Summary: The key is not to study that which is false but that which is true.
1. The Secret Service is a bureau of the U.S Department of Treasury. The Congress created the Secret Service in 1865 to fight the counterfeiting of U.S currency. It was not until 1901 after the assassination of President William McKinley that they were also assigned to protect the President.
The Secret Service is trained to spot counterfeit money, not by studying the counterfeits, but by studying the real thing.
2. Peter is dealing with the problem of false counterfeit teachers. He begins by focusing upon the truth, not by giving a detailed account of the teaching of the false teachers.
3. The Need to Acknowledge True Knowledge.
2 Peter 1:1-4 (NKJV)
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
I. For starters, Simon Peter had true knowledge. 2 Pet. 1:1
A. His Identity.
His mother named him Simon, but his Master named him Peter (Jn. 1:42). You can go to First Peter for more information on Peter.
Flynn, “Jesus first statement to Simon must have sounded strange. That was like calling a dwarf, Goliath! Andrew must have thought, “My brother a rock? Doesn’t he know how unstable he is?” But Jesus never uttered any hasty, ill-timed statements. This new name indicated that Jesus clearly understood Simon’s instability, and what He would make of Simon by his grace. Jesus saw Simon’s potential. We should never forget this oscillating, vacillating fisherman became the solid, steady apostle who dominated the first half of the Book of Acts.”
We also have our identity given to us by Him; we are called Christians, those who are Christlike. He calls us that not because of His confidence in us, but due to His confidence in His power to accomplish that!
Let us be clear, He not only knows the identity of the believer, He also knows the identity of the false apostles, prophets, and Christians (Jn.13:11/2 Tim. 2:19).
B. His Humility.
Where did it come from? From knowing Jesus! Lu. 5:7-8
On the other hand false teachers are marked by pride because they do not know God (Jude 8-10).
C. His Authority.
He is an apostle by the sovereign choice of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mt. 10:1-2,5).
Simon Peter is the real deal! How do we know that he has genuine spiritual knowledge? Because he knows and is known by Jesus Christ, and demonstrates that Jesus was his everything – his identity; his motivation for humility; and his very authority.
Peter is a seasoned Christian, which means that he has been going through the process of being reduced to Jesus.
“The world I thought belonged to me,
Goods, gold, and people, land and sea.
Where’er I walked beneath God’s sky,
In those old days my word was “I”
Years passed: there flashed my pathway near,
The fragment of a vision dear;
My former word no more sufficed,
And what I said was “I and Christ.”
But oh the more I looked to Him,
His glory grew while mine grew dim;
I shrank so small He towered so high,
All I dared say was “Christ and I”
Years more the vision held its place
And looked me steadily in the face;
I speak now in humbler tone,
And what I say is “Christ alone!”
II. Furthermore, Subsequent believers have the same knowledge.
A. A Reception.
Obtained – Wuest, “Obtain means to “obtain by lot, to receive by divine allotment. The faith here is appropriating faith exercised by the believing sinner when he places his trust in the Lord Jesus. This faith is given in sovereign grace by God to the sinner elected [chosen out] to salvation, and is part of the salvation which is given him. It is given him, Peter says by divine allotment.” Jn. 1:12-13
False teachers do not talk about salvation that is received but one that is earned, sought after, worked for, and based on something upon which man must do. Jn. 6:28-29
B. A Reason.
by the righteousness of – the idea is that the reason for the “precious truth” is God’s righteousness.
Calvin, “He adds ‘in the righteousness of our God’ so that they will know that they have not obtained faith by their own effort or power, but that they have it by the sheer gift of God. The righteousness of God and the merits of man are opposed to each other. The righteousness of God is called the effective cause of faith because no one is capable of conferring it on himself.”