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2 Peter

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Personal Identity

2 Peter 1:1

At the start of Peter's second and last letter, he described himself as a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.  Once, he had been a disappointment to Jesus (Matthew 26:69-75).  But, when restored, he had been 'sent out' (that is what 'apostle' means) by Jesus to preach the gospel (John 21:15-19).  God worked through his ministry (Galatians 2:8), even though he still needed to learn (Galatians 2:11-13).  Now, at the end of his life, he was still glad to be trusted as Christ's servant.

Confident Security

2 Peter 1:2

No right-minded person likes war; we crave for peace, the absence of strife and all hostility.  Many religions and therapies claim to calm the mind; as do alcohol, nicotine and other drugs.  But the 'peace' Peter writes about has a unique origin and eternal effect.  We cannot fight for it or work to earn it; God's peace comes only through His grace because of His love for us.  This grace is part of God's gift at Christ's expense.  It enables us to come directly to our Heavenly Father, without fear of judgement (see www.crosscheck.org.uk to find out

All We Need

2 Peter 1:3

Many products are advertised as being a 'complete solution', but they rarely are.  However well they work and however wide their scope, you can always find some way in which they can be improved.  And that is good for business trading in a competitive marketplace!  But there can never ever be any effective competition for God's perfect solution to all human need.  Although Satan tempts us with lies about a better way, and the world packages temporary attractive diversions which distract us from our internal emptiness, only God provides all that we need to take us from the guilt and shame of

Free To Be Godly

2 Peter 1:4

Because God is wonderful in every way, He does not keep us in the dark about His intentions. He not only wants to provide for us, but also to enable us to become like Him in purity of character.  The world is still full of evidence of God's good creation, but it was corrupted when humans first sinned (Genesis 3:17-19) and the mess continues to spiral out of mankind's control (Romans 1:28-32).  The worst of it is not in ecological pollution or global warming – which are bad, but in the deeply rooted, sin-selfish rottenness of humanity.
 

Energetic Cooperation

2 Peter 1:5-7

Peter previously explained that God is committed to saving all who will trust in Jesus and sanctifying all who believe His promises (2 Peter 1:3-4).  But what about us; are we to be simply inert and enjoy believing, while God does everything around us?  No!  When we were called into the Kingdom of God, He wanted us to be in relationship with Him; to work with Him in His 'family business', as Jesus worked with Father God (John 17:20-23).  Peter now identifies some of the spiritual disciplines that are necessary in any workplace, and essential if we are to work effectively with God.

Effective Partnership

2 Peter 1:8

Employers have to account for the bottom line: how the costs of the business have been overwhelmed by the profit.  The Lord also has expectations of our lives.  He has paid out: the costly sacrifice of Jesus and the gift of faith (2 Peter 1:1), with grace, peace and the privilege of knowing God (2 Peter 1:2), plus His divine power and reliable promises (2 Peter 1:4).  It is not surprising that He expects us to honour His investment in us by wholeheartedly applying spiritual disciplines (2 Peter 1:5-7).  When we do so, and demonstrate a passion to be like Christ, we will become productive in

Defective Vision

2 Peter 1:9

Myopia (short-sightedness) is the inability to focus the eye on distant objects.  Peter uses it as an illustration of those Christians who have received so much from God (grace, peace, faith, promises and power - 2 Peter 1:1-4), and yet are unwilling to put everything into their relationship with Jesus.  That is why Peter has prescribed a spiritual work-out of: practising goodness, getting to know God, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness and love (2 Peter 1:5-7).

Spiritual Quality Assurance

2 Peter 1:10-11

Quality control has become a routine part of every production and service process.  Inspectors check samples, accountants audit spreadsheets and schools have exams.  Each process has 'intended outcomes' that can be measured.  But quality control, by itself, can never ensure product consistency or high value service; any more than exams can create knowledge.  All it can do is to examine the end points.  In fact, it is useless without an overarching system of quality assurance which lays down how the processes can achieve a high quality.

Essential Legacy

2 Peter 1:12-15

Peter knew he would soon die, as a victim of lies and violence, like Jesus.  Jesus had told Peter that he would also be crucified (John 21:18-19).  However, the apostle does not despair.  His job for Christ on earth was almost over, but not quite yet.  So, he wrote to ensure a legacy of a Christ-like church with transformed lives, ready to endure suffering and eagerly awaiting the return of Jesus.  He knew that the chill winds of persecution would stir all kinds of fearful reactions, and that false teachers would try to wreck Christ’s church (1 Peter 5:8-10).  We can only stay true to Jesus

True Story

2 Peter 1:16-18

Today's news, in its many broadcast formats, is rarely fully accurate.  Tight schedules, content-hungry editors, careless reporting, syndicated stories and the relentless pursuit of dramatic headlines all risk distorting the truth.  Sometimes, critics of the Bible assume that its text suffers from the same defects.  It does not!  Interestingly, serious historians have less trouble with the Bible's accuracy, than academic theologians who do not want to accept what it says.
 

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