Peter continues to exhort the Church to build it up in best practices.
Notes on the Second Book of Peter
- "[M]ake every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins." (2 Peter 1:5-9 English Standard Version). The practice of sin blinds us, even after we are saved. Sin includes not only those behaviors that we are prohibited from engaging in but also sins of omission in not practicing the virtues that Peter outlines above.
- If we practice these virtues we will not falter. (2 Peter 1:10)
- Peter on scripture: "[N]o prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." (2 Peter 1:20-21 ESV)
- "[T]he Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority." (2 Peter 2:9-10 ESV)
- We should not blaspheme demons for we know not of what we speak. (2 Peter 2:10-11). I would take this further and say we generally should avoid speculations on angelic matters outside of scripture because I think it can lead one astray.
- "For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved." (2 Peter 2:19 ESV). It's interesting because this comment is made in the context of the discussion of false shepherds and their doctrines and so I think that Peter is saying that these false shepherds have themselves become captive to their own sensual doctrines because their mind is corrupted by sensuality. Please note that I believe "sensual" here simply means "fleshly," that is of man or a man-made doctrine, so unnecessary asceticisims or even mandatory chastity would apply to this.
- "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." (2 Peter 3:8 ESV). In a way that I at least cannot comprehend the Lord experiences time in both relative limits at once. To explain what I mean I'll take the common example that "time flies when you're having fun" and it slows to a crawl when you're feeling listless or bored, and so the Lord has both of these relative experiences of time simultaneously and constantly, which makes me wonder if this is a quality that is exclusive to the Trinity or something that mankind may also attain, having been made in the image of God. Peter uses this verse to exhort the Church to be patient in waiting for the Lord but I wonder if he's also encouraging them to take a divine view of time instead of being trapped in their limited senses and perspectives.
- "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV). We are admonished to be patient until the coming in of the elect in all its fullness, as all of our past brothers and sisters endured their trials and patiently waited for us.
- At the end the very heavens will burn up and be dissolved. (2 Peter 3:10)
- "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!" (2 Peter 3:11-12 ESV). I looked through some commentary to look more at this concept of "hastening the coming of the day of God" and it doesn't look like there is complete agreement from what I've read but many commentators believe that the Church can actually affect and speed up the day of Christ's coming (presumably from their prayers, good conduct and spreading of the gospel). The fact that the Church could "hasten" the day does not necessarily contradict the fact that only the Father knows when the day is (Matthew 24:36).
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