Summary: Christians must grow in faithfulness through the virtues found in Scripture
• Today we begin a short series entitled Grow In Grace, a study of 2 Peter.
› Big Idea of the Series: The body of Christ, the church, must be diligent in recognizing false teachers and doctrine while trusting the Scriptures and recognizing true ministers of the Word.
• By learning to recognize false teachers, Christians will also be able to identify those who teach truth, and by living into that truth, they can grow in the grace of God and Christian virtue.
• I bet you have heard the statement, “IT DOES NOT MATTER WHAT YOU BELIEVE AS LONG AS YOU BELIEVE.”
• The problem with that statement is the fact that what you believe affects how you live your life.
• False teaching has plagued the church almost from the beginning.
• The problem is not new, and realistically it will always exist until the Lord returns.
• The first message in this series may not seem to fit the narrative of growing in grace we will unveil over the next four weeks, but it does.
• What we believe impacts how we live our faith.
• False teaching impacts our lives and our faith.
• I contend that many do not know why they believe what they proclaim they believe.
• It seems for some; COVID exposed this truth.
• When people habitually CHOSE to stay home over being at worship with their church family, it is apparent they really never understood why they needed to come to worship in the first place.
• With that said, notice I used the word CHOSE to stay home, not SHOULD stay home because of health issues.
• When we feel that church is the only place we can get COVID, we have some theological issues we need to address.
• Second Peter is “a farewell letter from the apostle, in which he seeks to combat the teaching of unethical behavior and the denial of the return of Jesus Christ and final judgment” (P. H. Davids, “2 Peter,” New Dictionary of Biblical Theology [Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000], 350).
• The precise date of the writing of 2 Peter is uncertain; however, Christian tradition tells us that Peter died in 68 AD under Roman emperor Nero.
• Based on 2 Peter 1:14, it appears Peter is close to that death, so this letter is generally dated around 67 AD.
• The focus on the message today is: Christians must grow in faithfulness through the virtues found in Scripture.
• We are called to grow in Christ; we are not called to simply exist and hope.
• Let’s begin by turning to 2 Peter 1, we will begin in verse 1.
2 Peter 1:1–4 (CSB)
1 Simeon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ: To those who have received a faith equal to ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
3 His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
4 By these he has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desire.
I. God’s power fully equips us for life.
• Peter begins this final letter by telling the readers who he is in Christ.
• He is writing to other Christian’s probably in the Asia Minor area.
• He reminds the readers that our faith comes through Jesus!
1, 2 Peter (A. Salutation and Greeting (1:1–2))
The reference to “knowledge” already anticipates the major reason for Peter’s writing.
The false teachers had a knowledge problem—they denied the truth concerning Jesus’ Second Coming.
This errant knowledge then had disastrous consequences for their lives.
They were completely overcome by sin (see chapter 2), thus destroying their relationship with Christ.
Here, as elsewhere in Scripture, knowledge is not simply an intellectual matter but also a relational one.
The false teachers did not truly “know” God.
Peter’s prayer, then, is that his readers will have the abundant grace and peace that comes from knowing God and knowing the truth about God and about Jesus our Lord. (College Press Commentary Series)
• Peter immediately begins to tell his readers that the knowledge of God is theirs to obtain through Christ’s power in them.
• “Grace and peace be multiplied to you: Peter indicated that grace and peace—those two most precious of gifts—are ours in the knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.
• As we know God, we gain these essentials foundations for salvation and living.”
• (David Guzik, “2 Peter 1: The Sure Christian Life,” Enduring Word, 2018, https://www.enduringword.com/bible-commentary/2-peter-1/).