2 Peter 1:1-11 "Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election..."


Dear Friend,

You have asked for guidance in understanding this passage from the Second Letter of Peter, 1:1-11.
"Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his previous and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
This epistle is almost certainly not by the Apostle Peter. (It refers, for one thing, to Paul and "all his letters" (3:15), which were not known or collected during Peter's lifetime.) It seems to date from the second Christian century. This doesn't, of course, diminish its spiritual value; it simply helps to place the message in its appropriate context. Since the promised 'second coming' had not happened, followers of the new faith were getting restless; and 'false teachers' were beginning to circulate with different views of the message and ministry of Jesus. This letter's purpose was to strengthen wavering faith, and to warn against false teachings.
The author sees in Jesus Christ an expression of the divine who has "called us to his own glory and excellence"—in other words, we, too, are to become the divine in full expression, "partakers of the divine nature." So faith alone is not enough; we are not to simply believe in Jesus as a divine expression, but to live our own lives in that same consciousness. That requires that our innate "divine nature" express in a number of practical and effective ways—as virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love. It is by expressing these spiritual qualities—which Unity cofounder Charles Fillmore describes as "divine ideas"—that we become "partakers of the divine nature" by expressing our innate Christ energy in tangible ways. As a guide to ministry, it would seem to suggest that simply teaching spiritual principles, however anchored in faith that might be, is not enough; ministry requires putting the Christ into action in the world.


Rev. Ed