Read & Study the Bible Online - Bible Portal

2 Peter 1:1-4 - Homiletics

The address.


1 . His name. He wrote "Peter" simply in the First Epistle; he writes "Symeon Peter" now. Apparently he is writing to the same Churches as before; but it is a Second Epistle, he seems to know more of them—he gives his full name. That name contains the history of his soul: the first tells of his admission into the old covenant by circumcision; the second, of his admission into the new covenant through faith in Jesus Christ. He had passed through a great spiritual change; so had those to whom he was writing; they had been gathered, one by one, into the fold of Christ, some from heathenism, some from Judaism. His first name seemed to speak to his fellow-countrymen; he was a Jew, as they were; he bore the name of one of their old patriarchs. It means "hearing." God once heard the prayer of Leah, and gave her a second son; God had heard the prayers of Simon Barjona, had given him a new name, and had made him not only one of the living stones in the spiritual temple which he described in his First Epistle, but also one of those twelve foundations on which are the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb ( Revelation 21:14 ).

2 . His office. He described himself in the First Epistle as "an apostle of Jesus Christ;" he again claims the same high title; but here adds the lowlier name of "servant." Christ's ministers must learn of their Master, who is meek and lowly in heart; if his providence has set them in high positions, they need all the more the precious grace of humility; it is the only safeguard against the many temptations of earthly ambition. And they must remember that they are the bondservants of Jesus Christ; he has given them work to do for him. They must watch for souls, as men that must give account: woe is unto them if they preach not the gospel!


1 . What they are. They are believers. They had listened to the preaching of St. Paul and his companions. St. Paul had said, in his first sermon in Asia Minor, "By him all that believe are justified" ( Acts 13:39 ); he and Barnabas, Silvanus, and Timotheus, and other holy men, had gone about preaching the gospel of Christ. Many souls bad been gathered in; they had obtained like precious faith with those who had preached the faith to them. That faith was now their lot, their inheritance, their most precious possession. Faith is the gift of God: let it be our most earnest prayer, "Lord, increase our faith." For faith is precious exceedingly, above all earthly price. Sight is precious; blindness shuts a man out from so much brightness and joy. Faith is spiritual sight: by faith the believer sees "him who is invisible" ( Hebrews 11:27 ); he sees the promises afar off, and embraces them, and confesses that he is a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth. Spiritual blindness shuts a man out from all this bright and holy hope. "The world seeth me no more," the Lord said; "but ye see me" ( John 14:19 ). Then faith is far more precious than sight; without faith we are blind, ignorant, lost. Christ is the Way, and without faith we cannot find that Way, the only Way to life eternal. And the faith of the humblest Christian now is equally precious with the faith of the holiest apostle; it is the gift of the same God. It has the same blessed, justifying influences; it leads on to the same blessed end, everlasting life with God in heaven.

2 . How they became so. "In the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ." He was in the form of God; he took upon him the form of a servant; thus, taking our nature to cleanse it, dying in that nature to atone for our sins, he became our Saviour. And in his righteousness he became the Saviour of the world, "the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe:" he tasted death for every man. Jew and Gentile are alike invited; the gospel is to be preached to every creature; all that are weary and heavy-laden are called to come to him. And none that come are cast out; in the holy working of his righteousness they obtain from him that precious faith which justifies the true believer. It is only within the sphere of the working of that righteous love that we can gain this precious gift. "Lord, increase our faith."


1 . The blessing invoked upon his readers. It is the old form of salutation which he had used in his First Epistle, word for word the same. He could express no holier wishes for them: what more can they need on whom the gracious favour of God abideth, who have received from him the blessed gift of peace? He prays again, as he had prayed before, that grace and peace may be multiplied; "men ought always to pray, and not to faint."

2 . Where those blessings are to be found. "In the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord." "This is life eternal," the Lord Jesus said, "that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." There is no spiritual life, there is no grace and peace, outside the sphere of the knowledge of God. But the knowledge which is life is personal knowledge; not that external knowledge which may be gained from books; but inner spiritual knowledge gained by communion with the Lord in prayer and holy sacrament, in the daily life of faith and self-denial, in the constant adoring contemplation of the life and death of Christ, in the habitual effort to live unto the Lord and to do all to the glory of God. St. Paul might well count all things but loss for the excellency of this knowledge; for the grace of God flows abundantly into the soul that seeks this heavenly wisdom, and the peace of God that passeth all understanding keepeth the heart that longeth for this inner knowledge of God and his Christ.

3 . Our warrant for expecting them. Grace and peace are very precious, above all that we can ask or think; we might shrink from asking for blessings so far above our deserts. But God hath called us, the invitation comes from him; freely of his own sovereign bounty he bids us come to him. He attracts us by his own glory and virtue, revealing to us his glorious attributes, manifesting his love and power in the ceaseless activity of his providence and his grace. Thus he kindles in the Christian soul the strong desire of the knowledge of God, he satisfies that desire by the revelation of himself; and through that full and holy knowledge, granted to them that hunger after righteousness, he gives them all things necessary for life and godliness—promises precious and exceeding great, precious beyond all price, inconceivably great in their grandeur and magnificence, and yet within our grasp, weak and helpless as we are, because the Divine power hath given them and the Divine word is pledged.

4 . Their greatness. The gifts of God must be great and precious, worthy of the Giver; the blessings which come from the energy of the Divine power must be deep and sacred. They are twofold.


1 . Faith is precious exceedingly; the knowledge of God and of his Christ is eternal life. Let us earnestly seek those sacred treasures.

2 . God has given us all things necessary for life and godliness. Let us thankfully accept his gifts and faithfully use them.

3 . Would you realize that highest gift of all, to be made partakers of the Divine nature? Then "love not the world: .. the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are not of the Father, but are of the world."

Be the first to react on this!

Scroll to Top

Group of Brands