What Manner Of Persons Ought We To Be?
2 Peter 1:5-11
The second epistle of Peter is filled with rich reminders throughout the letter. For example, in 2 Peter 1:5-11, Peter emphasizes certain truths that are essential to spiritual growth. He then continues in verses 12-15 telling them why they should remember such things. First, the apostle says that he thinks it is right as long as he is living to remind them of such things (2 Pet. 1:12). Second, he states that he will soon depart in death and he will no longer have the opportunity to remind them personally (2 Pet. 1:14). Third, Peter hopes that even after his death, his readers would be able to call these truths to remembrance (2 Pet. 1:15).
The battle-worn apostle closes his second epistle by reminding his readers what type of persons they ought to be. After discussing the destruction of all material things, Peter writes, "Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be..." (2 Pet. 3:11). This is an excellent question for every Christian to consider. Peter does not leave us guessing as to what manner of people we ought to be. He has already written that we have "escaped from the corruption that is in the world" (2 Peter 1:4). He has established the fact that the child of God is "bringing in" various characteristics "along side" their faith (2 Pet. 1:5-7). Therefore, it should be no surprise when Peter states that we should "give diligence that" we "may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight" (2 Pet. 3:14). This is the answer to the question "what manner of persons ought ye to be?" Let us take a closer look at each aspect of Peter's answer.
People of Peace
God desires for His people to be people of peace. The thought here is that Christians are people who are in harmony with the will of God. When we submit and obey God the result will be peace with Him. The apostle Paul makes a contribution to our study when he states that Christ "came and preached peace to you that were far off..." (Eph. 2:17). We were once "far off" and separated from God because of our sins. We lived in harmony with what we thought was right in our own sight. Paul explains this as walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, and living in the lusts of our flesh (Eph. 2:2-3). Through Jesus Christ, however, we are brought nigh to God through His blood (Eph. 2:13). A mighty transformation takes place when the old man of sin is buried in baptism. The old man dies and a new man comes forth to walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4). This "newness" of life is a result of people who now live in harmony with the will of God. The careful student will observe that this must be a constant process. We must live in harmony with the will of God in order to be pleasing unto Him. This is the type of person God would have us to be.
People Without Spot
God also desires that we are to be without spot. It is interesting that Peter characterized those who are opposed to Christ as having "spots" and "blemishes" (2 Pet. 2:13). They are individuals that have been stained due to their rebellion against Christ. In total contrast to these soiled teachers who "walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement" (2 Pet. 2:10) stands the Christ, whom Peter describes as "without spot" (1 Pet. 1:19). Jesus lived a perfect life of holiness and we are told to follow His example. In 1 Peter 2:21-23, Peter states, "For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously." How can we live without spot? The word of God instructs us to follow the example of Jesus and commit ourselves to God. We sin when we fail to follow the supreme example of Christ. When we do sin it is important that we repent and begin following His example again. Let us make the all important decision to forsake the ways of sin and live lives without spot.
People Without Blame In His Sight
What will be the result of living in harmony with the will of God and living spotless lives? Peter states that we will be "blameless in his sight" (2 Pet. 3:14). This is our goal. We want to be right in the sight of God. The good news is that the Bible reveals how we can accomplish this goal. We do not have to guess. We do not have to submit to human wisdom. We must simply listen to God's word as He tells us what we must do to be blameless in His sight.
The lifestyle that God desires of us does not come easy for some. It takes diligence (2 Pet. 3:14; 1:10). As we are diligent in our holy and godly living the fruit that is produced is glory, honor, and praise toward God and Christ. The question of the hour is "what manner of person are you?"
By Jay Taylor
From Expository Files 12.8; August 2005