Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Later New Testament Epistles"
2 Peter


Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible




    1. Demand for diligence l-5a
      Verse 4 is generally misinterpreted. Peter is saying that God has given us great promises in Christ Jesus and in proportion as we act upon them and appropriate them we shall become God-like; as we lay hold of them we partake .of the divine nature.

    2. Scope for diligence 5b-7
      This is seen in what we may become as Christians. Do not be satisfied with being "just a Christian." ADD! The Christian life begins in faith (5) and ends in love (7). Add to faith, virtue (moral virility, energy, manliness, courage). Add to virtue, knowledge (swift and shrewd perception of Christian duty). Add to knowledge, temperance (self-control, i.e., reason's girdle as well as passion's bridle).

      Add to self-control, patience (endurance, perseverance, steadfastness). Add to patience, godliness (practical religion, taking God into the whole life. He dominates our whole outlook.). Add to godliness, brotherly kindness ("Philadelphia, " a Christian's love for all Christians. If we really love the Lord, we will love His family, 1 John 5:1; 3:14a.). Add to brotherly kindness, love (i.e., love for all men, compassion for the lost).

    3. Reasons for diligence 8-11
      There is a need to add; do not be a Christian pauper. Be a rich Christian, rich in Christian graces. We cannot skip from faith to love anymore than we could skip from the 2nd floor to the 6th.

      1. Encouragement and warning 8-9
        v.8 - If you abound in these things, you shall not be unfruitful.
        v. 9 - If you have forgotten, you had better wake up and do something about it.

      2. Exhortation and assurance 10-11


    1. Remembrance 12-15
      Sanctify your memory! Keep green the remembrance of places and occasions where God gave you a vision of His glory!

    2. Transfiguration 16-18
      "We saw and we heard, therefore we are witnesses." They saw Him as He will come again. This was a miniature of His Second Coming in power and glory.

    3. Prophecy 19-21
      "More sure word of prophecy" = "the word of prophecy made yet more sure" (Centenary).

      "Private interpretation" = "of its own origination." It was not originated by the will of man; "holy men of old spake as they were moved (carried along) by the Holy Ghost" (as by a mighty wind). The word for Spirit is literally "wind," so the picture is of a vessel carried forward under full sail. Thus they were men filled and impelled by the Holy Spirit.


    1. The presence of false teachers in the Church prophesied 1-9

      1. The prophetic statements 1-3
        These teachers will deny redemption by the blood; many will follow them to their doom.

      2. The three illustrations of the certainty of divine judgment 4-8
        First example:        angels that sinned.
        Second example:  spared not the old world (Noah's day).
        Third example:       cities of Sodom and Gomorrah

      3. The application 9
        Why a recital of all these cases? To show that the "Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations and how to judge the ungodly"!

    2. The characteristic marks of false teachers 10-19

      1. The two charges against them 10a-b
        (cp. those of the three illustrations in verses 4-8 with details in Jude 1:5-16)
        They walk after the flesh 10a They speak presumptuously of authority (free thought) 10b

      2. The details of the charges 10c-19
        They speak presumptuously of authority (free thought) 10c-13a (Though angels, who are greater, would not dare. Gnosticism and Arianism are early representatives of the present age and reign of reason, etc.)
        They walk after the flesh 13b-19

        1. They are a disgrace to Christ and the Church 13b

        2. They are proud of themselves, hence self-deceived (hypnotized with their own cleverness) 13c

        3. They are worldly-minded and lovers of this world (]as. 4:4) 14a

        4. They are perpetual sinners 14b

        5. They are deceivers 14c

        6. They are money-lovers 14d

        7. They are doomed 14e

        8. They are like Balaam, who sold his soul, though warned of God 15-16

        9. They are destitute of the Spirit 17

        10. They lure through learned words 18

        11. They promise freedom but make their followers slaves of passion 19

    3. The doom of false teachers 20-22
      This is one of the most solemn passages in the whole Bible. It would be better never to have heard the truth at all, for apostasy is always a turning from known truth. Those spoken of here have had an out­ward union with the people of God. But these individuals have never been regenerated.

      The proof is in the fact that true believers are spoken of as sheep. They would never be called "dogs" or "swine" (22). Their true nature comes out. They are still "natural brute beasts" (12). To change the figure, water cannot rise above its source.


    1. The advent truth assailed 1-4
      This is what the prophets, Christ, and His apostles have spoken! How can we forget it? Yet, the Church has! But Christ will come whether men believe it or not.

    2. The advent truth attested 5-10

      1. Refutation of skeptics 5-7
        Verse 6 refers to the world of Genesis 1:1-2, not the flood.

      2. Explanation 8-10
        This explanation consists in a statement of God's relationship to three important factors:

        1. His relation to time 8
          No time trouble with God. Delay is not a delusion. God does not count time as we do. There is no passage of time with Him. All is eternally present to Him,

        2. His relation to men 9
          One of long-suffering.

        3. His relation to evil 10
          Listen to the crash of a dying world.

          The apostle does not say the elements will melt AT the beginning of the Day of the Lord, but "in the which"; that is, as the Day of the LORD runs out its course at the end of the 1000 year reign. This merges with the Day of God (12).

    3. The advent truth applied 3:11-18

      1. Hope and duty are related ll-15a

      2. The harmony of apostolic testimony affirmed 15b-16

      3. Final warning, exhortation, and doxology 17-18


        1:1-3 "Grow in knowledge ... to his (and our) glory"
          1:4-11 "Add the graces of the Divine nature"
            1:12-21 Prophecy (of our Lord's return)
              2:1-6 False teachers deny Word of God
                2:7-8 Lot godly in ungodly times
                  2:9 God can deliver His own
                    2:10a-d "self-willed"
                      2:10e-11 speak evil of dignities
                        2:12a natural brute beasts
                          2:12b-13a receive reward ... perish
                            2:13b-14b unclean
                              2:14c deceptive
                                2:14d covetous practices
                                  2:14e They are "cursed children,"
        We are to be growing children bringing glory to God, 3:18
                                2:15-16 wages of unrighteousness
                              2:17-18 great swelling words
                            2:19-20a servants of corruption
                          2:10b-21 profane judged
                        2:22 sows ... dogs
                      3:1-4 scoffers
                    3:5-9 "willingly ignorant"
                  3:10-13 we look beyond judgment to deliverance
                3:14-15 we godly in ungodly times
              3:16 the unstable wrest the Scripture
            3:17 "ye know before"
          3:18a "Grow in grace"
        3:18b "Grow in knowledge and glory



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