Summary: This sermon serves as an introduction to 2 Peter, and covers the first 11 verses. We focus on the provision, plan, and promises for spiritual success.
A. I love to eat, and I have been blessed to be married to an excellent cook, who is the daughter of an excellent cook, and granddaughter of an excellent cook.
1. I want to show you a few cartoons to get us thinking about cooking and following the instructions of good recipes.
2. This first cartoon illustrates something that happens sometimes when we are eating with the Olbrichts.
a. The cartoon says, “Now that you’ve eaten it, I can tell you what it was.”
b. We often get a chuckle when eating with Kathryn, because one of us will compliment her on something that tastes so good, and she will start to laugh.
c. At that point we know that something happened…the wrong ingredient, or a missing ingredient, or something.
d. She’s such a good cook that she can overcome any obstacle and make it taste good.
3. The next couple of cartoons illustrate the challenge of understanding and following directions.
4. Slide: “The recipe said to stand for five minutes.” I think it meant the food, not the people.
5. Slide: “The recipe said to simmer uncovered.” That would be the pan, not the man.
6. This final cartoon illustrates how inept many of us men are in the kitchen.
a. I know there are many great cooks who are men, and then there are the rest of us who wouldn’t know how to cook a can of beans.
7. I like the story of the two confirmed bachelors who sat talking.
a. Their conversation drifted from politics to cooking.
b. “I got a cookbook once,” said the first, “but I could never do anything with it.”
c. “Too much fancy cooking in it, eh?” asked the second.
d. “You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way - Take a clean dish and....”
B. Okay, so why are we talking about cooking and recipes? Because as we open the letter of 2 Peter we notice that Peter lays out a recipe for spiritual success.
1. Like all good recipes, if you follow them carefully, you will be pleased with the results.
2. Peter gives us a guarantee.
a. In verse 8 he says, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
b. Then in verse 10, he says, “For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
3. How’s that for a promise?!
4. Does that get your attention?
5. This is the Word of God and we can trust it! Praise the Lord!
C. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself.
1. Let’s back up and introduce the letter of 2 Peter and begin working through the text.
2. A couple of weeks ago we finished our series on 1 Peter.
3. We noted during that series that 1 Peter emphasizes our living hope especially in the face of persecution. We have a living hope! Praise the Lord.
4. What we will notice about 2 Peter is the emphasis on knowing the Lord.
a. The word “know” or “knowledge” is used at least 13 times in this short letter.
b. This knowledge is not mere intellectual understanding of some truth, though that is included.
c. This knowledge involves a living participation in the truth in the sense that our Lord used it in John 17:3, where he said, “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
5. In this first chapter, Peter began his letter with a description of the Christian life and how to live it well.
6. Then in the following chapters, Peter goes on to describe the counterfeits to the true faith.
7. The best way to detect falsehood is to first have a clear understanding of the characteristics of what is real and true.
8. Peter’s purpose is to remind us that the gospel transforms lives, that discipleship involves discipline, and that spiritual growth and success is intentional, not automatic.
D. Second Peter begins: 1 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: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
1. Peter introduces himself as “Simon Peter,” a reference to the fact that he was once Simon, but Jesus gave him a new name “Peter” the rock.
2. Notice that Peter introduced himself first as a servant, then an apostle.
a. He didn’t need to wave his authority or position of apostle.