2 Peter (2 Pet)

Book 22 of the NT, having 3 chapters. This was written by the apostle Peter, about AD 67 – some three years after 1 Peter – to believers worldwide. Time to read: 10 mins.

Key people: Peter, Paul.

Outline: His message is to know who you are in Christ, grow in that relationship using the resources available as a child of God, along with a warning about false teachers. He concludes with teaching about Christ’s return. “God does not want any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief”, catching many people unprepared (2 Pet 3:9,10).

Main lesson: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him” so we should be doing everything we can to know Him more (2 Pet 1:3). There are no favourities with God; we are all equal in His sight. However some appropriate more of the divine resources made available through Christ than others do.

Key verses and thoughts: * “Make every effort...Be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things you will never fall” (2 Pet 1:5,10).  It is true that our works will not bring about salvation. Christ has made it all available, but we do have a responsibility. Our task is to put it into practice, to make it secure – like a foundation which needs to be painstakingly prepared and reinforced with ongoing monitoring to ensure it is in good condition, so we need to regularly attend to the basic requirements of our faith.  It’s not a matter of ‘I’ve accepted Christ so I can live as I please because I’ve done all that needs to be done’. By diligently growing in Christ, outworking the principles of the Bible and walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit we will protect ourselves against deception, stumbling and falling away. We are responsible for ourselves. One day we will stand before Christ and give account of what we have done with the provision He secured for us by His death.

* The message of God’s Word is not the product of man’s ideas and creativity (2 Pet 1:20,21). Genuine prophecy and divinely inspired principles originate with God. Be on your guard against false teachers claiming to have new revelation from God.  We are told to judge prophecy and check out what is taught, comparing it to the Bible and, refuting what is distorted but outworking what is true. Do I just accept everything that comes my way or do I carefully “examine the Scriptures to see if it is true” (Act 17:11)? Heresy or false beliefs will subtly lead away from the truth into error.

* Both 1 and 2 Peter were written to stimulate wholesome thinking (2 Pet 3:1). Unless the thoughts are right there is little chance of a good outcome from life as the attitudes and thoughts are the breeding ground for words and actions that will come forth (Mk 7:20-22).  What do I feed my mind?  Will it result in acceptable ‘fruit’ or will I be ashamed?  There is so much defilement in today’s culture – its philosophy is to cater to the base desires of humanity, with no understanding that the seed sown determines the harvest reaped. “A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him” (2 Pet 2:19). What motivates and dictates to me – wholesome godly values or the world’s corruption?

See also: false prophets/teachers, knowledge, 1 Peter, Peter, second coming, thinking/thoughts, truth.