2021 – The Others
2 Peter 6
Peter’s Final Advice
I want to begin by doing some Scripture memorization. We are going to memorize the last verse of 2 Peter. When I memorize a scripture, I like to form a series of pictures in my imagination. If I put enough motion and color and sound in the mental-image, I can usually remember the verse for as long as I want.
Here is the verse…
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen!
--But grow… dandelion flower growing… with time-lapse action…
--in the grace… two leaves form praying hands saying grace…
--and knowledge… brain getting bigger
--of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ… Jesus in the growing brain
--To him bee … two humming bees
--the glory… The dandelion fluff explodes… glory
--Both now… both bees say, “now”!
--and to the day of eternity… the dandelion fluff goes day for eternity
--Amen! Amen stamped on the picture.
This verse is the conclusion of 2 Peter. It captures the point of all three chapters of 2 Peter.
Let’s hold on to our memory verse. We will plug it into the end of the sermon.
We have been studying 2 Peter for the last several weeks. Let’s quickly recap 2 Peter…
--Peter began at a banquet table. We were invited to sit at a banquet table beside the apostles! We dined on sweet-grace topped with glazed-peace as an appetizer. The Main course was a glorified life. We live for his glory!. Desert was his precious promises of hope! We read this key verse…
2 Peter 1:4 …so that through them (the food of the banquet) you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
That is what it means to be a Christian! Escaping corruption to dine at the table of the divine nature!
The bulk of 2 Peter is three challenges…
--The faith challenge… “You follow cleverly devised myths!” No! Peter claims, I saw the Transfiguration with my own eyes! No! The Word of God testifies to the Son of God!
--A love challenge… “If it feels good, do it!” No! Sin destroys covenants! Sin destroys relationships. Peter answers… There is punishment to sin! Don’t let our love; or fellowship be destroyed! Those who do will be punished.
--A hope challenge… “Jesus is not coming back!” We live in hope. We know that one day there will be a new heaven and a new earth where all will be made new!
Today, we come to the last sermon in 2 Peter. Let’s begin with an interesting thing I saw in the news last week…
On April 9, 2021, Queen Elizabeth II lost her husband of 73 years. Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died peacefully at Windsor Castle. He was 99. At the time of his death, Philip had an estimated net worth of $30 million. He did have a will. His stuff was distributed to those in his will. But, part of his will was what I would call a diary of his life. The will and his testament will remain secret by order of the High Court. The courts executed his will, but who and what his will was will remain a secret. The BBC recently reported that “The Duke of Edinburgh’s will is to remain secret for at least 90 years to protect the ‘dignity and standing’ of the Queen.”
Wow. Makes you really wonder what was in Prince Philip’s Will. But I have good news this morning. Although we will not know for 90 years what was in Prince Philip’s Will. This morning, we get to find out Peter’s last will and testament. Remember, I believe, that Peter was killed by Nero before he could finish 2 Peter. But an unknown disciple finished the letter. Here, in these, last five verses of 2 Peter, we find Peter’s… I going to say… his will for us… his blessings for us… his advice….
Let’s read Peter’s final advice… his will for his churches and us.
Peter’s Final Advice:
2 Peter 3:14-15 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation.
We are waiting for the LORD to make all things new. We are waiting for the Parousia; his return. We are waiting for all the promises made at the banquet. While we are waiting, we work on: removing spots, getting rid of blemishes and being at peace.
It sounds like three things. But, I suspect, it is really just one bit of advice. Working on our purity leads to peace. When we remove the irritant, when we remove the wrongness, when we work out all the hateful/harmful things in our lives… we learn to be at peace. The longer we live… we understand the LORD is giving us salvation from sin… to help us to be at peace.
Peter’s final advice… While you wait, work on your peace.
Peter’s Next Final Advice:
2 Peter 3:15-16 …just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
Peter and Paul were both killed by Nero at, roughly, the same time. The disciple who finished the letter, points to Paul’s writings with three observations…
--Paul was given wisdom. Paul’s writings were gifted with wisdom by the Spirit!
--Some of Paul’s writings are hard to understand. I need an amen.
--Paul’s writing is considered Scripture… “as they do the other Scriptures.”
This is unique. One New Testament writer calling another writer’s writing… Scripture!
Here is the next final advice: Be careful not to twist the Scriptures. We must be careful with the Scriptures. The joy of studying Scripture is that it is new every time we dig into them. The Scriptures are fresh. The Scriptures are new every morning. One of my greatest joys is to see something new in Scripture! We must bring new eyes each time we open the book. We must, in humility, allow the Scriptures to drive our faith… constantly.
But, on the other side of that thought, we must constantly test our new understandings back to the big picture of Scripture. New ideas need to be bounced off the constant truths of…
--God is love and… Love you neighbor as yourself
--God is One… all must exist in the harmony of One God!
--There is hope!
We treat scripture as holy. Scripture is set apart to guide our faith. It is set apart to guide our love for others. It is set apart to teach us to wait in hope. We must never twist the Scriptures to some agenda… Rather, we let the Scriptures drive us to knowledge, love and hope!
Peter’s Next Final Advice is… you must be as honest, as you can possibility be, each time you open the book!
Peter’s Penultimate Final Advice:
NJB 2 Peter 3:17 Since you have been forewarned about this, my dear friends, be careful that you do not come to the point of losing the firm ground that you are standing on, carried away by the errors of unprincipled people.
At the end of the sermon on the Mount. Jesus tells a story… We also sing the story. The wise man built his house upon a rock…(x3) and the rains came tumbling down… and the rains came down and the floods came up… But the wise man’s house stood… firm!
--The foolish man built his house on the sand… when the rains came down and the floods came up… the wise man’s house went… splat!
That is Peter’s penultimate final advice… Your life needs to be built upon the solid ground of Christ’s teaching. This is at the end of the sermon on the Mount…
If you built your life on the sand of…
--Money… “I am successful. Look at my bank account!” Pretty squishy sand.
--Popularity… “I have 24 followers on YouTube”. That’s sand.
--Accomplishment… “Look at my career… This is what I am going to accomplish.” Quicksand
--Respect of others… “I am well respected!” More sand.
--Experiencing everything… “I have been everywhere and done everything!” And now it is gone… sand!
Anything but the foundation of Jesus as your LORD… is on sand! Let’s read from the hard to understand, Paul…
Philippians 3:7-8 But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ!
Peter’s Penultimate Final Advice: When the smoke clears from the fire which has renewed the earth… all that will matter is… standing on the firm ground of knowing the Lord!
Peter’s Final, Final advice: recite it with me…
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
We are to grow in two things…grace and knowledge.
--We grow in grace. We are ever molded into grace by knowing his grace!
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people,
Romans 8:31-32 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Because we are growing in his grace, we grow in being his grace. The grace of God changes who we are. It makes us gracious…
Our memory verse says… But grow in the grace and… knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
We are grow in knowledge.
Proverbs 18:15 An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
Colossians 3:8-10 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
The knowledge of the creator drives us removing all spot and blemish and learn peace!
Listen to this quote from a very not Scripture person… "The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life." -- Muhammad Ali
When we grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we will then be to him Glory! My life, lived in grace, growing in knowledge… will explode to bring Him glory… now and until the day of the ages! That is the purpose of our lives… to bring him glory now… now… today in my grace-filled life… so that I will bring my glory through the next age!
All I can say is… amen!
Say memory verse one more time… It is Peter’s final, final advice…
2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to him be the glory both now to the day of eternity. Amen
October 3, 2021
Los Alamos Church of Christ
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