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How to Keep From Falling—II Peter

  • Remember that God has given everything you need to remain faithful. He has “given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness” (1:3). “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God” and equips us for “every good work” (II Tim. 3:16-17).

  • Focus on doing what you already know you should do. Here is a checklist of things to add to your faith: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (1:5-11). Peter said these things will make you productive and keep you from falling. His readers had heard this before, but they needed to hear it again (1:12-15). So do we.

  • Rest assured in the proof of the gospel. We have solid grounds for not giving in to other doctrines. Peter and the other apostles were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ glory; they did not follow “cunningly devised fables” (1:16-18). Also, the Scriptures are sure, having been written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (1:19-21).

  • Understand how false teachers lead the sheep astray. They are deceptive (2:1-3). They act confident and fearless (2:10-11). They make big promises they cannot deliver (2:18). They scoff at the truth and make foolish arguments (3:1-4). Any Christian should be able to see through them, but the sad fact is that many follow them (2:2).

  • Realize that although they are successful in getting many followers, God will punish them in the end (2:1-6). Peter used three examples to remind Christians of God’s justice. He cast the angels that sinned into hell (2:4). He sent the flood on the old world in the time of Noah (2:5). He turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes for their sin (2:6). If God punished these for their sin, He will surely punish these false teachers.

  • Remember that time does not change the truth. False teachers in Peter’s day denied the Lord’s coming. They argued that He was not coming because it had been some time since He made that promise. But Peter assures us that the passing of time does not negate God’s word. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up” (3:10).

  • Strive to grow. The whole discussion in this epistle comes full circle toward the end: “You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (3:17-18).

Kerry

West End church of Christ bulletin, March 31, 2024

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