2 Peter 1** This epistle clearly is connected with the former epistle ofPeter. The apostle having stated the blessings to which God hascalled Christians, exhorts those who had received these preciousgifts, to endeavour to improve in graces and virtues. They areurged to this from the wickedness of false teachers. They areguarded against impostors and scoffers, by disproving theirfalse assertions, ch. #3:1-7|, and by showing why the great dayof Christ's coming was delayed, with a description of its awfulcircumstances and consequences; and suitable exhortations todiligence and holiness are given. * Exhortations to add the exercise of various other graces tofaith (1-11) The apostle looks forward to his approachingdecease. (12-15) And confirms the truth of the gospel, relatingto Christ's appearing to judgment. (16-21)1-11 Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as itdoes the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly asof another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justifiedin the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produceseffects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ allfulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and newprinciples, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promisesto those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us toinquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of ourminds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for thetransforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. Thebeliever must add knowledge to his virtue, increasingacquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must addtemperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; andadd to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the willof God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear allcalamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patiencewe must add godliness: this includes the holy affections anddispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tenderaffection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the sameFather, servants of the same Master, members of the same family,travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance.Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of theircalling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; andthus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace andmercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterlyfall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall havea triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christreigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and itis in the practice of every good work that we are to expectentrance to heaven. 12-15 We must be established in the belief of the truth, thatwe may not be shaken by every wind of doctrine; and especiallyin the truth necessary for us to know in our day, what belongsto our peace, and what is opposed in our time. The body is but atabernacle, or tent, of the soul. It is a mean and movabledwelling. The nearness of death makes the apostle diligent inthe business of life. Nothing can so give composure in theprospect, or in the hour, of death, as to know that we havefaithfully and simply followed the Lord Jesus, and sought hisglory. Those who fear the Lord, talk of his loving-kindness.This is the way to spread the knowledge of the Lord; and by thewritten word, they are enabled to do this. 16-21 The gospel is no weak thing, but comes in power, #Ro1:16|. The law sets before us our wretched state by sin, butthere it leaves us. It discovers our disease, but does not makeknown the cure. It is the sight of Jesus crucified, in thegospel, that heals the soul. Try to dissuade the covetousworlding from his greediness, one ounce of gold weighs down allreasons. Offer to stay a furious man from anger by arguments, hehas not patience to hear them. Try to detain the licentious, onesmile is stronger with him than all reason. But come with thegospel, and urge them with the precious blood of Jesus Christ,shed to save their souls from hell, and to satisfy for theirsins, and this is that powerful pleading which makes good menconfess that their hearts burn within them, and bad men, even anAgrippa, to say they are almost persuaded to be Christians, #Ac26:28|. God is well pleased with Christ, and with us in him.This is the Messiah who was promised, through whom all whobelieve in him shall be accepted and saved. The truth andreality of the gospel also are foretold by the prophets andpenmenof the Old Testament, who spake and wrote under influence,and according to the direction of the Spirit of God. How firmand sure should our faith be, who have such a firm and sure wordto rest upon! When the light of the Scripture is darted into theblind mind and dark understanding, by the Holy Spirit of God, itis like the day-break that advances, and diffuses itself throughthe whole soul, till it makes perfect day. As the Scripture isthe revelation of the mind and will of God, every man ought tosearch it, to understand the sense and meaning. The Christianknows that book to be the word of God, in which he tastes asweetness, and feels a power, and sees a glory, truly divine.And the prophecies already fulfilled in the person and salvationof Christ, and in the great concerns of the church and theworld, form an unanswerable proof of the truth of Christianity.The Holy Ghost inspired holy men to speak and write. He soassisted and directed them in delivering what they had receivedfrom him, that they clearly expressed what they made known. Sothat the Scriptures are to be accounted the words of the HolyGhost, and all the plainness and simplicity, all the power andall the propriety of the words and expressions, come from God.Mix faith with what you find in the Scriptures, and esteem andreverence the Bible as a book written by holy men, taught by theHoly Ghost.
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