Summary: Peter lifts up believers to embrace the fullness of their faith and its substance.
A. The Second Letter of Peter begins like so many others. He simply introduces himself in the manner which was customary of the day. His name and what he was vocationally – followed by a comment as to who the letter was written. So we have: NKJ 2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
B. Our writer is clearly is the Apostle Peter himself. But who is this that he is writing to? Basically, that is the church.
C. So Peter in his first letter dealt with problems the church faced from outside. In this letter he will deal with problems from inside the church. We will see that he will deal with false teachers and the temptations of the flesh. He will close in comments that remind us that although God may be longsuffering eventually his judgment will come.
D. Today, I want you to see three things from the first four verses. An Unmistakably Precious Faith, An Undeniably Divine Power and An Unparalleled Precious Promise.
2. An Unmistakably Precious Faith
A. Just what is precious – Illustration: A story is told of a man who loves old books. He met an acquaintance who had just thrown away a Bible that had been stored in the attic of his ancestral home for generations. "I couldn’t read it," the friend explained. "Somebody named Guten-something had printed it." "Not Gutenberg!" the book lover exclaimed in horror. "That Bible was one of the first books ever printed. Why, a copy just sold for over two million dollars!" His friend was unimpressed. "Mine wouldn’t have brought a dollar. Some fellow named Martin Luther had scribbled all over it in German." Now that would be precious.
1. I have a book (here it is) “Sermons in Candles,” by Charles H. Spurgeon, It is an original first edition printed in 1890, It has a gilded cover (gold inlayed) on the cover. I bought it at an estate sale for $1.00. Somebody did not realize what they had.
2. Thomas Paine once said, What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:--’Tis dearness only that gives every thing its value.
3. Peter is addressing this book to “those who have obtained like precious faith (or the same precious faith).
4. Many believers do not see their faith as a precious faith
5. Trust me - Jesus and what he did on the cross – He feels that the faith you have been given is precious. It was a gift from the Lord to you. Don’t treat or think of it as if it were insignificant.
6. Your faith and salvation are not just trivial or your due, or anything else short of absolutely precious. Like your first child or grandchild a value cannot be placed on one’s faith or their salvation.
B. Just who are the recipients of this faith?
1. Those who believe.
2. What did they get?
a. Grace and peace would be multiplied to them
b. This grace and peace will enhance their knowledge and understanding of God and of Jesus our Lord,
C. Application: What is your feeling toward your faith and salvation? Is it leaning toward them being exceedingly precious or are you ambivalent toward them? If they do not top your scale there is a real serious problem.
D. Transition: Not only is there an Unmistakably Precious Faith but there is:
3. An Undeniably Divine Power
A. The Origin of all things.
1. Here we have a short laundry list – pay attention.
2. 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
3. I remember reading a book many years ago: “The Origin of the Species,” by Charles Darwin. He had some thoughts about how things came to be but his views are the exact opposite of what Scripture tells us here. If you tend to want to believe in evolution; let me challenge you ladies to read chapters 4 & 5 of his book. Trust me you will find it challenging reading. I am surprised that feminists have not raised the issue. In those chapters Darwin calls women and other races inferior to white men.
4. Question: Where did everything come from:
a. Peter says: His divine power is the origin
b. Of “all things” which pertain to
a. life and
c. that would be everything on earth and in heaven above.
5. Answer: How do we obtain this type of knowledge?
a. Peter says that everything came through:
a. The knowledge of Him who called us
i. by glory and virtue