A Dispensational Approach
By R. B. Shiflet
I. Introduction 1:1
A. The Author
1. A Servant
2. An Apostle
B. The Addressees
II. INVOCATION 1:2-3
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Pet 1:2, 3)
A. The Petition
“Grace and peace be multiplied unto you.”
This sounds very familiar to all who are acquainted with Paul’s epistles. Paul used the words together at least 13 times. Today the world is looking for peace, but not for grace. Individuals look for peace through various activities, pleasures and often drugs. Nations look for peace through alliances and compromise. Church organizations are looking for peace through departure from the faith once for all delivered to the saints. But there can be no peace apart from the grace of God, which is the kindness and love of God our Savior unto men. The past few weeks we have heard much about “Peace on earth, good will toward men,” and many people are wondering why we do not have that. The reason is that when the Prince of Peace came, He was rejected, and there will never be peace on earth apart from the Prince of Peace. But instead of that, our society and culture are becoming more and more secular, forbidding any mention of the name of Christ on public property. A good example is the ruling of the New York Supreme Court that New York’s public schools may have a Jewish Menorah and a Muslim star and crescent in the classroom, but nativity scenes are forbidden, and Christmas carols that mention our Lord are banned.
Note that Peter prayed that this grace and peace be multiplied. He not only wanted them to experience these blessings, but that they may abound or overflow in their lives. Those who know the grace and peace of God know that there is an abundance—an overflow of His all-sufficient grace and peace.
B. The Power
“… through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”
Peter uses a special word for knowledge. The usual Greek word for knowledge is gnosis. The word used here is that word with the prefix epi making the word epignosis, a precise, accurate and full knowledge. The verb form is epignosko, meaning to have full knowledge. Paul uses the word often, usually in context with a full knowledge of the truth of the mystery revealed to him. The word implies not only a knowledge, but an acknowledgement of what is known. It would be interesting today to learn how many people have a knowledge of the mystery revealed to Paul, but refuse to acknowledge if for fear of isolation by many fundamentalist groups.
These two words for knowledge may be seen (in their verb forms) in one verse: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know (ginosko) in part; but then shall I know (epiginosko) even as also I am known (epiginosko). (1 Cor 13:12)
C. The Provision
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” (2 Pet 1:3)
“All things that pertain to life and godliness” He has provided us. What more could we need? Peter is telling us that we have a generous Savior who has provided us with all that we need for life and holiness from his limitless supply of grace and peace.
(To Be Continued)