This is the final week of our study, and Peter finishes his epistle with strength and conviction. Urging his readers to remain steadfast in their faith and in the truth of God’s Word, based on what God has done for us in Christ, he begins this final section with a “therefore.” This reminds us to look back and consider the context of what he has already written to understand what he is writing here at the end. Continue reading →
This week’s passage from 1 Peter needs to be kept in the context of that which we studied last week. Peter was then addressing the doubts voiced by the scoffers, and he now turns to the believers who may be asking the same things, though from faith and not unbelief. “It is not only the scoffers who are concerned about these questions… The New Testament epistles were written in order to strengthen the faith of God’s people and comfort them.” He once again addresses with tenderness these believers who, as many of us might, are wondering when our Lord will return. Continue reading →
In this week’s passage (actually, last week’s, as I was late getting this finished) Peter calls out false teachers and strips away their masks and pretenses to reveal the sordid truth behind their lies. This passage is not only difficult to read, it is necessary. For the same reasons parents everywhere warn their children to stay away from strangers, Peter is warning Christians to avoid false teachers in the church. At the end of his first epistle Peter wrote, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). The false teachers are on mission from our prowling adversary, attempting to lure the Lord’s sheep away from the safety of the truth, and Peter, appointed to shepherd God’s flock, is warning the sheep to be wary. It’s a warning we must heed even still. Continue reading →
In last week’s lesson, we studied Peter’s discussion of the apostolic witness to the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This week we will look at how that train of thought flows into his discussion of the divine origin of Scripture. Remember, this is important to Peter’s readers—and to us—because of the false teachers who were—and are even still—infiltrating the church with subversive doctrines and attempting to woo believers away from the truth. Continue reading →
This week in our study of 2 Peter we are considering the topic of divine revelation. In 1:12-19 Peter urges his readers to remember the truth about their faith and salvation, having just told them to make their calling and election sure; he then writes of the transfiguration of Christ, in which our Lord’s majesty and divine glory were more fully revealed to Peter, James, and John; and then he goes on to write about the more sure prophetic word, the Scriptures, which shine the light of truth into the darkness. Continue reading →
This week in our book study we are considering the importance of Scripture in the challenges the church faces in holding fast to truth in a culture of rapidly changing and declining values. Our study of women’s ministry returns again and again to keeping our understanding of biblical womanhood centered on the truth as revealed in God’s holy Scriptures. The challenges come in many shapes; the single issue at the core is: will our homes, our friendships, our fellowship, our ministry, and—frankly—even our Bible studies be shaped by the world or the Word? Continue reading →
In the summer of 2012 I grew tired of only hearing about my children’s adventures and decided to join our youngest daughter, Erin, and Venture Crew 241, for a four-day hike on the Appalachian Trail in Maine. I was training for my second half-marathon at the time and reasonably fit, after all; how hard could it be? After months of planning, preparation, and practice hikes, we arrived at the trailhead, made a final check of our gear, strapped on our packs (mine weighed approximately a thousand pounds), and walked into the beautiful woods and mountains of the Maine wilderness.