Summary: When a child of God is bombarded with false teachings, destructive or negative thoughts, how could he maintain his spiritual stability?
“Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 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. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:1-4, NIV).
It was in 1968 that I saw the first eruption of Mayon volcano (Legazpi City, Albay, Philippines). With a heart of a “high school” student, it seemed my heart then would also explode with mixed emotions of fear and thrill.
Some of us today, may also experience a sense of fear or whatever in the present activity of Mayon. But, are we aware of the threat of the “explosion” of false teachings, false hopes, negativism, materialism, indifference and other harmful practices or attitudes that are creeping in our Christian life?
During the present activity of Mayon, there’s a need for us to have emotional stability. But because of these destructive spiritual explosions that are actually happening around us, or even within ourselves, we need to HAVE SPIRITUAL STABILITY -- and that’s what we are going to focus on as we deal with our text (2 Peter 1:1-4).
So, how could we have spiritual stability? In our text, what could we learn in order to strengthen or stabilize ourselves in spite of the negative or destructive assaults, including false teachings that bombard us in this world?
The letter of 2 Peter was also written by Peter, but unlike 1 Peter, it was addressed not only to the believers scattered in Asia Minor, but it was directed to all believers scattered even beyond the place.
In 1 Peter, the writer noted the persecutions suffered by the believers, but in 2 Peter, he pointed out the false teachings that they would face not only after his death, but even in their current situation.
It was written when it was much closer to his martyrdom in A.D. 68.
And Peter would like to make sure that before his death, his readers would learn how they could combat erroneous teachings, or how to deal with false preachers.
This time we can also learn from Peter not only how to battle erroneous or false teachings, but also to parry negative influences, or wrong and harmful thoughts that bombard our mind and threaten our spiritual stability.
So, how should we have that spiritual stability?
First, TREASURE GOD GIVEN FAITH.
In verse 1, we read: “Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours” (NIV).
The New Living Translation renders it this way: “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.”
At the very start of his letter, Peter pointed out to his original readers that their faith is just as precious as he and the other original apostles have. The faith of his readers was not inferior. So, they could not just take it lightly. They should not regard it with lesser value that they could just let it go, or take it aside and choose another kind of faith or another set of beliefs promoted by others.
And their faith was precious because it was not just their own making, but God gave it to them. And He gave it, not because they deserve it. It was given to them not through their own worth or effort, but because “through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”
And He did not give that kind of faith only to the apostles, to a specific class of people, but even to ordinary kind of people; not just to a particular race, the Jewish people, but even to the Gentile people.
Today, Christians need also to see the great worth of the faith they have. And it’s value is not determined by how much effort or how willing they are to have it, but by the Worth of the One who gave it – the Righteous God Himself.
And they ought to realize that their faith is also the same faith that enabled the Christians before to cast out demons, heal the sick and raise the dead! And the same faith that transformed Paul from life of persecuting Jesus’ followers into a life of preaching Jesus and suffering for His Name.