2 Peter 1

** This epistle clearly is connected with the former epistle of

Peter. The apostle having stated the blessings to which God has

called Christians, exhorts those who had received these precious

gifts, to endeavour to improve in graces and virtues. They are

urged to this from the wickedness of false teachers. They are

guarded against impostors and scoffers, by disproving their

false assertions, ch. #3:1-7|, and by showing why the great day

of Christ's coming was delayed, with a description of its awful

circumstances and consequences; and suitable exhortations to

diligence and holiness are given.

* Exhortations to add the exercise of various other graces to

faith (1-11) The apostle looks forward to his approaching

decease. (12-15) And confirms the truth of the gospel, relating

to Christ's appearing to judgment. (16-21)

1-11 Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it

does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as

of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified

in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces

effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all

fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new

principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises

to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to

inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our

minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the

transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The

believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing

acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add

temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and

add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will

of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all

calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience

we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and

dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender

affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same

Father, 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 their

calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and

thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and

mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly

fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have

a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ

reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it

is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect

entrance to heaven.
12-15 We must be established in the belief of the truth, that

we may not be shaken by every wind of doctrine; and especially

in the truth necessary for us to know in our day, what belongs

to our peace, and what is opposed in our time. The body is but a

tabernacle, or tent, of the soul. It is a mean and movable

dwelling. The nearness of death makes the apostle diligent in

the business of life. Nothing can so give composure in the

prospect, or in the hour, of death, as to know that we have

faithfully and simply followed the Lord Jesus, and sought his

glory. Those who fear the Lord, talk of his loving-kindness.

This is the way to spread the knowledge of the Lord; and by the

written word, they are enabled to do this.
16-21 The gospel is no weak thing, but comes in power, #Ro

1:16|. The law sets before us our wretched state by sin, but

there it leaves us. It discovers our disease, but does not make

known the cure. It is the sight of Jesus crucified, in the

gospel, that heals the soul. Try to dissuade the covetous

worlding from his greediness, one ounce of gold weighs down all

reasons. Offer to stay a furious man from anger by arguments, he

has not patience to hear them. Try to detain the licentious, one

smile is stronger with him than all reason. But come with the

gospel, and urge them with the precious blood of Jesus Christ,

shed to save their souls from hell, and to satisfy for their

sins, and this is that powerful pleading which makes good men

confess that their hearts burn within them, and bad men, even an

Agrippa, to say they are almost persuaded to be Christians, #Ac

26:28|. God is well pleased with Christ, and with us in him.

This is the Messiah who was promised, through whom all who

believe in him shall be accepted and saved. The truth and

reality of the gospel also are foretold by the prophets and

penmenof the Old Testament, who spake and wrote under influence,

and according to the direction of the Spirit of God. How firm

and sure should our faith be, who have such a firm and sure word

to rest upon! When the light of the Scripture is darted into the

blind mind and dark understanding, by the Holy Spirit of God, it

is like the day-break that advances, and diffuses itself through

the whole soul, till it makes perfect day. As the Scripture is

the revelation of the mind and will of God, every man ought to

search it, to understand the sense and meaning. The Christian

knows that book to be the word of God, in which he tastes a

sweetness, and feels a power, and sees a glory, truly divine.

And the prophecies already fulfilled in the person and salvation

of Christ, and in the great concerns of the church and the

world, form an unanswerable proof of the truth of Christianity.

The Holy Ghost inspired holy men to speak and write. He so

assisted and directed them in delivering what they had received

from him, that they clearly expressed what they made known. So

that the Scriptures are to be accounted the words of the Holy

Ghost, and all the plainness and simplicity, all the power and

all the propriety of the words and expressions, come from God.

Mix faith with what you find in the Scriptures, and esteem and

reverence the Bible as a book written by holy men, taught by the

Holy Ghost.

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