Virtue (2 Peter 1:1-3)

Verse 1 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: The writer of this epistle is described first by his names, Simon Peter; the first of these was the name by which he was called from his infancy by his parents, and by which he was known when Christ called him to be a disciple and follower of him, and is the same with Simeon; and so it is read in most copies; Acts 15:14 a name common with the Jews; the latter is what was given him by Christ at his conversion, John 1:4, and answers to Cephas in the Syriac language; and both signify a rock or stone, because he was built upon Christ, the rock and foundation, and chief corner stone, and with a view to his future solidity, firmness, and constancy: and he is next described by his character as a servant, not of sin, nor Satan, nor man, but Jesus Christ, whose servant he was, not only by creation, but by redemption and grace; and not merely a servant of his, in common with other believers, but in a ministerial way, as a preacher of the Gospel, which this phrase sometimes designs. The use of it shows the apostle's humility, his sense of obligation to Christ, and acknowledgment of him as his Lord, and that he esteemed it an honor to stand in such a relation to him: but to distinguish him from a common servant of Christ, and an ordinary minister of the word, it is added, an apostle of Jesus Christ: one that was immediately sent by Christ.

Verse 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; By a multiplication of grace may be meant a larger discovery of the love and favor of God; which though it admits of no degrees in itself, being never more or less in God's heart, yet, as to the manifestations of it, it is different, and capable of being increased, and drawn out to a greater length; or else an increase of the internal graces of the Spirit of God, as to the acting and exercise of them; or a larger measure of the gifts of the Spirit, for greater usefulness among them; or a clearer view, and a more enlarged knowledge of the Gospel of the grace of God, and the truths of it; and indeed, the word grace may take in all these senses: and by a multiplication of peace, which the apostle in this salutation also wishes for, may be designed an affluence of all kind of prosperity, temporal, and spiritual, external and internal; and more especially an increase of spiritual peace, a fullness of joy and peace in believing, arising from a sense of free justification by Christ's righteousness, and full pardon and atonement by his blood and sacrifice: through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord; which is to be understood, not of a natural, but of a spiritual and evangelical knowledge; of a knowledge of God, not as the God of nature and providence, but as the God of all grace, as in Christ, and a covenant God in him, and of the person, offices, and grace of Christ; and which designs true faith in him, by which means larger discoveries of the grace of God are made.

Verse 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. Meaning either the power of God the Father, to whom belong eternal power and Godhead; and he is sometimes called by the name of power itself; Matthew 26:64 being all powerful and mighty; or rather the power of Christ, since he is the next and immediate antecedent to this relative; and who, as he has the fullness of the Godhead in him, is almighty, and can do all things; and is El-shaddai, God all-sufficient, and can communicate all things whatsoever he pleases, and does, as follows: for he hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness; referring not so much to a temporal life, though he gives that and preserves it, and furnishes with all the mercies and comforts of it; and which come to us, from him, in a covenant way, as his left hand blessings, and in great love; but rather a spiritual life, which he is the author and maintainer of, all the joys, pleasures, blessings, and supports of it, being given by him; as also eternal life, for that, and everything appertaining to it, are from him; he gives a meekness for it, which is his own grace, and a right unto it, which is his own righteousness; and he has power to give that itself to as many as the Father has given him, and he does give it to them; and likewise all things belonging to godliness, or internal religion; and which is the means of eternal life, and leads on to it.

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