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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023

 

Vs. 9 - Blind

02.3.3

“For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.”  -  2 Pet 1:9

 

Notice again, 'these qualities' refers to the character qualities specified in verses 5-7.  Peter tells us that if 'these qualities' are lacking, we have a problem.  Compare this with the previous verse.  In verse 8, Peter tells Christians: “. . . if these qualities are yours and are increasing. . .” they will be OK.  Thus, the contrast seems to be between not having these qualities versus having them and having them grow.  This contrast begs the question, what about having these qualities, but not having them growing?  Good question.  I don't know the answer to that.  The question I would have to that is, is it possible for a Christian to have these qualities and NOT grow?  I don't know, but I suspect that the default position is that the presence of the Spirit in the life of the Christian, which I assume is needed to produce these qualities, would instigate the needed growth.  Elsewhere on this site I hope to discuss spiritual pathology, of which this lack of growth could be seen as one example.

 

What then are the problems one could encounter when lacking 'these qualities'?  One could be 'blind or short-sighted'.  John reports that many did not believe Jesus.  "HE HAS BLINDED THEIR EYES AND HE HARDENED THEIR HEART, SO THAT THEY WOULD NOT SEE WITH THEIR EYES AND PERCEIVE WITH THEIR HEART, AND BE CONVERTED AND I HEAL THEM." (John 12:40, caps in text, NASB uses caps to indicate an OT quotation).  Matthew notes: “if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit" (Matt 15:14).  In both of these passages, and in several others, blindness is analogized to being lost or unsaved.  As in verse 8, having this 'blindness' leads one to terrible consequences.

 

“forgotten his purification . . .”  Recall Deut 8:19 where Moses relates the Law of God:  “And it shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God, and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you shall surely perish.”  We don't want to perish.  Thus, we don't want to forget.  Thus, we don't want to lack 'these qualities' (verses 5-7).

 

What is implied by the phrase “having forgotten his purification from his former sins”?  It would seem to imply that the person spoken of had been purified at some point.  In spite of that this person now seems to have 'forgotten' this purification.  Does that mean this person is unsaved?  Does this mean someone can be saved at one time and then lost at a later time?  I would hesitate to answer this question based solely upon this verse.  It seems one is able to read this phrase both ways.  One may have been truly purified and still be within that covenant relationship, but to have forgotten one's status (temporarily? / permanently?).  On the other hand, this passage would seem to be able to be read such that one may have been purified, but he has now forgotten or lost that purification.  I do not see that this question can be settled by reading this passage alone.  Either way one chooses to come down on this question, it is clear that, for the one that has 'forgotten', bad things are coming.

 

Therefore, for the person claiming to be a Christian (real or not) that lacks the 2nd Peter qualities, bad outcomes, possibly including damnation, would seem likely.