Dear God, help me to have a burning desire for the truth and enable me to defend it at any cost. When others twist and misuse Your word, may I be faithful to stand for what is right.
Archives For 2 Peter
Dear God, thank You for being patient with me and with all mankind. May many people turn to faith in You because of Your patient love for them.
Dear God, change me through Your word. May the knowledge of You led me to a greater demonstration of holiness…not to impress others, but to please You.
Because Peter desires followers of Christ to be faithful to Christ even after he has died, he paints a picture of what has happened to those who chose to disobey God. Using several examples from the Old Testament, Peter reveals the future of those who reject the truth and spread lies. Some of the fallen angels who were deceived by Lucifer (the devil) were immediately cast into hell for their rebellion against God (2:4). All people from the “ancient world” with the exception of Noah and his family were destroyed by a worldwide flood for their wickedness (2:5-6). The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by fire because of their immorality (2:7-8). These vivid illustrations should have caught the attention of Peter’s readers because they were reminded of God’s hatred for sin and disobedience. But even in the midst of God’s judgment, He spared those who were faithful to Him. Even when everyone else was involving themselves in sin and evil, a certain few stood for truth and were delivered from God’s wrath. What was Peter’s point? God’s judgment will surely fall on those who disobey, but He is gracious to those who faithfully follow His ways (2:9-10a). The false teachers of Peter’s day would also be destroyed, but those who were faithful are guaranteed to experience God’s goodness.
Dear God, help me to remember the future of those who disobey You so that I might be faithful to Your ways.
Peter quickly turns his attention to the main reason he is writing. It appears that the false teachers who had entered the church were now attempting to undermine Peter’s authority by claiming that his doctrine was devised of his own will; however, the apostle was quick to defend his teaching. He proclaimed, “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty” (1:16). 2 Peter 1:17-18 reveals that Peter was referring to the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-7), when he was able to see Jesus Christ in all His glory, which all the world will see at His second coming. This event was a preview of what was to come in the future. In essence, Peter was telling his readers that he was not teaching something which came from him, but that which came directly from God. Apparently the false teachers who had infiltrated the church also denied the future glory of Christ. Since Peter had personally witnessed what the future held, he knew these teachers were evil. One thing is very clear in Peter’s opening words – that which comes from God is truth and that which is devised by man is false. Peter writes “no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (1:20-21). Scripture never originated with man, but with God. The Holy Spirit was the author and men only wrote that which was given to them by God, therefore we can trust every word as truth. Peter wanted to reinforce the importance of believing God’s word over the teachings of men. This upfront understanding would help Peter’s readers think through the rest of his letter.
Dear God, may I always evaluate truth based on Scripture. Help me never to accept teachings which may be devised by men and presented as truth. Protect me from accepting that which is false.
Add to faith virtue (doing good deeds)
To virtue knowledge (understanding and obeying God’s truth)
To knowledge self-control (controlling our desires)
To self-control perseverance (refusing to quit in the face of danger)
To perseverance godliness (living out the character of Christ)
To godliness brotherly kindness (willingness to sacrifice for someone else)
To brotherly kindness love (genuine care for the well-being of another)
These characteristics should be the aim of those who follow Christ and with the help of the Holy Spirit, all believers can reach their potential. The faith given to us by God is meant to grow and we must be diligent in every attitude and action.
Dear God, help me develop my faith.
The main theme of 2 Peter is exposing and combating false teaching; however, he never mentions the specific heresy which is being taught. At the heart of all wrong doctrine is misinterpreting and even twisting Scripture, which Peter alludes to in 2 Peter 2. Not only does Peter expose the false teachings, but also the evildoing of the teachers. The New Testament writers often equate false doctrine with evil works. Those who have a wrong belief system will reveal the error of their ways through a sinful lifestyle. Overall, Peter’s second letter is doctrinal in nature but is careful to provide practical outlets to defend the authority of Scripture and live a life of faithfulness to God’s ways.
Dear God, give me understanding of Peter’s writing. May it challenge me to live a faithful life to Your word and ways.