Observe here, 1. The author and penman of this epistle, described by his name, Simon Peter, the former given at his circumcision, the latter by Christ, upon the occasion of his confession, Mat_16:18; by his condition, a servant; by his office, an apostle by the author of his office, Jesus Christ.
Here note, That Christ only has an authoritative power to make apostles, ministers and dispensers of his word; a derivative power from Christ the governors of the church have; but such as have not now their call from Christ immediately, (which it is presumption to expect, and if any pretend to it, let them shew it by their miracles) or mediately from the officers of his church, are usurpers of the sacred office, and they cannot pray in faith themselves for a blessing upon what they do, nor can the people expect it, I never sent them, (says God) therefore they shall not profit this people at all. Jer_23:32
Observe, 2. The persons described to whom this epistle is directed, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us. To such as had obtained faith, precious faith, like precious faith with the apostle of Christ; like for its nature and quality, though not for its measure and degree; and alike precious in regard of its object, Christ; in regard of its subject, the heart; in regard of its act, which is acceptance and consent to the terms of the gospel covenant; in regard of its effects and precious fruits, peace with God, peace with conscience, victory over the world, and the like. We see then that the faith of the poorest believer is as precious as the richest, and that the weakest believer has the same precious faith with the strongest: and if it be alike precious, it shall be alike permanent and persevering.
Observe, 3. The meritorious cause of this their precious faith, the righteousness of Jesus Christ: Through the righteousness of God, even our Saviour Jesus Christ. All grace is derived to us through Christ, for the sake of his righteousness, sufferings, and satisfaction: and as all grace is derived from him, and for his sake conferred, so all our good, that little service we do for God, is accepted through him, and owned for his sake. And if so, then Jesus Christ is really God; for the righteousness of a creature cannot justify me in the sight of God; there is no appearing before God for any creature in a creature-righteousness.
And farther, if so, then it is not faith that justifies and saves, but the righteousness of Christ, upon which faith is grounded, Eph_2:8 By grace ye are saved effectually, through faith instrumentally. The brazen serpent healed not the eye that looked on it; yet without looking upon it, no help from it, no healing by it.