Bible Study from 2 Peter 1:1-4
The necessity of true knowledge
by I Gordon
 ↩ In many ways, 2nd Peter has a lot in common to 2 nd Timothy. 2nd Peter was Peter's last letter just as 2nd Timothy was Paul's last letter. It is believed that both books were written in 66AD, and their authors both died one year later in 67AD. Both Peter and Paul knew that their time was short in writing their letter and both placed huge emphasis on the important of holding fast to the truth, the influence of false teachers, and events in the last days.
 ↩ Simon, you will remember, was his name until he met the Lord Jesus. But from the first meeting with Jesus, his name was changed! It went like this - 'The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, 'You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas' (which, when translated, is Peter). (John 1:41-42) Simon means 'heard' and Peter means 'stone'. Jesus knew from the very first meeting (well, even before this meeting!) that this fisherman would become one of the foundational stones on which His church would be built (Eph 2:20).
 ↩ No doubt, he remembers acting very much like that old Simon, even after meeting the Lord Jesus. Like when he took Jesus aside to rebuke Him for saying that He would go to the cross... Nice one! Or that great boast that even if everyone else deserted Jesus he never would. By the time the night was out Peter had disowned Jesus three times! Or, my personal favourite, was the time when he actually saw Jesus in distress (the only time this happened as far as I know - Matt 26:38, Luke 22:44) and Jesus asked Simon Peter to do one simple thing - 'Stay awake' - Peter nodded off. Never forget that there is part of Simon in each of us... but there is also the new man... the new creation... the Peter that God makes of us.
 ↩ John Newton was a man who saw both. For a job, John travelled to Africa and captured men to be taken back as slaves in America. This he did until he became a Christian and devoted the rest of his life to Jesus Christ. You have probably heard of John. He wrote a somewhat successful little song called 'Amazing Grace'. At the end of his life John said this "My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner and that Christ is a great Savior!" Too true!
 ↩ I was reading a book recently, where the author was driving past a church that had a big billboard advertisement on the roadside. The church was advertising nineteen minute sermons. The author thought a lot about this and he wondered to himself 'do they only have nineteen minute sermons, because that is all that the preacher can preach, or is it nineteen minute sermons, because that is all that the congregation can bear to stand?' Unfortunately for us, this advertisement only advertises the woeful state of many churches in the West where a sermon is a sermon, no matter what is preached... only the shorter the better. It is a sign of the times.
 ↩ There is a quote on my website, by C. S. Lewis that I really enjoy. It simply says 'Most theologians devote their lives to answering questions most people aren't asking.' As we shall see from 2nd Peter, the knowledge Peter had in mind answers questions people are asking!
 ↩ Some of you would have heard Arnold Fruchtembaum. Arnold is a messianic Jewish scholar who I have quoted in previous studies. Recently, I was reading his testimony and he spoke of his great grandfather, who was the Chief Rabbi in Poland. By the time that his great grandfather was thirteen he had memorised the first five books of the Bible. By the time that he was eighteen he had memorised the entire Old Testament! By the time that he was twenty one, if anyone placed their finger on a word on a page, he could tell them what word was in that position, in order, on every other page of the Old Testament! Now I don't know about you, but to me, that is one amazing party trick. From the point of view of an amazing memorisation ability and dedication, it is incredible. And yet, Arnold's great-grandfather did not know the Lord! The Pharisees of Jesus' day were like this as well and that is why Jesus said to them 'You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.' So our knowledge of God, and our study of the Scriptures should always bring us back to the only source of life-Jesus Christ.
 ↩ Let me ask you, what is precious to you? What is it that you would consider precious in your life? Why do I get the feeling that you haven't answered the promises of God? It is good for us to pause and consider what we believe is precious in his life. Peter uses the word precious, more than any other writer in the New Testament. So let's have a quick look at what he considers 'precious'. Actually, I'll just give you the references, but don't be lazy. Look them up to see what was precious to Peter. (1 Pet 1:19, 2:4-7, 2 Pet 1;1, 1:4)
 ↩ I really should stop doing all these footnotes, but seeing that you've bothered to look at the bottom of the page, the question I have asked above was once asked by a Pastor to his congregation. A little old lady put up her hand, and replied 'we underline them in yellow!' I quite like that answer, although I think that God would require us to do a little bit more with his promises than that!