Friday, October 15, 2021

2 Peter Introduction - October 17, 2021

 2 Peter Introduction

Good morning! We are beginning a new study this morning! 

It has been our pattern for the last eight years or so to study the books of one author in the order in which they were originally delivered. We went all through the letters of the Apostle Paul which are not arranged in chronological order in the New Testament, but rather by length, which can be kind of confusing. 

We’ve now moved on to the works of the Apostle Peter, beginning with the Gospel of Mark which the scholars believe was Peter’s account of the life and ministry of Jesus and, of course, last week we wrapped up 1 Peter.

That must mean that we are on to 2 Peter! And we are!

So let’s pray so we can jump in.

Again, it is our pattern to consider the original author, the original audience, and the original author’s intent before getting too far into our study of any particular text. 

We know that the original author is Peter because his name is the first two words of the letter.

Just as a point of interest, you’ll see as we read this letter together that Peter uses the name Simeon Peter as opposed to just the name Peter as he did in his last letter. Simeon is the direct transliteration of his name, “Simon,” from Hebrew, a nod to his original audience of primarily Jewish Christians, though Gentile believers were included as well.

Chapter three, verse one tells us who the original audience was, who the original recipients of this letter were: it was the exact same audience as his last letter, the elect exiles of the dispersion. 

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved.

Who are the “elect exiles of the dispersion”? This is a reference to Jewish believers, those who had been dispersed, scattered from their homeland and now living as exiles in Northern Turkey. Peter is often referred to as the Apostle to the Jews just as Paul was referred to as the Apostle to the Gentiles. That doesn’t mean that Gentile believers are not included in the instruction and encouragement included in this letter, by the time this letter was written Jewish and Gentile believers were together in one holy church.

Peter wrote this letter in AD 67-68, shortly before his death, a year or two after his first letter.

Lastly, we have the original author’s intent. What was Peter trying to accomplish by writing this letter?

The crazy thing about this letter is that it could have been written yesterday. I listened to a sermon on 2 Peter from Ray Steadman and he talked about how applicable this letter was to that day and how it dealt with so much that the church was facing and that sermon was delivered in 1968. It still holds up!

Peter was trying to guard the church against error, specifically error brought into the church by false teachers and he did this by encouraging the church to grow in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

I said a few weeks ago that counterfeit bills are obvious to those who study the genuine article. Knowledge of the truth is the great solution to error.

AR Fausset wrote, “The grand antidote is ‘the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior,’ through which we know God the Father, partake of His nature, escape from the pollutions of the world, and have entrance into Christ’s kingdom.”

We are faced with all the same difficulties that Peter’s original audience faced and the solution to their problems is the solution to ours, the full knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

I’ve put some references up on the screen for you to look up on your own. Peter mentions several different Biblical accounts and I thought it would be helpful to you to have those references so that when we get to those texts in the coming weeks you can be more familiar with what he was talking about.

So enough from me, let’s hear from the Lord through the pen of the Apostle Peter.

Read the text of 2 Peter.

May the Lord Himself act as our interpreter and apply His truth to our lives.