2 Peter 1

The American Standard Version

1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and the Saviour Jesus Christ:

1:2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

1:3 seeing that his divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue;

1:4 whereby he hath granted unto us his precious and exceeding great promises; that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in that world by lust.

1:5 Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge;

1:6 and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness;

1:7 and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.

1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1:9 For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.

1:10 Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble:

1:11 for thus shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

1:12 Wherefore I shall be ready always to put you in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and are established in the truth which is with you.

1:13 And I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

1:14 knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle cometh swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ signified unto me.

1:15 Yea, I will give diligence that at every time ye may be able after my decease to call these things to remembrance.

1:16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

1:17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there was borne such a voice to him by the Majestic Glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased:

1:18 and this voice we ourselves heard borne out of heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount.

1:19 And we have the word of prophecy made more sure; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day-star arise in your hearts:

1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.

1:21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.

Pathways Notes

2 Peter 1 is an exhortation from the Apostle Peter to grow in spiritual maturity and virtue. In this chapter, Peter emphasizes the importance of diligently adding to one's faith a series of qualities that culminate in love. Starting with faith, believers are urged to supplement it with goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. This sequence suggests a path of continuous improvement and character development that is crucial for effective self-help and self-control. Peter argues that possessing these qualities in increasing measure will prevent believers from being ineffective and unproductive in their knowledge of Jesus Christ. For anyone involved in personal development, this chapter provides a blueprint for building a life that is not only fruitful but also deeply rooted in spiritual and moral excellence.

Study Instructions for Each Echelon

  • Echelon 3: Expert - Adding to Your Faith

    • Read: Focus on 2 Peter 1:5-7, where Peter lists the qualities to be added to faith.

    • Reflect: Consider how each quality—from faith to love—builds upon the last to create a comprehensive framework for personal and spiritual growth. Assess how well you embody each trait and identify areas where further growth is needed.

    • Apply: Develop specific strategies to cultivate each quality in your daily life. For instance, you might focus on increasing your knowledge through study, improving self-control through mindfulness practices, and enhancing godliness through regular worship and prayer. Keep a journal to track your progress and reflect on how these qualities influence your emotional intelligence and overall well-being.

  • Echelon 4: Emissary - Encouraging Growth in Virtue

    • Read: Study the entire chapter, with particular emphasis on the virtues listed in verses 5-7.

    • Contemplate: Think about how you can foster these virtues in others. What practical advice and support can you offer to help them build on their faith?

    • Engage: Organize study groups or mentoring sessions focusing on one virtue per session. Share insights and experiences that illustrate how developing these virtues contributes to effective Christian living. Use your role to motivate others toward personal excellence and spiritual depth.

  • Echelon 5: Master - Cultivating Excellence and Knowledge

    • Read: Revisit 2 Peter 1:5-11, considering the holistic development these verses promote.

    • Focus: Analyze the interconnection between the virtues and how they contribute to a comprehensive, virtuous life. Consider how mastering these traits equips you to lead and teach effectively.

    • Lead: Design and implement leadership training that incorporates these virtues. Teach others how to integrate them into their lives and ministries. Reflect on the broader impact of virtue on community and organizational effectiveness, preparing leaders who are both knowledgeable and morally sound.

By engaging with 2 Peter 1 according to these instructions, participants at each echelon can deepen their understanding of spiritual growth and virtue development. This guidance helps them not only in their personal journeys but also in their roles as mentors and leaders within their communities, promoting a life that is both productive and deeply rooted in Christian values.

2 Peter 1 Notes:

2 Peter 1 is a profound chapter that encapsulates Peter’s exhortation to growth in Christian virtues and the importance of certainty in the divine origin of the Christian message. This epistle, likely one of Peter's last writings, is imbued with an urgency to reinforce the faith of believers in the face of emerging falsehoods and to remind them of the true power and promise of their faith in Christ.

Peter begins by greeting his readers with a wish for grace and peace through the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord, emphasizing that God’s divine power has granted everything needed for life and godliness. This is accessible through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these, believers are participants in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Peter then urges his readers to make every effort to supplement their faith with a series of virtues: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. These qualities are to be abundantly cultivated, ensuring that one’s calling and election are secure, providing rich entry into the eternal kingdom of Christ. This progression of virtues illustrates a dynamic and growing faith, which not only confirms their salvation but also protects against spiritual barrenness and shortsightedness.

The apostle reassures his audience of the reliability of the prophetic message as a "light shining in a dark place." He recalls the majestic transfiguration of Christ, which he witnessed firsthand, arguing that this event confirms the prophetic words and underscores the truth of Jesus' divine sonship and mission. This personal testimony is offered as a bulwark against the distortions of false teachers and as an encouragement to heed the prophetic word more fully.

Peter concludes by emphasizing that the prophecies of Scripture are not of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. This statement anchors his exhortation in the divine origin and authority of the Scriptures, urging believers to trust and adhere to these truths amid prevailing uncertainties.

In essence, 2 Peter 1 calls believers to a vibrant and virtuous faith, anchored in the knowledge of Christ and attested by the trustworthy word of prophecy. It is a passionate appeal for spiritual growth and steadfastness, crafted to fortify the faithful against the inevitable challenges to their belief and conduct.