Sermon and Bible Study Database
2 Peter 1:1-4
Author: Scott David Foutz
Text: 2 Peter 1:1-4 Title: Putting the promises into practice Thesis: Through our living knowledge of Jesus, God has promised to provide for our every need in life. (If you're interested in the promises, you need to be interested in this knowledge!) Intro: New Year's Resolution: Putting the promise into practice. 1. Our promises to ourselves: difficult to make them a real influence in our lives. 2. God's promises to us: a question of how to make these influential in our lives. 3. Peter's practical solution Proposition: Through our living knowledge of Jesus, God has promised to provide for our every need in life. **(If you're interested in the promises, you need to be interested in this "knowledge"!) 1. What are the characteristics of this knowledge? A. "Knowledge of the one who called us:" is also refered to as "knowledge of Jesus" (1:2,8) B. Living knowledge of Jesus commences with and implies faith. 1. Avoiding a potential misunderstanding regarding "knowledge" (1 Co 8:1b-2) - gnosis and epignosis: See 1 Cor 13:12 for distinction. 2. Col 1:6; "understanding [epignosis] God's grace in all truth". 3. Peter's audience (1:1): those having a faith identical to the apostles' C. Living knowledge of Jesus is a knowledge of the glory and goodness thru which and to which he is calling us. 1. Jesus calls us "by" (NIV, NASB) his own goodness/excellence (RSV, NASB)/virtues (KJV) - or "to" (KJV, RSV) his own goodness/excellence/virtues 2. Illustration: being called by phone requires interaction via phone. D. Living knowledge of Jesus is knowledge which inevitably changes the knower. 1. 2 Peter 2:20; living knowledge results in godly living. (cf. Heb. 6:4f.) 2. Col 3:10; the new self is renewed in knowledge in the image of God 3. Titus 1:1; the knowledge of truth leads to godliness. 2. What is the content of this knowledge? A. We know the person Jesus Christ: "the one who called us by his glory and goodness". (3) 1. the "knowledge of Jesus Christ" implies faith in his saving work. (above; 1:1) 2. the "knowledge of Jesus Christ" contains several necessary elements (see 1:5-9) - faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love; required for effective and productive knowledge (8) - these must be "possessed in increasing measure" (8a) - their lack results in spiritual slothfulness and continuing sin (9) - these constitute the distinction between true vs. head knowledge (8b-9) **True knowledge of Jesus must be internalized and lived out. B. We know God's Word: "his very precious and great promises" (4). 1. The promises of the Word of God need to be kept freshly in the mind 1:12-15 "remind" or "refresh memory" 3 times. 1:19 "pay attention" to the words of the prophets 3:1-2 "remind" and "recall" the words of the prophets and Jesus Christ. 2. The promises of the Word of God play vital roles in the believer's life. - our faith in the promises come under attack by disbelievers (3:3-4) - the period between the promise and fulfillment provides opportunity for salvation (3:8-9, 15) - the promises are the foundation for hope in eternal righteousness (3:13) **Knowledge of the Word is necessary for Christian faith, salvation and hope. 3. What is the consequence of this knowledge? A. Through this living knowledge we participate (or take part) in the divine nature!! 1. Living knowledge facilitates our membership in God's work 2. This participation is a participation in God's provision for all our life needs: (1:3) - The just live by faith. In what? God's divine providence over matters of life. - There is a direct relation between God's provision and our living knowledge - **pursuit of living knowledge results in a life impacted by God!! - neglect of this pursuit leads to spiritual slothfulness and sin (1:8-9) B. Through participation we escape from the corruption (death) of the world 1. "Divine Power" & "Divine Nature": parallel in Romans 1:20 and 2 Peter - Romans: rejection of eternal power and divine nature is judged - 2 Peter: participation in divine power and nature escapes final judgment 2. This corruption will be terrifying and devastating (Peter's detailed description) - as seen in the fate of false teachers (2:1-3, 10, 18) - as seen in the fate of the physical universe (3:7, 10, 12b) 3. Through a living knowledge of Jesus, the believer escapes this corruption and is instead welcomed into the eternal kingdom. (1:10-11) Conclusion: 1. To possess a living knowledge of Jesus Christ is the central responsibility of your life. - for the unbeliever this means confronting Christ for what he is truly worth - for the believer this means daily submission to the authority of Christ & the Word 2. Thru living knowledge our daily lives take part in the divine presence of God in the world. - this implies the provision of our every spiritual, emotional and physical need - this also implies our being characterized by the characteristics and work of God 3. Thru this living knowledge we escape the inevitable destruction of the world and its ways.