Those who have received a faith

Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2 Peter 1:1-4

Yesterday we considered the author of this letter, Peter, the Servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ and today we look at the those to whom it was written.

We discover from the first letter that they were God’s elect (his choosing) and, because of this, strangers in the world for they were out of step with the world’s ways. Further they were scattered in many different places, away from the familiar, as a result of the persecution that the young church suffered as they proclaimed the unpalatable (to the majority) truth that Jesus was alive and Lord of all. Peter’s desire for them was that they might know Grace and truth in abundance 1 Peter 1.2. He has the same desire for them here in 2 Peter 1.2 as he writes his second letter.

Following his description of the recipients in the first letter he now adds a further encouragement to them as they face all the challenges of their situation. They have received a faith as precious as that which Peter and his fellow apostles had, indeed that all God’s people had. There was no difference between them! With God there was and is no partiality. Further this faith was a gift from God and came to them through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

He then adds a rider to his desire that Grace and truth might be theirs in abundance, namely that these blessings come through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. This is his deep desire so he ends his letter like this.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever! Amen 3.18

We are clearly not the original recipients of the letter and our situation is different from theirs but these words should be a great encouragement to us 2000 years on. For as believers, we are God’s elect, we are strangers in the world and scattered in many different places and we have received the same faith from the same giver!

So today may we seek and claim that abundant grace that will enable us to be the people we are called to be.

The old CSSM chorus comes to mind.

The Grace of the Lord, like a fathomless sea,

Sufficient for you, sufficient for me.

Is tender and patient and boundless and free.

Sufficient for every need!

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