These are notes collected from studying with brothers in Christ. Anything good comes from the Lord. Everything else is from us!
2 Peter 1:16- “For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”
It is always encouraging to me to be reminded that what we believe is actually true. It is not made up.
This reminds me a bit of Acts 25 when Festus and Agrippa discuss what to do with Paul, and they discuss that one of Paul’s main charges was that he claimed that Jesus was alive. Paul didn’t make it up, he had met Jesus and had been changed by him.
I feel the same way when reading things like: “we touched him” (1 John 1 paraphrase). Or at the end of Matthew’s gospel when he says how they lied about the guard falling asleep and that lie continues to this day. Or even subtle things like when I was reading Acts 22 years ago and saw how Paul said Jesus started speaking in the Hebrew language to him. And I thought “wow, he talks like it really happened even giving granular details…because it did happen!”
2 Peter 1:21- “for no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”
Such a great reminder of the authority of scripture and also that the Holy Spirit is the only one that can produce
2 Peter 3:9 “but do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a 1000 years and 1000 years is one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Such great perspective and a reminder that our view of time is so very skewed. Help us Lord to align our views with you and to remember that you are so patient toward us and that everything occurs in your timing.
“for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.”
2 Peter 2:19-20
This is a good reminder to me that there is no such thing as coasting. I have to keep at it, keep seeking. If I stop seeking the Lord, stop going to church, and stop being in community with other believers my life will look radically worse very quickly.
On 2 Peter, two things jumped out:
- The authority and power of Scripture (which is composed of N.T. and O.T.). In Ch. 1, for instance, he talks about having the words of the eyewitness-apostles alongside the prophetic writings of the (Old Testament) Scripture. In 3:2 he talks about holding onto the Old Testament writings and the apostles writings. Later in 2 Pet. 3 he shares how Paul’s writings were on par with Old Testament Scripture. Note also that 1 Pet. 1 also mentions the apostles words as = Scripture at the end of the chapter. All to say, it is clear that the writings of the Apostles (i.e. the N.T.) was to be considered as authoritative Scripture. Even more, look at the power and scope attributed to Scripture in 2 Pet. 1. There he talks about the “promises of God” (which I think is another way of saying “Scripture”) and how it gives us all things pertaining to life and godliness. Think of that for a moment. “All things” we need for the fundamentals of life and godliness should be found somewhere (at least in principle-form) in the book you and I are reading. It reminds of me of 2 Tim. 3:17 where it says Scripture “fully equips the man of God for every good work”. There is not a good work God has called you to that Scripture is silent about. This is part of what pains me so much in seeing Christians divide over things that the Bible says ZERO about (e.g. was the 2020 election stolen? how effective are masks at stopping the spread of Covid? how racist are cops in the U.S.? etc.). If the Bible literally has NO answer for your question, then that particular question is not something fundamental for life and godliness, according to 2 Pet. 1.
- I got to share with a brother in the Lord about 2 Peter, and how you have these false preachers who seem like they were endorsing a certain form of sensuality and getting others to follow them in this. These false teachers were so intricately part of the fellowship of the church that they were joining in their “love feasts” (time of eating and communion together). And I found myself waiting to hear Peter say “kick them out!!”. Maybe he did and I missed it (or Jude will–which is a sister book to 2 Peter?). And clearly other Scriptures do address confronting and disciplining false teachers (so hear me out on this). But here, Peter appeals to the patience of God and saints of old who had to bear up with things for a while, but then God confronted by judgment later. In the same way, we sometimes want to immediately address things that may be really bad… but sometimes God might be working something out that is much greater than we could ever have imagined. I think of Judas Iscariot. How many of us would have tolerated him for 3.5 years (let alone share the Holy Spirit with him, washed his feet, or made him the treasurer!)? Think of all the damage he could do if he wasn’t ejected? So then the worst case scenario happened: Judas killed Jesus. But God used this to bring ALL of us unto Him. I’m telling you–God’s ways are always better than our ways!