Today we start on Peter’s last letter before his death by the hand of emperor Nero. In both his letters, he stresses that our behavior is to represent Christ. Peter was a pastor — a shepherd. He had a shepherd’s heart for his flock. He’s feeding the flock and warning the flock in this final letter. This message is important if you want to grow as a Christian believer…
2 Peter 1
This letter is from Simon Peter, a slave and apostle of Jesus Christ.
I am writing to you who share the same precious faith we have. This faith was given to you because of the justice and fairness of Jesus Christ, our God and Savior.
2 May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
Growing in Faith
3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
10 So, dear brothers and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away. 11 Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.2 Peter 1:1-10 NLT
Here Peter is laying out exactly what we have to do to grow in our faith. These spiritual characteristics will develop in you as a Christian as you experience God’s divine nature.
- Moral excellence — goodness
- Patient endurance —perseverance
- Brotherly affection
You notice that each characteristic builds on the other beginning with our foundation of faith in Jesus Christ and ending with the love of God in completeness. You must be dedicated to your Christian growth. When we serve others, God’s kingdom grows, God’s church is strengthened, and we grow and mature spiritually.
God chose you, but you had to make the decision to choose Jesus.
As a believer you must strive to add these Christ-like qualities to your life through the guidance and leading of the Holy Spirit. Continuing…
Paying Attention to Scripture
12 Therefore, I will always remind you about these things—even though you already know them and are standing firm in the truth you have been taught. 13 And it is only right that I should keep on reminding you as long as I live. 14 For our Lord Jesus Christ has shown me that I must soon leave this earthly life, 15 so I will work hard to make sure you always remember these things after I am gone.
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw his majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when he received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to him, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.” 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.2 Peter 1:12-21 NLT
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.2 Timothy 3:16-17 NLT
How to Grow as a Christian
Reading and studying God’s Word helps Christians to grow more intimately with God and in turn, they begin to reflect the characteristics of God.
During this time, some religious leaders and false teachers were twisting the Word of God. Their motive was to degrade Christianity. Peter tells the Jewish Christians that the Christian faith is strong, because there is evidence of multiple witnesses and no contradictions in the prophecies. He explains that although the Bible was written by men, it was divinely inspired by the Holy Spirit and were the very words that God intended.
Today, the same thing is happening. Many people want to argue the validity of the Bible, however the proof is in the hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament that Jesus fulfilled. Whatever Scripture says, God has, in essence, said. There are no mistakes, contradictions, or errors in His Word because He is without error.https://lovegodgreatly.com/
We can believe what the Bible says!
It’s amazing! Ever since I started this podcast and blog on January 1, 2020, I’ve relied on the Holy Spirit daily to reveal His truth to me. I have no doubt that I finally understand the Book of Revelation! I’ve done dozens of studies on it, but it’s not until I trusted the Holy Spirit in my heart to show me the truth, I felt at peace with it. No more confusion! It’s marvelous!
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!