Tuesday, July 26, 2011

2 Peter Chapter 1 - Who, What, Why, How Part 3

So Peter has told us Who we are, and has told us What qualities are necessary and Why. Today he will give us the How. We are looking at verses 12-21.

Peter starts out verse 12 with "Therefore". You know where there's a "therefore" it's there for a reason! HA! It's basically saying the same thing as in verse 5 "for this reason". Because what Peter just said was so important he was going to REMIND the faithful of these qualities (refer back to previous post for qualities). He goes on to say that "we" know them and are ESTABLISHED(made stable, fixed, strengthened) in this truth. There again he is encouraging us to not listen to the voice of Satan, but listen to the voice of truth! That being ~ You are in Christ; You are on equal standing with other believers; You have the power through Christ to partake in the divine nature of God; You are a force to be reckoned with!

In verse 13 he alludes to his impending death. What I see in this section is his URGENCY! Time is short! Therefore Peter thought it was right to STIR (wake up, awaken) his readers. Wake up! You need to know that you know this, and you need to put it into practice! There is no time to waste! You don't know what tomorrow brings! He would make a way for them to recall these things, even after he is gone.

Look what we have today! This wonderful book that reminds us of our calling! Is that not just AWESOME! Praise God!

This book that we have, what is it? Ah. Peter goes on to tell us about this book. What it contains.

Peter wants his readers to know that these aren't clever stories that have been concocted by man, but that they (the Apostles) who had been with Jesus are giving us an eyewitness of the glories of Christ! They saw Him, touched Him, lived with Him and were taught by Him. They were on the mountain (of Transfiguration) when he received his glory from the Father!

But, if that wasn't enough, well then you have the prophetic word (enter Old Testament). Peter uses the words "more sure"(stable, fast, firm) here in verse 19. Peter's readers knew the OT. They would know what the prophets had said about Christ, that would give confirmation to the Apostles personal testimony. It all fits together! The old and the new! So Peter tells them, you will do well to "pay attention" to the prophetic teachings because they are like a lamp shining in a dark place, until Christ returns. Scripture is not only a tool (as some would say), but is our vital connection to Christ. Without it we have no way of knowing the true heart of God, and His Son Jesus Christ!

So many today attack the authenticity, inerrancy, and infallibility of scripture, to their own demise, and the demise of those who listen to them. There are those that put the Sovereignty of God in question because they would say things like "if the writers only knew about "this or that" they would not have written that". God knew, God knows, God's word speaks! Here in the very last 2 verses of this chapter Peter speaks to this issue.

1 Peter 1:20-21

But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

So what do you believe today? Do you doubt scripture? If you doubt, then you need to start back at the beginning.
  1. Who are you? Are you one of the faithful? That's a pretty important question.
  2. What qualities are you growing in your life? Do you understand the importance of these qualities to your spiritual health?
  3. Do you believe the Bible to be the word of God, written through the hands of men, by the power of the Holy Spirit? If not, why not? If so, are you diving into it daily, asking the Holy Spirit to help you to understand what God is telling you (reminding you).
We have all we need that pertain to life and godliness, and it is contained in this wonderful book called "The Holy Bible".


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Monday, July 25, 2011

2 Peter Chapter 1 - Who, What, Why, How Part 2

So after telling the faithful who they are, Peter proceeds to let them and us know:

What we need, and why we need it?

In verse 5 he begins by saying: For this reason (what reason), because of WHO you are, you should make every effort (apply all diligence) to supplement (add to, supply) your faith ~ virtue; virtue ~ knowledge; knowledge ~ self-control; self-control ~ steadfastness; steadfastness ~ godliness; godliness ~ brotherly affection; brotherly affection ~ love.

Sounds a little like Peter is telling us to work, right? No, that is not the case. What he is saying is as we grow in Christ (I myself think of "sanctification" ~ The act of making a thing pure and holy or "Consecration" ~the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or service of God. ) these are qualities that we need to practice:

  1. to make ready, to prepare
  2. to produce, bear, shoot forth
  3. to acquire

in order to not be ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (Verses 8 & 10). You need to claim these qualities, recognize the importance of them in your spiritual life, and be increasing in them. It's a big product of time spent with God, through the study of His word, through prayer, through worship. It's a nature progression that, if one truly is one with Christ, happens without effort or work. The process is driven by a thankfulness to God for our salvation; by our recognition of our state without this great salvation, our desire to KNOW him more, and our desire to be partakers in His divine nature. That being said "It's not WORK at all".

Peter also goes on to say that those who lack these qualities is SO nearsighted and blind that they forget they were cleansed of their former sins, Verse 9. If you are not in the Word, and growing in these qualities you are in danger of forgetting what God has done for you, and the power that you possess (in Him) to live a life of godliness. It is easy then to fall into temptation. But Peter says, those that practice these qualities will not fall (stumble, err, make a mistake, sin). He actually says NEVER! WOW, that's amazing! With these qualities you will make your calling and election sure. What Peter means here is that you will not doubt your standing in Christ. If you are not in the Word, and not growing in these qualities, you may doubt your salvation, and therefore be ineffective and unfruitful.

Practicing these qualities = Confidence, fruitfulness and effectiveness

Not practicing these qualities = blindness, confusion, doubt, unfruitfulness, ineffectiveness, and stumbling in the dark as a blind person.


  1. Are you practicing the qualities mentioned in this section? It is never to late to start. The only time it is too late is when we stand before our Lord and Savior.
  2. Are you getting into the Word daily and seeking the Holy Spirits help in understanding what it says, and applying it to your life?
  3. Do you doubt your salvation? If so, please talk to someone about it, and get into the word so your knowledge of God grows.

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

2 Peter Chapter 1 - Who, What, Why, How Part 1

I'm taking a little different approach to 2 Peter. I have to admit I have procrastinated on it because it feels like a completely daunting task for me! I have said several times that I am not a writer. My thoughts are often scattered (hence the name of my blog), and my grammar, well it's pretty bad!!! So here I sit wanting desperately to translate to you (mostly Mari, my one faithful commenter!!) the truths that God is showing me in my study, and fearful of not being able to articulate the beauty of God's word. But I feel compelled to continue, so like Steven Curtis Chapman says in his song "I'm diving in"! I pray that the Holy Spirit will illuminate your mind to His truth's and I will get out of the way!

Also this will be done over a few blog posts, so they don't get to long.

WHO we are? (Verses 1-4)

Peter is all about encouragement of the saints! Really, that showed up so much in 1 Peter. Even though there will be struggle, take heart, remember whose you are, rejoice, etc....

Here in 2 Peter, right off the bat he reminds the faithful of who they are! They did not have to think them less then he, or the other Apostles (who had seen Jesus). They were on equal standing with them. There is no saint in the Kingdom of God that is greater then any other. Why? Because (by) the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ we have obtained (to receive by divine allotment) it!

So many of us (myself included) look at others and say "WOW I wish I had their faith!" Well Peter is here to tell you, YOU DO!

I often said as the Director of Children's Ministries, that God does not make Junior Disciples. In verses 3 & 4 Peter says that God's divine power has granted to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, through KNOWLEDGE of him. There is so much more to this run on sentence of his I just need to show it:

2 Peter 1:3-4

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted (bestowed) to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers (sharers, partners, associates, companions) of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

So you see we have all we need, our knowledge of Him needs to grow. Satan would like us to believe that we are weak and not useful in the Kingdom of God because there is always someone with more knowledge them we have, BUT throughout this chapter Peter will encourage us to understand that we have what we need IN HIM (Christ)! What we need to do is claim it, and practice it (which we will learn later).

I think my first question always has to be:

  1. Are you one of those who through faith has obtained an equal standing? Have you professed faith in Jesus Christ, and excepted his wonderful gift of salvation? If you haven't, please seek out someone today to further explain the wonderful plan of salvation laid forth in Jesus Christ! If you have:
  2. Are you seeing your faith as inferior to others? What does the passage say about who you are and what you've been given?
  3. Are you claiming the divine power granted you to live a life that shows your equal standing with other believers?
Walk in that faith! You have what you need to life a godly life! We will learn more of the what, why, and how as we go forward.

Get into the Word today!!!

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Friday, July 8, 2011

1 Peter Chapter 5 - Homiletics Practice

Well I am to the final Chapter of 1 Peter, and I have loved every minute of this study so far! At the end of this post I will give a brief summary of what I believe is the key issue Peter is addressing in 1 Peter. I hope that these posts have blessed you and caused you to examine 1st of all the Holy Scriptures, and 2nd of all to examine yourself in light of them. I know I have, and have come up wanting.

Divisions ~

I. Verses 5: 1-4 ~ Peter instructs the elders on their role as shepherds.

  • This portion of scripture is so important to the life and ministry of "the Church". It speaks to the leadership. I am convicted by this passage of scripture and the passages that describe the qualifications of those who are eligible for leadership in 1 Timothy 3, and Titus 1. Why you may ask? Because I have never really taken my job as a member of the congregation seriously in nominating or voting on members of Consistory. Now I myself have a lot of questions for those who feel called to this office.
  • Also I think it needs to be noted here that the office of "elder" also includes the pastor. In other scripture he (the pastor) is called "shepherd" (Eph 4:11).
  • It is of the UTMOST importance to have men in leadership that fully embody the descriptions in these passages! To many churches reputations and effectiveness for the Kingdom are destroyed because of lack of integrity or knowledge on the part of leadership. As "the flock" we should be in much prayer and discernment when electing officers and when choosing who will "pastor" the flock!

II. Verses 5-7 ~ Peter instructs the youth and all the church in humility.

  • It is right for the youth to show proper respect to those older and in authority over them. That and so much more are said in these short verses. Once leadership is established, it is up to "the flock" to "be subject" to that leadership. NOW I do have to ask, what if leadership is stepping out of God's will? Well here are "my" thoughts: God has given us clear instructions in how to resolve conflict. Matthew 18 comes to mind as one. Also in Timothy where it talks about the Bible being useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training (2 Tim 3:16). What we need to remember though is that we do so in a manner that is pleasing to God and God honoring.
  • There is one word that is so key in all of this! HUMILITY!! Here Peter addresses "all of you", meaning the elders and the youth. The whole church! "Clothe yourselves, ALL OF YOU, with humility toward one another for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the HUMBLE."

III. Verses 8-14 ~ Peter gives instruction on how to prepare for the attacks of our adversary.

  • Again we are given instructions of how we should be living in order to resist the certain attacks that WILL come:
*Be Sober-minded:
  1. to be calm and collected in spirit
  2. to be temperate, dispassionate, circumspect
I like the word calm here, don't you? We are not to get our panties all in a bunch, but basically "Be still and know that I am God", right?

  1. to watch
  2. metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
    1. to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

*Resist him FIRM in the faith, KNOWING that the same kinds of sufferings are being experienced by fellow Christians.

And now here's the really cool part! After you've suffered "a little while" the " the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, WILL HIMSELF:


Doesn't that just give you goose bumps!!! It should!!! For All Dominion belongs to Him forever and ever!! He is able!

Subject Sentence ~

Humility is required to lead, and to resist satan's attacks.

Aim ~

To cause the audience to examine themselves and their God given roles in the church. To understand that power to resist & restoration begin with humility.

Applications ~

I. Where has God called you to lead by example? Church, work, home? Are you leading with integrity?

II. Where is God calling you to submit to authority? Has your heart been humble in confrontation?

III. Has satan been attacking you lately? Where? If so were you able to resist? If not, why not?

One last question: Do you realize that God WILL himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you?!

Final summation of 1 Peter:

SURRENDER AND SUFFERING are our calling! God's POWER is our tool!

God's glory is our goal!

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