Servant and Apostle – Part 2
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (2Peter 1:1-2)
IN HIS FIRST BOOK, PETER EMPHASIZED THE GRACE OF GOD: …I have written briefly, exhorting, and testifying that this is the true grace of God wherein ye stand. (1Peter 5:12)
WE ARE EVERYONE SAVED BY HIS GRACE (undeserved favor) through our faith in Christ’s shed blood. Paul said it like this: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
BUT IN HIS SECOND LETTER, his emphasis is on the knowledge of God. He wants his readers to know that he is a servant and an apostle and that they have all experienced the same kind of “precious” faith. “Like precious faith” means that everyone is on the same level with God. He is no respecter of persons in the saving of lost souls. He wants them to know that the first thing they have from God is His righteousness as a gift. That gift of righteousness as a gift can be theirs only through the blood of Jesus shed for them on the cross.
EVERYTHING THEY ARE IS THROUGH THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Right away, this put them on a different footing than what they had been taught in traditional Jewish teaching. Jews thought of themselves as having right standing with God through their works and obedience to the Law of Moses. The idea that God would give or bestow righteousness on them was a new way of thinking. It is a new way of thinking for many people in America who may not have studied what the Bible truly teaches or may not have given much thought to it.
IN THE VERY NET VERSE (V.2) PETER POURS THE CONCRETE for the foundation of the rest of his book (2Peter). Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (2Peter 1:1-2). Can grace and peace be multiplied? Peter says that grace and peace can be multiplied. How can grace and peace be multiplied?
I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE HERE. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and this is a good time to do it. I am usually open and even eager to know what other people say who have studied more than I have. (It’s easy to find people who have studied more than I have.) So, I am eager to read and skim their pages. Some of the comments are so scholarly that we commoners may need another book to understand what they are saying. I like a bit of “folksy” in the comments but most are above that.
WHAT I FIND OUT AT TIMES IS THAT SOME HAVE NOT DONE MUCH STUDYING and they must write something, so that’s what they do. They write…something. Can’t be too hard on them because some have studied much and are going to tell you everything they have learned and it’s a wagon load; more than I want to know or have time to take in.
Matthew Henry is like that. He’s an absolute genius who was reading when he was three and writing a long time before his teens. He writes and writes and writes and…. So, I read Mr. Henry on occasions but not first. There are a few that are like that but not many.
BACK TO: CAN GRACE AND PEACE BE MULTIPLIED? I’m going to borrow J. Vernon McGee to tell us his thoughts and he really goes to town on it. I’ll have to edit it to make it fit into our space.
“Grace and peace be multiplied." Grace, and peace are always in this order. We must first know the grace of God—that God has saved us, not through our merit, our character, or anything in us, but He has saved us because of our faith in Christ. Because He loved us enough to die for us on the Cross to pay the penalty of our sins, it is possible for Him to reach down and save us. Therefore, my friend, God saves you by grace. He saves you when you simply trust Christ, with no merit on your part.
“Once we experience God's grace, we can experience the peace of God also. This is what Paul is saying in his Epistle to the Romans: "Therefore being justifed by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Again let me say that we cannot consider Simon Peter an ignorant fisherman. As we see in his first epistle, he deals with more doctrine in a brief letter than any other New Testament writer. He takes up all controversial matters and handles them in a masterful way.
“And he is a New Testament writer who uses arithmetic. He says, "Grace and peace be multiplied"—he is talking about multiplication. Paul didn't go into mathematics. He said that God is rich in grace and that the peace of God passes all understanding, but Simon Peter gets down to where the rubber meets the road. He takes out the multiplication table and says, "I hope grace and peace will be multiplied unto you." How wonderful this is.
“He doesn't just leave it there. How will "grace and peace be multiplied unto you"? Will it be through some vision you have? Oh, no—"through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord."
“NOW WE ARE BACK TO THIS WORD KNOWLEDGE. We will be seeing it again and again in this epistle because of its importance. Paul also emphasizes this. Writing to the Philippians, he said, "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings …" (Philippians 3:10)—oh, to know Him! Christianity is a Person. We are not only to believe Him but also to know Him, my friend. He is the living Savior who right at this moment is at God's right hand.
“IT WAS THE PROPHET DANIEL WHO WROTE, "… but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits" (Daniel 11:32). My friend, you are not going to do anything for God in the way of service until you know Jesus Christ. How does this knowledge come to you? The knowledge of Jesus Christ comes through a knowledge of the Word of God, the sure Word of God.
“WHEN PETER WRITES, "Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord," he uses the Greek word epignosis, meaning "super knowledge." It is a knowledge which comes by the Holy Spirit's taking the things of Christ and making them real to us.
My friend, I believe that you can know Jesus Christ better than you can know your closest loved one. And you can tell Him things that you would not dare tell your closest loved one. The important thing is that to know Him is life eternal. “To know Him in this way, we first have to be born again, as Peter says, "… not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever" (1Peter 1:23). (McGee) Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
MAY 3, 2018 – THURSDAY
A.M. 1Kings 6-7 P.M. Luke 23:27-38
(Bible Gateway will read this to you if you like. Look for the speaker icon.)
(A lady told me they go to Morning Minute and let the man read to them while they eat
Good Memory Verse:
Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: (Isaiah 46:9-10)
Song for Today:
Lord Lead Me On (2:58) – (Hayes Family -Gaither Group)
Note: You may need to turn off the song when finished to avoid something else you do not want to hear.