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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

May 22, 2013

2 Peter 1:1-8

  1. Verses 1-2. The apostle Peter writes this letter to the church so that they can really maximize their life in Christ. Too many believers live under the level of maturity in the faith. They have faith in Christ, but have not matured in their faith pass the saving faith stage. Believers must move past a saving faith to an active faith that seeks not just salvation, but sanctification and spiritual maturity as well. The apostle knows full well that his audience is compromised of mostly believers, and he knows that they have been the recipients of a great gift in Jesus Christ. The apostle declares to his hearers that they have received a faith that was precious and abundant. The gift of salvation was not only costly it was also more than sufficient for our needs. This gift in Christ not only came with the power to save, but it also came with power to live godly.

  2. Verses 3-4. Some in the audience may have questioned how a person can actually live a life pleasing to God since all have come from such sinful situations. The answer is that as a part of our salvation, we have been given power to do all that God requires through the indwelling of his spirit. The promise (John 16:7-15) of the Holy Spirit enables us to live according to the spirit and not according to the flesh. Peter equates our knowledge of God with our salvation. For Peter, to come to know God was to become part of the kingdom of God. It is God who made you aware and gave the knowledge of him in faith. When one is saved they become aware or knowledgeable of God. This new spiritual awareness allows for the believer to see and discern the things of God (1st Cor. 2:10-3:4). Basically when one is born again, they are born of the Spirit of God (John 3). This new birth brings with it a new consciousness that now can acquire the things of God. The new believer is now able to discern between the flesh and the Spirit and please God.

  3. Verses 5-7. Since we have faith, the responsibility of the believer is to add to their faith with the help of the power of God through the Spirit. God is not finished with us at the point of our salvation. After our rebirth there is a process of perfecting (Phil 1:6).

    1. The first thing Peter says we should add to our faith is virtue or goodness. This word literally means "Excellent living." Just doing good and being good. Living an excellent life. This refers to how you live, how you treat people, what you say, and what you do.

    2. The next one is Knowledge – (Literally "an understanding of the truth and how to live it out.") This word is telling us that we can have all those things we discovered by having a sound knowledge of the doctrines of Christianity and by applying them to our lives and living them out.

    3. The next one is self-control. It implies that I do not do as I please, I control myself and do as the Lord pleases! ( Paul – 1 Cor. 9:27) This is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal. 5:23).

      1. Our Tongues ( James 1:26; James 3:1-12; Pro. 26:20)

      2. Our Tempers

      3. Our Temptations – Everyone is tempted – 1 Cor. 10:13. However, not everyone falls into sin! The difference is self-control!

    4. Perseverance/Patience – (Endurance) The patient person is the one not swerved from his devotion to God even by the greatest of trials.

    5. Godliness – This word literally means, "Walking in view of His greatness." It has reference to the person who has every action and attitude yielded to the fear of the Lord. This person spends his life in a state of "God-like-ness." He spends his days serving God and serving men. The person who practices godliness is one who understands that God truly is an awesome God. He fears the Lord, and strives at every turn to please Him and Him alone, (Eccl. 12:13). He realizes that it doesn’t matter what others think as long as God is pleased.

    6. Mutual affection/Brotherly Kindness – (filadelfia – Literally, just plain old brotherly love.) Matt. 22:39 1 John 4:20.

    7. Love/Charity – (agaph – Love!) He is referring to that self-sacrificing, never-ending, all-encompassing love that Jesus exhibited when He came to the earth to die for sin. 1 Cor. 13:1-3.

  4. Faith brings us into relationship with God through Jesus Christ. “Moral excellence or Virtue” seeks the character of God as the standard and goal for our own character. “Knowledge” describes what God is like, and what we should be like as well. “Self-control” enables us to curb our physical passions and to make our bodies servants of the will of God. The next character trait-“perseverance”-enables us to persist in our pursuit of godly character, even when we suffer for doing so. If self-control has to do with physical pleasures, perseverance has to do with pain. Our natural tendency is to pursue pleasure and flee from pain. So Peter says we should add these things to our faith.

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