Growth in Christian Virtue
1[a]Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,
To those who have [b]received and possess [by God’s will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, [e]develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind—shortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by [f]doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; 11 for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.
12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth which is [g]held firmly in your grasp. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this earthly tent, to inspire you by reminding you, 14 knowing that the laying aside of this earthly tent of mine is imminent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that even after my departure you will be able, at all times, to call these things to mind.
16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories or myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were [h]eyewitnesses of His majesty [His grandeur, His authority, His sovereignty]. 17 For when He was invested with honor and [the radiance of the [i]Shekinah] glory from God the Father, such a voice as this came to Him from the [splendid] Majestic Glory [in the bright cloud that overshadowed Him, saying], [j]“This is My Son, My Beloved Son in whom I am well-pleased and delighted”— 18 and we [actually] heard this voice made from heaven when we were together with Him on the holy mountain.
19 So we have the prophetic word made more certain. You do well to pay [close] attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and light breaks through the gloom and the [k]morning star arises in your hearts. 20 [l]But understand this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of or comes from one’s own [personal or special] interpretation, 21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.