2 Peter 1

Life and Godliness
2 Peter 1
2 Peter 1. Before Peter deals with the issue of false teachers in the Christian profession, he first strengthens the saints in what is real: precious faith, divine life, the greatest promises. He speaks of the moral qualities that are displayed in the life of the Christian when he is participating in the divine nature, and when there is spiritual growth. The great outcome is that the believer is fruitful in their life, and that they enter into the future of glory with Christ ahead of the time. Finally, Peter speaks of the importance of being established in the truth of God’s Word. He gives us his mission in writing the second epistle, that the saints might have the means to call to remembrance the things he had taught them after his death. Then Peter speaks of the sureness of what God has revealed in His Word, and gives helpful principles concerning the inspiration and interpretation of scripture.

Introduction (1:1-4)

1 Simon Peter, bondman and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have received like precious faith with us through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ: v.1 Writer and Recipients. Peter ended the first epistle with “humble yourselves” and begins the second epistle by adding “a bondman” to his own name, and mentioning that before his apostleship. As bondmen or slaves of Jesus Christ, we are here to do His will, rather than our own. It is interesting that Peter begins with his name prior to conversion, a name connected with his failure in the flesh, Simon (John 1:41-42). In this epistle Peter will speak of the failure of the Christian testimony. Peter was writing to the same believers that he wrote to in the first epistle; believers of the Jews who had been scattered throughout the Roman provinces of Asia Minor; “the sojourners of the dispersion of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia”. We know the recipients were the same in both epistles from 2 Pet. 3:1; “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you”. Peter speaks of them as having received “like precious faith”, the body of Christian truth in contrast with Judaism.1 This is the common Christian faith “with us”, the apostles. It is wonderful that the sojourners of the dispersion shared the same faith as the apostles! It is important that our faith be that of the apostles; “that which was from the beginning”. Christ is the basis of the Christian faith. The faith was received by the scattered sojourners “through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ”. God’s righteousness – His consistency with His own nature – causes Him to give what is necessary to fulfill His own promises! In this case, it is God’s faithfulness to Israel that caused Him to give faith to these scattered Jews.
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. v.2 Grace and Peace through Knowledge. As in the first epistle, Peter prays for “grace” or enabling power, and “peace” or a settled state of soul, to be “multiplied” upon the saints. Grace is the cause or source, and the effect of grace is peace. Here grace and peace linked with the true knowledge. This is a safeguard against error. Preservation from error is through knowing the truth! But notice that it is “the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”. There are two Greek words used for our English word “knowledge” in this chapter, and there is an important difference between them. The word ‘gnosis’ (v.5) is an objective knowledge, while ‘epi-gnosis’ (vv.2-3) is a full knowledge of something, such as an expert might have in a certain area. It is the personal knowledge of God and of the Lord Jesus that will preserve us!

As his divine power has given to us all things which relate to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us by glory and virtue,
v.3 Fully Equipped. The believer is fully equipped for the pathway. God’s “divine power” has equipped us: what can we lack? He has given us “all things which relate to life and godliness”. It is a life of communion with God that we are given, and a practical conduct of godliness that follows with it. What are the things that God has given us to help us enjoy that life and walk in godliness? First and foremost, we have God Himself dwelling in us; the indwelling Spirit. We have that which sustains us in the wilderness pathway; the intercession of Christ and the Word of God. Then, we have that which sustains us in the conflict with our three enemies; to face the Devil we have the armor of God, to face the world we have the love of the Father, and to deal with the flesh we have the truth of deliverance. The list goes on indefinitely! But these gifts are apprehended or enjoyed by the believer according to their personal knowledge of the Giver; “through the knowledge of him that has called us by glory and virtue (or excellence)”. This requires a daily walk of fellowship with God whereby we come to know Him in a personal way. God has called us by His own “glory and excellence”. God Himself is the resource! The expression “called by glory” is powerful. Perhaps Peter is alluding to what Stephen said, “the God of glory appeared to our father Abraham” (Acts 7:2). It was a God that was entirely above this world that called Abraham into relationship with Himself. We too have received a call that lifts us above the horizons of the world.
4 through which he has given to us the greatest and precious promises, that through these ye may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. v.4 Precious Promises. God gave promises to Abraham after He called him; promises of a seed, numerous descendants, and a land for their possession. The Jews rightly esteemed those promises as being great. When those to whom Peter was writing were converted, they might naturally have thought they were losing out on the promises. Peter shows that as Christians, our promises are even greater! Note that Peter does not say the promises made to the patriarchs are null and void – because they will yet be fulfilled – rather that we have something better now. The death of Christ was the end of Israel’s earthly hope, but His resurrection is the beginning of the Christian’s heavenly hope (1 Pet. 1:3). Among other things, God has promised us that we will be with and like Christ in the resurrected and glorified state! How much greater this is than the earthly promise of posterity and possessions! Truly, Peter can say, “he has given to us the greatest and precious promises”. The precious promises, together with the provisions for the pathway (v.3), allow the believer to become a “partaker” of the divine nature. This in no way means that we will become deity. It refers to a nature that has divine character. We receive the divine nature when we are born again (1 Pet. 1:3), but that is not what Peter means in this context. He uses the word “partakers” in the sense of active participation. An athlete may sit on the sidelines during a game, but he is not a “partaker” if he does not actively participate. We have the nature, but we partake in it when we act on the desires of that nature, and therefore divine character is manifested. One of the ways it is manifested is by our “having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust”. The world is a corrupt system, and its corruption is derived by the desires of the people living in the world. The believer has two natures: an old nature that desires the corruption in the world, and the divine nature that desires to escape it. By participating in the divine nature – which the provisions (v.3) and promises (v.4) enable us to do – we escape the corruption. This is viewed as once-for-all thing that the believer does when he is converted, but there is an ongoing need for overcoming the world.

The Life of Practical Godliness (1:5-11)

5 But for this very reason also, using therewith all diligence, in your faith have also virtue, in virtue knowledge, 6 in knowledge temperance, in temperance endurance, in endurance godliness, 7 in godliness brotherly love, in brotherly love love: vv.5-7 Spiritual Growth. To have the divine nature is one thing, but we must use “all diligence” to see it grow and flourish. Peter describes how spiritual growth is to unfold, giving a series of seven things that the believer is to have “in” his faith. With the divine nature, the believer has faith – faith is the vital link between the soul and God. It is assumed; “in your faith, have also virtue”. We cannot acquire faith through diligence: it is a gift of God. In a sense, all seven of the moral qualities given in vv.5-7 are in every true believer because they have faith, and therefore a new life from God. Yet there needs to be “diligence” that those qualities develop. Like a flower bud, it has latent potential. The flower petals are like these seven qualities; they are there in the bud, but only seen when the flower opens. The inherent qualities exist within the divine nature, but they require diligent nurturing to fully manifest or develop. As we consider each, notice that there is moral connection between adjacent qualities!
  1. Virtue. It is the same word used in v.3, where in reference to God is better translated ‘excellence’, but here appropriately in reference to man it is ‘virtue’.2 Virtue is moral courage (could also be translated valor), and it is the quality that strengthens the believer in their faith. Oppositions will come, but moral courage will see the soul through the storm with their confidence in God unshaken. It was virtue that allowed David as a shepherd boy to face the giant without hesitation.
  2. Knowledge. The word is ‘gnosis’ or objective knowledge. The believer is to develop in their spiritual intelligence in the things of God – knowledge of His character, His principles as found in the Word of God, and of His will for the believer. Just as faith needs an object, so courage will wane without knowledge.
  3. Temperance. The word means to restrain oneself, or literally ‘hold oneself in’, and is well translated temperance or self-control. Self-control should characterize every area of a believer’s life, as it is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). Temperance involves maintaining control of our speech, our appetite, our desires, and even our natural interests, in the fear of God. The secret to having “self-control” is to offer our lives up to the Spirit’s control. Perhaps the moral connection here is that knowledge can tend to be decoupled from practice. Having temperance in our knowledge will guard against this.
  4. Endurance. Endurance is the ability to carry on faithfully in the face of opposition, even for extended periods of time. When difficulties appear in our pathway, faith rises up to overcome the obstacle. But prolonged trials become a true test of endurance. Our flesh begins to grow impatient, and there is the potential for an outburst. Along with self-control we are to manifest the ability to withstand hardship and adversity.
  5. Godliness.

    Godliness, sometimes translated piety, comes from the Greek word meaning "well devout", and it refers to a manner of living that is totally pleasing to God. It relates to holiness, and certainly includes it, but is broader. Godliness or "devoutness" involves our motives, our attitude, and our conduct in the sight of God. Christ is the perfect example for us in this (1 Tim. 3:16; Heb. 5:7).

    We are to have godliness in our endurance, as true endurance is distinct from mere stubbornness by that fact that we endure trials in faithfulness to God.
  6. Brotherly love. New Testament exhortations on love are centered around two main types of love: divine love (‘agápe’) and brotherly love (‘philia’). The noun ‘philia’ and the verb ‘phileo’ originate from the Greek term ‘philos’, meaning “beloved” or “dear”. Phileo love is the love of affection or friendship. It includes loyalty, virtue, equality, and familiarity. As Christians, we are to love one another with ‘philia’ love (Romans 12:10). It is a love shared by the family of God. Godliness must be balanced with brotherly love. Our first loyalty is to God, but He clearly desires us to demonstrate friendly love to our brethren.
  7. Love. Agápe love is sacrificial and unconditional. It is selfless in that it gives and expects nothing in return. It is the love of a settled disposition. An example would be God’s love for us in sending His only-begotten Son to die for us (John 3:16). This love is of a higher character than brotherly love, and we are to have divine love in our brotherly love. If divine love is lacking, issues will come in between brethren and it will lead to the cessation of brotherly love. 
These seven qualities are referred to repeatedly in the following verses as “these things” (v.8, v.9, v.10, v.12). It is interesting to note that divine love is the very last quality to be given, but it is the most foundational. If each quality is like a petal of a rose, love in the innermost feature. Why? Love is the essential character of God, and it is the essential quality of the divine nature, the very first budding of life in the quickened soul!
8 for these things existing and abounding in you make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful as regards the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; 9 for he with whom these things are not present is blind, short-sighted, and has forgotten the purging of his former sins. vv.8-9 Abounding in “These Things”. Peter explains that “these things” are to be “existing” in the believer, and to be “abounding in you”. This indicates spiritual growth, and an increase in the manifestation of these moral qualities. He distinguishes “existing” and “abounding” for a reason. If a believer is not growing, there is something seriously wrong. When we are growing, there will be activity and fruitfulness; “make you to be neither idle nor unfruitful”. Again, we have the word for full knowledge (‘epi-gnosis’). Increasing in knowledge is good, but does not in and of itself constitute spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is measured by a progressively closer “knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Peter then addresses those in whom these qualities are absent; and he describes them with the illustration of two maladies of the eye. Such a person is blind in that he cannot see the believer’s present place as a Christian, and he is near sighted in that he cannot see beyond the material world. To be short-sighted in a spiritual sense is to lose sight of heavenly and eternal things. The loss of eyesight in scripture often speaks of the loss or lack of discernment. A person who does not display “these things” is either not a believer, or they have practically lost the impression of grace upon their conscience; “and has forgotten the purging of his former sins”. Peter will address the false teachers in ch.2 as those whose character betrays their lack of reality. But here, it could be a believer in a bad state of soul, for whom the cross has lost its power in their life.3

Wherefore the rather, brethren, use diligence to make your calling and election sure, for doing these things ye will never fall;
v.10 Doing “These Things”. Rather than be blind or short-sighted, we are to use diligence (v.5) to make sure the proof of our calling and election is seen in our lives. Logically, there is nothing we can do to change our calling and election, which are both acts of God in His sovereignty. For example, His choosing us, or election, was before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). What can our efforts do to affection our own election? We can ensure that the impact of our election is truly visible in our everyday existence. We do this by manifesting the qualities of vv.5-7. Practically living out “these things” will make us sure-footed in the path, and keep us from stumbling (Jude 24).
11 for thus shall the entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be richly furnished unto you. v.11 An Abundant Entrance. The “everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” is not exactly heaven, but rather the manifestation of the kingdom when Christ reigns over all, and not viewed as limited merely to the millennium, but what will continue unchanging for all eternity (Rev. 22:3)! There are a few different thoughts on the meaning of “entrance”. The first, which is certainly erroneous, is that there will be various entrances into heaven, some with great fanfare (an “abundant entrance”) and others with less. As we have shown, it is the everlasting kingdom in view, not heaven itself. Some expositors suggest that the “abundant entrance” refers to the day of manifestation and reward, of our coming back with Christ at the appearing (F.B. Hole, B. Anstey). Those who are faithful with the responsibilities the Lord has given them will receive a greater reward (Luke 19:17), therefore an abundant entrance into the kingdom where rewards are manifested before the world. However, other expositors suggest that the “entrance” is opened to the believer now, allowing him to take part in the kingdom now, such that our life is suitable to it ahead of time (W. Kelly, J.N. Darby). The kingdom therefore is future, but the believer who manifests the moral qualities of vv.5-7 has an abundant entrance furnished to him now! In contrast to being short-sighted, the believer by faith can see the coming glory clearly and anticipates it in his heart. In contrast with stumbling, there nothing in the believer’s life to trip or stop his progress!45

The Sureness of the Word of God (1:12-21)

2 Peter 1: 12-21. In this section, Peter speaks of the importance of being established in the truth of God’s Word. He gives us his mission in writing the second epistle, that the saints might have the means to call to remembrance the things he had taught them after his death. Then Peter speaks of the sureness of what God has revealed in His Word. The believing Jews had lost their home, and the earthly center of their former religion. Would the promises of a literal kingdom in glory be fulfilled? Has the New Testament in some way set aside the promises of the Old, such that the Word of God, in its plain, simple reading, can no longer to be trusted? Far from it! We have the word of prophecy confirmed by the New Testament. Whatever God says in His Word, it is certain and can be counted on by the believer. But the New Testament gives us more than the Old. The lamp of prophecy has been confirmed and surpassed by the imminent hope of Christ Himself, which the Spirit of God raises in the heart of the Christian though the New Testament revelation!
12 Wherefore I will be careful to put you always in mind of these things, although knowing them and established in the present truth. v.12 Established in the Present Truth. Despite the saints’ existing familiarity with the things he had just explained, Peter aimed to remind them of those principles. They were established in the present truth, and yet Peter knew it was beneficial to them to be reminded of these things. The “present truth” was the truth specific to Christianity, as opposed to the law. It is the truth of the Father and the Son, the full revelation of God, of the Spirit sent down, of the finished work of Christ. Without the “present truth”, a soul cannot have Christ. The “present truth” when Peter was writing is still the “present truth” today. Peter was careful to go over the same things again and again, in order that the brethren would remain established in the truth. Paul was willing to do the same (Phil. 3:1). This shows how important the written word of God is, that although the Jewish saints were already established, it was vital for Peter to write them down by inspiration for their continual reminder. How important that we guard the authority of the Word of God!
13 But I account it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance, 14 knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle is speedily to take place, as also our Lord Jesus Christ has manifested to me; 15 but I will use diligence, that after my departure ye should have also, at any time, in your power to call to mind these things. vv.13-15 Peter’s Mission Concerning His Death. Peter had a clear view of what his mission was before and after his death. As long as he was alive, or as he puts “it in this tabernacle”, he would continue to stir up the saints by reminding them of the present truth, and of the practical conduct that was suitable to it. Yet he knew that his death was not far away. He was using diligence to ensure that after he was gone, the saints would still have the means to call the same things to mind. This is the purpose of the epistle. Peter’s intention was for the individual believer to have the Word of God, that the Spirit might use it to recall these things to mind. How different from the concept of a clergy! Peter was a unique case. He knew that he would die. For the rest of us, it would not be proper to speak of our own death as a sure thing. God puts the hope of the Lord’s coming before us as our any-moment expectation… not death. But in John 21, the Lord had “manifested” to Peter that when he was “old”, he would “stretch forth his hands” (be crucified), and be “carried wither thou wouldest not”. And yet Peter was unselfish; he was thinking about and making preparations for the coming generation, those who would outlive him. How different from Hezekiah, who said, “Is it not good, if peace and truth be in my days?” (2 Kings 20:19). It is remarkable how it was Peter’s own desire to write these things down, and at the same time we see the hand of God in inspiration, guiding Peter exactly as he should write each word in perfection (1 Cor. 2:13), although the uniqueness of Peter’s character and frame of mind are impressed on the inspired page! The way Peter speaks of his death is touching, as if putting off a tabernacle or temporary dwelling. It shows that our life down here is temporary, that death is not the end for us, but it also leads on to the thought of a more permanent dwelling; “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Cor. 5:1).
16 For we have not made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, following cleverly imagined fables, but having been eyewitnesses of “his” majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, such a voice being uttered to him by the excellent glory: This is my beloved Son, in whom “I” have found my delight; 18 and this voice “we” heard uttered from heaven, being with him on the holy mountain. vv.16-18 Eyewitnesses of the Kingdom. Peter now begins to substantiate the reality of the things that are promised to the believer, especially the kingdom of Christ. The things we Christians believe are not “cleverly imagined fables” – they are veritable truths. Peter and the other apostles saw “the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” in a small scale on the mount of transfiguration. They were “eyewitnesses of his majesty”. The enemies of Christ try to make Christianity appear foolish, and unbelievable, but we have the inspired accounts of those who saw the glory of Christ with their own eyes, and heard the Father’s voice with their own ears. Notice that the voice was directed to the Son, but heard by those around. The Father, whose supreme object is the honor and glory of His Son (John 5:23), spoke from heaven to vindicate His Son after Peter’s blundering mistake. The words “hear him” are omitted by Peter, not because he wanted to hide his failure on the mount, because of the unique purpose of recounting the scene; i.e. to corroborate the reality of the kingdom of Christ. In relation to Peter’s failure on the mount of transfiguration, when Peter writes of the experience, he makes no mention of Moses and Elijah. “They saw no man, save Jesus only”. Peter learned his lesson!
A Sketch of the Kingdom in Glory. In the “holy mount”, three witnesses were given a view of the official glory of Christ unveiled, as it will be seen in “the kingdom of God come with power” (Mark 9:1). It is not a picture of the mystery phase of the kingdom, but the day of manifestation and power (see Dan. 7:14; Matt. 19:18; Eph. 1:10; Rev. 11:15; 21:1-8)! “Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them…” (Matt. 16:28; 17:1-2). Many of the details in the gospel accounts are left out in 2 Peter. The Lord’s “face shone as the sun”; the sun being a figure of highest glory in administration, picturing the Lord “ruling” the Millennial “day” (Gen. 1:16) when “the Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings” (Mal. 4:2). In conversation with the glorified Son of Man were two Old Testament saints of great renown; the law-giver and the greatest prophet of antiquity. They are with Christ in glory, so together they represent the heavenly saints who will reign with Christ for 1000 years. Moses represents the resurrected saints because he alone was buried by Jehovah, and Elijah represents the raptured saints because he alone was taken to heaven without dying! Peter, James, and John represented the Jewish remnant (saints on earth). Altogether, we have a picture of the Millennial kingdom with its heavenly and earthly companies.
19 And we have the prophetic word made surer, to which ye do well taking heed (as to a lamp shining in an obscure place) until the day dawn and the morning star arise in your hearts; v.19 The Prophetic Word Confirmed, and Surpassed. The transfiguration scene with its glimpse of official kingdom glory confirmed the subject of Old Testament prophecy; “we have the prophetic word made surer”. In a broader sense, the New Testament revelation, far from setting aside the promises of a Millennial kingdom, confirms that hope which the prophets spoke of. This is a point of great importance. Israel’s failure in the Old Testament did not shake the promises of God concerning the glorification of Christ. The “present truth” (New Testament Christian teaching) confirms those promises, bolsters, and surpasses them! A nice example of this is Eph. 1:10. The prophetic word is pictured as “a lamp shining in an obscure place” (a small light; e.g. flashlight), illuminating the path ahead for the faithful. Prophecy shows us the end of all things: of judgment for the world, and of glory for the faithful. It thus has a profound moral affect on us, and directs our walk at the present time. We need to “take heed” to the lamp of prophecy.
The actual appearing of Christ is like “the day dawn”, and His kingdom is the full light of day. “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings” (Mal. 4:2). The faithful remnant, who come to faith in the tribulation, will experience the rising of the sun in the Millennial Day. But the Christian is like one who watches the sky during the night, which is now “far spent” (Rom. 13:12). The Christian has the privilege of seeing the day dawn and the Morning Star arise “in your hearts”. This is something that we only have through the New Testament; it was not given in prophecy. Of course, the actual dawning of day is the appearing of Christ, and the morning star is something that precedes the appearing! The “day star” or “morning star” commonly refers to the planet Venus when it appears in the east before sunrise. It represents the expectation of Christ Himself as the believer’s hope; for it was Jesus who said “I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). It is not exactly an event that is the believer’s hope, but a Person, which the New Testament gives us.67The believer anticipates the return of Christ, and therefore he enters into the dawning of day and the morning star in his heart. This anticipation will be rewarded at the rapture; “Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:20). “Behold, the Bridegroom!” (Matt. 25:6). The New Testament puts the believer’s heart in expectation of the Person of Christ, and therefore brings us into the dawning of day, even though the day itself has not arrived, because it gives us Christ Himself as our object. He rises in our affections, and in that way the light of day breaks through for Christian! This is similar to how the believer has an abundant entrance into the kingdom even now, though the kingdom in glory is still future!
20 knowing this first, that the scope of no prophecy of scripture is had from its own particular interpretation, 21 for prophecy was not ever uttered by the will of man, but holy men of God spake under the power of the Holy Spirit. vv.20-21 Prophecy: Interpretation and Inspiration. After showing how the Old and New Testament function together (v.19), Peter gives several importance principles that pertain to the prophetic. The Word of God does not originate from many different sources as if the human instruments that God used to pen His Word are the authors. There were many writers, but only one Author! Prophecy was “not ever uttered by the will of man”, it was God using “holy men” who were “under the power of the Holy Spirit” in the special capacity of inspiration. How are we to under stand “holy men” in a case like Balaam? Notice that God used Moses to write what Balaam said.8 These holy men, at specific instances, were used to speak or write God’s mind about the future. It therefore has one Divine source, and this means that no single prophecy is an end in itself. All parts of scripture are working together to one glorious end; the glory of Christ in His kingdom! This provides us with a important principle in understanding prophecy: i.e. that while judgment on the wicked or the faithful remnant may have their prevalent parts, it all points on to the sufferings and the glories of Christ.9 But this also provides us with an important general principle in interpreting the word of God, that our understanding of each passage should be informed by the whole, and that we should never take one passage in isolation from the rest. To take one scripture in isolation from others and build the doctrine on it is dangerous, because it is a method of interpretation that ignores what inspiration is.10If you isolate prophecy and make each part its own interpreter, you counteract its origin and character, and lose its force as pertaining to God’s grand scheme for glorifying His Son, the Lord Jesus. It is divine design which gives prophecy of Scripture, like the rest, this character. – Kelly, W. The Second Epistle of Peter./efn_note] 

Inspiration is the process in which God communicates His thoughts to man. Inspiration comes from the Greek word 'theopneustos' or God-breathed. Inspiration can be both oral and written. Paul says "which also we speak"(1 Cor. 2:13), referring to inspired speech. The word "traditions" ('didaches') is also used several times in the New Testament, not only for the added sayings of men (Matt. 15:1-7), but for what the apostles exhorted the saints by inspiration, first orally, then in writing while the canon was in building and not yet complete (Rom. 6:17; 2 Thess. 2:15; 1 Cor. 11:2). The word 'didaches' could also be translated "directions" or "instructions". We have those same "instructions" with us today, in the completed canon of scripture. The same truth given to the Apostles and Prophets by revelation they then communicated by inspiration in words taught by the Spirit. However, all scripture is inspired; not just the New Testament (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). Inspiration is a supernatural act of God, but it involves a human element and a divine element. The divine element is the Spirit of God (2 Pet. 1:21). Inspiration does not come by the will of man, but rather has one Divine source! The human element was that "holy men of God spake as they were moved". The historical information (especially in the Old Testament) was passed down orally for decades or even centuries, but when it came time for that same information to be spoken or written through inspiration, the Spirit moved these men to do so. The Old Testament writers in many cases did not understand what they were writing (1 Pet. 1:10-12) but the New Testament writers understood it first because it was revealed to them by the indwelling Spirit (1 Cor. 2:12) then they spoke or wrote those words by inspiration (1 Cor. 2:13). Scripture teaches a verbal, plenary inspiration. Verbal, because every word is important and meaningful. Plenary, because the Spirit employed multiple writers (~40) to write scripture. Inspired, because the words are written by the Spirit of God and carry God's authority.

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  1. It is that full revelation of God in Christ. – Kelly, W. The Second Epistle of Peter.
  2. Virtue or moral courage suits the word, where man is meant. God’s excellence works virtue in the saint. – Kelly, W. The Second Epistle of Peter.
  3. We forget that we have been cleansed from our old sins; we lose sight of the position Christianity has given us. This state of things is not the loss of assurance, but the forgetfulness of the true christian profession into which we are brought — purity in contrast with the ways of the world. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  4. Walking in the ways of God, we have part in that kingdom, entering into it with assurance, without difficulty, without that hesitation of soul which is experienced by those who grieve the Holy Ghost, and get a bad conscience, and allow themselves in things that do not accord with the character of the kingdom, or who show by their negligence that their heart is not in it. If on the contrary the heart cleaves to the kingdom, and our ways are suitable to it, our conscience is in unison with its glory. The way is open before us: we see into the distance, and we go forward, having no impediments in our way. Nothing turns us aside as we walk in the path that leads to the kingdom, occupied with things suitable to it. God has no controversy with one who walks thus. The entrance into the kingdom is widely opened to him according to the ways of God in government. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  5. Here again it is not a predicted fact that is prominent, but the full realization even now by the soul that walks blamelessly before God. Thus it is that the entrance into the kingdom should be furnished. One is thus enabled to anticipate in rich measure the everlasting kingdom. So the Spirit was pleased to describe it. At any rate it is not put as a mediatorial display of glory in reigning over the earth for a thousand years, blessed as this will be; but rather what is unchanging… Not only is evil avoided, but there is nothing to dim the eyes or burden the heart. And the future glory is made richly to fill the soul as that which, as it belongs to Him, is shared with us, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. We are thus led into it for heart enjoyment; for the Spirit, being ungrieved, is not stopped by our errors and wrong-doing to humble us, but can show us things to come…. The entrance into it shall be richly furnished in the case described for practical joy and power over all that is present, whereby Satan seeks to dazzle and occupy the unwary. – Kelly, W. The Second Epistle of Peter.
  6. The bright morning star is Christ Himself, when (before the day, which will be produced by His appearing) He is ready to receive the assembly, that she may enter into His own peculiar joy. Thus it is said, “I am the bright and morning star” (Rev. 22:16). This is what He is for the assembly, as He is the root and offspring of David for Israel. Consequently, as soon as He says “the morning star,” the Spirit, who dwells in the assembly and inspires her thoughts, and the bride, the assembly itself which waits for her Lord, say, “Come!” – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  7. For the remnant of the Jews, the Sun of righteousness should rise with healing in His wings; the wicked should be trodden as ashes under the feet of the righteous. The Christian, instructed in his own privileges, knows the Lord in a different way from this, although he believes in those solemn truths. He watches during the night, which is already far spent. He sees in his heart, by faith, the dawn of day, and the rising of the bright star of the morning. He knows the Lord as they know Him who believe in Him before He is manifested, as coming for the pure heavenly joy of His own before the brightness of the day shines forth. They who watch see the dawn of day; they see the morning star. Thus we have our portion in Christ not only in the day, and as the prophets spoke of Him, which all relates to the earth, although the blessing comes from on high; we have the secret of Christ and of our union with Him, and of His coming to receive us to Himself as the morning star, before the day comes. We are His during the night; we shall be with Him in the truth of that heavenly bond which unites us to Him, as set apart for Himself while the world does not see Him. We shall be gathered to Him, before the world sees Him, that we may enjoy Himself, and in order that the world may see us with Him when He appears. – Darby, J.N. Synopsis of the Books of the Bible.
  8. Q&A: Holy Men of God
  9. Peter does not deny that there are some specific prophecies that were given for significant events that are now fulfilled (e.g. Gen. 41:29; 1 Kings 22:17; 2 Kings 13:2; Acts 11:28). What Peter speaks of are the bulk of the prophecies “of scripture”, which all look on the the coming kingdom and reign of our Lord Jesus Christ.