rich welcome. By producing the fruits Peter
    is commending to them (2 Pet. 1: 5-10). Eternal Kingdom.
    Eternal life ( Matt 25:46).

    Summary:

        In this passage the apostle declared God already has
    given us everything we need for "life and godliness." We
    only need to appropriate God’s provision by Faith. Still,
    laying hold on the full benefit of God’s gracious provision
    requires that we act intentionally. We must deliberately
    exert ourselves to develop fully into what God has made
    us in Christ.

    Question:

        1. What evidence exists that you have made spiritual
    growth an intentional discipline?
        2. Assuming you have placed your faith in Jesus, thus
    taking the first step of Christian discipleship, how far
    beyond it have you gone?
        3. How do these wonderful provisions affect your view
    of your new life in Christ?
        4. How many of the traits in 2 Pet.1:5-7 do you see in
    your life?
        5. In what ways does your life demonstrate the reality
    of your salvation?