2 Peter 1:1, 2
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…
I. ADDRESS. "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ." Peter seems to class himself with Jewish Christians in the personal designation "Simon," or, more probably, "Simeon Peter." His official designation is first (generally) a servant of Jesus Christ, and then (particularly) an apostle of Jesus Christ. The readers are designated, not with reference to locality (as in the First Epistle), but simply with reference to their Christian position. Peter writes on this occasion "to them that have obtained " - by lot, the idea is, i.e., not in their own power or of their own right (thus corresponding to "the elect" of the First Epistle). What they have obtained is faith, by which we should understand, not "the things believed," but the "subjective disposition of faith;" for it is faith in this sense that is the gracious possession proceeded upon in verse 5. It is a precious faith, both in the mysteries which are the object of it (centering in the Incarnation), and in the blessings which are appropriated by it (beginning with forgiveness of sins). It is "a like precious faith with us" that they have obtained. If Peter classes himself with Jewish Christians (as he seems to do in taking the designation Simeon), then it is the Gentile Christians who have a like precious faith with the Jewish, and it is they who are directly addressed in the Epistle, though Jewish Christians are included among the readers. This equal dealing is ascribed to "the righteousness of our God." This is in keeping with 1 Peter 1:17, and also with the sentiment uttered by Peter in connection with the admission of the Gentiles, as given in Acts 10:34 and Acts 15:9. The equal dealing is also ascribed to the righteousness of "our Saviour Jesus Christ" (who could not in this and in other places be so closely associated with God without being himself God). Jesus Christ is here regarded as the manifestation and demonstration of the impartiality of God: inasmuch as Saviour, he is Saviour for Gentiles and Jews, without any difference.
II. SALUTATION. "Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord." By grace we are not to understand the attribute of graciousness, but rather the outgoing of graciousness as experienced by us. Peace is the result of the consciousness that we are not dealt with according to our own merit, but according to the merit of Another. Grace and peace are already enjoyed: what Peter wishes is their multiplication, for which there is room in the best. He looks for this multiplication in a particular way, viz. that of knowledge. It is the word which means appreciative, mature knowledge. It is a characteristic word of the Epistle. In view of the place that was afterward to be claimed for a false gnosis (insight into transcendental mysteries), it was well that Paul and Peter taught beforehand the place that was to be given to epignosis (with regard to which there is no mystification). Peter teaches here that grace and peace are only to be multiplied as an advance in Divine knowledge - the knowledge of God and of Jesus (thus again closely associated) as the manifestation of God. When we get to know bow gracious God is in Jesus, our peace is doubled, trebled, quadrupled. Peter thinks specially of a peace resulting from the fact that God has made Jesus our Lord, thus able to control all circumstances and influences that affect us. The thought of this Lordship is carried forward into the next verse, from which this is not properly dissociated. - R.F.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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: