on 2-peter 3 :18
But grow in grace - Increase in the image and favor of God; every grace and Divine influence which ye have received is a seed, a heavenly seed, which, if it be watered with the dew of heaven from above, will endlessly increase and multiply itself. He who continues to believe, love, and obey, will grow in grace, and continually increase in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, as his sacrifice, sanctifier, counsellor, preserver, and final Savior. The life of a Christian is a growth; he is at first born of God, and is a little child; becomes a young man, and a father in Christ. Every father was once an infant; and had he not grown, he would have never been a man. Those who content themselves with the grace they received when converted to God, are, at best, in a continual state of infancy: but we find, in the order of nature, that the infant that does not grow, and grow daily, too, is sickly and soon dies; so, in the order of grace, those who do not grow up into Jesus Christ are sickly, and will soon die, die to all sense and influence of heavenly things.
There are many who boast of the grace of their conversion; persons who were never more than babes, and have long since lost even that grace, because they did not grow in it. Let him that readeth understand.
To him - The Lord Jesus, be glory - all honor and excellency attributed, both now - in this present state, and for ever, εις ἡμεραν αιωνος, to the day of eternity - that in which death, and misery, and trial, and darkness, and change, and time itself, are to the righteous for ever at an end: it is eternity; and this eternity is one unalterable, interminable, unclouded, and unchangeable Day!
Amen - So let it be! and so it shall be! Though this word is wanting in some reputable MSS., get it should be retained, as it has here more than usual authority in its support.
Subscriptions to this epistle in the Versions:
The end of the Second Epistle of Peter the apostle. - Syriac.
The Second Epistle of Peter the apostle is ended. - Syriac Philoxenian.
Nothing in the printed Vulgate.
The end of the epistles of blessed Peter the apostle, the rock of the faith. - Arabic.
The Second Epistle of Peter is ended; and glory be to God for ever and ever! - Aethiopic.
Nothing in the Coptic.
The end of the Second catholic Epistle of St. Peter. - Complutensian Polyglot.
The end of the Second Epistle of St. Peter. - Bib. Lat., edit. antiq.
Subscriptions in the Manuscripts;
on 2-peter 3 :18
But grow in grace - Compare Colossians 1:10. Religion in general is often represented as "grace," since every part of it is the result of grace, or of unmerited favor; and to "grow in grace" is to increase in that which constitutes true religion. Religion is as susceptible of cultivation and of growth as any other virtue of the soul. It is feeble in its beginnings, like the grain of mustard seed, or like the germ or blade of the plant, and it increases as it is cultivated. There is no piety in the world which is not the result of cultivation, and which cannot be measured by the degree of care and attention bestowed upon it. No one becomes eminently pious, any more than one becomes eminently learned or rich, who does not intend to; and ordinarily men in religion are what they design to be. They have about as much religion as they wish, and possess about the character which they intend to possess. When men reach extraordinary elevations in religion, like Baxter, Payson, and Edwards, they have gained only what they meant to gain; and the gay and worldly professors of religion who have little comfort and peace, have in fact the characters which they designed to have. If these things are so, then we may see the propriety of the injunction "to grow in grace;" and then too we may see the reason why so feeble attainments are made in piety by the great mass of those who profess religion.
And in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ - See the notes at John 17:3. Compare the notes at Colossians 1:10. To know the Lord Jesus Christ - to possess just views of his person, character, and work - is the sum and essence of the Christian religion; and with this injunction, therefore, the apostle appropriately closes this epistle. He who has a saving knowledge of Christ, has in tact all that is essential to his welfare in the life that is, and in that which is to come; he who has not this knowledge, though he may be distinguished in the learning of the schools, and may be profoundly skilled in the sciences, has in reality no knowledge that will avail him in the great matters pertaining to his eternal welfare.
To him be glory ... - Compare the Romans 16:27 note; 2 Timothy 4:18 note. With the desire that honor and glory should be rendered to the Redeemer, all the aspirations of true Christians appropriately close. There is no wish more deeply cherished in their hearts than this; there is nothing that will enter more into their worship in heaven. Compare Revelation 1:5-6; Revelation 5:12-13.
on 2-peter 3 :18
3:18 But grow in grace - That is, in every Christian temper. There may be, for a time, grace without growth; as there may be natural life without growth. But such sickly life, of soul or body, will end in death, and every day draw nigher to it. Health is the means of both natural and spiritual growth. If the remaining evil of our fallen nature be not daily mortified, it will, like an evil humour in the body, destroy the whole man. But if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, (only so far as we do this,) ye shall live the life of faith, holiness, happiness. The end and design of grace being purchased and bestowed on us, is to destroy the image of the earthy, and restore us to that of the heavenly. And so far as it does this, it truly profits us; and also makes way for more of the heavenly gift, that we may at last be filled with all the fulness of God. The strength and well - being of a Christian depend on what his soul feeds on, as the health of the body depends on whatever we make our daily food. If we feed on what is according to our nature, we grow; if not, we pine away and die. The soul is of the nature of God, and nothing but what is according to his holiness can agree with it. Sin, of every kind, starves the soul, and makes it consume away. Let us not try to invert the order of God in his new creation: we shall only deceive ourselves. It is easy to forsake the will of God, and follow our own; but this will bring leanness into the soul. It is easy to satisfy ourselves without being possessed of the holiness and happiness of the gospel. It is easy to call these frames and feelings, and then to oppose faith to one and Christ to the other. Frames (allowing the expression) are no other than heavenly tempers, the mind that was in Christ. Feelings are the divine consolations of the Holy Ghost shed abroad in the heart of him that truly believes. And wherever faith is, and wherever Christ is, there are these blessed frames and feelings. If they are not in us, it is a sure sign that though the wilderness became a pool, the pool is become a wilderness again. And in the knowledge of Christ - That is, in faith, the root of all. To him be the glory to the day of eternity - An expression naturally flowing from that sense which the apostle had felt in his soul throughout this whole chapter . Eternity is a day without night, without interruption, without end.