BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday February 3, 2013
LIVING WITH TRUTH
(The pursuit of virtue)
2 Peter 1
As the Apostle Peter moved closer to his violent death, which occurred during the Christian persecutions that were spearheaded by the Roman emperor Nero, in and around A.D. 68, he pens yet another dynamic letter to the Jewish Christians who were living in the province of Asia Minor. It deals with the anticipated problems that, Peter knew, would crop up and remain with the people, long after his departure from the evangelistic scene. Here, as in his first letter, he encourages the believers to continue on in their spiritual growth, and to always remember that the good news of CHRIST JESUS is not just a fairy tale, but rather, it is the personification of truth. He also warns them of the false teachers, who would seek to destroy the truth with the introduction of their own ideas to replace the church teachings that had been laid out by JESUS CHRIST, during HIS three-year ministry.
JESUS CHRIST will return one day to destroy the disorder that has now permeated this world. That is why we must be very careful not to become too attached to the world’s trappings. Peter calls for Christians to stand firm in the midst of the pressures from the gravitational pull of the world, which causes us to drift away from the truth. Satan’s plan is to undo all things that GOD has done, and we who are of some age, have already seen, for many years now, just how that luciferic plan has affected, even our own nation. This letter by Peter outlines some of the trials, tribulations, persecutions, and conflicts that the Christian can expect to endure in the latter days of GOD the CREATOR’s prevailing plan for the world.
In 2 Peter 1:1-11, the apostle suggests two bases for Christian confidence. First, he suggests that salvation affords us the resources by which we are able to live GODly lifestyles. We have already been embodied with “GOD’s Nature”, which are those “communicable attributes” (life, personality, love, truth, justice, wisdom, and holiness) that make it possible for us to obey, and worship GOD. As a result of GOD’s great gift to us, we can then make every effort to use these resources, or attributes, to develop a mature Christian character (vs. 4-9).
A life of faith produces moral excellence. Moral excellence leads to knowing GOD better. Knowing GOD leads to better self-control. Self control leads to patient endurance. Patient endurance leads to GODliness. And finally, GODliness leads to love for other Christians, and thereby, we will grow to have genuine love for everyone.
Secondly, we give confirmation to our call and election by GOD the FATHER when we begin to grow in grace, and the manifestation of HIS work is seen through us and, in us (vs. 10-11). In verses 12-18, Peter turns our attention to scriptural history, as he recalls the great transfiguration of CHRIST on Mount Harmon (Mark 9:1-7). It was an event that was witnessed only by himself, James, and John. Good news always bears repeating, and being reminded of what JESUS CHRIST has done for us is a benefit that we can all use.
The point that Peter makes in verses 19-21, regarding the messages of the ancient prophets, is that, those messages only served to make him even “more certain” of what they themselves had witnessed on that mountaintop overlooking the idol gods of Caesarea Philipp on that glorious day. We, as Christians, must pay close attention to what the ancient prophets wrote, because their words can be a lamp unto our feet, and a light shining in the darkness of our human existence.
We may never be able to witness an event of the magnitude of the great “Transfiguration of CHRIST”, which served to place affirmation of JESUS’ majesty on the hearts of men. But we ourselves must understand that no prophesy in scripture ever came from the prophets themselves, but rather, they came from the mind and heart of GOD. And HE used the power of HIS HOLY SPIRIT, just as HE always does, to move HIS messengers to speak to our minds and hearts. I pray that the words of the Apostle Peter in this passage will touch the heart of someone new to the faith of pursuing CHRIST JESUS, WHO is the personification of virtue. Amen.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website