Welcome back everyone to Deeper Waters, hopefully a blog you regularly visit and if you don’t, hopefully you’ll start doing so. Here, we intend to get people diving into the ocean of truth. I ask for your continued prayers as always as I find more work that needs to be done in me on the path of Christlikeness. I also ask for your prayers for my current financial situation. There are some loose ends there that need to be worked out. Finally, there’s prayer for something ongoing at the moment that the Lord knows about and that is all that matters. For now, let us begin the book of 2 Peter and where better to begin than at the first verse, which lo and behold, happens to be an important verse in establishing the deity of Christ.
1Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:
This verse has a reference to Jesus Christ as God and savior. The question to ask is if the title in this case does refer to both. In looking at this, it is important for us to note what we spoke of back in the blog on Titus 2:13. That passage also refers to the glorious appearing of our God and savior, Jesus Christ. Where does that mean the appearance of God and the appearance of Jesus Christ, or is the term referring to one person, Jesus Christ, as both God and savior?
This rule is applied here where we have the joining of two nouns with kai and one article. Because of that, Greek grammarians by and large, and definitely the majority, will say that this is a reference to Jesus Christ as God and savior. Now this doesn’t mean that all of them believe Jesus is God and savior as there are many non-Christians who are scholars of the New Testament, but they believe that Peter, or whoever they believe wrote 2 Peter, did believe that Jesus was God and savior.
Not only that, this would have been seen as a challenge to Caesar at the time. To speak of “Our God and Savior” would have been a challenge to Rome, which could be seen in the reference to Babylon if 2 Peter is written to the same audience as 1 Peter. In a challenge to the rule of Caesar, Peter would have been interjecting in instead the rule of Christ.
In other words, the Christians had their own emperor and he was one to whom their true loyalty belonged. Now the Christians weren’t going against the government to go against the government. If the government did right, the Christians could willingly submit without a problem. It was when the government did wrong in forcing Christians to choose between Christ or Caesar that Christians had to place their loyalty to Caesar.
The Caesar would have been seen as deity, but to the Christians, there was only one deity and this deity did reveal himself in the person of Jesus Christ. One could not worship both Jesus and Caesar and Peter wanted to remind his readers of where their true loyalty lay. It was with the one Jesus Christ who was both God and savior, unlike Caesar who had the same title. Jesus was the real deal. Not Caesar. For Peter, there was no question at all. Jesus is fully deity.
We shall continue tomorrow.