In his first epistle, Peter is equipping his readers for the persecution that will soon be upon them. In this letter, he is equipping his readers to deal with the problem of licentious false teachers.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:3–8).
Summary of the Text:
The apostle is here preparing his readers to withstand the blandishments of false teachers, emissaries of sexual license, who are willing to offer sexual bribes to gain and keep followers. But Peter knows that preparation to deal with this kind of thing must be a wall of virtue. It will insufficient simply to know that something “is bad on paper.” If we only have that kind of knowledge, when the assault comes, we will see something very much like what we have seen in our culture over the last ten years. Everything falls apart with extraordinary rapidity.