II Peter Intro 1-
Study #2 Originally shared Sunday, November 6th, 2011
Last time I had the privilege to teach you all….
• We had just introduced the book of II Peter.
• And started looking at the first few verses.
We took a moment to talk about Peter.
• How we have seen his heart
• How we have heard his words.
• How we have shared in his actions
• Peter is a disciple of great love and compassion for the followers of Jesus.
• We remarked how Peter was such a great encourager.
• Encouragement, over and over.
• Loving kindness over and over.
• He began with his first epistle with encouragement, ended with encouragement…
• …and took us to task in being diligent in living out the words that Jesus had taught him, and us.
And then, introducing the letter of II Peter…
• How peter continues to encourage, but that it is different this time.
• He encourages us, yes.
• But this time not about trials and tribulations…
• Now it’s about ourselves.
• About us as individuals, and about us as a church.
• How we live out Christianity.
• Peter will asks us as believers and says…
• “if you are a believer, you had better know the Word of God, and know it well.”
• He makes it clear that you cannot be complacent!
• He warns that you need to be continually growing in faith and spirit and knowledge of God’s word.
• And that if you are not growing, not only are you wrong…
• But you need to check your commitment…
• That we need to be producing fruit in our lives…
• …and in the church.
• And if we are not, to check our very faith.
So let’s look at 2 Peter.
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We covered most of this in our last lesson.
• But there is so much to learn here.
• And I want to key on a couple of points.
Here Peter exposes the readers to the supernatural.
• Because the world is always taking what god has made for good, and turning it into sin, or something bad…
• When we hear the word ‘supernatural’, many of us simply cringe and assume what is being talked about is evil.
• TV is inundated with shows about the “supernatural”. Ghost Stories, Celebrity Ghost Encounters, Haunted Houses, Zombie this and Zombie that, etc.
• Those shows all display things about ghosts, the undead, and more…
• These shows do all they can to convince the world that the “supernatural’ exists.
• And that there really ARE evil spirits out there to be afraid of, and that walk amongst us.
Well, in part, they are right.
• But what troubles me most is that they have taken the word supernatural…
• …and caused it to be associated with evil and the occult.
• When in fact, supernatural simply means simply that which ius unexplainable by the laws of nature.
• Beyond our natural laws.
• It now also means things which pertain to God or a deity…
• …as well as things pertaining to ghosts, goblins or the occult.
• But these are later definitions.
What comes of as strange to me in all this…
• …is that the “world” and Hollywood works overtime to get you to believe that ghosts and goblins are real…
• …there we are getting ready to face the Zombie apocalypse…
• In this sense they are completely willing to believe that ghosts and ghouls are real supernatural things.
• That there is a Supernatural evil out there to be afraid of….
• But they will fight tooth and nail…
• … in the media and even in the courts to get you to believe…
• …that there is NO GOD!
On one hand…
• …the hand that collects the cash from the movie tickets you buy to go see movies about Vampires, and ghosts and ghouls and zombies and haunted houses…
• …the hand that collects the advertising revenues from the TV shows like this…
• …billions of dollars…
• Is the same hand that will slap you with a law suit for praying in school
• Or mentioning the name of Jesus at a public meeting.
Supernatural for evil intent or from evil sources is promoted…
• …while the supernatural for good and from God…
• …is hated, despised.
Well, God IS Supernatural.
• The things He can do are supernatural.
• When we think of supernatural, we think evil and ghostly things that the world has corrupted this word to mean.
• But we must not forget that the Supernatural things of God Do exist.
• And through His supernatural workings, healings, provisions and all sorts of miracles are performed everyday!
Now does this mean that the supernatural as the world displays it on TV...
• …that of demons and ghosts etc….
• …do not exist or are not real.
• As demons are real, and Satan and his minions can cause things to happen…
• …can cause us to see things that perhaps are not there.
• They too have some supernatural powers that are very real.
• It is for this reason that we need to stay out of this stuff.
• We need to not be watching these things
• And partaking in the spread of what is ungodly into the culture.
• When we watch these things, read about these things…
• …we are opening our minds to things of the enemy.
• My point here is that you can’t have it both ways.
• If the supernatural exists, you must have room for supernatural god as well as supernatural evil.
• And we must not do that.
But that s not what I wanted to focus on.
• What I do want to focus on is GOD’S supernatural power.
• As verse 3 says:
3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue
• God’s divine power exists.
• God’s divine power is real.
• And as we have been called to be holy as God is Holy
• To live a life blameless
• To emulate Jesus in all things…
• And this divine power that does exist, and exists in us…
• …is ours because of Christ.
Jesus has done a lot of things for mankind.
• Scripture tells us that He has given us forgiveness.
• He has given us adoption in the family of God.
• He has sanctified us.
• He is the propitiation of our sins.
• But none of this is ours…
• …if we do not KNOW Him.
• If we do not KNOW Him He cannot give us these things
• If we do not KNOW Him, all the things that pertain to LIFE and GODLINESS will not be ours!
I’ve been working, very slowly I might add…
• …on a manuscript for a book.
• The book is all about explaining a personal relationship with God.
• What IS that personal relationship?
• Why do we have to have it?
• What does it look like?
• Well, Peter goes a long way towards helping answer that question.
Jesus desires to give us so much.
• But we must know Him in order to receive.
• By His divine power…
• By His Supernatural power…
• Jesus gives us:
all things that pertain to life and godliness
• All things!
• All things that pertain to life.
• Let’s define that word life.
• Does it life as in I’m not dead…
• Does it mean life as in eternal life…?
a) the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate
b) every living soul
a) of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic "logos" and to Christ in whom the "logos" put on human nature
b) life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last forever.
The word life here…
• It applies to both temporal and eternal life.
• And all things that you need
• All things that pertain to life and godliness are yours –
• As a gift…
• Just for having a relationship with Jesus.
Relationships are awesome things.
• It’s nice to be in them
• It’s wonderful to have friends.
• We gain moral and emotional support in those times when we feel vulnerable, weak or confused.
• We can get physical support when we are physically hurt.
• And the level of support we get from others in our relationship will vary.
But vary on what?
• On how well we KNOW each other.
• The deeper the relationship, the deeper the commitment from both parties.
• You grow relationships by getting to know that person as well as you possibly can.
• You spend time with them, you pamper them, and you go out of your way to show your love for them.
• You do everything you can to serve them.
And our relationship with Jesus is no different.
• Your relationship will improve.
• It will become deeper, more committed, and more satisfying…
• …the more you get to know Him.
The things you need to know…
• … about how to live your life here.
• The things you need to know about obtaining eternal life with Jesus.
• How to handle decision making processes.
• How to determine right from wrong.
• How to renew your mind.
• How to life a Holy and sacrificial life that brings glory to God…
• He has given us ALL of this.
• To experience them more…
• We must know Him more…
• And to know Him more…
• …we must know His Word more.
That is why we are here…
• ..but that is not enough.
• Your commitment to that relationship and that growth, must be a personal one.
• The commitment is personal…
• …meaning that on your own, in person with Jesus, you must be in His word.
• You must be reading, studying mediating, on your own, in your home, in your spare time…
• …and if you do not have spare time, you make time, because you cannot spare not to do this.
As you do this on your own, study and grow…
• …it is supported, reinforced and increased –
• …by the body!
• This is why we are called to not forsake the gathering of the people.
When you are born into the family of God by faith in Christ,
• You are born complete.
• Just like Adam and eve were born complete.
• God gives you everything you will ever need “for life and godliness.”
• Nothing has to be added!
• “And you are complete in Him” (Col. 2:10).
• No special knowledge needed!
• Some false teachers claimed that they had a “special doctrine” or special knowledge that would add something to the lives of Peter’s readers…
• …but Peter knew that nothing could be added.
BUT, Peter also knew something else.
• Just as a normal baby is born with all the “equipment” he needs for life and only needs to grow…
• …so the Christian has all that is needed and only needs to grow.
• God never has to call back any of His “models” because something is lacking or faulty.
• That which you need to grow, is the implantation of the Holy Spirit.
• The Spirit in you should drive you to know more of god
• Should drive you to be closer to god
• Should driver you to be able to defend your faith, and to recognize false teachings.
• Your desire is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time…
• …the ACTION of the Holy Spirit.
• You have been “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness”
• Yes – GODLINESS!
• We should be attaining to Godliness.
• Controlling the flesh to be less like the world, and more like Christ!
Just as a baby has a definite genetic structure that determines how he will grow…
• ..so the believer is “genetically structured” to experience “glory and virtue.”
• God knows what you are called for, or called to do.
• God knows by His eternal knowledge and power how you will be used.
• And that no matter what it is, it will bring Glory to god, and virtue to you.
• We are “called... to virtue.”
• through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
We have been saved so that we might “show forth the virtues of later on Peter will say,
• Him who hath called us out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).
• We cannot wait until we get to heaven to become like Jesus Christ!
• Our time is NOW!
• In our character and conduct, we should reveal His beauty and His Grace today.
This faith involves God’s promises (v. 4).
4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
• God has not only given us all that we need for life and godliness,
• …but He has also given us His Word to enable us to develop this life and godliness.
• These promises are great because they come from a great God and they lead to eternal life.
• They are precious because their value is beyond measure.
• If we lost the Word of God…
• …there would be no way to replace it.
• And we would all be lost.
Peter must have liked the word precious,
• for he wrote about the “precious faith” (2 Peter 1:1; cf. 1 Peter 1:7),
• the “precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4),
• the “precious blood” (1 Peter 1:19),
• the precious stone (1 Peter 2:4, 6),
• and the precious Savior (1 Peter 2:7).
Nature to some degree determines appetite.
• The pig wants slop and the dog will even eat its own vomit (2 Peter 2:22), but the sheep desires green pastures.
• If nature helps determines appetite, and we have God’s nature within us…
• … then we ought to have an appetite for that which is pure and holy.
• And this is where we must have growth.
• All of us.
• As the body of Christ.
• The church looks more like the world every day.
• Our behavior ought to be like that of the Father…
• …and we ought to live in the kind of “spiritual environment” that is suited to our nature.
• The nature of Christ alive in us via the Holy Spirit.
• We ought to associate with that which is true to our nature (2 Cor. 6:14ff).
The only normal, fruit-bearing life for the child of God…
• …is a Godly life.
• And a drive desire to live a more Godly life all the time!
Because we possess this divine nature of God…
• ..we have “completely escaped” the defilement and decay in this present evil world.
• We have overcome it already by identifying with Jesus.
• If we feed the new nature the nourishment of the Word…
• …then we will have little interest in the garbage of the world.
• But if we “make provision for the flesh” (Rom. 13:14)…
• …our sinful nature will lust after the “old sins” (2 Peter 1:9) and we will disobey God.
• Godly living is the result of cultivating the new nature within.
Peter’s letter here will be full of challenges
• It will be full of tests to our spiritual nature.
• Peter sets the tone of the urgency of this letter in just a few short verses from here
• Peter is expecting him time on the earth to be short.
• When he wrote this letter, he did not expect to live much longer.
• People, there is an urgency in Peters words.
• And there should be an urgency in our lives as well.