Charity

1Corinthians 13:1-7 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profits me nothing. Charity suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up, Does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; Rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.’ Paul here shows the possibility of exercising gifts in a backslidden condition (13:1-3), as Solomon did (Eccl. 2:9).

‘Tongues of men and of angels’ – This suggests that those who speak with tongues could be using earthly and angelic languages.

‘Charity’ [Greek: agape] spontaneous and divine love, the unconditional love that God has for us. It is more eternal than gifts. Nine ingredients of divine love: Patience- love passive: no hurry; suffers long; bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things (13:4, 7). Kindness- love in action: never acts rashly or insolently; not inconsistent, puffed up, or proud (13:4). Generosity- love in competition: not envious or jealous (13:4). Humility- love in hiding: no parade; no airs; works then retires (13:4). Courtesy- love in society: does not behave unseemly; always polite; at home with all classes; never rude or discourteous (13:5). Unselfishness- love in essence: never selfish, sour, or bitter; seeks only good of others; does not retaliate or seek revenge (13:5). Good temper- love in disposition: never irritated; never resentful (13:5). Righteousness- love in conduct: hates sin; never glad when others go wrong; always gladdened by goodness to others; always slow to expose; always eager to believe the best; always hopeful, always enduring (13:6-7). Sincerity- love in profession: never boastful and conceited; not a hypocrite; always honest; leaves no impression but what is strictly true; never self-assertive; does not blaze out in passionate anger, nor brood over wrongs; always just, joyful, and truthful; knows how to be silent; full of trust; always present.

The Righteousness Which is of Faith

Romans 10:5-7 For Moses described the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which does those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 

‘That the man which does those things shall live by them’ – perfect obedience was required by the law. Since no man could accomplish this, all people were condemned by the law and cursed by it (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10-13; Rom. 3:19-20). This shows the impossibility of being saved by the law and the fact that all can be saved by the gospel (10:6-13).

‘But the righteousness which is of faith speaks on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above)’ Law righteousness demanded perfect obedience; faith righteousness asks only confession of sins and surrender to God who, by the Holy Spirit, sets free from the law of sin and death (8:2), transforms the nature and life (1Cor. 6:11; 2Cor. 5:17-18), fulfils in man the righteousness of the law (8:3), and makes man righteous in Christ (4:1-25; 10:6-13; 1Cor. 1:30; 2Cor. 5:21;).

‘Who shall ascend into heaven? … Or, Who shall descend into the deep? … But what said it?’ This is quoted from Deuteronomy 30:12-14. Paul here simply shows that people do not have to search for Christ or the Word of the gospel, for it is near them and only needs to be acted upon. It is like the law in Deuteronomy 30:12-14: they did not have to search for it; they already had it if they would recognize it. So people have the gospel that will save their souls if they will accept it.

‘Deep’ [Greek: abussos] meaning bottomless, unbounded by any definite known limits. Christ did descend into the lower parts of the earth to liberate the righteous dead and take them with Him when He ascended on high (Matt. 12:40; Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15).

Because of Righteousness

Romans 8:6-11 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you. 

‘Carnally minded’ – to be “carnally minded” is the same as to “mind the things of the flesh,” and to be “spiritually minded” is to “mind the things of the Spirit” (8:5).

‘Carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be’ – minding the sins of the flesh is enmity with God (8:5). Such a mind will not obey the law of God, nor can it because it submits to sin. When it ceases to rebel then it ceases to sin. As long as it lives in rebellion it cannot please God (8:7-8).

‘But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you’ You Christians are not minding the things of the flesh, but of the Spirit, if the Spirit dwells in you. If you do not have the Spirit you do not belong to Christ. If Christ is in you (2Cor. 5:17-18), the body is dead to all sin, and the Spirit dominates your life as you live to all righteousness (8:10). If this is true, you can expect quickening for your mortal bodies by the Spirit that dwells in you (8:11).

‘Because of righteousness’ righteousness defined: Some argue that this righteousness is not personal holiness of obedience to the gospel, but mere legal righteousness – the righteousness of the law – and that it does not prove a man to be saved from sin, or born again. However, this is but human theory. If it was the righteousness of the law that is what must be fulfilled in those who are born again (8:1-4). Whatever the kind of righteousness it was something that: One could turn away from (Ezek. 3:20); if he did turn from it he committed iniquity or sin; he died if he left it and went into sin (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24-26; 33:13, 18); it would not be remembered if he did turn from it to commit sin (Ezek. 3:20); it gave him life as long as he kept it and did not turn from it to commit sin (Ezek. 3:21; 18:24); he had it until he did sin (Ezek. 3:21); it would not deliver him from death if he left it; but if he kept it he lived (Ezek. 33:12).

We have to conclude that if it had the power of life and death in it, depending on whether one kept it or not, then the kind of righteousness here is that which God demands in the New Testament of those who are born again (Matt. 6:33; Acts 10:35; Rom. 4:3-22; 6:13-20; 8:4; 1Peter 2:24). We have no authority to make this righteousness different from what God has always demanded, in both testaments. God requires us to fulfil the righteousness that the law demanded (8:4), so if a person was righteousness under the law for keeping it and one is righteous under grace for keeping it, then what is the difference? If all have been required to live by it, in either testament, then all must have it, or be lost (Ezek. 3:20; 18:24-26; 33:12-13; Jer. 22:3; 33:15; Hos. 10:12). To continue to live the righteous man must not return to sin or die in sin (Ezek. 3:20-21).

‘Quicken’ [Greek: zoopoieo] to make alive (1Cor. 15:22); give life (2Cor. 3:6; Gal. 3:21); and quicken (John 5:21; 6:63; Rom. 4:17; 8:11; 1Cor. 15:36, 45; 1Tim. 6:13; 1Pet. 3:18).

The Wages of Sin

Romans 6:20-23 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

‘For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness’ it is emphasized here the fact that a man cannot be a saint and a sinner; holy and sinful; and cannot serve God and satan, or be a servant of sin and righteousness at the same time (Matt. 6:24).

‘Fruit’ used here to refer to good and evil results (6:21-22; 7:4-5; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:9; Php. 1:11, 22; 4:17; Heb. 12:11).

‘Things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death’ – Sin has two main results: Present shame and emptiness (6:21); and future, eternal death and hell, the end of a life of sowing to the flesh (6:21-23; 8:13; Gal. 6:7-8; Rev. 20:6, 10-15).

‘Now being made free from sin’ – now, in the present life people are free from sin in Christ (2Cor. 5:17-18).

‘Become servants to God’ a change in masters means a change in service (Matt. 6:24).

‘You have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life’ – Righteousness has two main results: Present holiness of life (6:22); and future and eternal life, the end of a life of sowing to the Spirit (6:22-23; 8:13; Gal. 6:7-8).

‘Wages’ [Greek: opsonion] meaning recompense or wages. Divine justice is under obligation to give sinners their wages or be in debt to them forever (Luke 12:5; Rev. 20:11-15).

The present state of all men outside of Christ is that of being depraved, polluted and corrupt in all his nature. His understanding is darkened (Eph. 2:3; 4:18); his conscience defiled (Heb. 10:22); his will obstinate and rebellious (Rom. 8:7); his affections carnal and sensual (Eph. 2:1-3; Gal. 5:19-21; Mark 7:19-21; Rom. 1:18-32; 1Cor. 6:9-11); his thoughts evil continually (Gen. 6:5; 2Cor. 10:4-5); his heart full of abominations (Jer. 17:9; Mark 7:19-21; Rom. 1:18-32); and his life and conduct devoted to living in divers lusts and pleasures of all kinds (1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 2:1-3; Rom. 1:18-32). He is a “servant of sin” (John 8:34); “unrighteous” (1Cor. 6:9-11; Ps. 51:5; Eph. 2:1-3); “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1-9); “alienated from God” by wicked works (Col. 1:20-22); “separated” from God by his sins (Isa. 59:2); “without hope, and without God” in the world (Eph. 2:11-13;4:13-32; Rom. 3:9-25); blind to the truth (2Cor. 4:4; Eph. 4:18); lustful (Eph. 2:3); and doomed to eternal death and Hell (Rom. 6:23; Matt. 25:41, 46; Rev. 14:9-11; 19:20; 20:11-15; 21:8; Jude 1:7; Isa. 66:22-24).

‘Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ’ eternal life is a free gift (5:15-18; Eph. 2:8-9; John 10:28). People merit hell, but not eternal life. Jesus Christ alone procured it and gives it freely to all who believe (John 3:16; 6:27; Rom. 3:24).

Justification

Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. 

‘Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification’ He died for our sins (1Pet. 2:24) and was resurrected for our justification (Rom. 5:10; 1Cor. 15:1-23).

‘Justification’ seven facts about justification [Greek: dikaiosis] the act of God declaring people free from guilt and acceptable to Him and counting them righteous (3:25; 5:18). Dikaioma is only another word rendered “justification” (5:16). Justification is by faith (3:24-4:25; 5:1; Gal. 2:16; 3:24). Justification is the universal remedy for sin (3:24-4:25). Justification a fulfilment of the Abrahamic covenant (4:1-25). Justification by faith illustrated: Abraham before the law (4:1-4, 9-25) and David under the law (4:5-8).

Justification of believers is by: (1) God (3:26); (2) Christ’s resurrection (4:25); (3) Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:11); (4) Blood (3:24-28); (5) Grace (3:24; Tit. 3:7); (6) Faith (Acts 13:39; Rom. 5:1); (7) Prayer (Luke 18:14); (8) Obedience (5:18).

Eight results of justification by faith: (1) Peace with God (5:1); (2) Access by faith into grace; (3) Standing in grace; (4) Joy and hope (5:2); (5) Joy in tribulations (5:3-5); (6) Love of God in the heart (5:5-8); (7) Holy Spirit given to us (5:5; 8:9); (8) Saved from wrath (5:9-10). Seven Ways that “justification” is used: To declare what one is (1Tim. 3:16); to esteem a thing properly (Mat. 11:19); to commend or praise (Luke 7:29); to clear from all sin (1Cor. 4:4); to declare righteous (Mat. 12:37); to set free or escape from (Acts 13:39). to pardon sin (3:20-28; 4:2; 5:1, 9; 8:30; Luke 18:14; 1Cor. 6:11; Gal. 2:16-17; 3:11, 24; 5:4; Tit. 3:7).

We Conclude

Romans 3:26-28 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

‘At this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus’ God is now ready to declare His readiness to impart His righteousness by faith to penitents and can now be just in justifying them by His grace (3:24-26).

‘Righteousness’ [Greek: dikaiosune] found 92 times and always translated “righteousness.” The English word is found 305 times in Scripture. It always means the doing of what is right. Fourteen facts about righteousness: Revealed in the gospel (1:17); not commended by unrighteousness (3:5); manifested apart from the law (3:21); witnessed by the law and prophets; freely given to all alike (3:22-25); imputed by faith without works or law (3:22; 4:3, 5, 13, 22). It is God’s righteousness in remitting sins through Christ (3:25; 1Jn. 1:9). It is Christ’s righteousness because He did all that was required of God to redeem people (5:18; 2Cor. 1:1-24). The medium of grace reign (5:21); a requirement of saints (6:13-20); and it produces life (8:10). The law required it, but could not give it (8:4; 9:31-32; 10:4-6); produced by the Holy Spirit (14:17). Conditions of receiving it (3:22; 4:1-5:11; 6:13-19; 8:1-10; 10:9-10).

‘Where is boasting then? … By what law? of works?’ Here (3:27-28) we have the second dialogue between Paul and the Jew. Paul has been proving from Romans 3:9 that the Jews are as guilty and condemned as the Gentiles and that both must be saved by the redemption in Christ. The Jew, finding his boasted religion of Romans 2:17-29 of no merit at all to save his soul, interrupts (as Paul anticipates) and asks, “Where does our boasting come in with such a program of salvation without works and the law? Have we no merit of our own? Do we not have anything accruing to us from our 1,700 years of circumcision and the Mosaic covenant?” Paul answers, “It is completely out-your boasting.” The Jew responds, “By what law? of works?” Paul says, “By the law of faith-you have sinned and you need forgiveness. The law of works cannot pardon. It requires obedience and only kills if transgressed. Faith alone in Christ will pardon and cancel the death penalty” (3:27-28; Eph. 2:8-9).

‘Boasting’ ten things that people boast about: bargains (Pro. 20:14); security (Pro. 27:1); religion (Rom. 2:17-29); strength (1Sam. 17:8-10); conquest (Isa. 10:8-16); gifts (Pro. 25:14); riches (Ps. 49:6); sins (Ps. 94:4); plans (Jas. 4:13-17); and power (Luke 10:17). The only boasting allowed is “in the Lord” (2Cor. 10:12-18).

‘Conclude’ to arrive at a judgement or opinion by reasoning. ‘That a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law’ to be saved through faith in Christ’s atonement and not through the Law of Moses.

The Knowledge of Sin

Romans 3:11-20 There is none that understand, there is none that seek after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that do good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 

‘They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one’ This is true of all people (Isa. 53:6; Rom. 1:21-32; 3:23; 5:12-21).

‘Unprofitable’ [Greek: achreioo] to make useless. The whole mass of mankind is as a slain, putrid mass thrown together in heaps.

‘Open sepulchre’ by malicious and cutting words they kill and bury the reputation of people. As a tomb is opened and the stench of putrefaction is unbearable, so their throats spue forth poison (3:13-14).

‘Asps’ [Greek: aspis] adder (Ps. 140:3; Deut. 32:33; Job 20:14-16; Isa. 11:8).

‘No fear of God before their eyes’ the same as in Romans 1:32. Not one charge is listed here but what can be traced in case histories of both Jews and Gentiles.

‘To them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God’ For fear the Jews might think Romans 3:10-18 do not apply to them, Paul here says that they apply to all under the law that every mouth might be stopped and the whole world becomes guilty before God. ‘By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin’ even if the Jews had not broken the law, they could not be justified. The law could only condemn, not justify (3:21-31; 7:7-25).

God’s Righteousness Upheld

Romans 3:1-5 What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou are judged. But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? (I speak as a man) 

‘What advantage then has the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?’ Circumcision only profited if the law was kept (3:25).

‘Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God’ This answers the questions of Romans 3:1. Being entrusted with the oracles of God and all the external advantages were not sufficient to save the soul (3:21-31; 4:1-25; 8:3-4; Gal. 3:10-14).

‘For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?’ People’s unbelief cannot undo the effects of God’s faithfulness.

‘God forbid’ this answers the questions of Romans 3:3. “God forbid” is found 15 times in the New Testament (3:4, 6, 31; 6:2, 15; 7:7, 13; 9:14; 11:1, 11; Luke 20:16; 1Cor. 6:15; Gal. 2:17; 3:21; 6:14), and 9 times in the Old Testament (Gen. 44:7, 17; Jos. 22:29; 24:16; 1Sam. 12:23; 14:45; 20:2; 1Chron. 11:19; Job 27:5). Only in 1Chronicles 11:19 is it a literal translation of the original language. In all other places, it is a cultural idiom of the King James translators expressing a strong negative. Literally, may it never be.

‘Let God be true, but every man a liar’ let no man say that God has failed in keeping His word with any man. Let man examine himself and his ways to see if he has not failed to meet conditions so God can fulfil His promise. ‘That thou might be justified in thy sayings, and might overcome when thou art judged’ quoted from Psalm 51:4.

‘Thou are judged’ when God is judged or when He judges man by man, He always comes out justified because He is faithful in all His ways (Ps. 119:86, 138; Deut. 7:9; 1Cor. 1:9; 10:13). ‘But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who takes vengeance? … for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather … Let us do evil, that good may come? … What then? are we better than they?’ Paul states that if their sins magnify the mercy and goodness of God then, the more wicked they are the more God can be glorified. If they thus glorify God, would He not be unjust in casting them off? It is only natural for Paul to reason this way for all his countrymen are involved. Typical how most people believe today: they think because Christ has died for their sin, they can continue therein. Nothing is more further from the truth, because Christ came to set us free from the bondage of sin not to provide a way for us to keep on living in sin (1Jn. 3).

Backsliding

2Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 

‘If after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein’ one of 1,522 IF’s in the Bible, plainly indicating that all can and some do escape the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Yet some are again entangled therein, becoming worse than they were before they found Christ. Here some proofs follow that these are backsliders: In 2Peter 2:4, Peter warns men that God sent three great catastrophes upon angels and men because of their backslidings and sins. One may argue that the ante-deluvians (pre-flood inhabitants) and Sodom and Gomorrah were not backsliders and had nothing to backslide from, but this argument cannot possibly hold true of the angels that sinned, which, as is acknowledged by all, were created sinless and holy and in God’s grace and blessings. They sinned and are now in hell (2:4; Jude 1:6-7). Angels are definitely called sons of God in Genesis 6:1-4 and Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:4-7. Hence sonship, whether by creation or adoption, will not keep God from damning any angels or men who rebel and sin and who do not get right with Him. In 2Peter 1:5-15, it is clear that Peter lays down conditions to be met if one is not to fall.

One could not forsake or abandon the straight-way if he had not been in it. If they went astray from the right and straight-way, they were one time in it. When we look at 2Peter 1:4; 2:18, 20 we see that the first verse proves that escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust is at the time one partakes of the divine nature, thus it is not possible that these people are not saved or born again at such a time. This confirms that they were one time believers or they would not have had the experiences of like precious faith, grace, peace, and godliness which come with such knowledge, as proved in 2Peter 1:1-4.

The words “again entangled therein, and overcome” (2:20), prove they were once free from such pollutions or they could not be entangled and overcome in and by them again. The statement, “the latter end is worse with them than the beginning,” proves that they were once saved and could have had a better ending than the beginning if they had not become entangled again in the pollutions of the world (2:20).

Peter’s explanation of why it would have been better not to have known the way of righteousness, than after knowing it, to turn away, becoming entangled and overcome by sins again, proves that they were once saved and in the way of righteousness, actually knowing the Christian way (2:21).

The illustration of the sow and the dog proves that they were once saved and that they had gone back into sin again as a dog returns to his vomit and the washed sow to her wallowing in the mire (2:22). If this does not illustrate Christians going back into sin again, it has no point. To argue that it does not refer to Christians returning to sin again on the pretext that the sow always remains a sow and the dog always remains a dog proves nothing, for the same is true of lost sheep, coins, and men (Luke 15:1-32). They always remain what they are when found as do sows and dogs. In none of these illustrations is there a change made in the sow, dog, sheep, coin or lost son. The point is that the sheep, the coin, and lost son were found, and the sow and the dog went back to their old ways. Even a born-again person is not changed into another species; he is still a human being, he is simply cleansed from sin like the sow that was washed (1Jn. 1:7, 9; Rev. 1:5). If he wants to remain cleansed from sin he must walk in the light and in the Spirit (1Jn. 1:7; Gal. 5:16-26; Rom. 8:12-13). To argue that the sow was never washed or the dog was never free from vomit is meaningless.

The warning of 2Peter 3:14 proves that some might not be without spot and blameless and the warning of 3:16 proves that it is possible to go into sin and fall from steadfastness in Christ.

‘Pollutions’ [Greek: miasmata] things that infect, pollute, and defile. It is used still today of the contagion of dangerous diseases and of decaying bodies, stagnant water, and putrid matter. The world is here pictured as putrid and full of contagion of sin and uncleanness (1:4; 2:20).

‘Entangled therein’ [Greek: empleko] to plait or weave in; interweave; entangle. This shows to what extent they had escaped from the pollutions of the world and was then entangled again. ‘The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire’ partially quoted from Proverbs 26:11. Here are some examples of those who returned to sin (Aaron and David repented): Aaron and Israel (Ex. 32:32-33; Deut. 32:16-18; 1Cor. 10:1-11; Jude 1:5); Nadab and Abihu (Lev. 10:1-20); Korah and company (Num. 16:1-50); King Saul (1Sam. 10:13-24; 16:12-23; 1Chron. 10:13-14); many disciples of Jesus (John 6:66); David (2Sam. 11-12; Ps. 51:1-19); Judas Iscariot (Ps. 41:9; 55:12-14; 69:25-28; 109:8; Matt. 26:24; John 13:18; Acts 1:1-26); Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-14); many Galatians (Gal. 1:6-9; 5:4; 6:7-8); many early Christians (1Tim. 1:19-20; 5:8-20; 6:1-21; 2Tim. 2:18-21); Demas (2Tim. 4:10); whole congregations (Rev. 2-3).

Through the Righteousness

2Peter 1:1-2 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord 

‘Peter’ he was one of the 12 apostles (1Pet. 1:1; Matt. 10:2); called Simon and Cephas (John 1:42); a native fisherman of Bethsaida (Matt. 4:18; John 1:44. Peter was a married man (Matt. 8:14; 1Cor. 9:5). He ministered primarily to Jews (Gal. 2:7) and was an elder among many others (1Pet. 5). Peter went east and wrote an epistle from Babylon. Nothing is given of his death other than what is given in John 21:18-19. The theme of this epistle is to exhort believers to stand true in all kinds of suffering, and to set forth the true grace of God (1Pet. 5:12).

‘An apostle of Jesus Christ’ the Greek word apostolos meaning a delegate, one sent with full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of Christians, it means God sends them to do what He, Himself would do if He went.

‘Precious’ [Greek: isotimos] equal honour. It refers to valuable and costly faith; faith of a great price.

‘Righteousness of God’ the true and costly faith comes through the righteousness of God and Jesus Christ, or through their method of redemption of the lost world (Rom. 10:17).

‘And our Saviour Jesus Christ’ the Greek reads, “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Peter thus declares that Jesus is God as much as the Father and the Holy Spirit.

‘Jesus our Lord’ ten things about Jesus Christ: Peter’s Master – servant of Christ (1:2); made Peter an apostle (Mark 3:14-19); source of precious faith (Acts 3:16); source of righteousness (1Cor. 1:30); He is God (John 1:1-2); He is Saviour (John 4:42; Acts 5:31); source of grace (John 1:16-17); source of peace (Rom. 5:1; Eph. 2:14); associated with God the Father as the source of knowledge (Eph. 1:1-23;17; 4:13); a separate person from God the Father (1:2; 1Jn. 5:7).

‘Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord’ as our knowledge of the Father and Son increases when we study the Word (Php. 1:9) our relationship grows and so the blessings we receive from the gospel which includes grace and peace. To be kept in continued grace we have to live and walk in the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:5; 16-26; Col. 3:5-10); be patient in hope (Rom. 8:24; Gal. 5:5; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 6:19); continue in Christ (John 15:1-8; Gal. 5:6; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 3:14), and continue in faith (Gal. 5:6; Col. 1:23). To have the peace of God one must be in Christ Jesus, which means to be in unity with Him and of one mind with His Word. We must permit the peace of God to garrison or keep your heart and mind through Jesus Christ (Php. 4:7) without allowing the cares of this world to consume our hearts and minds.