Lesson 13: November 24, 2019

2 Peter 1:1–15 People can be harmed by the corruption in the world. How can we guard against those negative influences? 2 Peter stresses the importance of supporting one’s faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.

Stick to Your Faith

Bible Background • 2 PETER 1
Printed Text • 2 PETER 1:1–15 | Devotional Reading • PSALM 90

Aim for Change

By the end of the lesson, we will: DISCERN the importance of faith and the call of God to authentic life and godliness, APPRECIATE a life of faith in Christ after redemption from sinfulness, and PRACTICE the virtues of goodness, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godliness, mutual affection, and love.

In Focus

“I just don’t understand you,” Isaac complained to his wife. “I told you that I would take care of the utility bill later this week!”

They were arguing, something that seemed to occur more and more frequently. Audrey thought Isaac was not concerned enough about their finances. Some of the bills were behind, but he had assured her that he would make sure they got paid. Why couldn’t she just leave it alone? Why couldn’t he just pay them? The bills had been delinquent before, but hadn’t they always paid them?

Audrey and Isaac constantly fought about their poor credit rating. Audrey felt certain Isaac blamed her for not being able to purchase a new car or house. Isaac just wanted her to stop blaming him for not figuring out their finances. Why didn’t she understand that he wanted reliable transportation and a home for her and their two children just as much as she did? He just didn’t have the time to sit down and make a plan. The constant reminders from a bill collector’s call or another late notice letter only seemed to make things worse. If she were a better wife and he a better husband, they each thought, then, their trust level for one another would increase. Could they wait for things to get better?

In today’s lesson, we will see that faith is not equivalent to blind optimism. To live godly lives, we must not succumb to laziness or our own thoughts. How do you take advantage of the godly resources available to you?

Keep in Mind

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4, KJV).

“And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires” (2 Peter 1:4, NLT)

The People, Places, and Times

Simon Peter. He was also known as Cephas, which is transliterated from the Aramaic word kepha and means “rock.” Peter was the Galilean fisherman who, along with his brother Andrew, was chosen to be one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. Peter’s given name was Simon, and his father’s name was Jonah (Matthew 16:17; John 1:42). Peter is often described as the bold disciple who became one of Jesus’ three closest associates, along with James and John. They accompanied Jesus during His most significant events—raising Jairus’s daughter (Mark 5:35–42), praying in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–46), and becoming radiant in glory in the Transfiguration (17:1–5). Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Whom say ye that I am?” (16:15) with “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus called him “blessed” and said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church” (16:18). Peter had times of weakness. He told the Lord that he would never forsake Him, but when Jesus was inside being interrogated by Caiaphas and other religious leaders, Peter denied Him three times in the high priest’s courtyard. Yet the disciple who denied Him became one of the strongest key leaders in the early church.

Blindness. God placed a curse on anyone who misdirected a blind person (Deuteronomy 27:18). Jesus explained that a part of His ministry entailed restoring sight to the blind (Luke 4:18), and He healed many blind people (John 9:1–41; Mark 8:22– 25; Matthew 20:30–34). Blind eyes being opened is also used throughout Scripture as a metaphor for spiritual insight or visions that people could only have received from God (Numbers 22:31; 2 Kings 6:17; Luke 24:31). Spiritual blindness is worse than physical blindness because it always comes with deception and guile, specifically for the one who is blind. Jesus taught this principle to the Pharisees when He healed a blind man in the temple and used the event to castigate the “blind” Pharisees, who were more concerned with religious traditions than the power of God (see John 9:1–41).

Background

The epistle traditionally named 2 Peter is a text whose purpose is primarily to refute false teachers. In order to refute falsehood, however, one must robustly affirm the truth, which Peter is careful to do. This letter also has one of the most direct affirmations of the deity of Christ, where the author refers to “the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (1:1). This core Christian belief colors the rest of the book, reminding us that the truth of the Gospel is a truth of divine weight and worth. It also reminds us that the One who called us, the One who works in us, and the One who died for us is divine.

How does Scripture help us respond to false teaching about Christ’s work?