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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - 2PETER 1
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    CHAPTER 1

    2Pe 1:1-21. ADDRESS: EXHORTATION TO ALL GRACES, AS GOD HAS GIVEN US, IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST, ALL THINGS PERTAINING TO LIFE: CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF APOSTLES, AND ALSO PROPHETS, TO THE POWER AND COMING OF CHRIST.

    1. Simon--the Greek form: in oldest manuscripts, "Symeon" (Hebrew, that is, "hearing), as in Ac 15:14. His mention of his original name accords with the design of this Second Epistle, which is to warn against the coming false teachers, by setting forth the true "knowledge" of Christ on the testimony of the original apostolic eye-witnesses like himself. This was not required in the First Epistle.
    - servant--"slave": so Paul, Ro 1:1.
    - to them, &c.--He addresses a wider range of readers (all believers) than in the First Epistle, 2Pe 1:1, but means to include especially those addressed in the First Epistle, as 2Pe 3:1 proves.
    - obtained--by grace. Applied by Peter to the receiving of the apostleship, literally, "by allotment": as the Greek is, Lu 1:9; Joh 19:24. They did not acquire it for themselves; the divine election is as independent of man's control, as the lot which is east forth.
    - like precious--"equally precious" to all: to those who believe, though not having seen Christ, as well as to Peter and those who have seen Him. For it lays hold of the same "exceeding great and precious promises," and the same "righteousness of God our Saviour." "The common salvation . . . the faith once delivered unto the saints" (Jude 3).
    - with us--apostles and eye-witnesses (2Pe 1:18). Though putting forward his apostleship to enforce his exhortation, he with true humility puts himself, as to "the faith," on a level with all other believers. The degree of faith varies in different believers; but in respect to its objects, present justification, sanctification, and future glorification, it is common alike to all. Christ is to all believers "made of God wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption."
    - through--Greek, "in." Translate, as the one article to both nouns requires, "the righteousness of Him who is (at once) our God and (our) Saviour." Peter, confirming Pau;'s testimony to the same churches, adopts Paul's inspired phraseology. The Gospel plan sets forth God's righteousness, which is Christ's righteousness, in the brightest light. Faith has its sphere IN it as its peculiar element: God is in redemption "righteous," and at the same time a "Saviour"; compare Isa 45:21, "a just God and a Saviour.

    2. Grace . . . peace-- (1Pe 1:2).
    - through--Greek, "in": the sphere IN which alone grace and peace can be multiplied.
    - knowledge--Greek, "full knowledge."
    - of God, and of Jesus our Lord--The Father is here meant by "God," but the Son in 2Pe 1:1: marking how entirely one the Father and Son are (Joh 14:7-11). The Vulgate omits "of God and"; but oldest manuscripts support the words. Still the prominent object of Peter's exhortation is "the knowledge of Jesus our Lord" (a phrase only in Ro 4:24), and, only secondarily, of the Father through Him (2Pe 1:8; 2Pe 2:20; 3:18).

    3. According as, &c.--Seeing that [ALFORD]. "As He hath given us ALL things (needful) for life and godliness, (so) do you give us ALL diligence," &c. The oil and flame are given wholly of grace by God, and "taken" by believers: their part henceforth is to "trim their lamps" (compare 2Pe 1:3, 4 with 2Pe 1:5, &c.).
    - life and godliness--Spiritual life must exist first before there can be true godliness. Knowledge of God experimentally is the first step to life (Joh 17:3). The child must have vital breath. first, and then cry to, and walk in the ways of, his father. It is not by godliness that we obtain life, but by life, godliness. To life stands opposed corruption; to godliness, lust (2Pe 1:4).
    - called us-- (2Pe 1:10); "calling" (1Pe 2:9).
    - to glory and virtue--rather, "through (His) glory." Thus English Version reads as one oldest manuscript. But other oldest manuscripts and Vulgate read, "By His own (peculiar) glory and virtue"; being the explanation of "His divine power"; glory and moral excellency (the same attribute is given to God in 1Pe 2:9, "praises," literally, "virtues") characterize God's "power." "Virtue," the standing word in heathen ethics, is found only once in Paul (Php 4:8), and in Peter in a distinct sense from its classic usage; it (in the heathen sense) is a term too low and earthly for expressing the gifts of the Spirit [TRENCH, Greek Synonyms of the New Testament].

    4. Whereby, &c.--By His glory and virtue: His glory making the "promises" to be exceeding great; His virtue making them "precious" [BENGEL]. Precious promises are the object of precious faith.
    - given--The promises themselves are a gift: for God's promises are as sure as if they were fulfilled.
    - by these--promises. They are the object of faith, and even now have a sanctifying effect on the believer, assimilating him to God. Still more so, when they shall be fulfilled.
    - might, &c.--Greek, "that ye MAY become partakers of the divine nature," even now in part; hereafter perfectly; 1Jo 3:2, "We shall be like Him."
    - the divine nature--not God's essence, but His holiness, including His "glory" and "virtue," 2Pe 1:3; the opposite to "corruption through lust." Sanctification is the imparting to us of God Himself by the Holy Spirit in the soul. We by faith partake also of the material nature of Jesus (Eph 5:30). The "divine power" enables us to be partakers of "the divine nature."
    - escaped the corruption--which involves in, and with itself, destruction at last of soul and body; on "escaped" as from a condemned cell, compare 2Pe 2:18-20; Ge 19:17; Col 1:13.
    - through--Greek, "in." "The corruption in the world" has its seat, not so much in the surrounding elements, as in the "lust" or concupiscence of men's hearts.

    5. And beside this--rather, "And for this very reason," namely, "seeing that His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2Pe 1:3).
    - giving--literally, "introducing," side by side with God's gift, on your part "diligence." Compare an instance, 2Pe 1:10; 2Pe 3:14; 2Co 7:11.
    - all--all possible.
    - add--literally, "minister additionally," or, abundantly (compare Greek, 2Co 9:10); said properly of the one who supplied all the equipments of a chorus. So accordingly, "there will be ministered abundantly unto you an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Saviour" (2Pe 1:11).
    - to--Greek, "in"; "in the possession of your faith, minister virtue. Their faith (answering to "knowledge of Him," 2Pe 1:3) is presupposed as the gift of God (2Pe 1:3; Eph 2:8), and is not required to be ministered by us; in its exercise, virtue is to be, moreover, ministered. Each grace being assumed, becomes the stepping stone to the succeeding grace: and the latter in turn qualifies and completes the former. Faith leads the band; love brings up the rear [BENGEL]. The fruits of faith specified are seven, the perfect number.
    - virtue--moral excellency; manly, strenuous energy, answering to the virtue (energetic excellency) of God.
    - and to--Greek, "in"; "and in (the exercise of) your virtue knowledge," namely, practical discrimination of good and evil; intelligent appreciation of what is the will of God in each detail of practice.

    6. Greek, "And in your knowledge self-control." In the exercise of Christian knowledge or discernment of God's will, let there be the practical fruit of self-control as to one's lusts and passions. Incontinence weakens the mind; continence, or self-control, moves weakness and imparts strength And in your self-control patient endurance" amidst sufferings, so much dwelt on in the First Epistle, second, third, and fourth chapters. "And in your patient endurance godliness"; it is not to be mere stoical endurance, but united to [and flowing from] God-trusting [ALFORD].

    7. "And in your godliness brotherly kindness"; not suffering your godliness to be moroseness, nor a sullen solitary habit of life, but kind, generous, and courteous [ALFORD]. Your natural affection and brotherly kindness are to be sanctified by godliness. "And in your brotherly kindness love," namely, to all men, even to enemies, in thought, word, and deed. From brotherly kindness we are to go forward to love. Compare 1Th 3:12, "Love one toward another (brotherly kindness), and toward all men (charity)." So charity completes the choir of graces in Col 3:14. In a retrograde order, he who has love will exercise brotherly kindness; he who has brotherly kindness will feel godliness needful; the godly will mix nothing stoical with his patience; to the patient, temperance is easy; the temperate weighs things well, and so has knowledge; knowledge guards against sudden impulse carrying away its virtue [BENGEL].

    8. be--Greek, "subsist" that is, supposing these things to have an actual subsistence in you; "be" would express the mere matter-of-fact being (Ac 16:20).
    - abound--more than in others; so the Greek.
    - make--"render," "constitute you," habitually, by the very fact of possessing these graces.
    - barren--"inactive," and, as a field lying fallow and unworked (Greek), so barren and useless.
    - unfruitful in--rather, . . . in respect to, "The full knowledge (Greek) of Christ" is the goal towards which all these graces tend. As their subsisting

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