His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life. 2 Peter 1:3
A 1972 study known as the “marshmallow test” was developed to gauge children’s ability to delay gratification of their desires. The kids were each offered a single marshmallow to enjoy but were told if they could refrain from eating it for ten minutes, they’d be given a second one. About a third of the children were able to hold out for the larger reward. Another third gobbled it up within thirty seconds!
We might struggle to show self-control when offered something we desire, even if we know it would benefit us more in the future to wait. Yet Peter urged us to “add to [our] faith” many important virtues, including self-control (2 Peter 1:5–6). Having laid hold of faith in Jesus, Peter encouraged his readers, and us, to continue to grow in goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, affection, and love “in increasing measure” as evidence of that faith (vv. 5–8).
While these virtues don’t earn us God’s favor nor secure our place in heaven, they demonstrate—to ourselves as well as to all those with whom we interact—our need to exercise self-control as God provides the wisdom and strength to do so. And, best of all, He’s “given us everything we need [to live] a godly life,” one that pleases Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit (v. 3).
In whom do you observe Christlike qualities? How might you cultivate those qualities in your own life as God provides what you need?
Holy Spirit, please grow in me the qualities that reflect Jesus so I might reveal Your goodness to the world around me.
We have little explicit background on the letter of 2 Peter. J. Daryl Charles, writing in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, says: “The absence of names and places renders it difficult to be conclusive about the identity of the recipients of 2 Peter and the context out of which the letter arose. While the provenance and destination of the letter elude any certainty, numerous textual indicators point to a particular social location in which the readership finds itself, making it likely that the letter is addressed to Christians in Greece or Asia Minor, where Paul’s letters had already circulated (3:15–16).” The general agreement among conservative scholars is that Peter wrote the letter from Rome prior to his death, which was anticipated in chapter 1 (v. 15). Second Peter focuses on several themes, including spiritual growth (1:4–8), Christ’s transfiguration (vv. 16–18), false teachers (ch. 2), and the coming day of the Lord (3:3–10).