Monday, February 11, 2019

Back to II Peter

Whoaaaaa! I just realized we stopped talking about II Peter way back in November! Time flies, and all that, right? We've covered a lot of ground since then, and had some good studies.
I guess it's time we got back to our old buddy and see what else he has to say.....
We were working our way through the first chapter of II Peter. The last verses we worked on were these:
So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 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. (II Peter 1:12-15)
And now we are ready to move on to these:
16 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. 17 He received honor 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.” 18 We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
19 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. (II Peter 1:16-19)
It's been such a long while since we focused on II Peter, that it might not hurt to do a quick review!
You with me?
We studied verses in the first chapter that reminded us of God's gifts to us: mercy, grace, love, and salvation, as well as the power to live for Him. And since we can never repay Him, we studied how we should live.  We discussed that He has given us more than we could hope for, and that He also has blessed us with precious promises. We studied about how we need to add "spiritual vitamins" to our lives -- virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, and agape love.
Then we studied "why" we should be diligent: so that we can be fruitful for Him, and have spiritual discernment, too. We covered a passage that has caused many arguments over the years, and we simply said that the Christian who is sure of her election and calling will not stumble and then wallow in the mire; she will prove by a consistent life that she is a child of God. That doesn't mean she will always be tripping along without a care on the mountaintops. She may feel her feet slip momentarily, but she will always be climbing higher.
Lastly, we studied a two-week series on leaving our legacy; we discussed what that meant and how best to accomplish it.

Now, we are ready to move forward. But Peter's next few sentences are tied so tightly to verses twelve through fifteen, that they really can't be taken apart. They explain his viewpoint -- I think they even tell us why he wrote his letter.
It's not like he was telling his readers anything new. In verse twelve Peter observes that the things he is writing are already known! But perhaps we can understand why he was plowing in the same old furrows, since in verse fourteen he says that the Lord is almost ready to take Peter away from his earthly body. The time is near. The Lord has somehow shown him that it won't be long now. (We don't know how He let Peter know - he doesn't tell us that. But we know that Jesus predicted his death, and now Peter says God has told him it's almost time.)

The comforting concept here is that when we die, we go to be with the Lord. The words that Peter uses in verse fourteen imply that the body is like a tent, or a garment. Death means that we lay the garment aside for a while and leave. Similar to Paul's words:
We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.  (II Corinthians 5:8)
It may not be any fun getting old. Joint ache; body parts wear out and either need to be replaced or supplemented; we can't do things we used to - or we can't do them as's not for sissies! But as this "garment" wears out, we can take courage. We will lay it aside and go to be with Jesus.

Another comforting thing from verse fourteen is that the death of a believer is never accidental from God's perspective. It's never an "oopsie" moment. It's planned. We mentioned before that Jesus told Peter:
 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” (John 21:18-19)
It's God Who plans things, and it's God Who is in control. God sent an angel once to let Peter out of prison. But he's not going to do that this time. Peter will die. But we should never think that evil has the upper hand. No matter how tragic the death of a believer appears to us, God has the perspective and the plan, and all things happen according to His plan.

Our post today has gotten a bit lengthy; we'll pick this up again next time.


  1. And I will be looking for each word. This is a study that means so much to us.

  2. I believe another reason Peter reminds us of what has already been said, is because like the Israelites, we forget so easily what God has done for us. There is so much repetition in the Bible, because we NEED it. How wonderful to know the majesty and glory of our Lord and King, and to know we will be with Him in eternity!!!
    And no, getting old is definitely not for sissies!!!

  3. I love Peter! Always have. The analogy of putting off the tent of our bodies is such a cheering thing! Speaks of something that is temporary and destructible. But what's inside the tent goes on to great things forever in eternity. Such hope!


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