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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Peter's FIRST letter

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Frameworks: 2 Peter, chapters 1 - 3

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(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a simple comment of what is happening)

   

[Note:  Because it is sometimes difficult to follow the flow of a letter like this, we have added a synopsis of each chapter & passage to try to help clarify James' train of thought and where he is going with his writing.]

     

Why Read 2 Peter: Peter's second letter is delightfully simple to read. Ch.1 reminds us of the wonder of what it means to be a believer and why we can be sure of the truth of what he says. In Ch.2, by contrast he warns against so-called believers (actually backsliders) who live wrongly, teach wrongly and seek to lead others astray. It reminds us there is truth and there is error and God will judge those who bring the error. In Ch.3 he extends this to warn against those scoffers who say Jesus won't return and declares it will and so we should live holy lives accordingly. It is a short letter designed to keep believers on the right track and challenges us to reject those who would live and teach otherwise.

     

GO TO:   Chapter 2   Chapter 3   

     

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Peter 1: The Wonder of our Calling

 

v.1,2 Greetings
v.3-11 Confirming One's Calling and Election
v.12-18 The Sureness of his Testimony
v.19-21 Testimony of Prophetic Scriptures

 

[Chapter 1 Synopsis: From the very beginning throughout this chapter, Peter keeps on reminding us what it means to be a believer and encourages us to keep on working on these things, things that are truth, things that establish us and keep us.]

 

v.1,2 Greetings

[Passage Synopsis: Even in his greeting Peter emphasizes who believers are]

 

v.1 (from Simon Peter to all have received a faith through God's righteousness via the work of Christ on the Cross) Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

v.2 (may you all know grace and peace by knowing God) Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

    

   

v.3-11 Confirming One's Calling and Election

 

[Passage Synopsis: He expands of what knowing God has done for us and encourages us to build on these things to be those who impact the world.]

 

v.3 (God's power enables us to live godly lives by knowing him, having responded to His call) 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.

v.4 (thus He's given us wonderful promises of sharing in His nature) 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.

v.5-7 (so, because of this work to add to your lives goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, friendship and love) 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.

v.8 (if these increase they will make us effective & productive) 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.

v.9 (if you don't work for these you've obviously forgotten what you were saved from) But whoever does not have them is near-sighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

v.10,11 (so work at confirming who you have been called to be and that will help you stand strong until you are welcomed into heaven) Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

    

   

v.12-18 The Sureness of his Testimony

 

[Passage Synopsis: He says he will keep on reminding them of these things, knowing it is no fairy tale, but the truth, having even heard the voice of the Father affirming the Son]

 

v.12 (I will keep on reminding you of these things) So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.

v.13,14 (I need to do this because I may not be here much longer) I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me.

v.15 (I'll do all I can to ensure you don't forget) And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

v.16(for the faith isn't made up, for we saw Christ's glory) For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

v.17 (we actually heard the Father approve him ) He received honour and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” [Mt 17:5; Mk 9:7; Lk 9:35]

v.18 (yes, we really did hear his voice) We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.

  

   

v.19-21 Testimony of Prophetic Scriptures

   

[Passage Synopsis: The prophetic scriptures point to these things, words that were inspired by God.]

 

v.19 (of course we also have the prophecies of old that you can entirely trust) We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

v.20 (and don't think that any prophecy was man-made) Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet's own interpretation of things.

v.21 (but it was God who inspired them) For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

 

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Peter 2: False Teachers and Their Destruction

 

[Chapter 2 Synopsis: In the present world there are many deceivers, false teachers, who live immoral lives and seek to lead others astray. God will deal with them]

 

 

v.1-3 Beware false teachers

 

[Passage Synopsis: Having emphasised that we live according to the truth he now warns against false depraved teachers who will be judged]

 

v.1 (some prophets of old were false as some teachers today are) But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves.

v.2 (they lead people in bad behaviour) Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

v.3 (and will seek to lead you astray with wrong beliefs) In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

 

 

v.4-9 Remember the examples of God's judgment in the past

 

[Passage Synopsis: God has clearly judged and destroyed sinners in the past, so He will do the same with them]

 

v.4 (but remember how God judged angels in the past…) For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

v.5 (… and how He judgsd sin with the Flood) if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

v.6 (… and how he totally destroyed two sinful cities) if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

v.7,8 (and how Lot showed up the sin of those days) and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)—

v.9 (in the light of all this, realise God can save the godly and punish the ungodly) if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

   

  

v.10-22 These people are right off the tracks in thought and deed and will be destroyed

 

[Passage Synopsis: These people are blatant in their folly, their debauchery and their general immorality, often having once been true believers but now obvious backsliders. They will be punished]

 

v.10,11 (there is so much wrong about these people) This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.

v.12 (but they will perish) But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

v.13 (they delight in public debauchery) They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their pleasures while they feast with you.

v.14 (they are sexually and ethically immoral) With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed—an accursed brood!

v.15 (just like Balaam of old they are self-concerned and deceptive) They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.

v.16 (he was even rebuked by an ass) But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey—an animal without speech—who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet's madness.

v.17 (everything about them is bad) These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.

v.18 (wrong words, wrong desires and they lead others astray) For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.

v.19 (while slaves to sin themselves they promise freedom to others) They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

v.20 (if they are backsliders they are in a real mess) If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.

v.21 (they would have been better off no knowing the truth to start with) It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.

v.22 (as the Bible says its only animals who go back to mess) Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” [Prov 26:11] and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

 

FRAMEWORKS: 2 Peter 3: Beware deceiving scoffers

 

v.1-4 Beware Scoffers
v.5-9 You can trust God's word
v.10-18 The Day will come so be prepared

          

[Chapter 3 Synopsis: This final chapter challenges us not to listen to scoffers who say Jesus won't return. If he appears to delay it is simply to give time for more people to repent. He will come and wind all things up prior to the Final Judgment. These things should help keep us on track.]

 

   

v.1-4 Beware Scoffers

 

[Passage Synopsis: This letter is a reminder to go all out for God and so beware deceiver who scoff at the thought of the Lord returning]

 

v.1 (this my second letter continues to remind you to think rightly) Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

v.2  (remember the prophets and what the Lord himself said through the apostles) I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Saviour through your apostles.

v.3 (remember the warning that in the last days scoffers will come) Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

v.4 (they will question whether our Lord will ever return) They will say, “Where is this ‘coming' he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

 

 

v.5-9 You can trust God's word

 

[Passage Synopsis: But you can always trust God's word, whether it was to create the world or bring judgment and if He appears to be holding back, it's just to give you more time to repent]

 

v.5 (they question His word but forget it was by His word He created all things) But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

v.6 (and then used the water to bring judgment) By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

v.7 (but has also warned of fire destroying at the end) By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

v.8 (but God's timing is not like ours) But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

v.9 (he's just giving people space in which to repent) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

 

 

v.10-18 The Day will come so be prepared

 

[Passage Synopsis: There will a be a Final Judgment and a final winding up of this present world to make way for a new heaven and new earth, so live accordingly.]

 

v.10 (But the end will come when He winds up all things) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

v.11,12 (this should stir us to live good and godly lives awaiting the day of The Judgment) Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

v.13 (remembering we'll inherit and new heaven and a new earth) But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

v.14 (so remember this and work to be sin-free) So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.

v.15 (remember Paul write about these things) Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him.

v.16 (maybe sometimes in ways that are a bit difficult to understand and it's foolish people who distort his writings) He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

v.17 (so now you've been warned, be careful) Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.

v.18 (grow in the knowledge of God and His grace) But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.

 

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