Summary: If you're born again, you already have everything you need to live life and to grow in godliness.
You Have All You Need
Rev. Brian Bill
April 11-12, 2015
How many of you love Peeps? They’ve become pretty popular, having now expanded into lip balm, nail polish, and wristbands. You can even get a Peeps pillow!
I’m partial to Peeps. This past Saturday Beth bought me a package of 10 and I devoured 9 of them in one sitting. I would have eaten all 10 but a daughter wrestled one away from me. They sure tasted good going down but after a few minutes I didn’t feel so well. Apparently a man from Sacramento holds the record for eating 102 of these marshmallow marvels in 30 minutes in the annual Peep Off Contest. I’m sure he’s still in a sugar coma.
You see, Peeps are pretty and they taste good…but they’re not so good for you. They’re sweet but have no substance. As we kick off a new sermon series called, “Growing in Grace” from 2 Peter we’re going to see that while some preaching and teaching is pretty, it’s actually not very good for you. Peter wants to make sure we’re putting the right things in us so that we can grow.
The book of 2 Peter, often overlooked by preachers, packs a punch. Using a rhetorical structure, this section of Scripture reads like a farewell speech from Peter. Since we just finished 1 Peter, it’s good for us to hear what God has for us in his second letter. There are at least four reasons I chose this book.
Second Peter for Second Generation People
1. It will help us grow in our faith. This is our second G – Grow (along with Gather, Give and Go). I was blown away at our Easter Now services when 1700 people attended and over 30 people indicated that they were saved last weekend! In addition, 22 people indicated that they made a decision to rededicate their lives to Christ! The staff team has been busy following up with peeps (I mean people) this week and I’m delighted that this new series will help both new and older believers grow. We see this exhortation in 3:18: “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
2. We’ll be equipped to deal with error. Peter’s first letter deals with hostility from without and this second letter deals with heresy from within. As we get closer to the return of Christ, we need to be aware that error and false teaching will only accelerate. We see this in 2:1: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies…”
3. We’ll savor the return of Jesus Christ. Since we are living in the last days we need to be ready for His return and motivated to share our faith with as many as we can. Check out 3:3-4, 10: “That scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’…But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…” BTW, I’ve asked Pastor Brown to speak on the topic, “What in the World Are We Waiting For?” on the weekend of June 6-7.
4. We’ll be encouraged to persevere. Peter warns us against falling away. Look at 2 Peter 3:17: “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked.” Two recent trends can make us discouraged and tempted to fall away.
• Redefinition of marriage. Have you noticed that we are in the midst of a seismic cultural shift in matters of faith, family and freedom? Albert Mohler made an observation this week: “The vast high-velocity moral revolution that is reshaping modern culture at warp speed is leaving almost no aspect of the culture untouched and untransformed.” As an example, an article in this week’s issue of TIME magazine has this headline: “The Writing’s on the Wall for Christians.” And in a column in the New York Times last week one advocate for LGBT rights made this demand: “Church leaders must be made ‘to take homosexuality off the sin list.’” The author even suggested the Bible should be rewritten to be more accepting of the LGBT community. Our own President called for a ban on “Gay Conversion Therapy” on Wednesday. Friends, we will continue to face opposition from outside forces and increasing inside pressure to cave into the culture.
• Apocalyptic Muslim theology. When commenting on the killing of 148 Christians by Al-Shabaab in Kenya, Keith Eitel, director of the World Mission Center at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, made this statement: “Attacks against Christians are not just terrorism but religious warfare.” This group, along with other Islamic extremists, has promised more killing of Christians around the world.