1&2 Peter Bible Study

Living Stones: A Study of 1 & 2 Peter ~ Lesson 10

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Read 2 Peter 1:12-21

Questions to Consider

1. Briefly review lesson 9 (link above) and/or re-read verses 1-11 for context for today’s passage. Notice that the first word of verse 12 is “therefore”. What is the “therefore” there for?

2. Examine verses 12-15. What “qualities” (12) is Peter referring to? Contemplate the statement Peter makes in verse 12. Why do we, as Christians, need, so often, to be reminded of what we already know? Take a look at some of the many passages of Scripture that describe God’s people as a forgetful people. What are the dangers of being forgetful of biblical truth?

What does Peter mean by the phrases, “as long as I am in this body,” (13) “the putting off of my body will be soon,” (14) and “after my departure” (15)?

How many times, and where, do you see the words “remind” and “recall”? What methods did Peter use to remind his audience, then and now, of what he was teaching, to make sure they, and we, would be able to recall it? What does this tell you about the significance of the written Word of God and how important it is for pastors to preach the Word?

3. Study verses 16-21.

Which event during Jesus’ earthly ministry is Peter talking about in verses 16-18? (Use your cross-references, and read the entire gospel account of this event.) Who is “we” in verses 16 and 18? What did they see and hear with their own eyes and ears during this event? Put yourself in Peter’s sandals and try to imagine the weightiness of meeting two of the pillars of your current faith (Judaism), witnessing the glorified Christ, who is to be the pillar of your current/future faith, and entering into the earthly manifestation of the presence of God and hearing His voice. Let the profundity of this experience be the foundation of your understanding for what Peter is going to say about the written Word in 19-21.

What word does verse 16 start with? What does “for” refer back to? Review your answers to the final question of #2 and to question 3 from lesson 9 (link above), and view verses 16-21 through the lens and context of Peter’s emphasis on the written Word. What is Peter saying about personal experiences versus the written Word? Compare all three of these passages to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and explain how and why Scripture – not personal experiences, feelings, opinions, dreams and visions, “God told me,” etc. – is preferable to subjective experiences and sufficient for the Christian for “all things that pertain to life and godliness.”

Personal experiences, feelings, etc. come from __________, who are sinful and fallible, but Scripture comes from __________, who is perfect and holy.

Outline the major concepts in 16-21 that Peter is trying to get across about his (and the other apostles’) teaching:

Our teaching is not based on __________ (16a) but on our own __________ (16b, 18). And even weightier and more reliable than our own eyewitness testimony is the __________ (19a)- which does not come from __________ (20-21a), but from __________ (21b).

Compare the idea in verse 19 to these verses. Explain how Jesus is the living Word that gives light to us in a dark world. We will need to commune with Jesus through the written Word until what happens (19b)? Why will we not need to depend on the written Word when Christ returns?

How do these concepts about God’s written Word give you a greater confidence in, and love for Scripture?


Homework

Re-read verses 12-15. Peter knew he was not going to live much longer. How might that knowledge have helped him focus his energies on what was most important for his children in the faith to know? Imagine your doctor told you that you only had three months to live. Write a letter to your church, your children, or someone you’re discipling emphasizing the spiritual truths you think will be most important for them to remember “after your departure”. (I really mean this only as an exercise, not that you should necessarily deliver this letter to your church, children, or disciplee, but you may choose to deliver it using biblical wisdom and discretion.)


Suggested Memory Verse

1&2 Peter Bible Study

Living Stones: A Study of 1 & 2 Peter ~ Lesson 9

Previous Lessons: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Read 2 Peter 1:1-11

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?


Homework

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