Remember when waiting was an art form? “Back in the day” when you had to wait for someone, it usually meant sitting there and twiddling your thumbs until the person you were waiting for showed up or until the doctor called you into the room. Nowadays, we just pull out our phones and go to Facebook, talk, text, read the news, buy something on eBay or sell something on Kijiji. No one sits idly and waits anymore.
In this last section of 2 Peter, we're told what to be doing while we wait. There were scoffers around who were doubting the return of Christ, they said it was just a myth. Peter defends the return of Jesus and teaches us that it isn’t because God is slow, but rather, it is because He is patient; not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance. This has a huge implication on what we do while we're waiting for Jesus’ return. First of all, Peter calls us to “grow in grace” through gaining a deeper and more intimate knowledge of the gospel, the good news of hope through faith in Christ. Secondly, we are called to share that gospel, this good news, with those who are around us; this is the reason after all why Jesus hasn’t returned yet. God’s desire is that more people would come to know Him while the time is still available to do so . So let’s wait well!
False teaching was threatening the early church as Peter wrote his letters. The church was under deep attack from outside and within. There was a fear that started to grip the hearts of the early followers of Jesus and they were wondering if they would be able to maintain their strength and gospel purity through these dark times.
The light of Scripture was held up so bight in chapter 1 of 2 Peter. In chapter 2, it appears that many of those outside of the church and even from within didn’t see it that brightness. Peter reminds us that this was nothing new. This kind of false teaching and the rampant immorality that went along with it has been going on since the beginning. Peter reminds us that those who hold to a different gospel, a false gospel will be judged. The angels who fell were judged, the ancient world of Noah’s day was judged and the immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were judged. The early church was finding themselves in a similar situation and we do today as well. Peter says that their destruction has not gone to sleep so we shouldn’t be surprised or fearful.
So what hope do we have when we experience oppression, persecution and darkness? The hope we have is the promise that God rescues the godly from trials. Well then, how do we become “godly”? The answer to this is seen in the antithesis of the passages warnings. We are to; humble ourselves before God, walk in obedience and strive for a healthy morality.
Why do you believe what you believe? How are your thoughts and opinions formed? What is the ultimate authority that shapes your thinking, actions and behaviour? We all have this authority but most people can not articulate what it is. In 2 Peter 1, Peter gives us a clear understanding why we can rely on the revealed Word of God as our authority on all matters pertaining to life and godliness.
In this message, we will see that Peter gives us three reasons why the Word of God has authority. Secondly, we will see why this is really good news. And third, how this works itself out in your life.
Supplements...what are they for? In the world of nutrition, supplements are generally used to add particular nutrients to our regular diet. People do this when their regular diet is low in necessary nutrients, or because their bodies require more of these nutrients in order to meet their higher physical requirements...think athletes or body builders.
Take protein supplements for example. An athlete or bodybuilder takes protein supplements to give their muscles extra nutrition to make the most out of their workouts. Yet, to only drink protein shakes would be a huge mistake. Our bodies need many more nutrients to be healthy and function properly. That is why protein shakes are called a supplement. Their purpose is to supplement a regular diet (foundational diet), to add more protein. So if one is trying to grow more muscle faster, they supplement their diets with protein.
2 Peter 1:1-11, uses the word "supplement" to describe 7 qualities that we should add to our daily diet, which is our faith. Our faith is the work of God and consists of our Knowledge of God (not just knowing him cognitively, but knowing him relationally), and trust in his very great promises to us. Peter says, that "His (God’s) 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..."
God has given us the foundational faith, our daily diet. He has already GRANTED to us everything that we need, but Peter calls us to supplement this diet. Not because it is not enough, or that we can make it greater, rather it's the opposite. Without the regular diet, supplements are useless, and at times detrimental to our health. These 7 qualities Peter calls us to supplement our faith with, only have value because of the faith that we have been given. God is the one who has done the foundational work in each of these 7 qualities. Without his work, our work of adding these qualities would be impossible, for all of them require a transformed heart.
Here are the 7: Virtue, Knowledge (relational knowledge), self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. To live out these qualities in the way that Peter is calling us to requires a true faith in God, that comes from an intimate relationship with him (knowledge) and trust in his very great promises for us. The greatest promise is the promise of eternal relationship with God, by the grace He grants us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why does Peter encourage believers to supplement their faith with these 7 qualities? If we do, he says that we will not fall. Peter doesn’t mean that we will not sin, but rather, that we will not fall away, or be drawn away by the world. He wants us to be rock solid, and unwavering in our faith, and able to persevere to the end.
Our Podcast can be found on: