Life-Study of 2 Peterby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we shall consider 3:13-18. In verse 13 we have the expectation of the new heavens and the new earth filled with God’s righteousness; in 14 to 16, the preparation for the coming judgment; and in 17 and 18, the conclusion, where we are told to be on guard and grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord.
In 3:13 Peter says, “But according to His promise we are expecting new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.” The Greek word rendered “dwells” may also be translated “makes its home.” Because this Epistle is on the government of God, eventually it tells us that there will be a new universe where righteousness will dwell. This indicates that everything will be altogether under God’s government. Nothing will be wrong; nothing will be unjust or unrighteous. Thus, there will be no need for any further governmental judgment of God.
After all the material things are dissolved, God’s promise as His everlasting word will still exist for His redeemed people to trust in and stand upon, with the expectation of a new universe. We should not set our hope on the visible elements, but on what the word of God promises as our destiny, that is, the new heavens and a new earth, which have not yet come into our view.
The new heavens and new earth will be the old heavens and old earth renewed and transformed through the burning of God’s judging fire, just as the new man is our old man renewed and transformed (Col. 3:9-10; 2 Cor. 3:18).
Righteousness is the main factor based upon which God’s governmental judgment is meted out to all creatures in His old creation. Hence, in these two books concerning God’s government this matter is stressed repeatedly (1 Pet. 2:23, 24; 3:12, 14; 4:18; 2 Pet. 1:1; 2:5, 7-8, 21; 3:13). The main thing we see in John’s writings is God’s love expressed in His life; in Paul’s writings, God’s grace distributed in His dispensation; and in Peter’s writings, God’s righteousness maintained in His government. God’s life, dispensation, and government are the basic structures of the ministry of these three apostles. Life is of love, dispensation is by grace, and government is based upon righteousness. This righteousness will dwell in the new heavens and earth and it will saturate God’s new universe prevailingly to maintain it absolutely under God’s righteous order, so that there will be no need ever of any further judgment.
In verse 14 Peter goes on to say, “Wherefore, beloved, since you expect these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and without blemish.” To be found by the Lord in peace is to be found right in His eyes with both God and man at His coming. Peace is the fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11; Isa. 32:17). Because this book emphasizes righteousness for God’s governmental dealing, it charges the believers who are walking in the way of righteousness (2:21) to pursue peace (Heb. 12:14), so that they may be prepared for the Lord’s coming with judgment. In 4:14 Peter exhorts us to be found by the Lord in peace “without spot and without blemish.” The heretics, who forsake the straight way and follow the way of unrighteousness (2:15), are spots and blemishes among the believers (2:13). But the believers, who are pursuing peace as the fruit of righteousness in God’s government, should be without spot and without blemish, like the Lord, who is the Lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Pet. 1:19).
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