Have ever talked to someone close to death?
Have ever talked to someone close to death?
In 2008 Kellie and I were heading off on the trip of a lifetime, Dubai, Italy, Paris, the UK and Ireland. it had been something that had been in the planning for ages. We had shared thoughts and Ideas with our families. The day before we flew out, I sat with my dad….
He was dying.
Now I thought that he was stubborn enough to hang on, to live long enough that Kel and I would get back and share our experiences with him. I am now certain though that dad knew this was our last time together. looking back, I think he was stubborn enough to hold on long enough that we would fly out. As we sat and talked all the trivial, idle talk is stripped away it came down to what is really important.
Just like my Dad Peter knew that he was going to die soon He will put off his mortal body. Did you hear what I read in verses 12-15 Peters words. He knows that death is near. He probably also knows that this is going to be in a rather nasty fashion too. This letter was possibly Peters last chance to encourage and warn other believers, to share some important truth with them. The opportunity to send a message that will continue to stir up the believers to remind them of the truth. This letter is to remind his readers of what is important after he is dead. He’s saying think of me and how I died remember what I’m telling you. Peter like my dad strips away any idle talk and sticks to what is important.
Peter is coming back to the basics to remind his readers what is important.
1. He wants us to remember who we are in V 1-4
2. In light of who we are how we should live in V 5- 9
3. And lastly today he wants them to remember our Reward V 10-11
The First thing peter wants us to remember in V1-4 who we are
So Who am I? it’s one of the biggest questions people ask. People go to family trees to find out who they are trace back to some distant, hopefully famous ancestor. There are websites devoted to this, you can get a DNA Profile to go along with it as well. There are even TV shows about this too.
Have you asked yourself that question lately? Who am I? maybe you have even been reminded of it in the past few weeks.
Peter is setting up his readers for this letter by reminding them of key truths. He is reminding them of who they are. Yes, he was writing directly to Christians a long time ago probably the same ones scattered throughout Asia minor that he wrote to in his first letter. But his letters are to you as well. Gods purpose is that we read this letter today as a letter to us
In is greeting Peter reminds us that we who have been given faith, that it is something precious it is valuable. Our faith is equal to Peters own faith. Your faith is as equally precious as that of Peter. Jesus closest friend, one of the Jesus inner circle, the Rock on which Jesus would build his church. Your faith is as precious as that!
Before we get too puffed up and carried away with this let’s look at verse 1 and how Peter views himself. He calls himself a servant, a slave of Jesus. He makes no big claim of his own value but humbles himself. He like us has obtained faith not because of his own ability but as it says in V1 by the righteousness of Our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our faith is only obtained because of Jesus righteousness.
Its through being given faith that we can have V2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance again through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.
The word Knowledge appears 5 times in this passage. The first one v2 is a capital K knowledge its who we know or who we have been granted knowledge of Our God and Saviour Jesus.
V 3 also a capital K knowledge adds more detail in these introductory verses. This knowledge isn’t something that you can lock yourself in a room and study to obtain, even if you are able to read the Bible in Hebrew Aramaic and Greek learning all of that that’s little k knowledge. Big K knowledge is a gift from God it’s that we get to know him. A gift that brings eternal life and godliness.
It’s a gift that carries with it great and precious promises, faith and life eternal.
It’s through this great gift these great and precious promises that we Become as Peter tells us partakers of the divine nature…. Again lets not think so highly of ourselves to think that we become like God as some would argue but remember that you have been born again by the indwelling of the holy spirit, you have been granted eternal life through the death and resurrection of Jesus the son and gifted a relationship with God the Father
Through this gift we are saved. WE have been saved from what, the corruption of the world, the destructiveness of our sinful desires
So, who are you? You are someone who has been rescued by God, you have been given a precious priceless faith. You have received eternal life through Jesus. That is your identity a saved servant of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
What do you do with that?
Well you lot, you came to college.
I have talked with a lot of people over the last few weeks. 😊 Yes I’m sure some of you will find that VERY hard to believe 😊. Many of you when asked why are you here have responded with something along the lines of wanting to grow in knowledge. It’s come up time and time again. It’s one of the phrases I continually told people, it was why we wanted to come here.
We all come to college to grow in Knowledge. For the lecturers too while it’s their job to share knowledge they also are here to grow in knowledge.
These conversations usually have included that this desire for knowledge to be in Jesus, not an academic knowledge but a personal one. To grow in Capital K knowledge.
Let’s not forget though that we are here to study and learn to write essays and pass exams! my prayer for us all is that it does not become a desire of knowledge for knowledge sake, I pray that we do not try to learn just to pass exam , to get your Master or Batchelor’s or diploma. My prayer is that We get to know our saviour better
V 5-9 how do we Live it out
V 5-9 how do we Live it out
For This Very reason for what we have been gifted, for what Jesus has done in verses 1-4 Peter continues on in verse 5 onwards encouraging us in how we live out our lives. Its not just a hey by the way it would be good for you to do this…. If you feel like it. What does he say…? Make Every effort to add to your faith to grow. For this Very reason Because of What God has granted you, this how you should live
In light of what we have been given We are to be effective and fruitful; we need to be growing in our faith
We have a list stuck to the fridge, jobs for our girls to do so they will be ready for school. Now while some of them you need to do before the other, like have breakfast before you brush your teeth. mostly there is no requirement to fully complete one tasks before you move on to the next. there are times that we have to tell them it’s okay to not follow the list in the order it’s been written. My girls look at it and see that this list must be followed exactly. And from time to time when emotions run a bit high, frustrations boil over when they are asked to put on their shoes before they brush their teeth. Oh dear……none of these things the girls do are what gets them into school, they are already in. these things help them be prepared
Here Peter gives us a nice little list, 7 thing desirable qualities to add to our faith. He tells us that if we have these if we add these to our faith then we will be effective and productive.
Add to our faith, goodness
And goodness with knowledge
Knowledge with self-control
Self-control with Perseverance
Perseverance with godliness
Godliness with brotherly Kindness
brotherly Kindness with love
Like the list that my girls have you don’t have to achieve one to move on to the next. The way Peter views it is these things make you better prepared to make you effective in our faith. If, however you are not growing in your faith if you are not adding to it you are going backwards. The Lachlan river back in Forbes is usually a pretty slow-moving river. You can, with a little bit of effort swim against the current. If you stopped and just tread water though you would soon be pushed along by the current. I think that is what Peter is trying to tell us, as Christians we are swimming against the current. We need to continually work at adding to our faith or we too might get caught up in the current of what’s popular rather than what’s right.
Peter wants us to make every effort to do these Seven things, again why… not to earn our salvation but because the precious gift we have been given. I have divided this list into two groups internal and external. to help us see a slight difference the internal affect us and how we live. The external how we show care for.
I’m not going to give you a list of actions to take home for each of these. You know yourself better than I do. But put a book mark in your Bible here. Come back to this list pray over it. If you are particularly brave find someone close enough to you to sit down and work through the list do a reality check. Met with them look at this list. Pray for areas that you struggle in. Be honest about it. Be prepared to be challenged in how you are living this out. Don’t be afraid to challenge each other on how we are living out our lives.
Goodness or Virtue, excellence of character this isn’t some attempt to be seen as being better than other but rather humbly living out a life of good character that gives glory to God.
Knowledge, I wonder if you can have a half capital half lower case K… this is the study of Gods word and the grappling with it to understand the richness and truth of it. Dig deep be challenged and wrestle with what you are learning
Self-control, are you self-disciplined? Not all self -control issues revolve around porn, Pierre reminded us on Monday at Roberts Dale of CS Lewis confession his weakness lust for food. Maybe you share that lust or is it something else perhaps you have a lust for nice things….
Perseverance, pressing on towards the goal, enduring and moving forward. Despite setbacks and opposition keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and press on.
Godliness, living a life that gives not only God glory but a life that submits to obedience to God
Those are what I see as the inward thing, those things that supplement our faith and our own personal growth these last two are the out working of it all. The outward impact, how do we treat others?
mutual affection, this one you would hope is the easy one. How are we showing love and care to each other as Christians? I will say here at college what I see is that we tend to do a great job. There are chat groups and mission groups we have prayer groups and people falling over each other to help but do we forget about some of those part timers who come in one night a week, thinking I already have my circle of friends….
Or what about church, I am sure we have all seen behaviour in our churches that make us ask…. Are they even a Christian…? Or even worse could it be us caught in that behaviour….
Love, genuine deep care for someone placing their needs spiritual and physical before your own.
Your identity may be a saved servant of Jesus Christ but how do you measure up living it out?
Peter gives a not so subtle warning, ARE YOU BLIND! if we are not living out our faith we are nearsighted, blind even. We cannot even see what has been done for us by Jesus. We cannot see what we have been granted by our Lord and saviour. We have forgotten that we were rescued from sin and the corruption of the world
Peter puts the challenge on the table before you today you may be here at college learning a lot of things. A lot of really good things but are you growing in your faith. Are you becoming more fruitful? Is the focus of what you are doing Jesus. If your focus is not Jesus take a step back think, pray, if your focus is not on gaining a deeper knowledge of God father son & Holy Spirit talk to someone, pray
This is the message that Peter willingly died for.
Your identity is that you are a saved servant of Jesus Christ
Your purpose to grow in faith, to be fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, we look at verses 10 & 11 your reward
you are a saved servant of Jesus Christ and you need to live it out again your actions and your work do not to earn your salvation. Your salvation is a precious gift obtained for you By Jesus bought at a great price. For this reason, be diligent live a life that confirms this gift confirms your election. Live a life that shows you have been rescued.
Our reward in Verse 11 a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
That was the last time I sat with my Dad, he last time we spoke. I remember that we spoke f the things that were important to us. All the trivial Idle talk was stripped away. Like that Final conversation with Dad Peter wants us to remember the important things.
Remember who you are a saved servant of Christ bought at great price
Remember how you should live in light of what you have been given
Remember the rich welcome that awaits you in the eternal Kingdom.
Help us to live out our faith Well
To be open to the challenges of those who care for us
Help us to grow in knowledge of you Lord.
 Approx. 64 AD Peter was martyred
 V1 Our god and Saviour Jesus Christ V2 of God and of Jesus Christ (unity in the God head v1 but distinctiveness in V2)