Topics in 1-2 Peter
Discussions about the incorruptible (and the corruptible too)
Through the death and resurrection of Christ, God gives Christians new life and promises eternal blessings. We can be assured of our inheritance when it comes, because it is incorruptible (or imperishable). We experience salvation at its fullest through the promised blessing of New Life in Christ. Overall, what inheritance incorruptible means is that there is an inheritance for us called Salvation in Christ, and it will never perish or go away.
Corruptible seed is a seed that is corrupted that anything can grow out of it. Many times, a corruptible seed would be one that is buried in the earth, but quickly dies. Human seed is corrupt, and human nature comes from this corruptible seed – which causes an endless cycle of sin to pass from one to the next. Eventually, corruptible seed dies, especially when it completely weakens to not be able to survive.
Incorruptible seed, that is, God’s seed, is fully pure and can’t be corrupted. When it plants (in the hearts of men), out of it comes grace, love, joy, peace, and even more fruit. Incorruptible seed is imperishable, because there aren’t any vulnerabilities – it’s perfect! Overall, things born of human origin die, however, things born of God live eternally.
Admonition of envy
Envy can be rooted in a grudge, where a person feels uneasy about the success or happiness of another. Holding a grudge or any other thing against a person – especially anger, can cause hate to flare up – however, we’re commanded in Mark 11:25, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Would we have forgiveness or assurance, if we held something against another? We also see something directly related to the Great Commandment, however, this is in Leviticus 19:18, “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I [am] the LORD.” Of course, how can you have love if you bear a grudge? How can you let hatred fusion in your heart, and have love dwell as well? Proverb 10:12 says, “Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Hatred contrasts love in this example, and therefore, we must not envy, for it breeds hatred in albeit mysterious ways. One of the examples from Scripture is noted in Acts 7:8-10 (which references Joseph’s story in Genesis), “And he gave him the covenant of circumcision: and so Abraham begat Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him, And delivered him out of all his afflictions, and gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and he made him governor over Egypt and all his house.”
Peter's developmental testimony
Peter had always ministered to the Jews, especially as a Disciple (Matthew 10:2; Acts 1:15, 2:14); until one day that God had sent him to the Gentiles (Acts 10 vision, especially verse 45). Of course, in his normal attitude, he was disturbed by what the others might say about this, especially ministering outside of the Jewish Nation.
The syllabus notes that in the Gospels, he is impetuous (Matthew 14:28-31; 16:22-23; 19:27-28; Mark 9:5-7; Luke 5:4-5; John 13:6-11; 18:10-11; 21:7 -- these could reflect other traits), courageous especially as a leader (Mark 1:36-37; 10:27-28; Luke 12:41; John 6:67-68; 13:24; 21:2-3; Acts 1:15-16 -- these could reflect other traits), buoyant (Acts 4:13 is an example), quick to meet personal slight, and ambitious of Earthly power, however, in Peter’s Letters, we see him patient, restful, forbearing, trustful, loving, and with the old buoyancy and courage purified (we see that he preaches about the love of Christ in 1 Peter 1:22; and sought to glorify God before them in 2:12) .
Peter experienced his own personal Pentecost, which came between the Gospel era and the writing of these letters, just as Jesus prophesied would come (this was in the Acts 10 vision account as well, especially verses 9-29). He already began showing transformation in the early days of the Church, to which, he took the lead when important issues came up (Acts 1:15; 5:3, 9). He was confident in the power of Christ (Acts 2:33; 3:6, 16; 4:10, 29-30). He was bold in his commitment to Jesus (Acts 4:8-13, 19-20; 5:18-21, 29-32, 40-42). He was a humble supporter of his fellow Apostles and Christians, especially Paul (as we see in Acts 15:7-11). The glorious Holy Ghost has renewed his mind, and helping him know how to think and act, so that he can preach and teach from a pure heart.
How Christ is pictured
Jesus is known as:
• The Lamb slain before the foundations of the world. ◦ This means to me that God foreordained the redeemer for us, because if we were chosen before the foundation of the world, then Christ was destined to be our redeemer after all. This shows me that He was thinking about me before He made the world – and that is special, just like all my brothers and sisters in Christ. • The Chief Cornerstone ◦ It is awesome that we have one who is known as the Chief Cornerstone, as we are all living stones – as Peter explains, that He is our chosen leader, savior, and helper. I acknowledge Him as the Chief Cornerstone, especially of my heart, and make Him known of all the things upon my heart. • The Rock of Offense ◦ Christ was the object of the people’s stumbling, but not the cause of it, to which, they are just offended at Christ. It hurts me to know that people reject Christ, because all He wants to do is proclaim the Father’s Love to all of humanity and help them feel at home in Him! • The Example ◦ Christ is the best example for us, because He was perfect in every way and representative of the Father. I try to be like Christ more and more each day, and work to love people – even people I don’t want to love (or like). • The Chief Shepherd ◦ He knows how to shepherd people back to the Lord, and He has done this for me so many times and helped me realize such great joy in coming back into His arms of love. Many times, I led myself astray, but He came calling and said come back. • The Bishop of our Souls ◦ Sin has no power over me, because sin’s power was broken on the Cross. We are cleansed, given new life, and are under His Loving care, to which, He helps us learn, think, grow, and love as He does. • The Suffering Savior ◦ Christ suffered for us, left us an example, and showed us that He suffered for us so that we would have new life. He purposely suffered for us, to which, we didn’t have to suffer as hard. He even made a way for us to learn how to love, even in the midst of a chaotic world. He has shown me daily that even in my small sufferings, He is still bigger and infinitely better than anything that occurs.
Peter's exhortations to the believer
1. Gird up the loins of your mind: When you do this, you take courage in the face of a fiery trial. The loin is the center of our being and the area of procreation. Keep the creative area of your mind intact to produce fruit for the Kingdom of God. 2. Don’t pattern after your former sin life: We must be in obedience to the revealed Word and live a new life in Him, not as we once did in ignorance. We have been transformed from slavery in sin, to sonship and love in Christ. 3. Pattern after God – Be holy: We are “called” unto Holiness, which should be in all manner of life, including conversation. Being holy involves knowing that He is holy and taking after His Example! 4. Fervently love one another with a pure heart: Love out of a pure heart, and do it with all that is within you! I love God and people from all that is within me, to which, I declare daily and practice daily!
1 Peter 1:19-22, “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently.”
Your gifts from GOD
A. People should have love for each other, for it covers a multitude of sins, meaning, it helps to prevent many sins we might commit against each other. B. People grumble when offering hospitality to a guest, because they may lack love for others, lack compassion, are lazy, or don’t have the means to offer hospitality (be it money or ability to function). The characteristics to display wisdom in hospitality involve being peaceable, gentle, easily intreated (persuadable), full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. C. On verses 10-11(of 1 Peter 4), we see that those that are given the gift should use their God-given abilities with diligence, whether teaching the Bible or helping others. However, above all, people must work in a way that brings praise and glory unto God (and by all means, do it in love). Referencing Romans 12:6-8, we see that all should be diligent in carrying out the task for which God has assigned for them, no matter where they work – and to do it cheerfully.
Exhortation to elders
Church elders should be sincere, understanding, and hard-working in overseeing the Church that God’s placed in their care, for they too are shepherds who should be interested in the welfare of their flock, and not because they want to make money. Their authority shouldn’t be used to force people to do something, but rather, it should be an example on how Christians should act. Elders should model Christ’s example, and then show that same example, so others can learn how to be more like Christ. They are answerable to the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ, to which, they will have their work reviewed one day upon His Return! These exhortations apply to our day, because this was how Peter (and albeit Paul and James, among others) modeled the Church for us. This is how we should act, because they were models of Christ’s work, and therefore, we too should be modeling after Christ’s work. We need to pass on the heritage of love upon each generation; doing it in a Christlike way. These great men of God showed us, and now we’re to do it and keep passing it on to further generations!
Virtues of faith
• Diligence: People need to apply determination and effort in their lives, especially in faith, for it will produce goodness. • Virtue: This refers to moral excellency, for virtue should be involved in how we minister. The development of good character. • Knowledge: We should have knowledge of God’s Will, especially in what we do for Him. • Temperance: We should have a form of self-control, and should be able to keep ourselves cool, especially as we minister to another. It’s important to keep ourselves sober, so that we don’t minister negativity from our heart. • Patience: There are many difficulties and exercises His People must endure, and should strive them in patience, so that they are not easily discouraged. • Godliness: Our internal exercise of the Fruit of the Spirit, expressed in everything that we do. • Kindness: Being kind to one another is a great way to be Christlike, just as love can be (see charity). Kindness involves doing nice things for others with delight and for their benefit. • Charity: We should be showing love to one another by acknowledging them as beloved by Christ, and making them feel connected in unity through kindness.
Marks of a false teacher
• They have no power to hold the flesh in check concerning the untruths they proclaim. ◦ This seems to me that they proclaim things that are contrary to what Jesus taught, or minister in hypocrisy (they say one thing, but do another). • They secretly and often live in lust, uncleanness, and make excuses for their ungodly behavior. Or they attach God’s name with their evil. ◦ People like this seem to always find a way to involve God as a “helper” for influence by using His name to gain. It’s similar to people who commit violence in the name of God, as if God ordained such violence, even though He never does. • They despise authority and will not be subject to anyone (Law, government, mate, pastor, employer, etc.). ◦ These kind of people tend to be very prideful, and seems like they never learn from anyone else but themselves (and wallow in their folly – dung). • They are presumptuous. They are self-willed and determined to have their own way (even if against God), so they can gain a higher rank (and pride).
What they are like
1. Natural brute beasts: Imitating wild animals that are void of any reason and following their own depraved lustful instincts. Not possessing intelligence and give way to their vicious appetites. Thus, Peter warns and reminds us “total” destruction awaits them. 2. Receive the reward of unrighteousness: They that count it pleasure to riot in the day time – spots they are and blemishes, who sport themselves with their own deceivings. (For the Lord is coming for a Church that doesn’t have a spot nor blemish.) These teachers of error mingle among the saints with their “spots” and “blemishes” marring and disturbing the fellowship of the Children of God. 3. Loved the wages of unrighteousness: Balaam, the son of Bosor, loved the wages of unrighteousness, but was rebuked for his iniquity. He forsook the right way and went astray, as many have in the world. They found pleasure to destroy God’s People morally and spiritually, because they desired personal gain (power and wealth, most likely). 4. Willingly Ignorant: Many people will become willingly ignorant for their own protection. They purposely would act dumb or do things contrary to what’s right, so a certain desire or reaping could be attained. Some people will hear truth, but not adhere to it, because they don’t want to follow it, they want to be rebellious, or they don’t think it’s true (because they don’t trust the speaker or the one who inspired the speaker).
He explained the example of Balaam, because like Balaam, false teachers would use and destroy His People, both morally and spiritually, because of their own desires for personal gain. Balaam was a false teacher, because he (falsely) announced God’s approval of the Israelites, and comforted himself with the idea that if Balak killed him, at least he could have “felt” like he did something right. Balaam tried not to see misfortune on Israel, but Balak told him to curse Israel – but since God was on Israel’s side, He defended the Israelites from Egypt. Balak then told Balaam to stop blessing them, and continued to try to get him to curse Israel – but he just kept speaking blessings over Israel as if nothing was wrong. He prophesied a victorious and prosperous time for Israel in the future, to which, never came, however. He failed to give them proper warnings, because he didn’t want to be cursed, and didn’t want the people to hate him.
Knowledge is important (2 Peter)
• 1:2, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,” ◦ We shall have more knowledge of God through the grace and peace that He gives us, because it is part of His character. • 1:3, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.” ◦ He has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, including through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. We are called because of our knowledge of Him! We know Him and the power of His resurrection, to which, we are saved. However, we also know Him, because we are in a relationship with Him – He is our Father and we are His children. • 1:5, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” ◦ Increasing knowledge of God will help us be virtuous – to know Him and His character, we naturally imitate Him because we are called to do so. • 1:6, “And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” ◦ Through knowing Him, it teaches us self-control and endurance. We imitate His character in our Christlikeness. Our Spirit imitates His Spirit, because it is within us! • 1:8, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” ◦ He wishes that we abound in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that we may know of the great and marvelous things that He has for us, especially love! • 2:20, “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.” ◦ We escape the pollution and desires of the world by knowing our savior, Jesus Christ. People become easily entangled again in the world, but Christ helps them overcome, for they may be in danger of falling into sin again (in the future). • 3:18, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” ◦ His overall wish for His People is that they grow in grace, but more than that: in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for He has the glory now and forever. People should continue developing the qualities they are blessed with, for this can protect them from destructive influences of false teachings and other evils of the world.