2 Peter

"Reasons for Believing Jesus will Return"

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Getting into the guts of what’s going on

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The meat! And what to do about it!

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Dessert Course

Material for Church leaders and Tertiary level students

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The Key
The Key to unlocking the dynamic

The key to unlocking the dynamic of ‘2 Peter’ is to understand the letter’s argument. This letter is complicated (and is sometimes referred to as the ‘ugly ducking’ of the New Testament), so a careful study of ‘the argument’ (in the Starter Course) should help you navigate your way forward and assist your engagement with this part of God’s word.


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Hear
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when you’re at the gym, travelling etc …

 

Listen to a Worship song:

Lead me to the Cross (Hillsong)

 

http://www.worshiptogether.com/songs/lead-me-to-the-cross

 

 


Read
Read

It will take you around 6-7 minutes to read aloud the letter of “2 Peter”.

 

Praying for the Spirit’s insight and then reading the whole letter aloud every day for a week is excellent practice and this ‘Holy Habit’ will bring deep engagement with this part of scripture.

 

In terms of background reading it will be helpful to read the short letter of “Jude” (only 25 verses) from which you will immediately see the author of “2 Peter” has drawn a significant amount of material. 2 Peter 3:1 indicates that the letter was written to the same Christians as the letter of “1 Peter”, so it will be important to also read that earlier letter.

 


Watch
Watch

“In my Country”. This is a film about ‘The Truth and Reconciliation’ committee in South Africa that operated after Apartheid had been banned. I recommend it because it gives an insight into the process of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is not necessarily Christian, but it is insightful, and at times both deeply moving and horrifying.


Study
Study

Since “2 Peter” is one of the most complicated documents in the New Testament, you will need help studying this letter. I suggest you begin by reading the ‘Bible for Life’ summary on “2 Peter” and reading the letter alongside the ‘Argument’ so that you can see the way the author makes his points. You will probably need to study the letter stage by stage so that the meaning of each section becomes clear. The ‘Questions’ at the end of each Course are designed to help you see how the leading points of the letter are worked out in our lives today. If you want to study it further I suggest buying a second hand “used” copy (off the internet) of one of the commentaries  recommended in the ‘Dessert Course’.


Meditate
Meditate

Suggested verses for meditation …

 

1:3-4   ‘His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.’

 

1:10-11   ‘Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.’

 

3:8-9   ‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to reach repentance.

 

3:11-12   ‘You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.’

 

3:17-18   ‘Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this , be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

 


learn
Learn

2 Peter 3:8-9

‘But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to reach repentance.

 

 


Challenge
The Challenge

Explanation: We all learn in different ways. This section is for those who find that challenging questions motivate them to master a subject.

 

Here are ten questions about: “2 Peter”. See how you score. The answers are at the bottom of the page.

 

 

Easy:

Q1   Who was the letter of “2 Peter” written to?

 

Q2   What does the writer say is about to happen in his life?

 

Q3   Which leading doctrine are the false teachers (in 2 Peter) scorning?

 

 

Straightforward:

Q4     Which other New Testament letter does the author draw on extensively?

 

Q5. What event in Jesus’ life does “2 Peter” describe as the evidence that He will return as judge?

 

Q6. Why does God delay the return of Christ?

 

 

Difficult:

Q7 Which two Old Testament stories show that God intervenes to save the righteous and the punish those who turn from him to do evil?

 

Q8. Which leading Christian teacher does Peter sight as evidence that the false teachers are wrong?

 

 

Testing:

Q9.   What are the two great features of the context in which Christians grow?

 

Q10.   What two characteristics should mark our lives as we live in expectation of Christ’s return?

 

 

Answers:

A1 – Those who received “1 Peter”, that is the Christians who lived in the north-west of Turkey – 1 Peter 1:1, 2 Peter 3:1

A2 – He is about to die; 2 Peter 1:13-14.

A3 – Jesus’ return to judge humankind; 2 Peter 3:4.

A4 – Jude.

A5 – The Transfiguration is narrated in 2 Peter 1:16-18 in terms of the fulfilment of Psalm 2:6-9 where God’s Son is appointed to bring order to the nations.

A6 – God does not want any to perish but all to repent and be saved; 2 Peter 3:9&15.

A7 – The stories of Noah and Lot; 2 Peter 2:5-8

A8 – Paul, the apostle who either directly, or indirectly, established the churches in north-west Turkey where the false teachers seemed to be having an influence; 2 Peter 315-16.

A9 – Grace, and the knowledge of Christ; 2 Peter 1:2, & 3:18; (also; 1:3, 1:8).

A10 – ‘You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed it’s coming.’   2 Peter 3:11-12

 

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Overview

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    • Summary - All the key features in a one page summary
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    Summary & Exhortation

    The letter of ‘2 Peter’ is sometimes referred to as “the ugly duckling” of the New Testament. The unknown context of both the author and the recipients, the particular style of writing, the subject matter of false teaching and judgement, the use of Greek metaphors and forms of thought and the sheer complication of the argument demand very careful study. Despite the success of recent scholarship in bringing considerable light to these complications, all seeking to engage with ‘2 Peter’ and ‘rightly handle the word of God’ (2 Tim 2:15) will need to take special care to listen and allow the text to speak for itself.

     

    In ‘2 Peter’, the author writes to warn a group of Christians of the dangers of some false teachers who are scorning the promise that Jesus would return as judge. As a consequence, they are allowing relaxed moral behaviour, especially sexual behaviour, in their churches. The author of the letter argues that Christ’s promise to return as the judge of humanity is affirmed first by his glorification as judge of the nations at the Transfiguration, second by the prophecies of the Old Testament prophets, third by the stories of God’s intervening judgement in scripture, and lastly by the apostle Paul’s clear teaching that Christ would return as judge. The delay in Christ’s return is the deliberate will of God who wants all humanity to be saved and is therefore giving more time for all to turn in repentance. Throughout ‘2 Peter’ the author turns the false teachers’ accusations back on themselves, stating that in fact their own position is precarious, that they are the ones over whom judgement is hanging and that it is they who need to repent. The author draws deeply from the letter of Jude, especially in the central section, and warns the false teachers at considerable length that the spiritual error they have succumbed to is serious, and that the judgement they are themselves facing will be exceptionally severe.

     

    ‘2 Peter’ warns the apprentice of Jesus not to fall into the trap of doubting that he will return as judge – just as Jesus himself taught. It affirms the need to pursue all the virtues of godliness and assures apprentices that as we ‘grow in the grace of and knowledge of the Lord’ (3:18), we shall not ‘fall from our secure position’ (3:17), but be fruitful, and in due course we will ‘receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ’ (1:11). 

     

     

     

    Read the testimonies at:

                http://www.livingout.org/

    C21st Story >
    taster Questions - Questions to start you off

    Question 1 -

    The Biblical doctrine of Christ’s return is often misrepresented and trivialised by some, and then consequently mocked and ignored by others. How should disciples of Jesus respond to the hype and distortion that is so often presented through social media?


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    Introduction to "2 Peter"

    Discipleship in"2 Peter"

      the essentials - The literary features explained
    • Context
    • /
    • Literary Genre
    • /
    • Structure
    • /
    • Themes

    Situation: ‘2 Peter’ was written to expose and counter the influence of ‘false teachers’ who publicly derided the expectation that Christ would return, and as a direct consequence allowed relaxed moral behaviour. The letter presents as being written just before Peter’s death, which can reliably be dated to have been in 64-65CE. However, the style of writing, the significantly large number of words used only in this letter, and the use of Greek thought-forms convince many that the letter is a pseudepigraph. Under this view, ‘2 Peter’ is understood to have been written by an author who knew Peter well, who was deeply aware of his teaching and views, and who wrote between 80-90CE presenting Peter’s teaching in order to counter the influence of the pernicious and dangerous ‘false teachers’. Since Peter died in Rome, this letter was sent to churches under the pastoral oversight of that ‘mother’ church, and this included the recipients of ‘1 Peter’ in the region of what is currently north western Turkey.

    The document entitled ‘2 Peter’ employs two literary genres: ‘letter’ and ‘testament’. It is a genuine ‘letter’ following the conventional introductory greeting (1:1-2), written to a specific audience and context (3:1), but without a customary closing benediction. It is a ‘testament’ because it contains ethical exhortations and predictions about the future, following the view that great people received insight about the future just before their deaths (1:14). There is a very close similarity between the central content of ‘2 Peter’ and the letter of Jude, and a careful study quickly demonstrates that the author of ‘2 Peter’ has used ‘Jude’ as the leading source.

    Structure:

    • The letter opens with an ‘Address and greeting’ followed by a strong ‘Summary exhortation to godliness’ (1:1-10). These verses serve as a ‘final sermon’ from Peter, as well as summarising the leading exhortation of the letter which is that, having come to know Christ at conversion, the believer must now progress in living a virtuous life.

     

    • The main substance of the argument of the letter runs from 1:12 – 3:10. It is a strong response to the false teachers’ assertion that Christ will not return.

     

    First objection: the apostles made up the doctrine that Christ will return

    1:16-18   First response: Peter is an apostolic eyewitness   Peter’s own eye-witness experience of the Transfiguration is cited as evidence for the certainty of Christ’s return as judge of humanity.

    1:19   Second response: The apostles preached what the Old Testament prophesied   The doctrine that God will return as judge is clearly foretold by the Old Testament prophets.

     

    Second objection: the Old Testament prophets were not inspired

    1:20-21   Response   The whole prophetic process was inspired by the Spirit.

     

    Peter predicts the emergence of false teachers

    2:1-3   Comment   The argument now turns to Peter’s own clear prediction that false teachers will emerge who deny Christ’ sovereignty and relax Christ’s moral teaching.

     

    Third objection: there will be no judgment

    The false teachers are claiming that since the apostles fabricated the doctrine of the Lord’s return, the apostles’ teaching that the Lord will judge humanity is also untrue and should therefore be ignored.

    2:4-10a   Response   The response gives three leading examples of God’s intervening judgement in the Old Testament. The accounts of Noah and Lot are not only signs of the certainty of God’s future judgement on the wicked, but demonstrate that just as these two men were delivered from their tormenting contexts of unrighteousness, so believers who live righteous lives will at the final judgement be delivered from their current prevailing evil contexts.

     

    Peter’s denunciation of the false teachers

    2:10b-22   Comment   This forthright and devastating denunciation of the false teachers continues to the end of the chapter and warns of the judgement they should expect.

     

    Fourth objection: Christ will never return

    3:1-4   Comment   These verses explain the motivation for writing the letter, and the letter’s context.

    3:5-7   First response   God judged the world in the flood, and he will judge the world at the return of Christ; it is therefore foolish to mock Christ’s own statement that he will return as judge.

    3:8-10   Second response: God’s decision to delay his return does not mean his return is uncertain, rather it is because in his mercy he is patiently giving time for many to repent and be saved. 

     

    • The letter concludes with a ‘Summary exhortation to godliness’ in 3:11-18. The argument concludes with a summary exhortation to live holy and godly lives in anticipation of Christ’s return. The author ends with an appeal to Paul whose letters carried theological authority in the churches to which ‘2 Peter’ was written and was therefore someone who the ‘false teachers’ were forced to acknowledge and respect. 
    1. The affirmation that Christ will return as judge is a leading theme.
    2. The necessity of living a godly life and growing in godliness as we wait in expectation for Christ’s return.
    3. The certainty of God’s judgement, especially on those licentious false teachers who are destroying the faith of new believers.
    4. Scripture and the nature of the authority of scripture.
    Literary Genre >
      The Argument -

    The strategy of the argument in 2 Peter

    The argument of ‘2 Peter’ is directed against the ‘false teachers’ who taught against the expectation that Christ would return, and as a result permitted relaxed moral behaviour.

    The letter has the following structure …

    The letter opens with an ‘Address and greeting’ followed by a strong ‘Summary exhortation to godliness’ (1:1-10). These verses serve as a ‘final sermon’ from Peter, as well as summarising the leading exhortation of the letter which is that having come to know Christ at conversion, the believer must now progress in living a virtuous life. The ‘sermon’ has three parts:

    V3-4 affirm that God’s work in Christ, and his promises given by Christ, are perfectly sufficient to enable the believer to make progress;

    V5-10 outline a progression in godliness; and

    V11 affirms the goal and reward for all believers who persevere.

     

    The main substance of the argument of the letter runs from 1:12 – 3:10. It is a strong response to the false teachers’ assertion that Christ will not return.

     

    First objection: the apostles made up the doctrine that Christ will return

    1:16-18   First response: Peter is an apostolic eyewitness   Peter’s own eye-witness experience of the Transfiguration is cited as evidence for the certainty of Christ’s return as judge of humanity.

    1:19   Second response: The apostles preached what the Old Testament prophesied   The doctrine that God will return as judge is clearly foretold by the Old Testament prophets.

     

    Second objection: the Old Testament prophets were not inspired

    1:20-21   Response   The whole prophetic process was inspired by the Spirit. Having stated that the Old Testament prophets prophesied the return of God to judge humanity (1;19), the author must now answer a second objection by the false teachers that even though those prophets may have received dreams and visions, their interpretation of these phenomena was human, faulty and therefore in error. The author responds by stating that the Holy Spirit not only inspired the prophetic event, but also inspired the interpretation (and communication) of that event. Therefore, since the Holy Spirit inspired the prophecies of God’s intervention and judgement, they should be believed.

     

    Peter predicts the emergence of false teachers

    2:1-3   Comment   Having countered the objection that the apostles made up the doctrine of the return of Christ (v16a), the argument now turns to Peter’s own clear prediction that false teachers will emerge who deny Christ’ sovereignty and relax Christ’s moral teaching.

     

    Third objection: there will be no judgment

    The false teachers are claiming that since the apostles fabricated the doctrine of the Lord’s return, the apostles’ teaching that the Lord will judge humanity is also untrue and should therefore be ignored.

    2:4-10a   Response   The response is a detailed argument built on three leading examples of God’s intervening judgement in Old Testament times which demonstrate that judgement is certain. The accounts of Noah and Lot are not only signs of the certainty of God’s future judgement on the wicked, but demonstrate that just as these two men were delivered from their tormenting contexts of unrighteousness, so believers who live righteous lives will at the final judgement be delivered from their current prevailing evil contexts.

     

    Peter’s denunciation of the false teachers

    2:10b-22   Comment   This forthright and devastating denunciation of the false teachers continues to the end of the chapter and warns of the judgement they should expect.

     

    Fourth objection: Christ will never return

    3:1-4   Comment   These verses explain the motivation for writing the letter, and the letter’s context.

    3:5-7   First response   God judged the world in the flood, and he will judge the world at the return of Christ; it is therefore foolish to mock Christ’s own statement that he will return as judge.

    3:8-10   Second response: God’s decision to delay his return does not mean his return is uncertain, rather it is because in his mercy he is patiently giving time for many to repent and be saved. 

     

    The letter concludes with a ‘Summary exhortation to godliness’ in 3:11-18. The argument concludes with a summary exhortation to live holy and godly lives in anticipation of Christ’s return. The author ends with an appeal to Paul whose letters carried theological authority in the churches to which ‘2 Peter’ was written and was therefore someone who the ‘false teachers’ were forced to acknowledge and respect. 

    starter Questions - To help you think carefully about the key issues

    Question 1 -

    What is holiness?


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    Question 2 -

    In 1995 ‘The Nine O’ Clock Service’, a prominent innovative church in Sheffield, collapsed after the leader was exposed for sexual misconduct. In wanting to explore new forms of church, the Church of England had taken a risk that went wrong. Study the internet links. What were the warning signs that something was going wrong? What are the direct parallels with the situation addressed in ‘2 Peter’?


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    • Verse by Verse - For a thorough understanding of the Biblical text
    • 2 Peter 1:1-11
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    • 2 Peter 1:12 - 2:22 Substance - Part 1
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    • 2 Peter 3:1-10 - Substance - Part 2
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    • 2 Peter 3:11-18

    1:1 – 2   Address and greeting

    A straightforward introduction to the letter.

     

    The address uses and develops the words of the address and greeting in ‘1 Peter’. The significant difference is in the second part of the first verse: although this is a general letter written to all Christians, the reference in 3:1 demonstrates that those who received the first letter are especially in view.

    V1   The greeting emphasises the ‘value’ of the believers’ faith. It is ‘precious’. It has eternal value and should not be viewed with contempt or undervalued. This greeting therefore begins the argument against the false teachers whose compromising doctrines are undermining and undervaluing true faith in Christ.

    V2   The emphasis on ‘the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord’ introduces one of the main purposes of the letter which is to warn against the move to relax moral standards and apostatise through the rejection of this knowledge.

     

     

    1:3 – 11   Summary message: the knowledge of Christ must lead to godly living

    These verses serve as a ‘final sermon’ from Peter, as well as summarising the leading exhortation of the letter which is that having come to know Christ at conversion, the believer must now progress in living a virtuous life. The ‘sermon’ has three parts:

    V3-4 affirm that God’s work in Christ, and his promises given by Christ, are perfectly sufficient to enable the believer to make progress;

    V5-10 outline a progression in godliness; and

    V11 affirms the goal and reward for all believers who persevere.

     

    1:3 – 4   Christ’s grace and promises enable believers to progress in virtuous living

    V3   The grace to live a godly life comes within the context of believing in and knowing Christ and pursuing the knowledge of Christ (Philippians 3:10).

    V4   During his ministry, Christ promised his followers that through believing in him they would escape human mortality and enter into immortality (John 5:24-26, John 11:25, Luke 11:13). This unusual Greek word for ‘promise’ emphasises the content of what is promised, and is used only here and in 2 Peter 3:13 where it refers to ‘a new heaven and earth where righteousness dwells’. The corruption and mortality of human life is not caused by the materiality of earthly existence, but by human ‘desire’, or ‘drive’, as in ‘sex drive’ or appetite; when misdirected, this has disastrous long term results. The phrase ‘participation in the divine nature’ refers to the quality of ‘immortality’ – that is, it means being immortal like God.

     

    1:5 – 10   The believer’s progression in godliness

    V5   The Christian life begins with faith, and ends with love (v7, see also Galatians 5:6).

    V6   Although the progression of virtues has a general similarity with Romans 5:3-5, the list actually reflects contemporary Hellenistic moral thought.  Crucially, though, in making ‘love’ the ultimate goal, the whole list is ‘Christianised’.

    V9   The purpose of this letter is to address and correct the error of having begun as a Christian but then, through the influence of the false teachers, drifted into a compromised moral lifestyle.

     

    V11   The believer’s goal and reward

    V11   Christian ‘hope’ is the quiet and certain confidence that we shall enter into, and participate in, Christ’s eternal Kingdom just as we have already begun to enter into and participate in it now.

    1:12 – 15   The context of the letter

    After summarising the leading exhortation of the letter (1:3-11), these three verses describe the context and reason for writing and therefore function as a transition into the substance of the letter, which is a defence of, and an appeal for, godliness in the face of the compromising false teachers.

     

    In terms of ‘literary genre’, this short section is a ‘testament’ which in the contemporary literature of the time usually indicated pseudepigraphal authorship. If this is the case, then we should understand that a close, but younger, colleague of Peter’s is writing in Peter’s name after his death, not to present his own teaching, but to strengthen and remind the church of Peter’s teaching that believers ought to live godly lives as we wait for the Lord’s return.

    V12   Paul wrote in a similar way in Philippians 3:1.

    V13   Jesus promised his followers ‘buildings’ in heaven (John 14:1), and, in anticipation, Paul refers to his body as a tent in 2 Corinthians 5:1.

    V14   Paul wrote in anticipation of his forthcoming death (2 Timothy 4:6). Jesus had prophesied Peter’s death in John 21:18-19.

    V15   This verse supports the argument for pseudepigraphal authorship. If this is the case, then we should understand that the author is a close associate of Peter (who is now dead), and is writing to communicate Peter’s own teaching and rebuttal of the false teachers that Peter predicted would influence the church after the death of the first apostles (2:1). See the reference to the ‘fathers’ in 3:4.

      

    1:16 – 18   First objection: The apostles made up the doctrine that Christ will return

    First response: Peter is an apostolic eyewitness

    This section is the first rebuttal of the false teachers’ challenge that Christ will not return to judge the world. Peter’s own eye-witness experience of the Transfiguration is cited as evidence for the certainty of this future event.

     

    The argument here is more developed than it first appears. In citing Peter’s eye-witness experience of the Transfiguration, and not, as many would have expected, his account of a resurrection appearance or perhaps the Ascension, the believer is directed to the statements in Psalm 2 where God’s son is enthroned as God’s anointed king (Messiah) on God’s holy mountain, and commissioned to bring rebellious humanity to order. Since Jesus will bring this to fulfilment when he comes in glory, the Transfiguration, where the apostles witnessed Christ in the glory that all humanity will see at the future ‘Parousia’, is cited as evidence for the future return of Christ. Since God himself has appointed Jesus to this task and given him glory for the task, the apostles’ witness to this event is not a merely human thing; they are witnessing to the very voice and action of God himself. Consequently, to teach against Christ’s ‘Parousia’ or ‘second coming’ is to teach against the very statement and action of God himself in choosing and appointing his Son as Messiah!

    V17-18   The events of the Transfiguration are narrated in terms of the details of Psalm 2, a psalm which celebrates the appointment and commissioning of God’s son as Messiah on the ‘holy mountain’ to bring rebellious humanity into order.

      

    1:19   First objection: the apostles made up the doctrine that Christ will return

    Second response: the apostles preached what the Old Testament prophesied

    The second defence against the charge that the apostles made up the doctrine of Christ’s return (v16a), is that this doctrine (that God will intervene in judgement) is clearly foretold by the Old Testament prophets. However, this response begs a second challenge from the false teachers, that the interpretation of prophecy was a human activity. V20-21 answer this objection, stating that the Holy Spirit not only inspired the visions and dreams that the Old Testament prophets received, but that the very interpretation of those visions and dreams was also given directly by the Holy Spirit.

     

    In preaching that Christ will return in glory, the apostles were not only eye-witnesses of this glory at the Transfiguration (v16-18), but were simply preaching what the Old Testament prophets had always clearly proclaimed. Such prophecy is like a torch in the darkness, which although vital to us who are currently in darkness, will be completely eclipsed by the light of the reality of Christ at his return.

     

    1:20 – 21   Second objection: the Old Testament prophets were not inspired

    Response: the whole prophetic process was inspired by the Spirit

    Having stated that the Old Testament prophets prophesied the return of God to judge humanity (1;19), the author must now answer a second objection by the false teachers that even though those prophets may have received dreams and visions, their interpretation of these phenomena was human, faulty and therefore in error. The author responds by stating that the Holy Spirit not only inspired the prophetic event, but also inspired the interpretation (and communication) of that event. Therefore, since the Holy Spirit inspired the prophecies of God’s intervention and judgement, they should be believed.

     

    2:1 – 3   Peter predicts the emergence of false teachers

    Having countered the objection that the apostles made up the doctrine of the return of Christ (v16a), the argument now turns to Peter’s own clear prediction that false teachers will emerge who deny Christ’ sovereignty and relax Christ’s moral teaching.

     

    Just as there were false prophets alongside the authentic prophets in Old Testament times (v19-21), so false teachers were emerging in the sub-apostolic era, that is, as the first apostles died around the 50-60s CE, so false teachers began to emerge whose teaching both undermined the apostolic teaching about Christ’s lordship and allowed relaxed moral standards.

    V1   The pernicious aim of the false teachers is to steadily undermine Jesus’ authority. Their strategy for achieving this is to question, and thereby cast doubt on, the expectation of Christ’s return.

    V2   Once the expectation of the return of Christ is discarded, the desire to live holy lives is challenged and rendered unnecessary, so believers default to the level of morality in wider pagan society. The result is that since Christians are seen as no different from non-Christians, their claims to Kingdom living are discredited and rejected by general non-Christian society.

    V3   It is the claims of the ‘false teachers’ that are fabricated, not the claims of the apostles (1:16a). In the final sentence the author turns the delay in the Parousia (Christ’s return) back on the false teachers. They may be teaching that the delay in Christ’s return demonstrates that he will never return, but the judgement they will receive because of their denial of Christ’s sovereignty and the relaxed morals they are encouraging is certainly not ‘delayed’. They should expect it in full measure when he returns!

     

    2:4 – 10a   Third objection: there will be no judgment

    Response: the accounts of God’s intervention in the Old Testament demonstrate that judgement is certain

    The false teachers are claiming that since the apostles fabricated the doctrine of the Lord’s return, the apostles’ teaching that the Lord will judge humanity is also untrue and should therefore be ignored. The response is a detailed argument built on three leading examples of God’s intervening judgement in Old Testament times which demonstrate that judgement is certain. The accounts of Noah and Lot are not only signs of the certainty of God’s future judgement on the wicked, but demonstrate that just as these two men were delivered from their tormenting contexts of unrighteousness, so believers who live righteous lives will at the final judgement be delivered from their current prevailing evil contexts.

    Verses 4, 6 and 10a are clearly parallel to Jude 6-8.

    V4   This unusual example is most probably a reference to the story in Genesis 6:1-4 and is most probably taken from the parallel text in Jude 6.

    V9   This verse articulates the response to the false teachers’ objection: the Lord has everything perfectly under control, as the incidents in Israel’s history demonstrate, the unrighteous are already suffering punishment ahead of the final judgement, just as the righteous are being kept by him and in some cases are already being taken out of their evil contexts.

    V10   This sentence restates the sexual nature of the false teachers’ compromising, and most probably describes their own moral behaviour. It parallels Jude 4.

     

    2:10b – 16   The denunciation of the false teachers (part 1)

    This forthright and devastating denunciation of the false teachers continues to the end of the chapter, but there is a pause and slight change of tone after v16.

     

    The substance of v11-22 is drawn from Jude 8-16, although some of Jude’s items are omitted and others are expressed from a different ‘angle’. First, the author exposes the arrogant foolishness of the false teachers’ contempt for spiritual powers. He warns them that despite their claims to the contrary, these teachers who are behaving like irrational animals are heading to the very judgement to that of the evil powers to which they are wedded. Second, he condemns their sensuality, stating that they are under God’s curse, and then in his last point he likens them to Balaam, who actually thought he could oppose God’s will and succeed! Even Balaam’s donkey had a clearer understanding of spiritual truth than he did!

    V10b-12   Although they claim special spiritual insight and authority, these false teachers demonstrate by their lives that they know nothing of the Spirit’s discernment and godliness. In matters of the Spirit, they behave like animals driven by instinct and instinct alone. They have no idea that what they are saying and doing is offensively blasphemous.

    V13   Paul states that precisely because ‘God is just’, the Lord Jesus himself will exercise this principle of ‘lex tallionis’ at the final judgement (2 Thessalonians 1:6). The description of these false teachers as ‘blots and blemishes’ is a deliberate contrast to Paul’s statement that Christ atoned for the church in order to present ‘her to himself … without stain or blemish’ (Ephesians 5:27).

    V14   This damming accusation of ‘adultery … seduction … greed’ nails the sexual element of their error, which is why they are under God’s curse. This verse is surely one of the most fearful in all scripture.

    V15-16   Balaam was a pagan sorcerer who, due to exceptional circumstances, was nevertheless used by the Holy Spirit to prophesy Israel’s future and bless God’s people. However, this only took place after he was severely disciplined by God. Balaam used his psychic and spiritual powers to gain wealth, but the incident with the donkey (Numbers 22:21f) demonstrated that despite whatever psychic ability and occult power he may have exercised, in true spiritual matters he was absolutely blind to God’s truth.

     

    2:17 – 22   The denunciation of the false teachers (part 2)

    The author continues his very strong denunciation of the false teachers and warns of the judgement they should fully expect.

     The false teachers are portrayed with metaphors illustrating their bankruptcy and inability to deliver any genuine spiritual nourishment. They appeal to the desires of the human nature and promise freedom from God’s judgement but are themselves completely captive to the desires of their own sinful natures. Like the person who is delivered from a demon only to allow themselves to be repossessed by seven other demons (Matthew 12:43-45), these teachers have let go of the knowledge of the Lord and once again have embraced the thinking and lifestyles of their immoral pre-Christian state. They face a future of complete spiritual blindness – where they will find it impossible to discern any spiritual truth.

    V17   This verse draws on Jude 12-13. Those teachers who lead others to compromise Christ’s moral teaching will find themselves completely incapable of discerning spiritual truth. To reject the light of Christ (John 8:12) is to choose darkness, a decision leading to the inability to discern any spiritual truth whatsoever.

    V18   These teachers appeal to, and steer by, the sinful desires of the sinful nature, rather than the teaching of Christ and the leading of the Holy Spirit. They prey on vulnerable new believers, persuading them to follow the desires of the sinful nature, rather than turning from them (Romans 8:13).

    V19   The teachers promise freedom from God’s judgement, while they themselves are the prime candidates for God’s judgement because of their enslavement to the sinful nature (Romans 6:16).

    V20-21   This moral apostasy is extremely serious precisely because these teachers are rejecting the full knowledge of God’s moral demands. They cannot claim that they did not know. They are like the warning Jesus gave about the man who was delivered of his dominating sin only to allow seven worse sinful powers to shape his lifestyle.

    V22   These two illustrations continue the animal theme, but they also involve two animals that the Jews found particularly disgusting: the dog and the pig.

    3:1 – 4   Fourth objection: Christ will never return

    These verses are crucial for understanding both the motivation for writing the letter, and the letter’s context. ‘2 Peter’ originated from the ‘Petrine’ circle in Rome, where Mark wrote Peter’s narrative of Jesus’ ministry in ‘The Gospel of Mark’, and which seems to have been specifically provided for by Peter himself (1:15).

     

    Verses 1-2 relate closely to 1:12-15 and both passages are written in the ‘testament’ literary genre. For the first time, the author clearly states the central assertion of the false teachers: ‘Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?’ (v4). These teachers are publicly doubting that Christ will return, and stating that everything is continuing just as it always has well after the death of Jesus’ apostles, ‘our fathers’ (v4). In contention, the author asserts that the false teachers are themselves the fulfilment the specific prediction by Peter and the apostles that ‘scoffers’ would come doubting the return of Christ, and as a result permit relaxed moral behaviour.

    V1   The first letter was ‘1 Peter’. ‘The Gospel of Mark’ also originated from this ‘Petrine’ school in Rome, either immediately before Peter’s death, or soon after.

    V2   ‘…the words … by the holy prophets’ refers to the Old Testament prophecies that Christ will return as judge at the end of the age, as has already been argued in 1:19. Christ’s own statements and teaching about his return are stated at length in Mark 13, Matthew 24-25, and Luke 21.

    V3   ‘…scoffing and following their own evil desires’ means that the false teachers will deny the Lord’s return, and on that basis permit believers to compromise sexual morality.

    V4   The ‘fathers’ is a reference to Jesus’ apostles. The author wrote this letter to counter the false teaching articulated in this verse. There was a strong expectation among the first generation of believers that Christ would return during their lifetime.

     

    3:5 – 7   Fourth objection: Christ will never return

    First response: God judged the world in the flood, and he will judge the world in the future

    The false teachers doubt that Christ will return on the grounds that everything in the world is continuing as it always has done. The author’s response is that God has already demonstrated in the flood (Genesis 6) that he does intervene in judgement, so it is therefore foolish to mock Christ’s own teaching that he will return as judge.

     

    These verses are the central section of a chiastic structure throughout 3:4-10. The use of subject matter that is generally considered ‘mythical’ (the formation of the world out of water, and the judgement of God through the ‘flood’) makes this one of the most problematic hermeneutical passages in ‘2 Peter’. Nevertheless, contemporary humanity is much more aware of the unpredictable ‘titanic’ power of nature in such events as earthquakes and tsunamis, and the earth’s precarious future as global warming brings unforeseen results, well as its own new power to destroy the earth through atomic weaponry. Bauckham writes: ‘The religious belief which is conveyed in these mythical forms remains valid’ (p302).

    V7   Bauckham: ‘The threat is the threat of God’s moral judgement, and even that judgement is not an end in itself, but for the sake of the new world of righteousness which he once again will create out of chaos’ (p302).

     

    3:8 – 10   Fourth objection: Christ will never return

    Second response: God is patient, giving time for repentance so that many will be saved 

    The second response to the objection that Christ will not return, because year by year everything continues just as it always has done, is that God’s decision to delay his return does not mean his return is uncertain. Rather, it is because in his mercy, he is patiently giving time for many to repent and be saved. 

     

    God has a different perspective on time from men and women. Nevertheless, while arguing that God has deliberately provided humanity with much time to repent, he quickly follows this by warning that this delay will not last for ever. God will one day intervene, and when that happens it will be sudden, just as Jesus himself clearly taught.

    V10   See Matthew 24:43-44.

    3:11 – 18   Exhortation to godliness

    The argument concludes with a summary exhortation to live holy and godly lives in anticipation of Christ’s return. The author ends with an appeal to Paul, who also taught clearly that Christ will return to judge humanity, and whose letters carried theological authority in the churches to which ‘2 Peter’ was written, so was therefore someone who the ‘false teachers’ were forced to acknowledge and respect. 

     

    The author follows the pattern found in several New Testament letters (1 Corinthians 15:58, Ephesians 5:8-16) of concluding the argument with an exhortation to godly living. This is especially appropriate because the false teachers are arguing that the delay in the Parousia has demonstrated that the early apostles’ teaching was wrong, and consequently the high sexual standards they expected were also by implication unnecessary and could therefore be ignored. The positive exhortation to grow in the grace of Christ parallels and complements the discipleship exhortations in the opening exhortation (1:3-11).

     

    V11   The argument is that godly living should be practiced because at the judgement, the unrighteous will be punished. This important exhortation complements the inverse exhortation, often argued by Paul, that the reward for godly living is greater inheritance in the Kingdom now.

    V15   This takes forward the argument of 3:9. 3:1 states that this letter was written to those who had received ‘1 Peter’ – the believers in the North West of modern day Turkey. These Christians would have been familiar with the Pauline letters of Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians.

    V16   This is a direct attack on the false teachers who would have known that Paul was respected as a leading theological authority and that he would have assertively dismissed their teaching and stated that it leads directly to destruction (2 Timothy 4:3-4). Very significantly, Paul’s writings are referred to as ‘scripture’ alongside the writings of the Old Testament. 2 Peter 1:20-21 is therefore a significant cross-reference.

    V17   This repeats the assertion in 1:12-13 that the letter is written to again remind and warn believers about the pernicious influence of the false teachers that was clearly predicted and foretold by the first apostles (1 Timothy 4:2, 2 Timothy 3:5-9). The writer draws on Jude 24 to affirm again that when we pursue Christ, we will not ‘fall’ into a lifestyle driven by desire and ending in sin.

    V18   Believers grow in the life of the Kingdom through both knowing Christ and receiving his grace.

    2 Peter 1:12 - 2:22 Substance - Part 1 >
      The Apprentice - Helping apprentices of Jesus think through the applications
    • Overall Message
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    • Leading Imperatives
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    • Implied Imperatives
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    • Application
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    • Holy Habits

    ‘2 Peter’ warns against the false teaching that Christ will not return as judge, and the corollary that believers are therefore free to live life, and specifically sexual life, in any way we choose. The letter exhorts believers to remember Christ’s promises, to pursue godliness, and to grow through the grace of Christ so that we receive a rich welcome into Christ’s Kingdom.

    1:5   For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

    1:10   Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election.

    3:3-4   Above all, you must understand that in the last days, scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

    3:8   But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

    The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

     3:11-12   You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming.

    3:14   So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

     3:17   Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

     3:18   But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

     

    1:4   It is our business to make sure we know (1:12) the promises Christ has made to us! ‘Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.’

    1:13,15   It is wise for pastors and teachers to remind people of the central truths of the Christian faith even though the members of their church know them already.

    1:19   Remember that when Christ promised he would return to judge the world, he was only restating what the Old Testament prophets had consistently prophesied. ‘We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it…’

    2:1-3   Watch out, and be on your guard against the teaching and influence of the false prophets and teachers.

    2:4-10   Remember that God is well able to deliver righteous people from evil, as we wait in anticipation of the final judgement.

    3:1   Believers should always hold onto the teaching of Christ and his apostles.

    3:8   Remember that Christ is delaying his return so that more people have time to repent and be saved.

    3:13,15   Fix your attention on the glorious future we have with Christ: ‘But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.’

    3:16   Remember that Paul himself also taught that Christ will return to judge humanity.

    • Always hold onto, believe, and orientate your life around Christ’s clear statement and promise that he will return in glory to judge all humanity.
    • Do not forget that Christ has cleansed you from your sins (1:9), but pursue goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love, so that your relationship with Christ is fruitful (1:5-8). If you remain and live in the grace and knowledge of Christ then you will grow through that grace (3:18), and receive a rich welcome into Christ’s eternal Kingdom (1:11).
    • Do not allow yourself, or other believers, to be beguiled by any false teaching that states that Christ will not return, and that we are therefore free to live our lives, and especially our sexual lives, in any way we choose. Do not compromise and leave Christ’s standards for sex and marriage (2:13-14). Do not take on the immoral standards of the world (2:18-22).

    Holy Habits: (Holy Habits are patterns of living and lifestyle practices which we choose to do in our lives.  These can be in order to either withdraw from the dominion of the world, such as silence, secrecy, submission, fasting, watching, simple living, or, practices that plunge us into the life of the Kingdom, such as prayer, worship, celebration, study, serving the poor and deprived, etc. They can be as simple as kneeling by your bed and thanking God at the end of the day, or as substantial as attending an annual Christian festival.)

    • 2 Peter is both a warning and an encouragement. So first, we need to build patterns of living that strengthen our knowledge and understanding of Christ’s teaching about his return to judge humanity, and second, we need patterns of living that focus us on godliness and help establish godliness in us.
    • Holy Habits such as the study of God’s word and learning sound theology will strengthen our understanding of the doctrine of Christ’s return.
    • Holy Habits such as obedience, prayer, service and giving will help build godliness into our characters.
    Leading Imperatives >
    main Questions - Important questions directly from the text

    Question 1 -

    How can you and I grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 1:2-3 & 3:18)?


    watch video

    Question 2 -

    Read 2 Peter 2:13-16. What does this demonstrate about the toxic combination of faith and money?


    watch video

    Question 3 -

    2 Peter (and Jude) address the issue of false teachers encouraging sexual permissiveness. What should the Church do when its own leadership and members behave appallingly?


    watch video

    Question 4 -

    How can we relate to and help those we love who experience strong sexual desires that make following Christ’s teaching about marriage difficult - especially our friends in the LGBT+ community?


    Question 5 -

    How can we answer those teachers who contradict Christ’s teaching in Matthew 19:1-12 (see 2 Peter 2:18)?


    watch video

    dessert course

    A prayer

    Commentaries

    Suggested Sermon Series

    Questions

    • A prayer -
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    O Lord, bring all men and women to repentance and salvation, and give us grace to live holy and godly lives as we grow in the knowledge of you and look forward to your return as Lord and Saviour. Amen.

    Commentary:

    O Lord, bring all men and women to repentance (3:9) and salvation (3:15), and give us grace to live holy and godly lives (3:11) as we grow in the knowledge of you (1:3, 3:18) and look forward to your return as Lord and Saviour (1:11). Amen. 

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      Commentaries - Introducing the best commentaries

    Commentaries on “2 Peter”   

    (Updated: October 2018)

    BfL Recommends:

    For a leading exhaustive commentary on the original Greek text of ‘2 Peter’, read:

    ‘Jude, 2 Peter’ by Richard J. Bauckham in ‘World Biblical Commentary’ Series: 1996, Thomas Nelson Inc., Mexico. 357 pages (about 213pp on 2 Peter).

     

    For a similarly thorough and academically informed commentary on the original Greek text of ‘2 Peter’, read:

    ‘The letters of 2 Peter and Jude’ by Peter H. Davids in ‘The Pillar New Testament Commentary’ Series: 2006, Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. 348 pages (about 190pp on 2 Peter).

     

    For a shorter, more readable and easily usable commentary, Bible for Life recommends:

    ‘2 Peter and Jude’ by Michael Green (Revised Edition) in ‘Tyndale New Testament Commentaries’ Series: 1987, IVP (Leister, England) 208 pages. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

      Suggested Sermon Series -

    Sermon Series on ‘2 Peter’

    (Updated: October 2018)

    Series Title:   Live holy lives anticipating Christ’s return

    Comment:  Since ‘2 Peter’ is complicated by the unusual nature of its argument, style, genre, phraseology and subject matter, those with responsibility for teaching scripture in the church they serve will need to spend time together considering carefully how to bring this part of God’s word to God’s people. Being a short document, the letter can be properly studied over a calendar month, but this letter is arguably best taught not by sequential sermons, but topic by topic:

    1. The central argument: the challenge of false teaching that Christ will not return, and Peter’s (four) arguments why we should trust Christ’s promise that he will return.
    2. Discipleship in 2 Peter: how to progress towards the Kingdom (1:3-11, 3:18).
    3. Special additional topics include: ‘Scripture in 2 Peter’, ‘understanding the error of the false teachers’, ‘living in the expectation that Christ will return’ and ‘understanding the context of 2 Peter: Bauckham’s argument that a disciple of Peter’s wrote this letter as a testament of Peter’s teaching on this subject’.

     

    Text Subject Subject
     2 Peter 1:12-21

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    Key verse: 1:16   

    ‘We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’

    ‘The letter’s leading argument: the reasons for believing that Christ will return’ The first sermon should always set the CONTEXT for the series. There is no need to go into detail about the issues of authorship in the sermon – simply guide those interested to the best commentaries. Explain the false teachers’ denial of Christ’s second coming, and their consequent permissive morality. Then explain the argument of the letter: 1) The significance of the Transfiguration; 2) The Old Testament prophecies; 3) God’s intervention in history, judging the wicked and keeping the righteous; 4) Paul’s own affirmation of Christ’s Parousia; and 5) God delays Christ’s return in order to give time for people to repent.
    2 Peter 1:1-11

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    Key verse:

    1:8

    ‘Godly living’ The letter’s first eleven verses act as a summary exhortation of the whole letter. The key points are: 1) That believers grow in Christ within the context of two things: the knowledge of Christ, and the grace of Christ (1:2, 3 and 3:18); 2) The apprentice’s part is to co-operate with God by ensuring that the virtues listed in v5-7 become features of our lives; 3) The whole of our ethical and moral improvement is inspired by, and directed towards, the welcome into Christ’s Kingdom promised to us (1:11).
    2 Peter 3:14-18

    ***********

    Key verse:

    3:16

    ‘The nature of Scripture’ This letter, although very complicated, provides an excellent opportunity for teachers to preach on the nature of scripture and its authority. I should add immediately that it will be essential for the person giving this sermon to be given good time to prepare properly. Careful study of the arguments about authorship will be needed, and I strongly recommend the introductions in the commentaries by Bauckham, Davids and Green. The key verses will be: 1:19-21, 3:2, 3:5, 1:4 and 3:13, 3:16.
     

     

     

    dessert Questions - Gloves off; hard questions for the Bible student and theologian

    Question 1 -

    2 Peter illustrates the dangers when the doctrine of the return of Christ is rejected. The other leading Christian doctrines are the doctrines of: God, Man, the Person and Work of Christ, Redemption, the Church, Eschatology (the last things). What happens when each of these axiomatic truths are rejected?


    Question 2 -

    How can we cultivate a healthy and biblical perspective anticipating the return of Christ?


    Waiter's Brief

    Answers to Questions

    Coaching Questions

    Questions

    • Answers to Questions -

    Taster Course Questions:

    QQQ

    The Biblical doctrine of Christ’s return is often misrepresented and trivialised by some, and then consequently mocked and ignored by others. How should disciples of Jesus respond to the hype and distortion that is so often presented through social media?

    Comment:

    We should read and study carefully what Jesus and Paul actually taught on this subject, and we should ignore the hyperbole that is sometimes presented as if it were fact. We should refute and ignore any false teaching that comes from a reaction against those who scorn and mock this doctrine. We should ‘live holy and godly lives as we look forward to the day of God’ (2 Peter 3:11-12), and as a result, ‘speed its coming’ (3:12).

     

    Starter Course Questions: 

    QQQ

    What is holiness?

    Comment:

    I find people often understand the illustration that their toothbrushes are ‘holy’. Your toothbrush is holy because you are the only one who uses it. No one else puts it in their mouth. Your toothbrush is yours and yours alone. You use it when you want, and in the way you want. You do not use your toothbrush to clear up rotten food. Your toothbrush is ‘set apart’ for you! In the same way the Lord wants our lives to be set apart for him, for his work, and for his purposes. He does not want us to be soiled and destroyed by engaging with evil and being changed by evil.

     

    QQQ

    In 1995 ‘The Nine O’ Clock Service’, a prominent innovative church in Sheffield, collapsed after the leader was exposed for sexual misconduct. In wanting to explore new forms of church, the Church of England had taken a risk that went wrong. Study the internet links. What were the warning signs that something was going wrong? What are the direct parallels with the situation addressed in ‘2 Peter’?

    Comment:

     In terms of doctrine, the leadership of ‘The Nine O’ Clock Service’ were broadly within the lines of the leading Christian doctrines, but Chris Brain did promote the questionable teachings about ‘Creation Theology’ by Matthew Fox. This teaching probably lay at the root of the sexual license that Brain took with the women around him. Very sadly, the passage in 2 Peter 2:14-22 seems to describe his behaviour. 

     

    Main Course Questions:

    QQQ

    How can you and I grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 1:2-3 & 3:18)?

    Comment:

    The theme of knowing Christ and the life that comes from knowing Christ runs powerfully through the whole letter of ‘2 Peter’.

    QQQ

    Read 2 Peter 2:13-16. What does this demonstrate about the toxic combination of faith and money?

    Comment:

    A dangerous area. Jesus and Paul (and countless other Christian leaders) died owning nothing more than the clothes they were wearing.

    QQQ  

    2 Peter (and Jude) address the issue of false teachers encouraging sexual permissiveness. What should the Church do when its own leadership and members behave appallingly? 

    Comment:

    This is an appalling and shocking ‘blot and blemish’ (2 Peter 2:13) on the worldwide Church. Our lives and (Christian) culture should be transparent, humble, righteous and attractive.

    QQQ

    How can we relate to and help those we love who experience strong sexual desires that make following Christ’s teaching about marriage difficult – especially our friends in the LGBT+ community?

    Comment:

    Love (John 1:17).

     

     

     

     

      Coaching Questions -
    Discipleship Coaching Session                                        2 Peter

     

    Podder:

    [Start]: ‘Hello’ and Beginning

    Key current things in your life.

    Last pod you said you wanted to make progress in … How have you got on?

     

    [10 min] Prayer:        Ask for the Spirit’s help now.  
    [11 – 45 min]: ‘Understanding the content’

         How did you go about engaging with ‘2 Peter’?

     

          What do you want to talk about from your study of ‘2 Peter’?

                       Do you have any questions – points to clarify?

     

          What are the main themes and points?

    Ø  The four arguments that Christ will return as judge

    Ø  QQQ – Have you encountered people who deny Christ’s return?

    Ø  QQQ – How can we live each day in the joyful expectation of Christ’s return?

     

    Ø  ‘We must live holy and godly lives’

    Ø  QQQ – What are the specific characteristics of ‘holy and godly living’?

     

    Ø  The false teachers face severe judgement

    Ø  QQQ – The description in 2:10-22 is severe. How should we warn these false teachers today?

     

    Ø  The nature and authority of Scripture

    Ø  QQQ – Which parts of ‘2 Peter’ teach about the inspiration and authority of scripture?

     

    Ø  *** Use some of the Menu Questions (and the Challenge Questions)

     

    [45 – 60 min]:    Personalised Coaching Qs for “the Podder

    Talk together and explore what it means in practice to live a holy and godly life. What are the dangers of Pharisaism (Matthew 23) and how can they be avoided?

     

    [60 min]: Prayer: O Lord, bring all men and women to repentance and salvation, and give us grace to live holy and godly lives as we grow in the knowledge of you and look forward to your return as Lord and Saviour. Amen.