In 1 Peter 2:6-7 we read, “Behold I lay in Zion, a Chief Cornerstone, elect and precious. And he who believes in Him will by no means be put to shame. Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious, but to those who are disobedient, (He is) the stone which the builders rejected. (He has) become the chief cornerstone.” NKJV
Is Christ precious to you?
Do you value Him above all others?
Do you value Him before anyone or anything else?
“The good people of Central Congregational Church in Topeka, Kansas, could never have imagined their pastor doing such a thing. Dressed as a tramp, Pastor Charles had spent the week wandering the streets of Topeka, his tattered coat offering little warmth against the cutting wind. His thin-soled shoes pounded the icy sidewalks. From store to store he had gone, seeking work and asking for help during the blizzard. For almost a week, he drifted through the streets, seeking a kind word. He spied several of his parishioners, but they didn’t recognize him. Finally, he found a job shoveling coal for fifty cents a day.
The next Sunday, imagine the surprise on the faces of his listeners as he described his adventures and challenged them to begin walking as Jesus had walked. He wanted them to exhibit the compassion of Christ.
Out of his experiences, Pastor Charles Sheldon wrote one of history’s best-selling Christian novels, “In His Steps,’ published in 1896. This book posed the famous question, “What Would Jesus Do?”
Peter tells us: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (2:21) Every Christian must ask these questions: Where is your daily walk heading? Are you in step with Jesus?”
We are called to live lives of MORAL EXCELLENCE
In 2 Peter 1:3-7 we read “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need to live a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the One who called us to himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence. And, because of His glory and excellence, He has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable us to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.”
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patience, endurance, and, patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection and brotherly affection with love for everyone.”
Peter says that God has given us “great and precious promises that enable you (us) to share His divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.” (vs. 4)
What are some of those promises?
1. Forgiveness for sinners. John 3:16
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
2. Strength for the powerless. Isaiah 40:29
“He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.”
3. Blessings for the godly. Psalm 5:12
“For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love.”
4. Comfort for the mourning. Rev. 21:4
“ He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
5. Power for the weak. 2 Cor. 12:9
“Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
6. Hope for the dying. Rev. 14:13
“And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this down: Blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on. Yes, says the Spirit, they are blessed indeed, for they will rest from their hard work; for their good deeds follow them!”
7. His presence in threatening situations. Hebrews 13:6
“So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”
8. Resurrection after death. John 11:25-26
“Jesus told her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?’”
9. Eternal life in heaven. 1 Peter 1:4
“…and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
Let’s compare several translations of 2 Peter 1:5:
· “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge.” NIV
· “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue and virtue with knowledge.” ESV
· “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” KJV
· “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence knowledge.” NASB
· “In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge.” NLT
· “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge.” CSB
Peter probably wrote this letter from Rome not too long before his martyrdom, sometime between 64-67 AD.
We believe he wrote it during a time of persecution by Rome, while Peter himself was in a Roman prison awaiting his imminent execution.
2 Peter 1:12-15
“Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.”
Note: 2 Peter teaches that the grace of God in Christ truly transforms and empowers Christians to live righteously, even in the face of persecution.
Moral Excellence Defined:
It means the pursuit of the moral will of God in every area of life. This includes values, attitudes, actions, priorities, goals, etc. It is the quest of God’s will in all of life’s aspects.
Note: At conversion, we have received a new nature. We are joined to Christ by faith. Peter is stressing the importance for Christians to grow in their knowledge of Christ.
We are called to a life of moral goodness:
Acts 3:12 “Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. “People of Israel,” he said, “What is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we made this man walk by our own power or godliness?”
1 Timothy 2:2 “Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”
1 Timothy 4:7-8 “Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and the life to come.”
1 Timothy 6:11 “But you Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.”
2 Peter 1:10-11 “So dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Note: Virtue or moral excellence has its beginning by trusting in God and placing your full weight on the worthiness and reliability of God’s word.”
· We are called by the way we live, to exhibit, show forth, and demonstrate the excellence of Jesus Christ, who has called us out of darkness into marvelous light.