2 Peter 1:1-2
1Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
Although 2 Peter is often overlooked and lacks the celebrity of more prominent New Testament books, it boldly confesses Christ as the Savior who will keep the readers safe until His second coming. These books confess such truth in the midst of attacks by false teachers who attempt to legitimize aberrant behavior and teaching under the umbrella of Christianity. 2 Peter and Jude paint these opponents as fulfillments of OT evil archetypes; like their predecessors, these enemies of Christ will suffer severe judgment, while the church will receive eternal blessing.
Giese, C. P. ©2012. 2 Peter and Jude. (p. 3). Saint Louis, MO: CPH.
While 1 Peter contained a great deal of focus on the Christian’s response to suffering, 2 Peter pursues the suffering that is brought into the Christian community through false teaching. 2 Peter heavily employs Old Testament images and historical record, implying that the recipients have a thorough knowledge of the Old Testament.
St. Peter writes to his recipients because certain false teachers are endangering the Christian community by their detrimental doctrine and lifestyle. These apostates apparently originated from within the community rather than from the outside, as did the heretics who had infiltrated the church of Jude’s readers. Although once adherents of apostolic Christianity, they have now become heinous apostates. The major tenet of their aberrant teaching involves denial of Christ’s second coming and the subsequent judgment. They base their arguments upon the anecdotal evidence that nothing seems to have changed since creation; they infer, therefore, that nothing will change in the future. Since they view God as untrustworthy, they claim that his revelation in the OT is unreliable and, moreover, that the apostles have fabricated the NT message. In the context of apparent divine inactivity and ineffectiveness, they reject the Lord who bought them. However, this rejection will result in their eternal demise.
Giese, C. P. ©2012). 2 Peter and Jude. (pp. 12–13). Saint Louis, MO: CPH.
Verse one is familiar to any Bible student, as the Epistles all begin with the name of the sender. Here, Peter uses both his Hebrew and Greek names and in so doing identifies himself with all people, Jew and Gentile. Simeon connects him solidly to the Old Testament and the Jewish people and was the name given him by his parents. Peter is the name given him by Christ and means “rock”. Peter then further identifies himself as a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. By calling himself “servant, he is lumped in with numerous Old Testament heroes, such as Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and King David. In the New Testament, we find that Jesus Himself takes on the title and role of servant. That is not lost on Peter. Peter also calls himself apostle. This is a claim to authority, which Peter deserves. Jesus Himself created the role of Apostle and Peter was set as leader of that group. Jesus also left His own authority with the members of that group upon His Ascension. Peter has a right to this title and as such, his readers should take heed of his words. This is not an act of hubris. It is reality.
We may find that his short book of the Bible is more strident than others and that will be a good thing. Our culture doesn’t really care for that stance, but neither do I care about that sensibility. It’s okay to stand up once in a while for the Word.