Leading and Living in God’s Flock
5 So as your fellow elder and a witness of Christ’s sufferings and as one who shares in the glory that will be revealed, I urge the elders among you: 2 Give a shepherd’s care to 1 God’s flock among you, exercising oversight 2 not merely as a duty 3 but willingly under God’s direction, 4 not for shameful profit but eagerly. 3 And do not lord it over 5 those entrusted to you, 6 but be examples to the flock. 4 Then 7 when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that never fades away.
5 In the same way, you who are younger, 8 be subject to the elders. And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. 9 6 And God will exalt you in due time, 10 if you humble yourselves under his mighty hand 11 7 by casting 12 all your cares 13 on him because he cares for you. 8 Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, 14 is on the prowl looking for someone 15 to devour. 9 Resist him, 16 strong in your faith, because you know 17 that your brothers and sisters 18 throughout the world 19 are enduring 20 the same kinds of suffering. 21 10 And, after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory in Christ 22 will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 23 11 To him belongs 24 the power forever. Amen.
12 Through Silvanus, 25 whom I know to be a faithful brother, 26 I have written to you briefly, in order to encourage you and testify 27 that this is the true grace of God. Stand fast in it. 28 13 The church 29 in Babylon, 30 chosen together with you, 31 greets you, and so does Mark, my son. 14 Greet one another with a loving kiss. 32 Peace to all of you who are in Christ. 33
1 From Simeon 1 Peter, 2 a slave 3 and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who through the righteousness of our God 4 and Savior, 5 Jesus Christ, have been granted 6 a faith just as precious 7 as ours. 2 May grace and peace be lavished on you 8 as you grow 9 in the rich knowledge 10 of God and of Jesus our Lord! 11
Believers’ Salvation and the Work of God
3 I can pray this because his divine power 12 has bestowed on us everything necessary 13 for life and godliness through the rich knowledge 14 of the one who called 15 us by 16 his own glory and excellence. 4 Through these things 17 he has bestowed on us his precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised 18 you may become partakers of the divine nature, 19 after escaping 20 the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire. 21 5 For this very reason, 22 make every effort 23 to add to your faith excellence, 24 to excellence, knowledge; 6 to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; 25 to perseverance, godliness; 7 to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish 26 love. 27 8 For if 28 these things are really yours 29 and are continually increasing, 30 they will keep you from becoming 31 ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of 32 knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. 33 9 But 34 concerning the one who lacks such things 35 – he is blind. That is to say, he is 36 nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins. 10 Therefore, brothers and sisters, 37 make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. 38 For by doing this 39 you will never 40 stumble into sin. 41 11 For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.
Salvation Based on the Word of God
12 Therefore, I intend to remind you constantly 42 of these things even though you know them and are well established in the truth that you now have. 13 Indeed, as long as I am in this tabernacle, 43 I consider it right to stir you up by way of a reminder, 14 since I know that my tabernacle will soon be removed, 44 because 45 our Lord Jesus Christ revealed this to me. 46 15 Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things. 47
16 For we did not follow cleverly concocted fables when we made known to you the power and return 48 of our Lord Jesus Christ; 49 no, 50 we were 51 eyewitnesses of his 52 grandeur. 53 17 For he received honor and glory from God the Father, when that 54 voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory: “This is my dear Son, in whom I am delighted.” 55 18 When this voice was conveyed from heaven, we ourselves 56 heard it, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 57 19 Moreover, 58 we 59 possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. 60 You do well if you pay attention 61 to this 62 as you would 63 to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star 64 rises in your hearts. 65 20 Above all, you do well if you recognize 66 this: 67 No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 68 21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men 69 carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
The False Teachers’ Ungodly Lifestyle
2 But false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. 1 These false teachers 2 will 3 infiltrate your midst 4 with destructive heresies, 5 even to the point of 6 denying the Master who bought them. As a result, they will bring 7 swift destruction on themselves. 2 And many will follow their debauched lifestyles. 8 Because of these false teachers, 9 the way of truth will be slandered. 10 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their 11 condemnation pronounced long ago 12 is not sitting idly by; 13 their 14 destruction is not asleep.
4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, 15 but threw them into hell 16 and locked them up 17 in chains 18 in utter darkness, 19 to be kept until the judgment, 5 and if he did not spare the ancient world, but did protect Noah, a herald of righteousness, along with seven others, 20 when God 21 brought a flood on an ungodly world, 22 6 and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, 23 having appointed 24 them to serve as an example 25 to future generations of the ungodly, 26 7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man in anguish over the debauched lifestyle of lawless 27 men, 28 8 (for while he lived among them day after day, that righteous man was tormented in his righteous soul 29 by the lawless deeds he saw and heard 30 ) 9 – if so, 31 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from their trials, 32 and to reserve the unrighteous for punishment 33 at the day of judgment, 10 especially those who indulge their fleshly desires 34 and who despise authority.
Brazen and insolent, 35 they are not afraid to insult 36 the glorious ones, 37 11 yet even 38 angels, who are much more powerful, 39 do not bring a slanderous 40 judgment against them before the Lord. 41 12 But 42 these men, 43 like irrational animals – creatures of instinct, born to be caught and destroyed 44 – do not understand whom 45 they are insulting, and consequently 46 in their destruction they will be destroyed, 47 13 suffering harm as the wages for their harmful ways. 48 By considering it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight, 49 they are stains and blemishes, indulging 50 in their deceitful pleasures when they feast together with you. 14 Their eyes, 51 full of adultery, 52 never stop sinning; 53 they entice 54 unstable people. 55 They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children! 56 15 By forsaking the right path they have gone astray, because they followed the way of Balaam son of Bosor, 57 who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 58 16 yet was rebuked 59 for his own transgression (a dumb donkey, 60 speaking with a human voice, 61 restrained the prophet’s madness). 62
17 These men 63 are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness 64 have been reserved. 18 For by speaking high-sounding but empty words 65 they are able to entice, 66 with fleshly desires and with debauchery, 67 people 68 who have just escaped 69 from those who reside in error. 70 19 Although these false teachers promise 71 such people 72 freedom, they themselves are enslaved to 73 immorality. 74 For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved. 75 20 For if after they have escaped the filthy things 76 of the world through the rich knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 77 they 78 again get entangled in them and succumb to them, 79 their last state has become worse for them than their first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than, having known it, to turn back from the holy commandment that had been delivered to them. 22 They are illustrations of this true proverb: 80 “A dog returns to its own vomit,” 81 and “A sow, after washing herself, 82 wallows in the mire.” 83