Peter writes a second letter to the Christians of Roman Asia Minor. He is nearing his death and this is his farewell letter. Chapter 1 serves as wonderful teaching on sanctification – the process of learning to live more and more like Jesus. Peter is concerned in this letter with knowledge. It is when we become sure of Jesus and truth about Him and ourselves that godly living receives great impetus and help. You’ll notice that similar to Paul, there is a lot to believe before we get to right behaviour.
He introduces himself to the readers (2 Peter 1:1-2). He calls them to live upon God’s help and take responsibility for godly living (2 Peter 1:3-11). He then tells them his reasons for writing (2 Peter 1:12-15) and to keep hope in the coming of Jesus (2 Peter 1:16-21). He warns them of false prophets and their teaching (2 Peter 2:1-22) and then confirms again that Jesus will return (2 Peter 3:1-10). Sure of his return, they should consider the practical implications (2 Peter 3:11-18).
A small comment on a key question in 2 Peter 3:11 “If this is true, what sort of people ought we to be?” Peter says we have to be sure that the material of this world will all burn up and a new world will be made of the ashes of the old one. All sin and wickedness will be exterminated and creation will become new, restored to its former – if not newer – glory. If all luxuries and the stuff we so love is going to be destroyed, surely that should affect how you live?
Well, does it?
Pic: St. Peter, by Guercino