Monday, April 30, 2018

2nd. Peter - False Teachers

1 Pet. 1:20-21 - prophecy had origin in God.
1 Pet. 2:1-22 - primary focus of this letter .  True for us today as well.
Vs. 2 - slander the gospel.
Vs. 3-9 - God knows how to reserve the Godly forever.

Harsh words!!!  But -- Peter is not alone in this!!
Paul - Gal. 1:6-9
Jude - Jude 3-4
John - 2 John 7, 10-11
Jesus - Matt. 7:15

Way so harsh?  These guys are:
(1)  Passionate for THE Gospel - they live for it, they'll die for it.

(2)  Protective of God's people, the church - are "shepherds".
Our God is a jealous God.  These people are jealous for their flock as well.
Acts 20:28-31
1 Pet. 5:1-2
3 John 4

These 'teachers' are more than wrong!!  They are arrogant, rebellious, self-serving
These teachings are more than wrong!!  They are subversive, destructive to the church, the people of God, the Kingdom of God.

What are they teaching?
On one hand it varies  a lot!  However, it usually CENTERS on the Person and work of Christ!

False views (heresies) of Jesus:

He was a prophet, a good man but no more.

He was A son of God, the offspring of God - J.W., Arius, Mormons
Divine BUT not the Same as God  (Marcion - says there are 2 Gods - one of the OT and one of the NT)

Not human (only appeared to be), therefore no "birth", no "death"
Didn't (really) die, didn't rise, OR didn't Rise physically (only a spiritual resurrection)

Wasn't sinless

Wasn't a substitute sacrifice (for our sins) or wasn't sufficient (Judaizers - Book of Galatians)

He's not necessary to be saved - (Pelageus)
He's not necessary to know God - (Gnostics)

The He was a good man, teacher, example, inspiration, a good way....
nevertheless, not "The Only Way".
Often very subtle - example:  Question put to Joel Olsteen by Larry King regarding "sin".  Answer was "we don't focus on that".

So, was Jesus the substitute sacrifice?  necessary?  the only way?

What should we do?    (with and about false teachers)
On one hand, Peter doesn't tell us much about our response!
However, by comparing other passages, texts, and by common sense implication:

#1.  Watch out/pay attention/be on guard
These people rise within Christianity and appear Christian!!  So... 2 Tim. 4:3-5

#2.  Know the Word - Question:   how many of the "views, heresies" can you spot, refute with simple knowledge of the New Testament???  - all of them????

The Apostles promoted (1) Christian Faith = confidence and trust in Jesus
  AND  (2)  Christian Beliefs = knowledge about Jesus
Most Christian people have friends and family in churches with false teachers and false teaching.

On one hand, we can't measure the heart, motive, faith
However, we CAN measure beliefs!!!

#3.  Example the fruit(s)  - Matt. 7:15-16
example:  false teachers tend to "draw after".  True teachers tend to "point to".  Example:  = John the Baptist

#4. Reject the teaching

#5.  Reject the teacher  - 2 John 10-11  - does not mean be nasty, mean, rude
does = "don't tolerate" - Rev. 2:14-16, 20

#6.  Make disciples - Matt. 28:18-20

NOTE:  2 Pet. 3:1 - 'read what I'm saying and think about it!'

Closing Scripture:  Col. 2:6-10

Monday, April 23, 2018

2nd. Peter - Reminding

2 Pet. 1 - last week = "make every effort to ADD to your faith"
IF you do (these things), THEN you'll be:
     1)  effective and productive  (in your Christian faith)
     2)  confident and sure  (of your election, calling, salvation)
     3)  stable and solid (in your Christian walk) - not wishy-washy
     4)  received and welcomed (into the Kingdom)

This being true....  2 Pet. 1:12-15

Reminding = big part of Peter's calling (ministry) - Luke 22:31-32 - Jesus gave Satan permission
                                                                        John 21:15-17 - "feed my sheep" - (constantly reminding people)

Is a Jewish Proverb - "if a thing is worth saying it is worth repeating a thousand times."

Question:  What qualifies Peter to instruct, remind, correct, confront?
Answer:  1 Pet.1:16-18 - he was an eye witness - compare 1John 1:1-3

His chosen example? - Mount of Transfiguration - Matt. 17:1-8 with Matt. 16:28

Jesus did many signs and wonders. 
a wonder "wows"
a sign "points
Examples:  water into wine, feeding the 5000, soldiers at the cross - Matt. 27:54 - they saw the sign.
To some these were "wow" moments, to the disciples they were signs pointing to Jesus as the Messiah, Son of God

In addition:
2 Pet. 1:19-21 - "ABOVE ALL" - Know this.........  Pay attention to it because is in God's Word

Scripture has its origin in God.  2 Tim. 3:16

Which leads to point of Peter's 2nd. letter - 2 Pet. 2:1 (primary reason he wrote this letter)

ie:  (1)  in addition to the Prophets .... there were false prophets
    (2)  as it was with them ... si it will be with you!!

False prophets = (1) very destructive - "destructive heresies"
                        (2) very subtle - "secretly introduce"
(subtle from Latin - "woven in" therefore blended, not obvious)

Some Simple Life Lessons Here. 

#1.  Truth Matters - for ordering life, procuring eternal life, directing others in life.
(Peter will die for this truth!!)

#2.  Doctrine Matters   - hence letter about false prophets!!   2 Tim. 3:16-17
example:  average home buyer .... concerned about every aspect of the home looking at but not concerned with the foundation -- Until???

#3.  If a thing is worth saying it's worth repeating a thousand times! 
true for prophets, Apostles, preachers (example:  Bridge illustration), true for SS teachers, youth workers, AWANA helpers.  Example:  Bible Time verse - said every time = Phil. 3:10
true for Parents!!

#4.   You won't always be here to repeat it!  - Do It NOW!!!!

Closing Scripture:    Heb. 13:20-21

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

1st. Peter - End, 2nd. Peter - Begin

Book written by Peter - leading apostle in the new church.

1 Pet. 5:12-14 - "she in Babylon" = the church in Rome
Babylon exiled God's people (the Jews) 600 years earlier.
Now Rome oppressing God's people (the church)

So, Peter has written letter to:
(1) testify :  this is true, correct, reliable
2)  encourage:  Christians to "stand fast" in these truths, in God's grace.  Don't be moved out of the faith.

NOW - 2nd. letter (2 to 4 years later) to same people??  2 Pet. 3:1

Occasion?  (why write?)
(1)  false teachers inside the church  2 Pet. 3:1

(2)  pastoral reminder:  problem is not forgetting the facts, problem is getting distracted!
2 Pet. 1:12, 3:1

(3)  Peter's departure - 2 Pet. 1:13-15 - fixing to die for the faith

So..... 2 Pet. 1:1-11

Breakdown:  God has given us all we need to:
1)  live a life of godliness
2) participate in the divine nature
3) escape the corruption in the world
Define:  to what extent?  degree?

Simple Summary:  
"You have all you need to do better than you're doing!"
ie:  you have a tool box and all the necessary tools!!

Primary Tool:  2 Pet. 1:3 = "knowledge of Him" - basic, fundamental

"Knowledge" = Big issue in 2nd. Peter  (11 direct references
Specifically = "knowledge of Him"

"Knowledge of Him" comes from at least 3 sources:
#1.  Accumulation of facts (head knowledge) - exposure, scrutiny, review, interpretation, etc.

w/#2.  insights from God - 1 Cor. 2:9-10

and #3 experiences with God
Example:  Peter's confession:  Matt. 16:13-17 - Father revealed this to him

Knowledge is not only tool in the Christian tool box
BUT = a primary tool  (fundamental, basic, necessary)

NOW  Simplify and Apply:

Peter - on the Tool Box you need to live the Christian Life.  

#1.  You have one  - 2nd. Pet. 1:3  ie:  IF you are a Christian!!  If not, one awaits you!!
#2.  You should make use of it  (employ it)
God will do His part  (supply the tools), You must do your part (use the tools) - God will not grow you!!
Phil. 2:12-13
#3.  You should add to it (develop it) - Note:  the additions - 2 Pet. 1:5-7 - our part
Vs. 5 - "make every effort"  Vs. 10 - "be all the more eager"

to what end??
#1  You'll be effective and productive (in your Christian life) - vs. 8
#2.  You'll be confident and sure - (of your election, calling)
#3.  you'll be stable and solid - "never fall"
#4.  You'll be received and welcomed   (into the Kingdom)

Last observation - New Formula

IF  ___A___  THEN  ___B_____   therefore ___A___!!!

(if you do this then you will get this, therefore do this!!)

Closing Scripture:  1 John 2:28

Monday, April 9, 2018

1st. Peter - Final Words

Last time - 1 Pet. 5:2 - "to the elders ..... be shepherds" - not limited to elders, but all Christians.

NOW:  final words and instructions - 1 Pet. 5:5-11

Peter's List = "be submissive, clothe yourself w/humility, cast your cares on Christ, be sober & alert, resist Satan"

in Noun form ---- the issue of:  submission
                                               worry (anxiety)
Peter addresses 3 main things in his letter(s) - submission, service, and suffering.

Peter's view on these issues:  

#1.  Submission - 1 Pet. 5:5a
As the elders submit to position, role, task, calling, SO you willingly are to take your proper place, position in the church that God has given you.

Peter calls for (1) Submission and (2) Respect  - Ex. 20:12   ( example:  elder respect)
how we behave toward one another, how Christians should behave toward one another

#2.  Humility - 1 Pet. 5:5b
(A)  definition = proper assessment of self - Rom. 12:3
(B)  Self clothing = assuming attitude, acting the part
(C)  "toward one another" = manners again!!!  Rom. 12:16, Eph. 4:2

Further reason? - 1 Pet. 5:5b
Proud man - doesn't accept instruction, correction, assistance = God opposes
Humble man - "I need all help I can get!"- God gives grace

#3  Worry/Anxiety - 1 Pet. 5:7
"cast" implies choice and action - generally means things we have no control over.
balance?  depend on, trust in, but don't be inactive - Matt. 6:25-26

That which we can do something about, we need to try and address. 
Is easier said than done, nevertheless - Phil. 4:6-7 - this is what we are called to do.

#4  Vigilance - 1 Pet. 5:8 = be self=controlled and alert, be watchful and sober - straight, clear thinking.
Because your enemy seeks to destroy!!! - We're not all physical, are also metaphysical.
Luke 22:31-33

#5  Resistance - 1 Pet. 5:9 - Resist him.
    (A)  Stand firm  - Eph. 6:11, 13-14. 1Cor. 16:13 - Satan doesn't have the power to push you, just draw you.
    (B) in the faith
   (C)  remembering your brothers - 1 Cor. 10:13
Point = others have been tested ..... others stood!!!  Your temptation is not different from others. 

1 Pet. 5:10
After you've suffered  (life trials, faith trials, HE will restore.

Other translations = establish, complete, perfect, develop
The point is NOT put you back where you were, but put you BEYOND where you were!!!

Illustration:  the smithy

God = the Smithy, we = the steel - 1 Pet. 5:11

Closing scripture:  1 Pet. 5:12

Monday, April 2, 2018

The Resurrection Reason for Hope

Bridge Illustration shows the Christian Hope =
(1)  God is there
(2)  Through Christ we can know Him  (God has made Himself available)
(3)  those who come to Him through Christ = eternally SAFE!!!

Question:  Is this Reasonable?  Examples:  Carl Sagan (astronomer, astrophysicist), Stephen Hawking - quotes "..... no hope"
BUT .... in light of the Resurrection??   IF the resurrection occurred, YES, there's hope!!

#1.  The Resurrection says Jesus is Alive!! - still, eternally, in a glorified (eternal) state. 
Example:  from a Muslim convert - "I was traveling down a road not sure which way to go.  Came to a fork in the road with no direction as to which way to turn.  On one road was a dead man.  On the other, was a live man.  Which one should I follow?"

#2.  The Resurrection says Jesus is trustworthy. 
Jesus/ many incredible claims .... include  - Matt. 16:21
BUT -- was proved credible BY the Resurrection!!!  Example:  Thomas

#3.  The Resurrection says Jesus has God's approval and authority. 
While alive, he showed authority over Nature, Disease, Demons, etc. 
BUT .. can a dead man raise himself?  No!  God raised Him.   So.... Acts 3:15, Matt. 28:18

Summary of 1, 2, 3 = "Jesus is Lord"  - Acts 2:36  That is what's essential.

Distinction:  our Hope is NOT in our faith, our religion.  Our Hope is in Christ!! (confirmed in the Resurrection)

#4.  The Resurrection says Death is defeated. 
It is NOT abolished, but it IS doomed (defeated).  Rev. 20:14
With abolition go ...causes of death, produce of death.  Meanwhile, Rev. 1:18 - Christ holds the "keys"

Another distinction:  
Contrast the fear of dying (process) with the fear of death (state) -
Did the Christian martyrs fear the process?  probably so.  But the did not fear the outcome?

(John 11:25-26)  leave the land of the living?  or leave the land of the dying?  No.  The other side is the land of the living!!

#5.  Resurrection says you can have assurance of Eternal Salvation
On one hand, salvation MAY be possible without the Resurrection.  ("it is finished")
However, without the Resurrection, how would you know????

Another distinction:  
Personal salvation is not secured by the death and resurrection.  They make it possible!
Personal salvation is secured by CROSSING the Bridge!!  You Must Choose

The Resurrection gives us hope for:
#6.  Personal Transformation  "come, follow & I'll make you"

#7.  Kingdom Growth and Development  - Make an Eternal difference (Now)

Summary:  In light of the Resurrection, the Christian Hope = Reasonable Hope!!!

The Resurrection gives us Reason to:
    1)  turn to Him  (accept, receive)
    2)  embrace Him  (trust, follow, serve)
    3)  proclaim Him  - (tell others about Him)