Summary: Because of society’s moral climate its leaders will question the Bible & do their worst to cause believers to question it also. Jesus Christ second coming calls for & justifies a godly lifestyle, therefore it particularly will be belittled.
2 PETER 3: 1-7 [Our Precious Faith Series]
REMEMBER THE BASICS
After defining the characteristics of genuine believers in chapter one and the characteristics of false teachers in the second chapter, Peter turned his eyes upward and forward to the time when Christ would come again. He points us to God for God is the One who is always to be trusted. He asks us to trust the revelation of God, His Holy Word.
So yet again we are encouraged to be unshakable in our acceptance of Scripture for it and its message will come under severe attack. Because of society’s moral climate its leaders will question the Bible and do their worst to cause believers to question it also. Jesus Christ second coming calls for and justifies a godly lifestyle, therefore it particularly will be belittled. Believing in the Second Coming of Christ is basically a matter of faith in God and accepting Scriptures as His revelation.
I. PETER’S AIM, 1-2.
II. PETER’S ADMONITION, 3-4.
III. PETER’S AUTHENTICATION, 5-7.
Peter begins his message of love and encouragement by speaking to believers with gentle and endearing language in verse 1. “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,
Addressing his readers as loved ones or “beloved”(agapçtoi, the first of four usages in this chapter: vv. 1, 8, 14, 17; Jude 17–18) recalls that we are loved by God and therefore we are loved by those who love God. Peter called this epistle his second letter and said both letters are reminders. He wanted to remind us of the truths that had changed our lives and that keep on changing our lives.
This second letter, like his first, was written to stir up the believers’ soul and spirit. If they will take hold of God’s Word and let God’s Word take hold of them, Christ’s indwelling presence will stir them up. [He points to Christ’s indwelling presence in the believers’ lives and to the primacy of God’s Word as their only guide for faith and practice.] These letters were to rouse their readers to honest thought, to assist them in becoming mentally alert spiritual discerners of truth and error.
This stirring up occurs in those with a “sincere mind.” [The phrase “sincere mind” [eilikrinç dianoian] may also be rendered wholesome thinking or “pure disposition.”] The English “sincere” is from the Latin words sine cera, which literally means “without wax.” Some pottery salesmen would use wax to cover cracks and weak places in pottery. Such a cover-up could be detected only by holding the jug or vessel up to the sun to see if any weaknesses were visible. Such a vase was “sun-judged” [the lit. meaning of the Gk. eilikrinçs]. God wants His people to honestly judge their lives in the light of His Word instead of waxing over their sin spots.
In verse 2 we are again reminded of the need to remember the Word and what it has taught us. “that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles.
The basic source for the believers’ knowledge of God and His work among man is found in the holy Words or Scriptures. God would have us center our faith upon the Scriptures which He has both given and recorded for us. All matters for Christian faith and practice are found in the holy Bible. We are therefore called upon once again to remember the words that God has spoken to us. [Spoken is in the perfect tense indicating that what these prophets and apostles uttered in the past is still valid in the present. The word holy differentiates the true prophets from the false.]
“The command of our Lord and Savior” refers to the teachings of Jesus’ which were being proclaimed by the apostles (Jude 17). Linking the prophets and apostles together placed them on the same level of authority (Eph. 2:20). The unity of Scripture is also pictures by referring to both the holy prophets or the Old Testament and the apostles or the New Testament. Because he places his writings alongside those of the holy prophets, Peter is wonderfully aware of the inspiration of the Spirit flowing through him as surely as it had flowed through Isaiah and Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel.
II. PETER’S ADMONITION, 3-4.
Verse 3 proclaims a critical warning to believers of the scoffers that will come toward the close of human history. “Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts,
The great water shed that divides mankind in two groups is those who accept the revelation of this Book and those who reject it. First of all means “above all” (as in 1:20), calling attention to a matter of foremost importance. It is critical to know that in the last days there will be mockers of God’s truth. In the last days they will not only reject God’s Word, they will mock it.