Sunday, October 4, 2015

Don't Fall For the Cheap Imitation!

2 Peter 1

1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours:

2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.

Confirming One’s Calling and Election
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

As we begin the book of 2 Peter these first verses attribute the book to Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. In chapter 3, he further states, "Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. 2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles."

So while internally the evidence points to Peter being the author, others debate this fact with several comments about the differences in the two letters. But regardless who wrote it, the primary message to the early church, probably in Northern Galatia, was watch out for false teachers. False teachers that can even come from the inside of the church. Whereas 1 Peter reminded them of the suffering they needed to persevere through, this letter urges them to stay strong in their knowledge of God through Jesus.

Peter starts out his letter by reminding the believers of their divine calling through God's power. He reminds them that God is the one who has given the power to live a godly life. And it is through these promises God has made that they participate in the divine nature. Does this mean they become like gods? No God's promise is they have come to the knowledge of Him through the Son. The false teachers who were worming their way into the church were not grounded in these same assumptions. They began teaching that because you were saved by the promise, one could do whatever they wanted. They could pursue the desires of the flesh because they were entitled to it.

Peter is on his way out the church and he wants to make sure the church doesn't stray from the teaching He and the other apostles have brought through divine authority to give them knowledge of God. Knowledge as you will see is an important theme for Peter. Why? Because if you really know someone, you will not be deceived when an imposter comes in. When you know the original well, it is easy to see a cheap imitation.

One the reasons I try to be in God's Word regularly is it reminds me of the truth about God and the truth about me. It reminds me each day I am saved by grace not by works. It reminds me never arrive and we need to continue to stay rooted in God's promises until the day I die. And finally I realize that anything good that comes from me comes from His divine power which works for me as I trust in Him. Don't be fooled by cheap imitation, stick with real deal.

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