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THE SECOND EPISTLE GENERAL OF PETER - Chapter 3 - Verse 15

Verse 15. And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation. Regard his delay in coming to judge the world, not as an evidence that he never will come, but as a proof of his desire that we should be saved. Many had drawn a different inference from the fact that: the Saviour did not return, and had supposed that it was a proof that he would never come, and that his promises had failed. Peter says that that conclusion was not authorized, but that we should rather regard it as an evidence of his mercy, and of his desire that we should be saved. This conclusion is as proper now as it was then. Wicked men should not infer, because God does not cut them down, that therefore they never will be punished, or that God is not faithful to his threatenings. They should rather regard it as a proof that he is willing to save them; for

(1.) he might justly cut them off for their sins;

(2.) the only reason of which we have knowledge why he spares the wicked is to give them space for repentance; and

(3.) as long as life is prolonged a sinner has the opportunity to repent, and may turn to God. We may therefore, in our own case, look on all the delays of God to punish—on all his patience and forbearance towards us, notwithstanding our sins and provocations—on the numberless tokens of his kindness scattered along our way, as evidence that he is not willing that we should perish. What an accumulated argument in any case would this afford of the willingness of God to save! Let any man look on his own sins, his pride, and selfishness, and sensuality; let him contemplate the fact that he has sinned through many years, and against many mercies; let him endeavour to estimate the number and magnitude of his offences, and upon God's patience in bearing with him while these have been committed, and who can overrate the force of such an argument in proof that God is slow to anger, and is willing to save? See Barnes "Ro 2:4".

 

Even as our beloved brother Paul also. From this reference to Paul the following things are clear:

(1.) that Peter was acquainted with his writings;

(2.) that he presumed that those to whom he wrote were also acquainted with them;

(3.) that Peter regarded Paul as a "beloved brother," notwithstanding the solemn rebuke which Paul had had occasion to administer to him, Ga 2:2, seq.;

(4.) that he regarded him as authority in inculcating the doctrines and duties of religion; and

(5.) that he regarded him as an inspired man, and his writings as a part of Divine truth. See Barnes "2 Pe 3:16".

That Peter has shown in his epistles that he was acquainted with the writings of Paul, has been abundantly proved by Eichhon, (Einleitung in das N. Tes. viii. 606, seq.,) and will be apparent by a comparison of the following passages: Eph 1:3, with 1 Pe 3:1; Col 3:8, with 1 Pe 2:1; Eph 5:22, with 1 Pe 3:1; Eph 5:21, with 1 Pe 5:5; 1 Th 5:6, with 1 Pe 5:8; 1 Co 16:20 with 1 Pe 5:14; Ro 8:18, with 1 Pe 5:1; Ro 4:24 with 1 Pe 1:21; Ro 13:1,3,4

with 1 Pe 2:13,14; 1 Ti 2:9, with 1 Pe 3:5. The writings of the apostles were doubtless extensively circulated; and one apostle, though himself inspired, could not but feel a deep interest in the writings of another. There would be cases also, as in the instance before us, in which one would wish to confirm his own sentiments by the acknowledged wisdom, experience, and authority of another.

According to the wisdom given unto him. Peter evidently did not mean to disparage that wisdom, or to express a doubt that Paul was endowed with wisdom; he meant undoubtedly that, in regard to Paul, the same thing was true which he would have affirmed of himself or of any other man, that whatever wisdom he had was to be traced to a higher than human origin. This would at the same time tend to secure more respect for the opinion of Paul than if he had said it was his own, and would keep up in the minds of those to whom he wrote a sense of the truth that all wisdom is from above. In reference to ourselves, to our friends, to our teachers, and to all men, it is proper to bear in remembrance the fact that all true wisdom is from the "Father of lights." Comp. See Barnes "Jas 1:6,17.

 

Hath written unto you. It is not necessary to suppose that Paul had written any epistles addressed specifically, and by name, to the persons to whom Peter wrote. It is rather to be supposed that the persons to whom Peter wrote (1 Pe 1:1) lived in the regions to which some of Paul's epistles were addressed, and that they might be regarded as addressed to them. The epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians were of this description, all addressed to churches in Asia Minor, and all, therefore, having reference to the same people to whom Peter addressed his epistles.

{b} "salvation" Ro 2:4

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