RSS

Category Archives: 2 Peter

2 Peter 3 – Scoffers Gonna Scoff

If you leave a kid alone in a room with a cookie, promising them that if they don’t eat that one cookie for five minutes then you will give them two cookies…what would happen?  Well more often than not they will eat the other cookie almost immediately.  (See video above)

If you leave a nation of people in the wilderness at the foot of a mountain for forty days while you write down all of the laws and tell them that if they obey your laws, you will be their God and they will be your people…what would happen?  Well more often than not they will make a golden calf and start worshiping it.  (See Exodus 32)

If you leave a world while you go and prepare a place for those who are faithful and obedient to you and instruct them that if they remain faithful until you return that they will live with you in your kingdom forever…what would happen?  Well Peter says that they will begin to forget and doubt and scoff.  (See 2 Peter 3)

They will become so doubt-filled that they will make fun of those who are faithful.  And yet Peter says, how can you forget who made everything?  How can you forget who made the oceans?  But even if you forget all of that, don’t forget that God’s timing is God’s timing.  Don’t you dare think that just because God doesn’t do things on your schedule that he isn’t in control.

So you must live as children who patiently don’t eat the cookie.  You must live as a people who believe God is still on the mountain.  You must keep the faith and keep living according the teachings given you.  Don’t fall from your secure position, but continue growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.

And then there is that great section where Peter acknowledges the valuable writings of Paul, which are admittedly complicated and difficult to read.  That always makes me laugh.  But it’s also really good to see the cooperation and community that existed between the two church leaders.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 14, 2013 in 2 Peter

 

Tags: , ,

2 Peter 2 – Don’t Be Deceived By Animals

20130313-221056.jpgI’ve known some bold and arrogant people in my life. I was in grad school with a person who continually referred to our professor as a moron because they disagreed on something. That person was a bit bold…and fairly arrogant. I’ve met a number of people who have thought very highly of their own opinions and more or less refused to listen to anyone else. Never have I met anyone who was arrogant enough to “heap abuse on celestial beings.” Because of their lack of ability to reason and discuss with others, Peter refers to them as no different than animals. Animals just go about life with their “natural instincts” and never question anything. Our ability to question separates us from the animals. Our refusal to stop and think before taking action is a refusal to be who God created us to be. We are higher than the animals because we have the image of God on us

Peter continues with this thought by comparing them to Balaam who had to be confronted by his donkey. The imagery here is always a bit hilarious to me. While they are acting like animals they need wisdom spoken to them from an animal. They are dumber than the donkey and in need of his counsel. If you are going to be arrogant enough to call out the angelic beings you will be humbled to being put in your place by a donkey.

The example Jesus gave was one of service and laying down of power. These people whom Peter is referring to have come to know Jesus, shown his example, and have then used it to try and gain power for themselves. They have turned away from Jesus, something which Peter says is worse than never knowing Jesus. Again, they are classified as animals, animals who return to their own vomit.

When I get into conversations with fellow Christians about what Christ has called them to in how they should live I am often reminded that this calling goes against their “natural instincts.” Peter is basically saying that people who go against against rational to only simply follow their instincts are on the same level as animals. You were made in the image of God. You are not merely an animal.

When false teachers come along their teaching doesn’t typically sound crazy. It often fits within our “natural instincts” or what is accepted in our culture. Apply the cross to every teaching to see if it measures up with Christ. The cross often goes against our “natural instincts” and our culture…even a culture classified as Christian. Culture and instincts say power and self preservation while the cross says service and sacrifice.

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 13, 2013 in 2 Peter, Bible Blog

 

Tags: , , ,

2 Peter 1 – From a Shepherd

Peter’s first letter was written primarily to help the church figure out how to deal with dangers and threats from outside of the church.  This letter is written from Peter to help protect them from evildoers and false teachers who have come into the church.  Peter, a shepherd of the early church, recognizes the danger of a wolf among the sheep and writes this letter to protect them and also provide them with a guide for dealing with these problems in the future.  He has three primary purposes: to stimulate Christian growth, to combat false teaching, and to encourage watchfulness because of the knowledge that Jesus will return.

Chapter 1 has the beautiful poetic progression of what the Christian life should be.  The progression is in a list below so you won’t just skim over it.  You come to faith through knowledge and are no longer part of the evil desires that control this world.  For this reason:

  • to your faith add goodness
  • to goodness add knowledge
  • to knowledge add self-control
  • to self-control add perseverance
  • to perseverance add godliness
  • to godliness add mutual affection
  • and to mutual affection add love

“For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  In the church today we often talk about how you must have faith and then you are saved.  Then, we have this idea as long as you hold on to your faith and stay out of the corruption of this world, then you are good to go (to heaven presumably).  However, Peter recognizes that faith and avoidance of sin are not the culmination of Christian living.  Rather, the precede Christian growth.  Once you have faith and end sinful living, that is when Christian growth begins.

So what does it look like?  Well, it looks like the list above.  Which means for Christians today, we should be able to take the list and use it as a measuring tool against which we can see where we need to be growing.  It’s also worth noting that the list begins with faith, knowledge and goodness, which many would consider the pinnacle of Christian living, and then ascends towards godliness, mutual affection, and love.  These are the higher order attributes of Christians and what all who claim to be Christians should be aspiring towards.

I would encourage you today to go through and honestly and prayerfully evaluate your own life by each of the items on the list.  In fact, we would all benefit from doing this on a regular basis.  Peter says in verse 8 that Christians are to have these qualities “in increasing measure.”  This is important because this isn’t a check list that anybody could ever say, “Love…got it…check.”  You must have these qualities in ever increasing measure.  So today I challenge you to be looking for ways to grow in each of these areas, especially those which have the most room for improvement.

After all, if you don’t do it, Peter believes you will be near-sighted and blind.  And in his world that meant you had no ability to take care of yourself, see danger ahead, or know what’s coming.  You would should stumble.  Instead, do these things and receive a rich welcome (read as awesome party) into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 12, 2013 in 2 Peter

 

Tags: , , , , , ,