1. Hello, listening friends.
2. It is always a delight and joy for us to know that you have tuned in to this program.
3. We bring it to you with a prayer in our lips,
4. that the Lord will bless this program in your life,
5. and that He would use it, not only to bless you, but to make you a blessing;
6. that you will be used mightily by God.
7. I always say that God is not looking for abilities. He is looking for availabilities;
8. and, therefore, it is my prayer that you will be available to serve the living God.
9. Today, we’re going to start a series of messages from 2 Peter.
10. Peter, the Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, authored two letters,
11. 1 Peter and 2 Peter.
12. We already looked at the first Epistle in some past series.
13. In the first Epistle of Peter,
14. he tells believers how to deal with persecution from outside of the church.
15. In his second Epistle,
16. Peter instructs believers how to deal with false teacher and evildoers within the church.
17. When you read the Gospel accounts,
18. you will notice that Peter was born a leader.
19. He was the chief of the Apostles.
20. He was the kind of man who exuded self-confidence.
21. Peter was given to enthusiasm;
22. and, therefore, he writes to motivates the Christians.
23. In many ways, Peter represents the Christian who has a shaky start, but a strong finish.
24. In Acts, Chapter 2,
25. it tells us that Peter was the preacher on the Day of Pentecost,
26. and there were thousands of souls who came to Christ;
27. and he ended up being martyred for the cause of Christ.
28. 2 Peter is a very special letter because it has his last words.
29. In it, you see the heart of God’s man--
30. a man, as he grew in the knowledge and the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.
31. 1 Peter was written to a special group of Christians;
32. but 2 Peter was written to all Christians.
33. It is his farewell address to all believers everywhere.
34. Peter tells us what motivated him,
35. and Peter tells us what empowered him to finish well.
36. 2 Peter is a memoir of a man who let a lot of life slip through his fingers before he finally understood;
37. but that’s all right.
39. Because anyone can start;
40. but it takes divine courage, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to finish well.
41. Peter tells us that God requires and appreciates our faithfulness.
42. If you have a lot of initial enthusiasm, but you give up when things become difficult, you do not honor God.
43. The message of Jesus Christ to the church in Philadelphia
44. is that the one who is faithful and overcomes will be a pillar in the temple of God;
45. so, if you have your Bible ready, please turn to 2 Peter.
46. I want you to look at verses 1 to 9 of Chapter 1 today.
47. Let us read it together.
48. I want you to look at verse 1.
49. There, Peter introduces himself as a servant and an Apostle of Jesus Christ.
50. This introduction is not a matter of etiquette.
51. It is not some religious formula.
52. Peter is displaying a conviction of life--
53. a conviction which he learned from his Master, the Lord Jesus;
54. and the conviction is this:
55. if you are called to leadership, you must understand the principle of serving.
56. Leadership comes with a price tag.
57. Leadership is not dictatorship.
58. Leadership is knowing how to serve the living God.
59. Leadership is putting God’s plan and God’s wealth ahead of yours.
60. My listening friends,
61. Peter did not understand this price tag in the beginning,
62. and that is why he calls himself, "Simon Peter."
63. He was Simon before Christ,
64. and he was Peter after Christ.
65. He was old Peter and the new Peter.
66. If you are a committed believer,
67. then, you have an old nature and a new nature in Christ.
68. Every one of us has a Simon in us somewhere.
69. The Simon in you is self-centered.
70. In your old nature, you want to do everything yourself.
71. In your old nature, you feel adequate in yourself;
72. but, when you become a Peter, you are the servant of Jesus Christ.
73. Men, as leaders of your homes, you are the servants of your families.
74. That does not mean that you become spineless or a doormat.
76. It means that you put the needs of your family ahead of your own needs.
77. It means that you spend time interceding for your family.
78. It means that you see to it that your family is not only fed physically; but, also, your family is fed spiritually.
79. Simon Peter is writing to all believers in this Epistle.
80. Peter is writing to all those who have obtained the precious faith by the righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ;
81. so, now, do you know why he begins with this statement in verse 1?
82. Because later on, he’s going to hit hard at false teachers.
83. There were false teachers in Peter’s day who denied that Jesus was both God and man.
84. They were like false teachers of our day who say that Jesus was a good man, but He was not both God and man.
85. The false teachers of our day who say that Jesus was a good teacher and a good model to follow, but they say that He was not both God and man at the same time.
86. One of Peter’s greatest concerns was that false teachers would lead young believers astray.
87. Peter is not talking about believers who are just young in years;
88. but he is talking about believers that are young in the faith,
89. those who are not spiritually mature.
90. Peter does not want believers to be led astray;
91. so, how does he begin his instructions in 2 Peter?
92. Look at verses 2 and 3 of Chapter 1.
93. He begins by reminding them of the basic and authentic Christianity.
94. Peter reminds all believers that, if you continue to live by the divine power that is given to you,
95. if you continue to grow in the knowledge and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,
96. then, you’ll be victorious.
97. Believers who remain steadfast in the Word of God
98. will be triumphant over false teachers, false prophets who are misleading them.
99. Let’s look at this a little closer.
1. Peter says there are two steps that you must follow if you want to live the victorious life.
2. The first one is in verse 3.
3. You must recognize the divine power that God has already given you.
4. My listening friends, this distinction is very important.
5. Having divine power, and knowing that you have divine power, are two different things.
6. Let me give you an example.
7. I can have lots of money in the bank, but not know it.
9. If I don’t bother to check the bank statements,
10. I could have lots of money that I could have used;
11. but, instead, I live in ignorance of it.
12. In the same way, God works with us as Christians.
13. God has given us a bank of divine power that has made everything we need available to us.
15. So that we can live a godly life;
16. but, we must continually check with God to draw on that power.
17. If you can only think, plan and do what is possible to the world,
18. then, there is no difference between you and the unbeliever who is in the same business.
19. The church of Jesus Christ has been given divine power.
20. Believers have been given divine power,
21. not only to do what the world calls possible, but also to do what the world calls impossible.
22. Let me ask you this question.
23. What has taken place in your life in the past year that would not have happened if there were no Holy Spirit operating in your life?
24. Let me put it another way.
25. How did you draw on that divine power that God has given you as a believer?
26. When you are born again of the Spirit of God,
27. through the blood of Jesus Christ,
28. you receive the gift and the power of the Holy Spirit
29. just as Jesus promised in Acts, Chapter 1, verse 8.
30. You were given God’s power.
31. You were given God’s person.
32. You were given God’s promise
33. and you became a partaker in the divine nature;
34. so, first of all, you need to be aware of that power.
35. Next time, we will talk about Peter’s second point that is found in verse 4--
36. namely, that once you are aware of the power of the Holy Spirit,
37. you must appropriate these great and precious promises that God has given you;
38. and, until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.