v1-4 - The introduction and salutation for Peter's second open letter.
It's addressed to you, in that you've received faith through Christ's righteousness.
Christ has given you everything you need to live a godly life as you grow in knowledge of Him.
v5-12 - You must "make every effort" to continually add to your faith, looking more and more like Christ.
v13-21 - In order to grow in your faith, you must be continually reminded of God's truth.
The gospel is "not a cleverly devised story (v16)," rather it is eyewitness testimony.
In addition to the New Testament, you can rely on the prophetic message (Old Testament) as "something completely reliable... a light shining in a dark place (v20)."
On one hand, we confess we are completely saved by grace without any effort on our own. But as with so many other Biblical doctrines, we must recognize the tension inherent in this truth.
While grace is most certainly a passively given gift of God, the recipients of grace are not to remain passive. Twice in today's chapter you are implored to
Make every effort (v5, 10)
Although both instances read the same in English, two different Greek phrases are translated:
v5 - make every effort to add to your faith...
Here's a very wooden translation:
Eagerly do the hard work of building up your faith...
v6 - make every effort to confirm your calling and election.
can be translated:
Zealously work to make God's choice certain.
As you head into a new week and month, spend time thinking about this question:
What are you working harder on?
Chasing the things of this world, or
Making every effort to do the hard work of building up your faith so that you're certain of God's call in your life?
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL— The virtues listed in verses 5 to 7 begin with faith and end with love. There are six others in between. How many of them can you name?
How would you use this chapter, especially v20-21, to explain what makes the Bible so much different than anything else that's been written?
Question 1 from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, but also our God and Savior is Jesus Christ (v1)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the strength and desire to make every effort in building up the faith you've been given
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: