5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
8For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But he that
lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
12Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. 13Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath showed me. 15Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
16For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
- The term “in the last days” is used in II Peter 3:3.
- John refers to “the last time” in I John 2:18, and so does Jude in Jude 18.
- James refers to “the last days” in James 5:3.
- The apostle Paul writes in II Timothy 3:1, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”
- Peter spoke on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:17 and said, “And it shall come to pass in the last days…”
- The writer of Hebrews speaks of how God spoke in time past, but has “in these last days” spoken by His Son.
So, “How Should We Live In The last days”?
1A. BE CONTROLLED BY DIVINE POWER!
II Peter 1:1-11
WHY? To keep you from falling - v. 10 cf. Jude 24-25
The problem here is that of PERSONAL DEFEAT AND DISCOURAGEMENT!
4 things we can observe here:
1B. It PROVIDES all we need - v. 3 - II Pet. 1:8
“all things that pertain unto life and godliness”
“through the knowledge of Him” – epi-gnosis in various forms 64 times
Col. 1:9-10 knowledge from above.
2 Peter 1:3
"As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." as His divine power
"As" is a marker of a reason--on the grounds that, because. Because God's power has given us everything we need, we possess well-founded assurance to live the Christian life. "Divine" means pertaining to God. Peter talks about the power pertaining to God. "Divine" speaks of the attributes of God.
This is God seen from the standpoint of His attributes. "Divine" then is all that bears the stamp of God. It is what God is and especially what proceeds from Him.
Here Peter sees God especially from the attribute of power. Divine, then, means the manifested presence of God. It is the bloom of His character, His glory (John 1:14, 18).
In the previous verse, Peter summons Christians to gain a "full-knowledge" of God. In this verse, we now come to understand what he means. God is a God of power. That power is available to us.
We have the possibility to address our problems beyond operation bootstraps. The word for "power" here is inherent power and refers to God's potency. We enjoy built-in power to live the Christian life. God guarantees us power to live in God's strength. God makes it possible for us to win.
The word "knowledge" in this verse is an intense word. It means to know thoroughly. We must know God with discernment and full knowledge.
Knowledge of God is not obscure. We cannot grow in knowledge of God (2 Peter 3:18) with a closed Bible.
Rather we increase in the knowledge of God as we increase in the knowledge of God's Word. The more we know the Bible, the more we know God. We cannot know how to live the Christian life without the Bible.
BE CONTROLLED BY DIVINE POWER
1B. It PROVIDES all we need
2B. It PROMISES complete victory - v. 4b
"By which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, “having escaped the corruption that is in the World through lust”
This is the only occurrence of the superlative "exceedingly" in the New Testament. This speaks of the magnitude of God's promises.
God describes His promises with three outstanding qualifications: exceedingly, great and precious. First, God's promises exceed any promise you ever heard.
We know what it means to "exceed" the speed limit. It means to go beyond. God's promises go past man's promises. His promises are bigger and better than anything man can do.
The second description of God's promises is they are "great." We abuse this word today. Everything is "great." We have great automobiles and great hotdogs! When everything is great, nothing is great. However, when the Bible uses the word "great" it carries impact.
and precious promises
The third description of our promises is they are "precious."
"Precious" carries the idea of value or worth.
God's promises are valuable. God's promises are extremely important to the believer. The promises of God are of considerable worth to those who use them. Peter uses "precious" for faith (1 Peter 2:7; 2 Peter 1:1) and for Christ's blood (1 Peter 1:19).
God's promises are His guarantees to us that He will be there for us. That is why when He makes a promise they are valuable.
BE CONTROLLED BY DIVINE POWER! - WHY?
1B. It PROVIDES all we need - v. 3
2B. It PROMISES complete victory - v. 4b
3B. It PRODUCES fruit - vv. 8-9
1C. Instead of spiritual barrenness - v. 8 Greek: argos -
“useless” or “unproductive”
"For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."
For if these things
"These things" are the chorus of seven character qualities of the previous verses. Every time the words "these things" occur they refer to the seven building blocks of Christian character.
When a Christian develops the seven sub-structures of his faith, he will be effective and productive. The necessary consequence of adding one characteristic to another, is fruit and productivity.
These seven qualities will cause the five effects in verses 8 and 9.
The words "are yours" implies possession and makes the point that the seven characteristics of the previous verses "belong" to Christians who grow.
As these qualities increase in measure so does effectiveness.
The word "are" in this verse is a strong word "are."
This word "are" means to be identical with, to be in a state, normally with the implication of a particular set of circumstances.
It carries the idea to exist, particularly in relation to ownership.
This always involves a pre-existent state, prior to the fact referred to, and a continuance of the state after the fact.
Thus in Philippians 2:6 the phrase "who being in the form of God" implies Christ's pre-existent deity, previous to His Birth, and His continued deity afterwards.
The word "are" means that which is from the beginning. Something attaches itself to a person and thus belongs to him. The character qualities of verses five through seven are not spasmodic, here one day and gone tomorrow.
All these qualities lie resident in every child of God.
2C. Instead of spiritual blindness - v. 9
Greek: tuphlos - “smokey” or “nearsighted”
For he who lacks these things
A Christian who does not manifest the character qualities of verses 5-7 is spiritually blind.
The word "lack" means is not present.
We can translate this phrase literally, "to whom these things are not present."
Idiomatically this means that the "these things" of verses 5-7 are not "ours."
These character qualities are not present in his life. Are the character qualities of verses 5-7 near your heart? If we possess these things God endows us with spiritual sight.
BE CONTROLLED BY DIVINE POWER!
1B. It PROVIDES all we need - v. 3
2B. It PROMISES complete victory - v. 4b
3B. It PRODUCES fruit - vv. 8-9
4B. It PROTECTS you from falling - v. 10
cf. Jude 24; Psalm 37:23-24
"Therefore" means on which account. "Therefore" makes a close connection of thought to verses 5-9. This is the punch line of verses 5-9.
you will never stumble
"Stumble" means literally fall. We will not become a wretched Christian if we keep the character qualities of verses 5-7. The New Testament often uses "stumble" for the carnal Christian. God makes every provision to keep His children from failing.
When we make our salvation real in our lives, God will keep us from stumbling spiritually.
If you read popular magazines like Time or Newsweek or if you read the technical scientific journals of our day, you will find prophetic studies on what the world will be like in the 21st century and beyond.
The secularists do not call these projections concerning the future "prophecy" because that word has too much of a religious connotation.
Instead of "prophecy" they use the word SCENARIO, which means to outline the coming events. I am sure that you have been required to read much in the area of secular scenarios. Some of you have read any number of the multitude of books which seek to tell us what the future holds.
The Christian in the 20th century can take advantage of the present popularity of prophetic studies in the secular world by putting forth intelligibly the divine, inspired scenario of coming events, While the world can only guess about the future the Christian has a more sure word of prophecy (11 pet. 1:19). We know through Scripture the main points of the future. We must, therefore, be prepared-to give a logical and reasonable reply to anyone who questions us concerning the prophetic hope within our hearts.
2A. BE COMMITTED TO BIBLICAL PROPHECY!
II Peter 1:12-21
WHY? to remember the truth - vv. 12, 13, 15, 19
The problem here is that of SPIRITUAL DECEPTION!
1B. Its IMPORTANCE - vv. 12-18
1C. Based on the stability we need - v. 12
“established” - sterizo - 14 times cf. II Thess. 3:3;
I Peter 5:8-10
and are established
"Established" means to fix, make fast, to set. "Established" means to put or place something firmly in a location -- to cause to be fixed, to establish in a place. The idea is stabilizing someone in truth.
The Lord called upon Peter to stabilize his brethren (Luke 22:32).
Paul wanted to visit Rome to establish them (Romans 1:11) and Timothy at Thessalonica.
(1Thessalonians 3:2). It is the work of God to stabilize the saints (1 Thessalonians 3:13; 2 Thessalonians 2:17).
We are to stabilize our own hearts (James 5:8)."Established" carries the idea of strengthening, to cause someone to become stronger or more firm and unchanging in attitude or belief.
Asia Minor saints became stabilized in the truth and were being set fast in truth. Peter's purpose is to set cardinal truth of their faith in their thinking we gain stability by knowing. We first gain knowledge-then stability.
We cannot reverse this process. Stability does not precede knowledge.
We do not gain stability by reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" or "How to Succeed in Selling?"
2C. Based on the shortness of our lives - vv. 13-15
3C. Based on the statements of eyewitnesses - vv. 16-18
2B. Its IMPACT - v. 19
Peter now continues to explain the implication of his Mount of Transfiguration experience. He draws an even more convincing documentation of truth than the transfiguration.
we have the prophetic word confirmed
The Word of God is surer than an apostolic witness of the account of Mount of Transfiguration. Our faith primarily rests in what God says, not what we experience. The "prophetic word" pertains to inspired utterances – prophetic meaning, "of the prophets." In other words, this is Old Testament Scripture.
"But now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith—to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen" (Romans 16:26-27).
These are people with a firm faith because what they believe in is altogether reliable. We can rely and depend upon the Scriptures because they are trustworthy. "Confirmed" means firm, permanent. "Confirmed" also comes to mean reliable, dependable, certain.
1C. It gives assurance - “a more sure word”
cf. Hebrews 6:18-19 - bebaios - its forms
appear 17 times - including II Pet. 1:10
cf. Rom. 15:8; I Cor. 1:6-8; II Cor. 1:20-21; Col. 2:7
2C. It needs attention - “take heed” - NIV - “pay attention”
3C. It brings anticipation - “until the day
dawn, and the day star arise in your
hearts” - cf. Titus 2:13 - “day star” -
Greek: phosphoros - “morning star”
cf. Rev. 22:16 - “bright and morning star”
Greek: lampros orthrinos aster
3B. Its INTERPRETATION - v. 20
is of any private interpretation
The word “private” means one’s own. A prophet cannot speak his own message. Scripture does not come from the prophet himself. The Scriptures did not come from human origin. Scripture is not the human author’s “own thing.” The Bible is reliable because of its source. Scripture is reliable because God is reliable.
The word “interpretation” means unloosing, solving or explanation. Metaphorically, it means “interpretation.” The word can mean the conveying or uttering of a divine proclamation and therefore carries the idea of “produce” or “bring forth.” Scripture does not come from the human author’s explanation of things. It is not a concoction of their own thinking.
The word “is” means to become something that it was not previously. This probably means that the prophets did not originate Scripture. The Holy Spirit originates Scripture, not human authors. He gives the Bible by revelation. This passage is not talking about the interpretation of the Bible but the origin of the Bible. God used human authors to write the Bible but it does not teach human ideas.
Human authors of Scripture did not put their own spin on Scriptures. The Bible is not man’s ideas about God.
The word “any” means “no” — not even one. Every single Scripture came from God and not men. No Scripture springs from the self-origination of the human author. No single passage of Scripture stands by itself. It must be understood in its context. The Bible also needs to be understood in the consensus of Scripture as a whole. We must understand doctrine in light of the norm of general Scripture teaching. We call this “theology.” We cannot take passages we do not like and ignore them. We must include the entire body of truth from God to form a proper theology. This will deliver us from error.
Every passage of Scripture has one interpretation but many applications. If we give the idea that an application is an interpretation, we misrepresent what God says.
No book in the world is as valuable as the Bible. God’s Word is indispensable because it only tells us the truth about God, Christ, sin and eternity.
Knowing this first,
Invariably, what God asks us to know, we do not know. God wants us to know the subject of this verse “first.” God wants us to know above everything else something about divine inspiration. When we interpret Scripture, we need to know as a leading principle that God inspired the Bible, not men. This is priority.
Peter’s opponents denied the divine origin of Scripture. They claimed that their writings came from visions, signs and dreams. Their prophecies came from themselves, from their own origin. Peter says that apostolic writings came from God, not the human author.
Friends, one of the things we teach here at Agape Chapel is “How to handle the Word of truth”
It is a dangerous practice to pick certain verses out of their context to establish a doctrine. We understand each verse in the light of its context. Otherwise, we could distort the meaning of that passage and operate on misleading and distorted information. This is much like misleading advertising. Misleading advertising misrepresents its product.
4B. Its INSPIRATION - v. 21 2 Peter 2:1
cf. II Timothy 3:16-17
For prophecy never came by the will of man,
Note that this verse begins with a word of explanation – “for.” The previous verse explained that Scriptures did not come from a human source but a divine source.
Scripture does not originate with man. Man does not originate the Bible. The human author received God’s ideas. Scripture comes by divine inspiration. The Bible is not man’s idea. The Bible originates with God. Revelation comes from God to man.
but holy men of God,
If the Bible did not come by man’s will, how did it come? By “holy men of God.” Approximately thirty different men wrote the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament. About eight men wrote the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. God used holy [set apart] men to write Scripture.
These men were not automatons or robots. They used their own personality and vocabulary to write Scripture. The Holy Spirit, however, guarded them from error as they wrote Scripture. He superintended each word they wrote. Therefore, the authors of Scripture made no mistakes. We have the Bible exactly as God intended for us to have it. We can place our confidence in Scripture.
“Holy men of God” are Old and New Testament authors like Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, John and Paul. God picked certain men to communicate the Bible.
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,
“But” implies strong contrast. In contrast to human beings originating Scripture, the Holy Spirit superintended the writing of Scripture.
“Moved” means to carry. The book of Acts uses “moved” for wind carrying a ship (27:15, 17). The Holy Spirit so guided the human author that he wrote without error. That is why Scripture is certain. Therefore, we can trust Scripture because it is the very words of God.
This word “moved” translates “upholds” and “bearing” in the book of Hebrews:
“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:3).
“Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach” (Hebrews 13:13).
The idea is to carry. The Holy Spirit upholds or bears the writers of Scripture as they write Scripture. The writers of Scripture wrote better than they knew. That is why the Bible is not full of fables.
The Holy Spirit governed the human author as he was in the process of writing Scripture (2 Peter 3:16). The human author was aware of the content that he wrote, but the Holy Spirit “carried” him. The Holy Spirit originates Scripture.
The Holy Spirit so supernaturally superintended Scripture writers that without circumventing their intelligence, their personal literary style or personality, He enabled them to record Scripture with perfect accuracy. Human authors were not automatons or robots who acted like a computer when they wrote Scripture.
The simple truth is, 1A. We need to be controlled by divine power and 2A. Be committed to biblical prophecy!
How about you, is there enough evidence here for you to make an informed decision. A decision to not only have Him as a resident within, but The President?
Until next time, Agape to you…