Life-Study of 1, 2, & 3 John, Judeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message I would like to give a further word concerning the central thought of the Epistles of Peter and Jude.
It is very surprising, even astounding, that an uneducated fisherman from Galilee such as Peter could write the two Epistles of 1 and 2 Peter. In his writings Peter embraces all the matters of God’s eternal economy, the same matters that Paul covers in his Epistles. Paul, of course, was highly educated. He had been trained in the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and he also had been educated in Greek and Roman culture. Peter, however, did not have this learning. Nevertheless, he wrote his two Epistles in a marvelous way.
Peter even used certain terms and expressions that Paul did not use. For example, Peter speaks about being partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). This profound expression cannot be found in the writings of Paul. Not only does Peter use deep and profound expressions, but in his Epistles he also covers a number of significant details. In quantity Peter wrote much less than Paul wrote, but in certain points he may be richer than Paul. Therefore, we need to spend adequate time to study the two Epistles of Peter to see the crucial points and the details.
The first basic matter covered by Peter in his writings is the Triune God. Peter indicates that the God in whom we believe is the Triune God. In the opening words of Peter’s first Epistle we can see the Triune God: “According to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ” (v. 2). Here we have the foreknowledge of God the Father, the sanctification of the Spirit, and the obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. God the Father has regenerated us (1 Pet. 1:3), Christ has accomplished redemption with His precious blood, and the Spirit applies God’s full salvation to His chosen people. Here we see the Triune God in the accomplishment of full salvation.
Peter also unveils to us the fact that this Triune God is our portion. This fact is indicated by the word “partakers” in 2 Peter 1:4. According to this verse, we have become partakers of the divine nature. This indicates that the Triune God is now our portion. If God were not our portion, we could not partake of His nature.
In his writings Peter also reveals the way for us to partake of the Triune God as our portion. The way involves the hidden man of the heart, and this hidden man is our spirit (1 Pet. 3:4). In his Epistles Paul has much to say concerning our spirit, but he does not use the expression “the hidden man of the heart.” This hidden man, our human spirit, is the means by which we enjoy the Triune God as our portion.
Although Peter speaks of God’s Spirit only a few times, his terminology is marvelous. In 1 Peter 4:14 he says, “If you are reproached in the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.” Literally, the Greek here means “the Spirit of glory and that of God.” The Spirit of glory is the Spirit of God. Peter also speaks concerning the Spirit of Christ (1 Pet. 1:11). Our human spirit as the hidden man of the heart and God’s Spirit as the Spirit of glory and as the Spirit of Christ are the means for us to partake of God as our portion.
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