Skip to main content

Stirring Reminders: 2 Peter 1

In Summary:

This second of Peter’s letters opens slightly differently than his first. The first calls him simply “Peter, an apostle…” while this one names him as “Simon Peter, bondservant and apostle.” The difference is more than just window dressing or epistolary frippery. Peter’s use of his full name may only be about clarifying his identity to the audience, but it may also indicate his embrace of the swings back and forth in his past.

Identifying himself as a bondservant as well as an apostle reminds the reader that even Peter’s importance did not elevate him beyond serving the Lord Jesus Christ. From that point, his first chapter establishes that this letter addresses practical matters from the spectrum of life that all believers can benefit from.

For example, Peter speaks to his readers about applying diligence, moral excellence, and kindness—all because of the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Further, he goes on to talk about the eyewitness nature of the faith of Christians. They were not believing in made-up stories or even ancient tales, but believing individuals telling the story of Jesus.

In Focus:

Let’s put the focus on 2 Peter 1:12-15. First, Peter states that he will “always be ready to remind…even though you already know them.” He is not concerned that his message is a repetition of what they already know. Reminding one another of the truth is more critical than innovating new ideas.

Second, Peter wants his reminder to be more than just (v.13) history. His goal is that they will be “stirred up” to action. This is his goal while he remains on this earth. The follow up idea is that they would not lose their grip when he is no longer around. Peter writes, partially, to prepare for his own death.

In Practice:

Practically, then, what do we need to do?

1. Know the truth for ourselves. This shouldn’t be hard to reason, but if you do not know the truth, you cannot remind others of it.

2. Develop a list of critical items to remind yourself and your fellow learners about. For example, grab Scott Duvall’s Experiencing God’s Story of Life and Hope and see how those dozen ideas are worth repeating on a regular basis. Or Robert Morgan’s 100 Bible Verses Every Christian Should Know by Heart. Either one is a good start.

On this note, even though I select sermons based on preaching through blocks of text, I do maintain a list of concepts that I want to remind the church of on a regular basis. These are ideas like the grace of God or the sufficiency of Scripture.

3. Connect those ideas to definite actions. The definite action of learning, followed by practical steps to take because of that learning. Learning that God’s grace should be declared to all people, for example, should shift your budget priorities.

4. Keep your own end in mind. At some point, you will no longer be able to teach and remind the people you have now. It may be a move. It may be changes of life. It may be death. Whatever that change, realize that you cannot stir people up constantly. You must expect that shift to come.

In Nerdiness: 


1. Peter as author? There are some who think Peter is the author of 2 Peter but wasn’t of 1 Peter. They take the rougher language of 2 Peter (rough as in not smooth, not rough as in UPS) as evidence of this. I find it more likely that Silas helped him with the first letter but not with the second.

2. Note how the chapter wraps up talking about the “holy mountain” and the “utterance.” The best view on this would be the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Curiosity and the Faithlife Study Bible

Good morning! Today I want to take a look at the NIV Faithlife Study Bible. Rather than spend the whole post on this particular Study Bible, I’m going to hit a couple of highlights and then draw you through a few questions that I think this format helps with.

First, the basics of the NIV Faithlife Study Bible (NIVFSB, please): the translation is the 2011 New International Version from Biblica. I’m not the biggest fan of that translation, but that’s for another day. It is a translation rather than a paraphrase, which is important for studying the Bible. Next, the NIVFSB is printed in color. Why does that matter? This version developed with Logos Bible Software’s technology and much of the “study” matter is transitioning from screen to typeface. The graphics, maps, timelines, and more work best with color. Finally, you’ve got the typical “below-the-line” running notes on the text. Most of these are explanations of context or highlights of parallels, drawing out the facts that we miss by …

Foolishness: 1 Corinthians 1

In Summary: 1 Corinthians opens with the standard greeting of a letter from the Apostle Paul. He tells who he is with (Sosthenes) and who he is writing to. In this case, that is the “church of God that is in Corinth.” He further specifies that this church is made up of those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints. 
He then expresses the blessing/greeting of “grace and peace” from God. From there, Paul reflects on his initial involvement with the Corinthian people and the beginning of the church. After that, though, there are problems to deal with and Paul is not hesitant to address them. He begins by addressing the division within the church. Apparently, the church had split into factions, some of which were drawn to various personalities who had led the church in times past. There is no firm evidence, or even a suggestion, that Paul, Cephas, Apollos, or anyone else had asked for a faction in their name. Further, the “I follow Christ” faction may not have been any le…