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March 21, 2004 PM


2 PET 1:13-15

INTRO: Although I plan a series of sermons on the book of 2 Peter for a bit later this year, I do want us to continue with our study of the books of the Bible in the sequence in which they come in the Bible. So, tonight we will take an introductory look at 2 Peter. A key word in this letter is the word remembrance. Indeed, the purpose Peter has in this letter is to be sure that those who have obtained like precious faith with him will have a written means of remembering things necessary to faithfulness ... things integral to the faith in Christ. We will look briefly at some of the things this letter reminds.

1. Remember the great and precious promises - 1:3,4

a. first, we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness

b. this certain conforms to what Paul wrote at 2 Tim 3:16,17

c. further, promises which permit our being partakers of the divine nature have been revealed by his divine power

d. the promise of a saving, written message - Jno 20:30.31

e. the promise of friendship with Christ through our obedience - Jno 15:14

f. the promise of a new birth in baptism - Jno 3:5 - so, 1 Jno 3:1

2. Remember to add - 1:5-9

a. a word to remember here is diligence - discipleship cannot be average

b. yes, we have escaped the corruption that is in the word (1:4b)

c. but we must add (grow in) some critical things

d. these necessary things are often called Christian graces - growth must come in each of these things

e. indeed, they must be in us and abound if we are to be fruitful disciples

f. but Peter recognizes that some might not grow ... and notes that such have forgotten that he was purged from his old sins ... forgetfulness!!!

3. Remember Jesus (we...were eyewitnesses) - 1:16-18

a. the Christian faith does not rest on circumstantial evidence!

b. it rests on the testimony of credible eyewitnesses ... of whom Peter is one

c. yes, there have always been the cunningly devised fables

d. but, Peter says, I was there ... I saw

e. Mt 17:1-5 - it is to this event Peter makes reference

f. and Acts 2:32 - Peter can speak and remind with authority!

4. Remember the fate of false prophets - 2:1-9

a. Peter reminds that false prophets have always troubled Gods people

b. and, sadly, false prophets will trouble Christians ... even more sadly many shall follow their pernicious ways (does this remind of Acts 20:30?)

c. notice, too, the last part of 2:2 - a tragic effect of influence of false prophets

d. but God will reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished

e. three profound illustrations of God view of the unjust are given to remind readers that their damnation slumbereth not

f. people who choose to abandon sound doctrine beware of this fate!

5. Remember the tragic end of apostasy - 2:20-22

a. there is a belief in the world that once saved, always saved

b. while this may be a very comforting idea, it is far from Biblical

c. notice at v. 20 these people had escaped the pollutions of the world

d. but they became entangled again in them ... and remained there

e. v. 21 makes the tragic end of becoming unfaithful very clear

f. I wonder how many Christians need this reminder?

6. Remember the coming judgment - 3:7-10

a. the reminder we have just considered certainly connects to this one

b. earlier in the chapter Peter has noted how people can become very negligent and skeptical of the Lords return through the passing of time

c. that was certainly the case in Noahs day ... but the flood did come

d. note in v. 7 by the same word ... are ... reserved unto fire

e. something to remember ... the Lord is not confined to time as we are

f. so, the day of the Lord will come...

7. Remember the kind of people we should be - 3:11,14

a. since the judgment will come...

b. shouldnt that have an impact on the way you live your life?

c. holy conversation and godliness must be the manner of our lives!

d. in v. 14 is that word diligent again

e. be found of him ... without spot...

CLOSE: Each of us might wonder what we would say as a final word if we knew we were near the end of his life. What advice would we give to those whom we would be leaving? Would we have some profound and immortal word? Well, Peters closing concern begins with beware (3:17) and continues with the word grow. Perhaps these are not so profound ... but they were, and are, so needed.

Cecil A. Hutson

21 March 2004

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)