Text: 2 Peter 1:5-8
Whenever I read this passage of scripture I am reminded of a time when I was going through 2 Peter 1 in a bible study. I challenged the group to memorise the chapter. As an added incentive I promised to bake a cake for the first person to do so. Eventually one of the ladies managed to do it. I had to fulfil my promise. I got Sue to give me the baking pans and a recipe and I started baking. The cake went into the oven and before long overflowed making a mess of the oven. I was miffed and accused Sue of giving me the wrong recipe and pans. I still had a cake to bake and so the next day I asked Sue to give me another recipe and I started again. Sue was busy cooking lunch at the same time, and I read the recipe out loud while throwing the ingredients into the bowl. “A cup of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 table-spoons of baking powder.” Sue stopped me and said that that could not be right. I pointed it out to her; “see there is a 2 followed by a small t.” Sue had to tell me that a small t in a recipe was a tea-spoon not a table spoon. My first cake was a flop not because the recipe was wrong, but I had added way too much baking powder. In this passage Peter is describing the portrait of an effective and productive Christian. There is not one of us that wants to be a flop as a Christian. How can we be effective and productive? Follow the recipe.
2 PETER 1:5-8
In these verses Peter supplies us with the recipe to be an effective and productive Christian. In consists of eight qualities which need to be increasingly added to. It all starts with FAITH. Peter is talking about the faith as outlined in vrs1, 2 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. In these two verses Peter supplies four extraordinary statements about Jesus which is the substance of our faith.
a) Jesus is the Saviour
In this short epistle Peter calls Jesus Saviour five times (1:1, 11; 2:20; 3:2, 18) and talks about salvation once (3:15). If we put them together the three tenses of salvation, past, present and future are highlighted. First of all in 1:9 Peter can say the following about the Christian, he has been cleansed from his past sins. We have been delivered from the penalty of sin. Secondly, in 2:20 he refers to the present tense and says that we have been saved from the power of sin. If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Thirdly, in 3:15 we are told that in the future we need not be concerned about the delay in Christ’s coming because our Lord’s patience means salvation. There will come a day when we will be delivered from the presence of sin itself.
b) Jesus is God
In vrs 1 Peter speaks about our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Peter attributes full deity to Jesus. However, in vrs 2 he says the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ. Peter is articulating orthodox Christianity: “the Father is God, the Son is God and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet there are not three Gods but one God.” It is quite right for us to affirm that Jesus Christ is God, and quite right for us to affirm that Jesus Christ is not all there is to God. We could put this in a different way. Peter will call Jesus “God” but he will not call God “Jesus.” A Christian is someone who has exercised faith in our Triune God.
c) Jesus is the Christ
The Greek word “Christ” is a translation of the Hebrew word for “Messiah.” This was the name used for the one who would fulfil all the OT hopes. Prophets, priests and kings were anointed with oil to show that they were dedicated to God as His servants. The ultimate Servant would be the one above all others who would fulfil God’s plan. When Peter in Matthew 16:16 first said “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” he identified Jesus as the man who would fulfil God’s plan for mankind (Acts 2:23, 24, 32, 36).
d) Jesus is the Lord
The Greek word for Lord (kurios) was consistently used to translate the Hebrew name for LORD (Yahweh). To call Jesus “Lord” among people who knew their OT was to say that Jesus was present all the way through history of Israel as their covenant Lord.
This fourfold description of Jesus is the focus of the effective and productive Christian’s faith.