Feb. 21, 2019

Some of Peter's Final Thoughts

 

II Peter 1

13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

 

If you knew that your time on earth was coming to a close, what would you be doing? What would you be thinking about? Who would you want to spend your time with? What kind of conversations would you have?

 

I have heard people say they would be partying - - having all the fun they could think of. Is that a wise way to prepare for eternity? Many would cast aside the spiritual roles they have been playing. Instead they would quit pretending and do the things that are really in their hearts. They would go ‘buck wild’.

 

But Peter is sincere and rooted in his life with the Lord. Peter doesn’t deviate from his vocation and calling to pastor, to teach and function as an apostle.

 

In I Peter he writes about sufferings and persecutions from outside the church. But in II Peter he writes about internal issues within the church. He warns the readers about false teachers. False teachers were professing to be believers but they were teaching against even the very basics of the faith.

 

Peter is a true man of God and is concerned about those who have been in his pastoral care. As a man of wisdom and spiritual awareness, he is not going to waste words or time. Peter shares what he feels is vital for people to remember and practice, especially after he is gone.

 

II Peter 1:3-4

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Peter reminds the readers of what they have already been given through the knowledge of the power of the Lord. He goes on to say that they are to keep growing and becoming better in the Lord. Peter names seven attributes that believers are to add to our faith.

 

II Peter 1:5-7 NIV

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 

To faith we are to add or supply or furnish or support our secure walk in God with these:

  1. Virtue / Goodness = moral excellence (nothing shady or questionable should be a part of our lives)
  2. Knowledge = not worldly but spiritual and focused on the Lord
  3. Temperance = self-control, restricting your passions
  4. Patience / Perseverance = endure; keep believing and behaving according to your faith
  5. Godliness = practicing a lifestyle that honors God and reflects His character
  6. Brotherly Kindness / Mutual Affection = purposeful and practical caring for other believers
  7. Charity / Love = desiring the highest good for others and ministering to their needs

The first five listed pertain to our internal readiness. The last two concern our devotion or service toward others.

II Peter 1:8

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

 

Peter’s reminder here is that we are to be effective and productive.  This will happen if the seven characteristics he spoke of are possessed by us and increase. As we follow the teachings of the Lord and yield to the Holy Spirit, those seven traits should grow in measure in each one of our lives. We should see some positive differences this year that we had not yet achieved a year ago.

 

In his final discourse Peter is warning them not to get comfortably and spiritually dull. We are to be sharp in our awareness of spiritual matters. Our interest in God and the things of God should become deeper and more engaging. Wise believers will guard against complacency, frivolity (not taking the Word of God and the ways of God seriously), distractions, weakness, becoming lukewarm and quitting the race.

 

We are to make every effort to gain more strength, to build endurance, develop compassion and produce godly fruit that remains. Doing these things pleases our Heavenly Father and helps us to become more like Jesus.

If this was your last day on earth what would you be doing?