1&2 Peter Part Three Dive
THE LAST WORDS OF PETER
I hope you are really enjoying reading the two books we have from one of the main apostles of Jesus. I mean think about that, we have the opportunity to read the writings of Peter, who lived over 2000 years ago and walked with Jesus! C’mon how amazing is that!
Now history tells us that Peter is at the end of his life when he is writing 2 Peter, the book is written in 65-67AD, and we know that Peter was martyred by Nero in AD67, he was crucified upside down as he didn’t feel worthy to die the same way as his Saviour Jesus Christ!
So if you had the opportunity to be one of the last people to meet with Peter while he was waiting to be executed and he started talking to you and warning you for the future, you would listen and take notes. And that is what we have in 2 Peter. The writings of a man on death row, innocently on death row by the way!
Look at and highlight 2 Peter 1:12-15 "So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus has made clear to me. And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.”
He is writing things that he wants us to remember, to meditate on, not just to read but to take into our heart, change our actions and outwork in our lives. We have taken three weeks in these incredible books because we don’t just want you reading the wisdom of Peter, but we want you absorbing it, meditating on it, changing the way you act and doing it!!
So what does Peter say to us? 2 Peter is a book of confirmation and warnings
Peter confirms 3 things in this book
1. Confirms our calling and election (1:3-11)
This section starts with a bang 1:3 “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” What is Peter saying – you are without excuse – as I tell you what I want you to do you cannot come back and say I can’t do it, because he would then say refer to 1:3 – in Gods divine power he has already given you everything you need to live out what I am saying!
From knowing you have the power to do it he tells you ‘to make every effort’ 1:5 and 1:10. Peter is saying you have been given the power to live a godly life, but you have to make every effort in that power. It doesn’t come without actions people!
2. Confirms the truth of Scripture and its importance (1:12-21)
Peter then goes on to confirm the truth of scripture, and in a society today that is telling us as they were then to change our minds about the truth of scripture, we need to take this to heart! Meditate on the fact that we are getting our details from an eyewitness; he then confirms the prophetic message, and above all, that the scripture is given to humans from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
3. Confirms our future – the Day of the Lord (3:1-19)
Peter then confirms the future and reminds us not to be led astray by scoffers but stand strong in the faith and promises that God has given us in the Word about our future. Again take your time in this chapter, grab a commentary or study bible and go adventuring into each verse.
Finally, within this mix of confirmations, he gives us the very thing that will try and get us off course, the false prophets. As you read 2 Peter 2:1-22 you get the sense of this very old man in the faith, one of the key leaders, getting very protective and passionate about his sheep. He rebukes those that are from within the church, you can see this in 2:15 “They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the of Balaam, son of Bezer.." and 2:21 “It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.”
So what do we do with this incredible protective words of Peter? In the words of the Lost in Space Robot - "Warning, Danger Will Robinson!!!" Peter here is giving us a stern warning, this is not just a rebuke to those involved in this false teaching, which history tells us is the early beginnings of the Gnostic teaching, but for us, it serves as strong last words of Peter warning us not to go the way they went. They were like us in church, living in freedom and they got caught up in false doctrine and began teaching it amongst the believers. You can read a commentary that will take you through what this false teaching is but for me it is a solid reminder to do what Peter says in 1 Peter 1:24 “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” Know your Word, so you know the false teaching.