Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Books of I & II Peter

Strangers to This World

"Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you." I Peter 4:1-4 

The following notes are taken from pastor Zac Poonen's sermon on the books of I & II Peter, which may be found here.

Peter addresses the Book of I Peter to those who are "strangers" scattered about.  I believe that this is because the ways of God (His love, His mercy, His grace) are indeed strange to this fallen world.  The way that we are called to act and interact in this wicked world might even seem strange to us, until God gives us a true understanding of for whom we live (Acts 17:28).

The ways of the world are to defend yourself, promote yourself, and live for yourself.  Yet the ways of Christ are diametrically opposed to this. As Peter takes times to outline what it really means to walk in God's grace, I pray we each consider ourselves and the lives we are leading.  Are our lives "strange" to this world or do we fit right in with the motivations and principles of this world (II Peter 1:10)?

May God continue to pour out His Spirit and give us the will and the strength to live as He lived in this earth...for His glory and His honor.  I thank Him even now for doing so each day.

I Peter
  • The entire purpose of this letter is to define the "true grace of God" (5:12).  This means that there is also a counterfeit grace, so we should endeavor to know the difference.
  • The first example of God's grace is election. God chooses us according to His foreknowledge (1:2).  He chose us because He knows the end from the beginning based on who responds to the call of the Gospel.
  • By God's grace, The Father chooses us, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, all so that we may obey the Son of God, Jesus Christ (1:2).
  • One who comes under the true grace of God will be distressed by various types of trials in order to prove their faith (1:6).
  • One object of the true grace of God is to make you pure, like gold tried in the fire (1:7).
  • Our souls have a corruption from Adam (i.e., selfishness, pride, defiled desires) and we need to be saved from that (1:9). 
  • As we obey the truth that God reveals to us day by day, our souls are being purified (1:22).
  • If we are really born again, we will have a longing for the word of God - our spiritual food (1:23-2:3).
  • The true grace of God will not allow you to live an individual Christian life, but you are compelled to be built together in fellowship with other believers being representative of God's house (2:5).
  • The true grace of God calls us to show forth the praises & light of God.  We do so by keeping our behavior excellent among the heathen and by submitting to proper authority (2:9-16).
  • A man who has experienced the grace of God has no problem honoring others; it is a mark of his submission because he understands that he is first a servant.
  • Submission is also seen at your place of work or school, in respecting those in authority above you...even those who are unreasonable (2:18-20).  It is in darkness that a Christian's light is seen most.
  • The true grace of God allows one to suffer, even unjustly.  Such a person does not rail aginst or threaten those who treat him unrighteously, but he entrusts his case to the Lord who judges righteously (2:21-25).
  • The true grace of God allows a wife to submit, even to an unbelieving husband (3:1-2).  [I know personally that this is true!!!]
  • A woman who has experienced the true grace of God will have a gentle and quiet spirit (3:3-6).
  • A husband has experienced the true grace of God when he knows how to live in an understanding way with his wife, honoring her as the weaker vessel (3:7).
  • The true grace of God means having control over our own tongue (3:9-16).
  • How do we gain power over sin?  Determine that you will suffer the way Jesus suffered (4:1-2).
  • Those who experience the true grace of God are large-hearted.
  • A Christian puts others first in everything except judging, where he puts himself first (4:17).
  • The church of God needs shepherds or elders, and those elders who have experienced the true grace of God will perform these duties cheerfully without seeking for money.  Neither will they boss over people, but will be a Godly example (5:1-3).
  • Young people who have experienced the true grace of God will submit to elders (5:5).
  • The "mighty hand of God" is all the circumstances that God sends into your life, but is also the same power that raises you of above and out of those circumstances (5:6).
  • When we humble ourselves in these ways, we can resist the devil (5:9). 
  • After this - having experienced the true grace of God - God will "make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you." (5:10)  AMEN!!!

II Peter
  • The first chapter deals with the great promise of partaking of Christ's nature.
  • God has already given to us everything necessary for life in godliness; therefore, we must be diligent to adding virtue to our Christian life whereas we are assured to be fruitful (1:3-8).  This is truly a wonderful and great promise.
  • I don't want an ordinary entrance into God's Kingdom.  I want to please God with all my heart and have an abundant entrance (1:11).
  • The words of Scripture are not the thoughts of men, but that which is inspired of God.  Therefore, they can be trusted.
  • The mark of false teachers is not simply doctrine, for there are many false teachers whose doctrine is right.  They characteristics of false teachers are primarily their 1) Sensuality and 2) Greed (2:2-3).  They are impure in their lives.
  • False prophets may have even known the way of righteousness and been sincere at one point, but have gone back to the vomit (2:15-22).
  • Jesus will come in spite of the mocking of those who mock at his longsuffering (3:3-5).
  • We should be living Godly lives because we know that everything around us will be burned up (3:11).


  1. These points really encouraged and strengthened me to continue to walk in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. Thank you for sharing.


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