Questions to Consider
1. Briefly review your notes from the introduction to 2 Peter in lesson 8 (link above). What is the main theme or purpose of 2 Peter?
2. Examine verses 1-2. How does Peter credential himself? (1) How does he characterize the audience of his letter? (2) Compare the greeting of 2 Peter to the greetings of several other epistles (ex: 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, Jude, Ephesians, etc.). What similarities do you notice? Differences? What is the significance of Peter’s characterization of his audience as: “those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours” (2)? What does this statement demonstrate about Peter’s view of himself? What would it have said to the Christians of his day who might have viewed him as a “celebrity”?
3. Study verses 3-4. What has God given us? (3a) Through what (in what way, by what means)? (3b) How do we obtain “knowledge of Him”? Is the following a fair statement based on concepts in verse 3 (and 19-21): “God gives us everything we need for godly living as we gain knowledge of Him. And the way we gain knowledge of Him is through the study of His Word.”? Why or why not? Read 3-4 alongside 2 Timothy 3:16-17. What similar concepts do both passages express about the primacy and sufficiency of God’s Word for living the Christian life?
How do we know what God’s “precious and very great promises” (4) to us are? What does it mean that we are “partakers of the divine nature”? (4) (Hint: Use your cross-references.)
4. Study verses 5-11. Verse 5 begins with, “For this very reason…”. For what reason (3-4) is Peter about to give the instructions in 5-11?
What does it mean to “supplement” something with something else? (Maybe think about taking a vitamin supplement.) Give a brief definition for each of the qualities Peter mentions in 5-7. Then, explain why each quality needs to be supplemented with its partner. (Ex: Why does faith need to be supplemented with virtue? Why does knowledge need to be supplemented with self-control? etc.) What is the difference between “brotherly affection” and “love”?
Peter states 8b in the negative (keep you from being ineffective…unfruitful). Restate this part of the verse in the positive (ex: help you to be…), to explain the reason Peter gives for increasing in the qualities in verses 5-7. What is the effect when a Christian lacks these qualities? (9) Therefore, because of 8 and because of 9, do _____ (10), and ______ (11) will be the result.
Compare verse 10 with 2 Corinthians 13:5. What does verse 10 mean when it says to “make your calling and election sure”? Is verse 11 saying that we are saved (entrance into the Kingdom) by our good works or by trying to be people of good character? How do you know?
5. How are verses 1-11 foundational to the theme of 2 Peter: “Avoiding false doctrine and false teachers”? Why is it important to be well grounded in sound doctrine and sound Christian character qualities if we want to be able to identify, avoid, and warn others away from false doctrine and false teachers?
How would you explain to a Mormon friend that “partakers of the divine nature” (4) does not mean that we become gods when we die? Or to a New Apostolic Reformation friend that this verse does not mean that we can speak things into existence like God can? Get a Christian friend to role play the discussion with you, and don’t forget to use your cross-references.
Suggested Memory Verse