November 24, 2019, 2 Peter 1:1-15 – ISSL Reflection

I.
As we turn this week to the beginning of this letter I think it helpful to notice two things.

First, Peter knows he is not sharing with his readers anything they do not already know,

“Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already …”

And second, this may be close to the last time, if not the last time, he is able to encourage them,

“I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon …”

While it might seem at first, since according to his own testimony he is writing only about things they already know, this letter might lack urgency, on the other hand, since he might not have time to encourage them again, it does carry in the words a sense of urgency.

As you turn to read and meditate on this passage, what do you notice that you already know but need to “refresh your memory.”

II.
2 Peter 1:1-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who have received a faith as precious as ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For anyone who lacks these things is short-sighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins. Therefore, brothers and sisters, be all the more eager to confirm your call and election, for if you do this, you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly provided for you.

Therefore I intend to keep on reminding you of these things, though you know them already and are established in the truth that has come to you. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to refresh your memory, since I know that my death will come soon, as indeed our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things.

III.
It’s hard to miss that he is at least writing to them about “knowledge” –

“May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord…. through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness …. For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith … with knowledge … [to] keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What kind of “knowledge.” The kind that is obtained from studying concepts, facts, theorems and such?

Or is this a knowledge of a different kind.

Maybe a knowledge that comes by first hand experience of something? A knowing that comes from living “up close and personal” with not just the object of this knowing but with the subject of this knowing.

If that is the case, how do you and I go about increasing in this knowledge that he thinks his readers (and maybe us) already have?

IV.
What is the first step we take toward this knowledge?

What steps do we take as we begin to gain this knowledge?

We’ll take up those questions again after we spend some time with them.

charles
{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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