Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter)

The full title, “Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” appears only in 2 Peter, once per chapter (1:11; 2:20: 3:18), each time in a theologically rich setting.

The three chapters probably have a chiastic feature, where the middle element received the emphasis:

A  Call to Christian Growth (chap. 1)
X  Warning Against False teachers (chap. 2)
A’  Call to End-time Ethics (chap. 3)

1. Richness of Entry into Heaven (2 Peter 1:11)

“For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you” (NET).

The richness of our entry into the eternal kingdom is indicated by the full title of Christ. The majesty and fullness of Christ are the source of our rich provision.

The all-out effort of growing in the virtues of Christ here (1:5-10) will receive their rich reward of perfect habitation with the Lord.

The reality of that glorious state is proven by the glorious revelation of Jesus’ nature while on earth, at the transfiguration (1:12-21).

2. The Horror of Abandoning Christ (2 Peter 2:20)

“For if after they have escaped the filthy things of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they again get entangled in them and succumb to them, their last state has become worse for them than their first” (NET).

By using the Lord’s full title and name in 2 Peter 2:20, the apostle appears to draw the strongest contrast possible between the richness of knowing him and the horrid state of entanglement in the world and abandonment of his blessed name.

The second chapter details a long description of the false teachers. All their ungodliness and evil is outshone by this singular and full title.

Peter then uses two comparisons, of the washed pig returning to the mud, and the dog returning to his vomit. But the true horror of the picture lies in the full force of that title which denotes the richness of knowing him.

3. Multiple Motivations to Growth (2 Peter 3:18)

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.”

What better motivation for a Christian in his growth that to remind him of everything that Jesus is and does! The full title sums up that fullness of Christ to which the Christian has complete access.

Grace depicts their lifestyle before the ungodliness of the false teachers, knowledge their understanding of Christ and his will in face of the deliberate twisting of truth by “blatant scoffers.”

This third use of the full title comes at the end of the letter, the crescendo of a call to Christian growth (chap.1) and end-time ethics (chap. 3) in the midst of doctrinal and moral failure (chap. 2).

The title comes in the middle of this ending, with a warning (v. 17), an exhoration (v. 18a) and a doxology (v. 18b).

Conclusion

Remembering all that Jesus is and does will keep us encouraged in spite of false teachers among us.

How apt for us today this call, as we face more and more false teachers among us.

What do you think?