1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.
Listen to Pastor Roy’s Sermon Audio regarding this Commentary by clicking here
As to the exact day and hour of His Second Advent, “no one knows”. This should warn against the temptation to set dates or to believe those who do. We are not surprised that angels do not know; they are finite creatures with limited knowledge.
At the close of chapter 1, Peter referred to the prophets of the OT as men who spoke, not by their own will, but as moved by the Holy Spirit. Now he mentions that in addition to the true prophets in the OT period, there were also false prophets. And just as there will be bona fide teachers in the Christian era, there will be false teachers as well.
These false teachers take their place inside the church. They pose as ministers of the gospel. This is what makes the peril so great. If they came right out and said they were atheists or agnostics, people would be on guard, But they are masters of deception. They carry the Bible and use orthodox expressions.
Peter predicts that they will attract a large following. They do this by scuttling the biblical standards of morality and encouraging the indulgence of the flesh.
False teachers are greedy. They have chosen the ministry as a lucrative profession. Their great aim is to build up a large following and thus to increase their income.
They exploit people with false words. Darby said, “The Devil is never more satanic than when he carries a Bible.” So these men, with Bible in hand, pose as ministers of righteousness, give out well-known evangelical hymns, and use scriptural expressions. But all this is camouflage for heretical teachings and corrupt morals.
The disciples of the Lord would often have occasion to wonder why they should have to endure ill treatment. If Jesus was the Messiah, why were His followers suffering instead of reigning? In verses 24 and 25, He anticipates their perplexity and answers it by reminding them of their relationship to Him. They were the disciples; He was their Teacher. They were servants; He was their Master. They were members of the household; He was the Master of the house. Discipleship means following the Teacher, not being superior to Him. The servant should not expect to be treated better than his Master. If men call the worthy Master of the house “Beelzebub” (“lord of flies,” an Ekronite god whose name was used by Jews for Satan), they will hurl even greater insults at the members of His household. Discipleship involves sharing the Master’s rejection.
Three times the Lord told His followers not to fear (vv. 26, 28, 31). First, they should not fear the seeming victory of their foes; His cause would be gloriously vindicated in a coming day. Up to now the gospel had been relatively covered and His teachings had been comparatively hidden. But soon the disciples must boldly proclaim the Christian message which up to this point had been told them in secret, that is privately.
Second, the disciples should not fear the murderous rage of men. The worst that men can do is kill the body. Physical death is not the supreme tragedy for the Christian. To die is to be with Christ and thus far better. It is deliverance from sin, sorrow, sickness, suffering, and death; and it is translation into eternal glory. So the worst men can do is, in a real sense, the best thing that can happen to the child of God.
In the midst of fiery trials, the disciples could be confident of God’s care. The same God who takes a personal interest in the tiny sparrow keeps an accurate count of the hairs of the head of each of His children. A strand of hair is of considerably less value than a sparrow. This shows that His people are of more value to Him than many sparrows, so why should they fear?
In view of the foregoing considerations, what is more reasonable than that the disciples of Christ should fearlessly confess Him before men? Any shame or reproach they might bear will be abundantly rewarded in heaven when the Lord Jesus confesses them before His Father. Confession of Christ here involves commitment to Him as Lord and Savior and the resulting acknowledgment of Him by life and by lips. In the case of most of the twelve, this led to the ultimate confession of the Lord in martyrdom.
Denial of Christ on earth will be repaid with denial before God in heaven. To deny Christ in this sense means to refuse to recognize His claims over one’s life. Those whose lives say, in effect, “I never knew You” will hear Him say at last, “I never knew you.” The Lord is not referring to a temporary denial of Him under pressure, as in Peter’s case, but to that kind of denial that is habitual and final.
He says He did not come to bring peace but a sword. Actually He did come to make peace (Eph. 2:14–17); He came that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:17). But the point here is that whenever individuals became His followers, their families would turn against them. A converted father would be opposed by his unbelieving son, a Christian mother by her unsaved daughter. A born again mother-in-law would be hated by her unregenerate daughter-in-law. So a choice must often be made between Christ and family. No ties of nature can be allowed to deflect a disciple from utter allegiance to the Lord. The Savior must take precedence over father, mother, son or daughter. One of the costs of discipleship is to experience tension, strife, and alienation from one’s own family. This hostility is often more bitter than is encountered in other areas of life.
But there is something even more apt to rob Christ of His rightful place than family—that is, the love of one’s own life. So Jesus added, “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” The cross, of course, was a means of execution. To take the cross and follow Christ means to live in such devoted abandonment to Him that even death itself is not too high a price to pay. Not all disciples are required to lay down their lives for the Lord, but all are called on to value Him so highly that they do not count their lives precious to themselves.
In looking at the words of Christ in the Gospels, we need to remember that three of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) present a fairly unified view of the events recorded, and are therefore referred to as the SYNOPTIC (meaning “one view) Gospels. John’s Gospel stands separately, and is mainly composed of material that is different from the others.
The Words Of Christ In Matthew (Part 1)
Matthew 3:13-15 13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan to be baptized by him. 14 And John tried to prevent Him, saying, “I need to be baptized by You, and are You coming to me?” 15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him. Continue Reading Here