Archive for the '2 Peter' Category

2 Peter 3:18e

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“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen“
 
To Him be the glory
 
Jesus deserves glory because He did the doing. We should glorify Him now in time and in eternity for doing what He has done.
 
Note other doxologies that glorify Christ (2 Timothy 4:18; Revelation 1:6; 5:13; 7:10).
both now and forever.
It is possible to glorify the Lord in time and in eternity. If we get a good start glorifying Him now, we will establish a pattern for eternity.
Amen
“Amen” means I believe it. Peter lets us know where he stands personally on glorifying Jesus Christ in time and eternity.
Principle: The ultimate purpose of our lives is to glorify God in time and eternity.
Application: We glorify God because of who He is and what He does. We glorify Him because He made every provision we need for time and eternity.
We glorify the Lord because He loves us whether we fail or succeed in the Christian life. What we do does not determine God’s love for us. When we attempt to transfer to God human love patterns, we distort who He truly is. God’s love for us is constantly at a maximum place. His love never changes, although we may fail Him miserably.
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2 Peter 3:18d

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”
 
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
 
Second Peter is the only book that describes Jesus with the title “Lord and Savior.” This title occurs four times (1:11; 2:20; 3:1,2). Peter never reverses these titles — “Savior and Lord.” “Lord” always comes before “Savior.”
 
“Lord” here refers to His deity. This means that He has absolute right over our lives. The New Testament refers to Him as “Lord” 633 times!
Principle: Since Jesus is God, we must capitulate to the Lord of Glory.
Application: Jesus’ deity implies that He has authority over our lives. He has rights over our body, our family and our job or business. This explains why there is such a dearth of genuine Christian living. Jesus is never satisfied with just being our “Savior;” He wants to be our “Lord.”
Have you capitulated to the Lord of Glory? Have you moved off the throne of your life? Is Jesus the King of your heart? When you come to this place, then your reputation is not very important (Matthew 10:37,38). You give that to Him. The Lord Jesus demands your all. This is unconditional surrender to Him.
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2 Peter 3:18c

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”
 
and knowledge
 
Growth in “knowledge” is the second sphere where we are to grow. Grace was the first sphere.
 
Growth comes from special knowledge–knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The more we know Him, the more we love Him. Knowing Him endears us to Him.
Principle: The more we know the Lord Jesus, the more we will love Him.
Application: We cannot grow apart from knowledge. We often hear the notion that we do not need more “knowledge” but more application. People who make this statement have not paid close attention to the Bible because the Word of God repeatedly challenges us to gain more knowledge.
It is a false dichotomy to place knowledge and experience in tension with each other. God does not ask us to choose between the two. We cannot apply what we do not know. Neither can we allow knowledge to die within our bones and not apply it to our lives. Both of these notions are false.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (Philippians 3:10).
Decades after Paul came to Christ, he kept growing in knowledge of his Lord. Paul came to know Jesus as Savior. He spent the rest of his life seeking to know Him as Lord.
Our Lord is of such magnitude that we cannot know everything there is to know about Him in a short period. It is a process that will go on throughout time and eternity.
We cannot know everything about a person even in an extended engagement. Even marriage takes time to come to a full understanding of our partners. Communication is the process of self-revelation. The more we disclose ourselves, the better we know each other. The more we understand the Lord Jesus, the greater fellowship we will have with Him. The more we know the Lord, the more we love Him.
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2 Peter 3:18b

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”
 
in the grace
 
There is a category where Peter is especially concerned that we grow–we need to grow in grace.
 
The word “in” indicates the sphere in which we are to grow. There are two spheres where the Holy Spirit wants us to grow: in grace and in knowledge. First, God wants us to grow in grace. We owe all that we have to what Jesus did for us.
Principle: God wants us to grow in the entire sphere of understanding and application of the grace principle to our lives.
Application: It is not easy to grow in grace because there is the natural tendency to do it on our own. Grace means God does the doing. Works means we do the doing. We do not like to depend on God because we like the idea of being self-sufficient.
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (Acts 20:32).
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
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2 Peter 3:18

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen”
 
but grow
 
This verse begins with a contrast to verse seventeen. We need to “beware” (v.17) but we also need to “grow” (v.l8). Some Christians never grow. They do not advance much beyond the point of their salvation.
 
The word “grow” means to increase, to augment. Growth is not an event; it is a process. Salvation is an event, but growth is a process. The word “grow” is a command. It is not an option. The grammar also indicates that we are to keep on growing.
Principle: Growth is a process of becoming more like the Lord Jesus.
Application: After we become Christians, we have a tendency to pick up spiritual childhood diseases. We may even acquire some permanent spiritual scars from those diseases. Some people develop so many scars that they are afraid to make further spiritual advance. Others advance through the troubled teen period spiritually. That is spiritual adolescence. They are half teen, half adult. Finally, a few reach spiritual maturity. This is the point when we become spiritual adults.
The Christian life is like a bicycle; unless we keep moving we fall off. None of us ever arrives at a state of spiritual perfection, but we should grow to be more like Christ every day. This is a lifelong process. The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and makes the child of God like the Son of God (Romans 8:29). This is progressive sanctification.
Some Christians develop much faster than others do. Their rate of growth is rapid and expediential. These people usually have a great desire to change their lives. They hold the Word of God in high regard (1 Peter 2:2). They believe God can change their life. They appropriate truth to their experience daily. They cannot help but change into the same image of Christ from glory to glory by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Do you have a case of arrested spiritual development? Is your spiritual growth stunted? Are you developing your spiritual muscles? Do you work out physically but rarely work out spiritually? If we are going to grow, it must be our passion. It cannot be something that we give heed to once a week. We need to work at becoming more spiritually mature. It is not something that comes naturally. God supernaturally must change us through His Word.
We never fully arrive at perfection in the Christian life, but if we continue to grow, we will never be static either.
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2 Peter 3:17d

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…“
 
being led away with the error
 
“Led away” means carried away (Galatians 2:13). Some people roam about spiritually without direction. They wander about without any fixed idea of truth (2 Thessalonians 2:11).
 
“Being led away” carries the idea of group psychology. When a group gets going, it can spiritually seduce an individual into frenzy. False teachers always try to get crowd psychology going. People find comfort in the crowd. Peter says this can be deadly. Some people allow themselves to be “carried off” by error. Error enamors them. It is attractive to them.
“Error” is something that deceives. The Bible translates “error” as “deceive” and “delusion.” Error can be subtle. It can snare people before they know it. They find themselves in theological left field before they realize what they bought into (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
“And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie…” (1 Thessalonians 2:11).
“We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6).
“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah” (Jude 11).
of the wicked
The word “wicked” means lawless, unprincipled people. These people fly in the face of the establishment. They violate established principles. They rebel against principles whether human or divine. Many people fly in the face of the Bible.
Principle: Many people are impressed by the crowd rather than by the Word of God.
Application: Cults love to prey on unhappy, dissatisfied Christians who never learned the Bible for themselves in any solid way. The crowd always impresses these people. They do not think for themselves. They do not root their thinking in solid biblical teaching.
Many people in the first part of this century did not know Bible doctrine. Consequently, when liberals came to their pulpits, either they were enamored with this new teaching or they did not know enough truth to counteract it so they were led away into false doctrine.
Many distorted and unbiblical ideas float about evangelical Christianity today. Few know how to address these ideas biblically.
 
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2 Peter 3:17c

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…”
 
from your own steadfastness
 
There are two dangers Christians might face with false teachers. The first is that they may lose their stability. Instability will unhinge our souls. Our souls will become like the wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
 
The word “steadfastness” means to set firmly and carries the idea of fixedness. It is a state of security and safety. Peter is saying that his readers should get a firm hold on the Word of God.
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians2:5).
This phrase is not referring to falling from salvation but falling from stability in the faith. God is able to keep us from falling.
“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen” (Jude 24-25).
Principle: We gain solidity of soul by knowing God’s Word.
Application: Some of us neglect our faith. We rarely study the Bible. When a crisis comes, we are great candidates for false teaching and distortions of Christianity. We do not attach the anchor of our souls to anything. Our anchor floats in the water and the boat of our soul tosses furiously with every new religious wind that comes from afar.
The only way to gain stability of soul is to know God’s Word.
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2 Peter 3:17b

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…”
 
lest you also fall
 
The idea of “fall” implies that there was a point of stability in the past. The word “fall” is a term of apostasy. The book of acts uses “fall” as a nautical term for a ship out of control or drifting off course (Acts 27:17,26,29,32). The Word of God cannot “fall away” from the purpose God gave it (Romans 9:6). There are those who fall from grace (Galatians 5:4).
 
“You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4).
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;…” (Hebrews 3:12).
A person who gets off course spiritually ends in spiritual weakness. “Unprincipled” (wicked) men will attempt to lead people away from confidence in the truth. They will attempt to make us abandon our relationship with God and His Word. This will blow us off course from God and will shipwreck our souls. We will run our spiritual ship aground.
Principle: Instability ends in distortion of truth and spiritual ruin.
Application: It is possible to fall from our soundness in Christ and lose our assurance of salvation. False teaching will water down our faith. We cannot lose our salvation but we can lose the assurance of our salvation (2 Peter 1:10).
A stupid person is an unstable person. Stupid Christians are unstable Christians. Stupid Christians distort Scripture to their own ruin. All this starts with ignorance of the Word and then ultimately leads to spiritual ruin.
If we run into a difficult situation and do not know Scripture, we will distort the truth that we know. We will find ourselves in a jam. Instead of appropriating the principles of God’s Word to our experience, we will jump toward some panacea.
On the other hand, if we “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (v.18), we will gain spiritual stability.
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2 Peter 3:17

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

“You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked…”
 
We come now to the conclusion of 2 Peter. The last two verses sum up what Peter wants his readers to know. This is not a formal conclusion like other epistles. Peter does not say “goodbye” to anyone personally.
 
The last two verses comprise a warning ["beware"] and a directive ["grow"]. First, we come to the warning in verse seventeen.
You therefore, beloved
In his final statement to his readers Peter make another endearing statement to them. This is the fourth time in chapter three that Peter uses the term “beloved.” He now draws a conclusion for those he loves.
since you know this beforehand
Peter reminds his readers of something they already know. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. If we know how to handle something before it occurs, we are better prepared to deal with it.
The words “know this beforehand” is one word in the Greek and means know in advance. Peter wants us to anticipate something. He wants us to know something about this subject before it happens.
beware
When we approach a red light, we prepare to stop. We soon learn that if we constantly run red lights, our life on this earth will be short. This passage is the equivalent of a flashing red light. There is danger — “beware.
“The Greeks used “beware” as a military term. In this context, it is a warning to be on the alert against instability in their faith.
Principle: To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Application: Many Christians are very unstable in their faith. They know little of the Scriptures and are subject to spiritual seduction. As well, a stable believer today may be an unstable believer tomorrow. Faith without knowledge easily disintegrates.
We should stand guard against a wobbly faith and prevent the erosion of belief. People out there will try to ambush your faith. Christians in the twenty-first century often do not know doctrine and become vulnerable.
Are you running the red lights of the Word? Are you heading toward spiritual destruction?
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2 Peter 3:16c

Read Introduction to 2 Peter

 

"as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures."
 
as they do also the rest of the Scriptures
Unstable people not only distort Paul’s doctrine but they distort other writers of the Bible as well. 
Note that Peter regards Paul’s writing as “Scriptures.”  The Bible is the only book on earth written by God.  It is the only book that God inspired and it is the only book ever written that does not have even one error within its pages.  We build our faith on an infallible book. 
Scholars critical of the Bible pit Peter against Paul.  They say that Peter was a legalist and Paul preached grace.  They say the two apostles hold to different theologies.  This verse gives a lie to that thinking. 
PRINCIPLE: The Bible is the only infallible book on earth.
APPLICATION: There are no infallible people.  Christian leaders are fallible.  The infallibility of Scripture is the reason it sustained 2000 years of attacks upon it.  More people have burned Bibles than any other book on earth.  God has preserved the Bible through all of this.  That is a miracle in itself.
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