2 Peter, Lesson 4

Lesson 4

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us to the last chapter of 2 Peter. Even though this short epistle was written in antiquity, yet its message is profound, powerful, impactful, and applicable to every generation. We pray for wisdom to understanding, obey, and apply, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Peter 3:1-18, the day of the Lord, the new heaven and the new earth, final encouragement, doxology

VV 1-2, 1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”

We should have a high view of the Old Testament, written by the prophets, and the New Testament written by of the apostles including Peter. In the last days, skeptics and false teachers, who walked in the flesh, will deny and scoff at Christ’s second coming.

VV 5-7, 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

These false teachers deny the creation narrative, Noah’s flood, the final destruction of the world by fire, and the day of judgment for ungodly people.

VV 8-9, 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

The Lord’s delay in His second coming is the result of His patience because He is not willing that anyone should perish. His delay is to give time and opportunity for people to repent. God exists outside of the time and space domain. He is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. He can see everything from everywhere from the beginning to the end at any moment in time. One day to the Lord can be as long as one thousand years to us. One thousand years to the Lord can be as short as one day to us.

VV 10-14, 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

No one knows the exact date and time of Christ’s second coming. He will come as suddenly and as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Heavens will pass away and the earth will be destroyed by fire. After this, God will recreate a new heaven and a new earth, Rev. 21:1. In view of this, we should repent, to lead godly and holy lives.

Rev. 21:1, “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea”.

VV 14-16, 14 Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, 16 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.

We should be faithful to Christ, live in peace with others, be above reproach and blameless in conduct, and be patient in outlook. Peter acknowledged the writings of apostle Paul as inspired scripture.

VV 17-18, 17 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; 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

We should be steadfast in our faith and continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Peter ended his epistle with a doxology of praise to the Lord.

Application:

We should have a high view of scripture viz. the Old Testament and the New Testament as these are God’s inspired words for us.

We should be faithful to Christ, live in peace with others, be above reproach and blameless in conduct and be patient in outlook.

Since we do not know when Christ will return, we should be prepared by living holy lives.

We should continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by diligent Bible study and devotion.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, Your second coming will be sudden, unexpected, and mysterious. The world will be destroyed by fire and You will recreate a new heaven and a new earth. We pray for You to mature us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and lead holy lives in anticipation of His imminent return, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Peter, Lesson 3

Lesson 3

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, may the words of our mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable to You as we come before You today. We offer the living sacrifices of our bodies and the sacrifices of our praises to You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Peter 2:1-22, apostate prophets, apostasies, heresies

VVv1-3, 1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

There were apostate prophets among the Christians who taught false doctrines and promoted heresies. These apostate prophets denied Christ whom they once knew. They had tasted the Lord’s grace in the past but had abandoned their faith and renounced Christ. Heretic doctrines are deadly, destructive, and blasphemous to God. The apostate prophets covet, exploit, and deceive Christians with lies and deceptive words.

VV 4-8, 4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; 5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; 6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; 7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked 8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds),

Peter alluded to Genesis 6: 1-2 regarding the fallen angels who had sex with men. Peter alluded to Genesis 6-7 regarding Noah ark and the flood. Peter alluded to Genesis 19 regarding the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the saving of Lot and his two daughters.

Genesis 6:1-2, “Now it came to pass when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful, and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose”.

Genesis 7:1, The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation.

Genesis 19:29, “So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived”.

VV 9-11, 9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

In the Genesis narratives, God delivered godly people and their families first, (Noah, Lot, and their families), before bringing judgment to the ungodly.

VV 12-14, 12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

The apostate prophets were corrupt, evil, hypocritical, adulterous, sinful, adulterous, cursed, and covetous, like savage beasts destined for destruction,

VV 15-17, 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. 17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

The apostate prophets were like Balaam, the unrighteousness and greedy prophet, Numbers 22:1-24:25. The Moabite King, Balak, hired Balaam to curse the Israelites in exchange for money. Balaam initially refused but later agreed. Balak and Balaam positioned themselves on a mountain where they could see the Israelites passing through. When Balaam opened his mouth to curse Israel, God made him bless Israel instead. Balaam blessed Israel on two more occasions in front of Balak. Once, when Balaam was on his way to meet the Balak, God sent an Angel with a sword to block him. When his donkey saw the Angel and stopped, Balaam beat the donkey. God opened the donkey’s mouth and made it spoke to Balaam. God opened Balaam’s eyes and let him see the Angel with the sword.

VV 18-19, 18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage.

The apostate teachers were arrogant, boastful, lustful, immoral, corrupted, and enslaved those who followed them.

VV 20-22, 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

The apostate prophets were once redeemed by Christ and but they had abandoned their faith and renounced Christ. It would have been better if they did not know the Lord in the first instance. They were like a scavenger dog eating their vomit and a swine returning to the mud after being cleaned up.

Application:

Peter’s generation is very similar to our generation. Today, there are false prophets and heretic teachers who taught false doctrines, promoted heresies, and misused the gospel for their financial gain. We should beware of cults, heresies, and apostasies and reject them outright.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to discern cults, apostate prophets, apostasies, and heresies. Help us to reject them outright and not be deceived by them. We pray for the word of knowledge, the spirit of wisdom and discernment, and biblical literacy, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Peter, Lesson 2

Lesson 2

Prayer:

2 Peter 1: 1-21, salutation, Peter’s impending martyrdom, scripture is God’s inspired Words.

V 1, Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

In the opening salutation, Peter, the author of 2 Peter, identified himself as Simon Peter. His original name was Simon son of Jonah, John 21:15, but Christ gave him the name Peter. He spelled out his credentials, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ. His audience was the faithful followers of the apostles through the righteousness of God and Christ.

John 21:15, So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

VV 2-4, 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Peter pronounced a blessing of overflowing grace and peace to his audience in the knowledge of God and Christ, who divinely called them to participate in His divine nature with precious promises. Salvation by grace through faith in Christ precedes peace and reconciliation with God. Grace was a common Greek greeting and peace was a common Hebrew greeting.

VV 5-11, 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We should add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love. These virtues enabled Christians to live a fruitful life of growth in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. These virtues enabled Christians to enter into salvation without stumbling. The absence of these virtues results in shortsightedness, blindness, and sinfulness.

VV 12-15, 12 For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. 13 Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you, 14 knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me. 15 Moreover I will be careful to ensure that you always have a reminder of these things after my decease.

Peter was aware of his impending martyrdom through a revelation of Christ. Peter referred to his body as a tent, a temporary dwelling place, until he received his permanent resurrected body during Christ’s second coming. He encouraged his audience to carry on the work of the ministry after his death.

VV 16-18, 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

Peter attested to the truth of his writings. Scriptures are not man-made fables or not fabricated stories. Peter was an eyewitness, one among the 12 apostles, and one among the three inner circles, Peter, James, and John. He saw the transfiguration of Christ with Moses, and Elijah and heard the voice of God, the Father speaking from heaven in an audible voice, Matthew 17:5.

Matthew 17:5, While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love, with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

VV 19-20, 19 And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, 21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

The Old Testament prophesies were as light shining out from darkness until the coming of the Lord. We should not interpret scripture according to our whims and fancies because this is God’s inspired Word. The Holy Spirit inspired holy men of God to write holy scriptures according to His script, 2 Timothy 3:16.

2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”.

Application:

Salvation by grace through faith in Christ precedes peace and reconciliation with God. Justification results in peace with God, access to God, and the promise of heaven, Romans 5:1-2.

Romans 5:1-2, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Scripture is the inerrant, infallible, and inspired Word of God, not man-made fables or fabricated stories. We should have a high view of scripture.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, help us to add to our faith, virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brother kindness, and to brotherly kindness, love. Help us be fruitful in kingdom service and give us the fruit of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

2 Peter, Lesson 1

Introduction

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for journeying with us on the epistle of 2 Peter today. We thank the Holy Spirit for inspiring Peter to write such an excellent masterpiece. Thank You for ministering to us by Your enduring Word, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Author, Date, and Recipients

Scholars believed that Peter wrote 2 Peter from prison in Rome before his execution between 64 to 67 AD. Peter was an apostle of Jesus Christ, who witnessed the transfiguration. 2 Peter was his deathbed epistle and swan song. Scholars believed that his recipients were the same as those of 1 Peter, the diasporic messianic Christian Jews in Asia Minor.

Theme

God’s inspiration of scripture. Warning on apostate prophets, apostasies and heresies. Encouragement on the Day of the Lord.

Purpose

Peter attacked, rebuked, and opposed false heretic teachers who taught a false knowledge of Christ and promoted sexual permissiveness to the churches.

Outline

2 Peter 1: 1-21, Salutation, Peter’s impending martyrdom, God’s inspiration of scripture

2 Peter 2:1-22, apostate prophets, apostasies, heresies

2 Peter 3:1-18, the day of the Lord, the new heaven and the new earth, final encouragement, doxology

Application:

Peter’s generation is very similar to ours. Today we have cults that go around houses to promote cult theology and deviant Bible study. We also have heretic preachers and teachers who peddled false theology and misused the gospel for financial gain. The only sure way to prevent deception is to know the word of God for yourself. There is no shortcut to this. A diligent study of the Bible is essential for spiritual growth and maturity. Through Bible study, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we pray that You will open our eyes to see the truth and open our ears to hear the truth. We pray for discernment of heresy. We pray for wisdom and knowledge to rightly divide Your Word of Truth, in Jesus’ name, Amen.