Summary: A good shepherd is serious about feeding the sheep and protecting the sheep; that process begins by rehearsing and growing in our relationship to God.

Pursued and Pursuing

(2 Peter 1:1-2)

1. This bit of strange news was released by the Associated Press this past week:

RIVERTON, Wyo. – Officials say a magnifying glass set on a stand in a sunny room started a small blaze in a Wyoming home. UPS worker Buddy Armstrong was delivering a package to 84-year-old Thomas Guthrie's Dubois home on Tuesday when he heard an alarm inside. Armstrong, also a volunteer firefighter, called emergency workers and went inside the home, along with a sheriff's deputy.

Sgt. Jerry Evagelatos says they found a lot of smoke, but couldn't find the source until Dubois firefighters arrived. Evagelatos says the sun was shining at just the right angle to hit a magnifying glass on a stand. The glass magnified the sunbeam, which set a nearby pile of mail on fire. Evagelatos says the fire was extinguished before it damaged the home. Guthrie wasn't at home during the fire."

2. Sometimes we underestimate the power of God's creation. Even a meager sunbeam, when focused through a lens, can pack quite a punch.

3. We, likewise, underestimate what growing in the knowledge of God can do; when a Christian focuses on God's Word, another type of power is released. Some of you read 2 Peter through 7 times this week --or the first chapter. Did you notice a difference?

4. It is just about knowledge, but the process of gaining and rehearsing knowledge of the Word that is so transforming. And that is one of the themes of 2 Peter, "Growing in the Grace and Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

3. I do not like to share all the introductory material to a book at one time. That makes for all lecture and no sermon. But introductory information needs to be shared, so I will do that gradually over time.

4. The positive theme is found in 3:18a, "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

The negative theme is found in 2:1b, "…there will be false teachers among you…"

5. The first two verses of Second Peter are so concentrated that they themselves serve as a good introduction while launching us right into the text. We will take our time.

6. Peter was admonished by Jesus, after His resurrection to "feed my sheep" and "care for my sheep." Peter tried to imitate the Good Shepherd by doing just that, as seen here.

Main Idea: A good shepherd is serious about feeding the sheep and protecting the sheep; that process begins by rehearsing and growing in our relationship to God.

I. God Pursues US (1)

A. Who is Sh'mon Kefa? Simon PETER

1. A servant

2. An apostle

B. Faith Has Been Divinely ALLOTTED to us

Acts 11:15-18, "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could oppose God?"

When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

C. Believing Jews and Believing GENTILES Have Equal Status

1. Obtained means, literally means "obtained by lot;" Wuest translates it as, "… to those who have been divinely allotted like precious faith with us…"

2. Equal standing…the church or churches he is addressing have added gentile members. In I Peter, he is writing to Jewish believers, but now he acknowledges the gentiles and makes it clear that their faith is equal to that of believing Jews

D. By means of the RIGHTEOUSNESS of the Messiah

Granville Sharp rule here: "God" and "Savior Jesus Christ" are the same person

Lenski, "Jesus Christ, Our God and Savior."

"…the righteousness of God our Savior and Jesus Christ can mean several things."

• Best solution: let Peter interpret Peter

I Peter 3:18a, "For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God."

• the idea here is that our righteousness comes from the righteousness of Jesus

E. Application: BOASTING Excluded

• God provides the righteousness

• Pedigree does not matter; some Christians assume the rest of us have a heritage

• They just cannot process that many of us come from ungodly families…

• Before God, neither male nor female, bond nor free… competitiveness crazy

II. We Pursue God (2)

A. The mood of WISH

B. The formula to make the wish REALITY

• The source of knowledge is God, and God has revealed Himself in His Son and in His Word… (not just any knowledge, not just any beliefs; grocery store/buffet)

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