I have begun memorizing 2 Peter 1 with each of the children but got a bit of negative feedback recently. One of them asked, "What can I get from those verses?" I was incredulous! The first two verses of 2 Peter 1 teach some great doctrines that should encourage every believer. Take a look at them.
Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;
Here's a sampling of what I found in these verses.
- Peter' humility and authority.
- God's gift of faith to the elect
- The righteousness of Christ
- The deity and saving work of Jesus Christ
- The blessings of knowing God and the Lord Jesus.
Peter addressed his readers as a slave and apostle of Jesus. He willingly served Jesus as his Master but also recognized himself as one of the few who had been personally chosen and sent out by Jesus. He had a great task, great message, and great authority, but he also knew his place compared to the Lord Jesus. He was just a slave who willingly did what his Master commanded. This is the attitude that each of us should have as we seek to proclaim God's truth to the world.
Peter wrote to those who had received faith just as he had. His readers were on an equal plane as the apostles and prophets who had come before them. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God" but it is also the gift of God (Eph. 2:8-9). Here Peter points out that this common faith is something believers receive not something they do. God gives faith to those whom he has chosen. That ought to bring great humility and gratefulness to each true believer.
Here is a place for more humility and thankfulness. My sinfulness kept me from ever being right with God on my own. So what do I have to boast about? I have nothing except for the righteousness of Jesus imputed to me. That's where my hope lies. So there is no reason to doubt my standing before God when I consider that he is my righteousness.
Who is this One who gave me his righteousness? It is my God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is both God and Savior to everyone who believes. Because he is God he has all the attributes which give me hope throughout life. He is perfect, unfailing, loving, just, all-powerful, and always does the right thing. Think of that the next time you hear the name of Jesus. But remember that he is also your Savior. He is the One who rescued us from our sinful life and from eternal punishment in Hell.
When Peter prayed that grace and peace would be multiplied to his readers, he knew exactly how they could obtain such blessings. They come from knowing both God the Father and God the Son. Is it really that simple? Yes, but grace and peace will only multiply as your knowledge of God grows. The more you know him, the more you will trust him and find his peace. The more you know him, the more blessings you will recognize as grace coming from him. So get to know him more and more!
What can you learn from these verses? I found some really good things. And I'm sure that there is even more to be found should we think about them some more. Perhaps if we took more time to meditate on the Scriptures, we would find them to be that much more of a blessing to us. But don't stop there. Share them with others so that they can enjoy the multiplied grace and peace that comes from knowing God.