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2 Peter chapter 1

English Standard Version

New International Version

New American Standard Bible

1Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4Through these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world on account of lust. 5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they do not make you useless nor unproductive in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For the one who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choice of you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
Christian Standard Bible

New Living Translation

King James Version

What does 2 Peter chapter 1 mean?

Peter's second letter seems to have been written to the same audience as 1 Peter. The words are directed towards Christians scattered by persecution. Second Peter is undoubtedly written to believers, but the focus of this particular letter is not persecution itself, as 1 Peter was. Instead, Peter begins by addressing an issue which remains a focus of the church even today: whether or not believers will be productive and effective servants of God through our knowledge of Him.

Peter starts by saying that no Christian—no one who knows God through faith in Jesus—is missing anything we need to lead the godly lives we are called to. By the grace of God, all who trust in Christ have been made partners in God's nature and purpose. Every believer has been freed from the corruption in the world caused by sinful desires. In other words, we are fully equipped. None of us can offer the excuse that we didn't have what was needed to continue the mission.

And what is the mission? Peter describes it as making an effort to add a very specific set of Christlike qualities alongside the faith that believers already have. This all begins with the goodness—or virtue or "moral excellence"—of Jesus. These qualities also include knowledge, self–control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. If we have these Christlike qualities and continue to abound (or grow) in them, we are leading the life God calls us to. Specifically, we are being effective and productive in the knowledge of Jesus we have been given.

If we fall short in these qualities, we still remain God's children through faith in Christ. Our eternal salvation is not bought, or kept, by our own efforts. However, failing to take on these traits means wasting the knowledge of Jesus. We become ineffective and unproductive servants. In fact, this makes us so nearsighted that we can seem like unbelievers who are, in fact, spiritually blind. Worse, when we fail to live up to the life we are called to, we can become forgetful. Specifically, we forget that we have already been cleansed of the sins which may now occupy us again. We have forgotten who we are in Christ.

Peter urges us to demonstrate the reality of our place in God's family. We do this by eagerly exercising these qualities in our lives as we look forward to the day when Jesus will warmly welcome us into His kingdom. As Peter writes, he knows his readers are already aware of things, but he intends to keep reminding them. He will keep stirring them up, so that they will continue connecting what they know in Christ with how they live. He is preparing them to keep going after his death, which will come soon.

Peter reminds the reader, as well, that he was told by Jesus Himself that he would die. And yet, Jesus also allowed Peter to see the transfiguration: the moment when Jesus was revealed in His glory and the Father's voice declared Jesus as Son. According to Peter, his personal, eyewitness testimony to that event confirms all of the prophecies about the Messiah, including His return as judge and king.

What is the Gospel?
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