People Of Promise (2 Peter 1:1-2)


It is good to return to SPBC family after 3-weeks away.

  • 2 weeks with family / 1 week with youth @fuge

Some places/circumstances are moments that become engraved memories.

  • Like seeing 3 circle rings to remind of Florida vacations surrounded by Mickey Mouse and joyful friends.
  • Like the taste of ice cream to remind of childhood moments eating at a nostalgic Ice Cream shop named Sh-Boom, or at Ridgecrest’s Nibble Nook.
  • Like the feel of 2-65 air conditioning (a car with no A/C but both sides of windows rolled down)… our fuge bus 😛
  • Like hearing a song that stirs up memories of foundational faith, enduring hope, and fulfilling love.
  • Like smelling perfume to remind you of a person, or the aroma of spaghetti sauce to remind you of a favorite restaurant or meal.
  • Like experiencing a room of present church members with bread & a cup to remember the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

For Peter, the warmth and whiff of a charcoal fire caused him to reflect on his faith relationship with the Lord. In one moment, Peter is protesting knowing anything about Jesus while standing by a warm fire (Jn 18:18). This moment encompassed embarrassment and regret. Then in just three days, Peter faced another charcoal fire (Jn 21:9). It was then Jesus grilled fish to feed the disciples and renew their faith in His resurrection power. For Peter, this moment exemplified forgiving grace and fueling mission. He told Peter, “Feed my sheep.” For the rest of Peter’s life, no one could snuff out his fire (cf. Acts 4:19-20). What was once a painful memory had been refined by fire to purify the genuineness of faith, which results in the praise, glory, and honor of Jesus Christ (1 Pt 1:6-7). Friends, we serve a God of full grace and fresh mercy who can rescue from all sin and redeem any struggle. This is why I’m eager for our summer sermon series…


Why study 2 Peter?

 The concerns of yesterday, the cares of today, and the cautions of tomorrow can all be resolved with the comfort of God’s promises.

  • 2 Peter is 1 of 66. I say this with each book study. My aim is to preach through all 66 – not consecutively but contextually and pastorally. After this book, I have about 16 books left that I have yet to substantially preached through. My overall aim as a pastor who seeks to grow godly generations is to grow your confidence in the sufficiency of Scripture – that all of God’s promises are true and trustworthy.
    • Peter encourages us that God’s power and God’s promises are all we need for eternal salvation and enduring strength.  The concerns of yesterday, the cares of today, and the cautions of tomorrow can all be resolved with the comfort of God’s promises.
  • Peter writes as eyewitness of Jesus. Before Peter met Jesus, he owned a fishing business. His brother Andrew met Jesus and introduced him to his brother Peter, and they spent the next three years together. After three years of following the footsteps and learning the lessons of Jesus, Peter was prepared to fish for people and share Jesus with the world. There is nothing like spending time with Jesus. To read Peter’s letters is to give ear to an eyewitness of Jesus and to listen to what Jesus wants for you – especially if you claim to be one of His followers. Read and heed these words of Scripture.
  • Peter writes to inspire Christians to delight in grace. As Peter experienced God’s forgiving and transforming grace, so he wants Christians to never graduate and keep growing in grace. Christians can be as close to God as they desire. If you desire little of God’s presence, doubt God’s promises, or disobey God’s gracious commands, then it is likely that you have not tasted the goodness of the Lord. Peter wants us not to miss out on God’s grace. In fact, the last words he writes in his letter, and that we have recorded, is his exhortation to…
    “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.” 2 Pt 3:18
  • Peter writes to inspire diligence for Christians. We are living in dizzying times where people are confused about right and wrong, fact or fiction. Cultural shifts are happening at regular and rapid pace that it can be easy to feel disoriented about faith, family, and keep our focus.
    • In Peter’s day the details were different yet similar. When Peter wrote his first letter, life was difficult for Christians. Peter encouraged believers to rejoice in trials (1Pet 1:6) and persevere in suffering they faced (1 Pet 3:16-17), because a tested faith resulted in a testimony. A testimony is the ability to say, “Life is hard, but God is good,” or “I’m not where I want to be, but I thank Jesus I’m not where I used to be.”
    • Several years later after Peter’s first letter, life changed from difficult to distressing. Christians not only faced the disdain of the outside ungodly culture and government-sponsored persecution; but they also faced the deception of wolves among sheep from apostasy inside the church.
  • Peter wanted to inspire Christians to be diligent in faith considering the fact there will be a final day. The return of Jesus Christ is just as certain today as it was two-thousand years ago. The Lord is not wavering to His promise but patiently providing opportunity for more to repent and believe. Therefore, we must press onward in faith, hope, and love and caution against denying God, doubting Jesus, or spiritual apathy.

Peter’s introduction of his second letter helps us further understand the aims of Christian maturity with 3 principles.

2 Peter 1:1-2

1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Christian maturity promotes servanthood over status.

1 Simeon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ.

Biblical letters started with introduction of the author so the audience would have context for who was addressing them, and perhaps what the letter was about. Here we see that Simon Peter was a man of many names. Simeon (Συμεών) is the Greek transliteration of his Hebrew name Shamyon (שׁמעון), which means “to hear.” Jesus also gave Simon the nickname Peter, from the Greek word “Πέτρος” which means “rock,” as does the Aramaic word “Cephas,” which we also see him named.

Early in Peter’s life he, with the other disciples, pridefully debated their status: “Which of us is the greatest?” (Mt 18; Mk 9). Yet, as Peter matured in the faith, he promoted servanthood as significance.

Yes, Peter was an apostle.

  • He was an eyewitness of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.
  • He was commissioned as the rock, and a chief spokesperson of the apostles and early church in Acts. People made decisions based upon Peter’s insight and wisdom (Ac 15).
  • He ~co-wrote a Gospel w/ Mark, and 2 other letters in the NT.
  • Based on his powerful preaching and performing many signs and wonders, many envision Peter as one of the gatekeepers of Heaven. I believe this is misguided, and Peter tells us with his own writing: identifying as a fellow elder and participant of suffering (1 Pt 5), and as a servant of Jesus (2 Pt 1).

Yet, Peter identified as a servant.

  • Servants receive instruction and follow directions.  
  • Servants do not have the authority to pick and choose which commands to follow.
  • What stands out is to whom Peter is a servant.
    • If I were a servant to a callous master, that probably is not a good life for me.
    • Yet, if I were a servant to a compassionate master who seeks my good and provides me an inheritance, then there is great joy in being a servant.
  • If you identify as a Christian, how are you serving the Lord Jesus? Do you have a regular role, or are you irregular? For a committed Christian, irregularly serving Jesus is unhealthy and honestly, unacceptable. You need to identify how you are serving the Lord.

  • If you identify as a Christian, how are you submitting to the Lord? Are you attempting to pick and choose what areas you allow under God’s authority? Three biggest areas:
    • faith (prayer, word, attention)
          2Pt 1:3 “make every effort to supplement your faith”
    • focus (lust, pre-marital, fidelity)
          2Pt 2:2 “Many follow sensuality & the truth is blasphemed”
    • finances (labor, giving, generosity)
      2Pt 2:19-20 “promised freedom but are slaves of corruption, entangled in worldliness” He continues if you know faith but fail to live godly and generous, then judgment will be worse.

Christian maturity promotes interdependence not independence.

To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:

Peter writes letters to other Christians with the previous letter addressed to Jews & Gentiles dispersed/scattered in modern day Turkey (Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia). He described them as be “strangers” or “exiles” (1:1), and “sojourners” (2:11). In this second letter, he writes again describing them as those with faith of equal privilege through the righteousness of Christ. In other words, Peter understands the interdependence of Christian brothers and sisters. We are equally sinners saved only by the righteous sacrifice of Jesus Christ. By grace through faith, we have a new family.

Christian family relates with preservation. In Peter’s earlier letter 2:17 he says, “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood [and sisterhood].” He calls for marriage to have love and respect, with husbands living with understanding toward their wives and honor them as co-heirs of grace (3:7). In other words, Christianity elevates the status of women from inferiority to equality. Further, Peter exhorts believers to love one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality without grumbling, and use your gifts to serve one another (1Pt 4:8-10). Peter has identified what not only distinguishes Christianity from the world, but what preserves it from generation to generation: it’s love – agape love.

  • Forgiving family members, or even friends, can be challenging. Perhaps you have conflict and resentment not based on what someone else has done but what you have done. Today, listen to Peter say, “Christ’s love covers a multitude of sins.”

Christian family relates with purpose with one another. Together, we are a royal priesthood, bridging the gap between God and humanity, to proclaim His precious promises of the One who called us out of darkness into marvelous light (1Pt 2:9-10). We work together in the patience and provision of God to bring others to repentance (2Pt 3:9).

  • Recommit to God’s purpose of making disciples.

– Download app 3-Circles or LI6W & read w/ someone.

– Read a Bible book and discuss with someone.

– Tell your testimony #WhosYour1 If you don’t know how to prepare or speak your testimony, we have a training #ParkStory coming soon.

Christian maturity promotes transformation not just safety.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Again, Peter is speaking to people under pressure and experiencing trials. These opening lines are not inessential or superficial well wishes like “good luck!” Instead, Peter offers the highest blessing to his readers, which is grace and peace from the knowledge of God and of the Lord Jesus. The greatest gift that can be offered to someone is undeserved kindness (grace) and comprehensive well-being (peace).

Notice how grace and peace are obtained/increased – through the knowledge of God. Peter uses a special term for knowledge, in contrast to others that could be used: πίγνωσις (epignosis), which goes beyond ordinary awareness to decisive understanding and dedication.[1]

Knowledge about God alone does not automatically result in salvation. Anyone can know some basic facts about a person without having respect or authentic relationship. Indeed Christianity has a content of its beliefs and doctrine with an object of faith in Jesus Christ. But such knowledge moves through head to heart, and to hands with a transformative faith lifestyle.

Illus[2]: Imagine carrying a giant bucket of blood. Most people would view that quantity of blood as something nauseating and repellent. The main reason is because the bucket of blood is dormant. However, imagine a small liter bag of blood. Most people view this as life-giving and with gratefulness. The difference in this bag of blood is that it is functional to benefit others.
Likewise, if our knowledge is only used to show others the quantity of our theological education, then we become prideful and dreadful to be around. However, if our knowledge is on display when we are helping the weak, serving needs, and rescuing lives, then that is something beautiful and attractive. People want more of THAT kind of knowledge.

Peter says our knowledge of God and of our Lord Jesus should multiply grace and peace to others.

  • When does someone need grace? When they’ve failed or fallen.
  • When does someone need peace? When circumstances are out of control and beyond our capacity to manage.
  • Christians must acknowledge the dependency upon God for grace and peace.
  • Additionally, Christians must enter environments and develop friendships that need us to glow with grace in the darkness and inspire peace in the chaos.
  • As you leave from church today, and leave from your house each day this week, you could think: “Be safe.” Or, you could think: “Be transforming.” Ask God to use you this week to share His grace and peace with others.


On the evening of July 19, 64AD a fire was started in the business shops of Rome. The fire spread quickly to other buildings and homes. Amazingly, the fire burned for six days, ravaging the city. According to Roman historian Tacitus, the reigning emperor, Nero, was known for his theatric cruelty, scapegoated the Christians for the disaster. Nero was a demonic narcissist and devised grotesque executions of the Christians: covering them in animal skins and staking them to poles to be devoured by wild animals; he drenched them with tar and used them as human torches to light the night sky. It was in the wake of this fire that Christian tradition maintains Peter and Paul were arrested and executed.

Once again, with the scent of fire and burning objects, Peter recalls His Lord. Church tradition tells us that Peter chose to die by crucifixion like His Savior Jesus Christ, but upside down because he was unworthy of the Lord.

  • What is the aroma of your worship to the Lord God?
  • Are you offering fragrant and attractive grace and peace to others, or are you creating conflict and chaos?
  • Do people see your faith as a nauseating bucket of blood, or are they grateful for your life-giving presence?

The cross covers a multitude of sin but only when it is confessed.

Concealed sin brings no healing of sin.

Be real.

Sin worries and wounds.

Light exposes.

Grace rescues.

Drop your burdens.

Pickup your freedom.

Walk in faith, hope, and love.

[1] Peter H. Davids, The Letters of 2 Peter and Jude, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2006), 165–166.

[2] Adapted from Kevin DeYoung sermon on 2 Peter 1:1-2

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