2nd Peter – A Map for Spiritual Progress

July 11, 2009

Peter proclaims that he is a servant of Christ like the rest of us and
makes a very explicit statement that Jesus is the God and Savior which
is not as common in the Gospels as more oblique references. He then
turns to his theme for this letter, which is that knowledge of God is
not enough; we must also act on it. No addressee is named, and the
traditional thanksgiving prayer is omitted from this letter. This may
mean that this was written for multiple audiences toward the end of
Peter’s life as the persecution was being stepped up.

Peter then notes that divine power has assigned to them all things
related to eternal life and godliness and by this we may escape our
passions and partake in the divine nature, a form of apotheosis. Peter
then sets up a series of supports for faith that build upon each other:
virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly
affection, and love.

This is a map for spiritual progress and we must keep moving forward on
it, or risk our faith mutating into something else and the way Peter
discusses this indicates that this was a well-known formula in first
century Christianity.

Peter then recounts the events of Christ’s baptism and transfiguration
to show that they have been eyewitnesses to His majesty as evidence
that these stories are not myths but rather a message like a bright
light shining in a dark place.

No prophecy of Scripture, Peter then compels us to understand, came from human will, but rather from the Holy Spirit.

Peter ends with a discussion of the coming of Christ, which is more
characteristic of the early Church than the modern Church. This more
pilgrim Church should serve as the sort of bright light that Peter
mentions in the first chapter, and we would do well to follow this
example in the modern Church.

The closing theme is Gerard Satamian’s Chansons Sans Paroles Op. 2 Pastorale, from the album Dry Fig Trees. www.magnatune.com

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