Growing in Faith

Key Verse: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.”
—II Peter 1:3

Selected Scripture:
II Peter 1

WHEN SECOND PETER was written, apparently fundamental apostolic beliefs were questioned, in particular, by the claim of secret knowledge held by a new growing school called the Gnostics. Peter took issue with these false teachings by calling believers to stand fast in the faith of the apostles, and not be overtaken by deceivers. He challenged his readers to claim the promises of God. “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”—II Pet. 1:3-4

Peter now presents a list of virtues that define Christian living. He says notwithstanding what God hath done for you, in order that ye may not receive the grace of God in vain, “giving all diligence [furnishing all earnestness], add to your faith [that faith in Jesus leading to the whole Gospel] virtue [courage or fortitude by which your faith will be increased]; and to virtue knowledge [true wisdom]; And to knowledge temperance [a proper and limited use of all earthly enjoyments]; and to temperance patience [bearing all trials and difficulties]; and to patience godliness [a deep reverential love of God]; And to godliness brotherly kindness [love of the brotherhood]; and to brotherly kindness charity [agape love].” Peter continues, “If these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”—vss. 5-8

The apostle points to the transfiguration vision on the mount as confirming prophecies of the coming kingdom. He says, “We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” (vss. 16-19) As a newer translation phrases it, “So we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”—vss. 19-21, New King James

When Paul was confronted with such questions during his ministry he assured his followers, “That I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Rom. 1:12) May the mutual faith of Peter and us show forth in our lives as we apply the principles of his lessons given herein.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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