Route 66 / Stop 61: II PETER

Audio File: 
Speaker: 
Dr. Rich McCarrell
Date: 
Sunday, November 25, 2018

Author:           

We believe, the apostle Peter, same as the writer of the first letter (1:1-2). Even though there were many people in the second and third centuries who were writing under the name Peter, and therefore this book had a bit of difficulty establishing its authenticity and place in the cannon of Scripture, we believe that the apostle Peter was the author. Word studies correctly point out the differences in style of writing between this and the first letter. But, the use of a different scribe or no scribe at all, can easily account for this change. Let’s just repeat the two paragraphs concerning Peter from Stop 60, 1 Peter –

        He may very well be the best known of the 12. He was a fisherman in Galilee, who first became interested in the preaching of John the Baptist. He was later brought literally and spiritually to Jesus Christ by his brother, Andrew, who had heard John’s testimony (John 1:35-42). His original name was Simon or Simeon, but he was re-named Peter by the Lord. We also know from references to his mother-in-law that he was a married man. Because of his failures, we may be tempted at times to criticize Peter, but consider a few comments about his life.

          Many events in Peter’s life stand out . . . Walking on water, a great confession of who Christ is (Matt. 16:15-16), a powerful boast that he would never forsake Christ, his repentance and restoration with the resurrected Christ, his great sermon on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), his powerful sermon after healing the lame man at the gate called Beautiful (Acts 3), his deliverance by the angels from his imprisonment (Acts 12), preaching to the first Gentiles (Acts 10), his firm testimony of salvation through faith and for Christian liberty at the Jerusalem council (Acts 15). Yes, some failures, but also great accomplishments. Peter was a Biblical author, a member of Christ’s inner circle (James/John) and the imprint of Peter upon the early church was stronger than probably any of the other original 12. He was the most prominent disciple during Jesus’ lifetime, and the first 12 chapters of Acts are devoted to his ministry. He was a pillar within the early church and a powerful proponent of the truth he preached on the day of Pentecost. We also note that Paul mentions Peter quite freely throughout the book of Galatians as well as 1 Corinthians.

 

Date:  

Probably around AD 66. This book was written just before Peter’s death (1:14) he was martyred around AD 67. He died around the same time as the Apostle Paul, during the Neronian persecution of the church A.D. 67-68.

        An interesting study is to note the similarity of this book to Paul’s last book (2 Timothy). Both books are similar in content, both show the writer knew that his death was near, both show a great confidence in their appearing before God and therefore are joyful in tone, both speak of the false teachings that were in danger of invading the church, and both show a firm confidence that the answer to this problem in the church is the Word of God.

 

Recipients:     

As with 1 Peter, this book is written to Jewish believers living outside Palestine (3:1). Remember, as we said in 1 Peter, Peter speaks to them not as Jews, but as Christians. They had come to claim Christ as their Messiah/Savior and now were included in His body and bride.

 

Purpose:         

To strengthen and confirm believers against attack. Note how this attack differs from the attack in 1 Peter. 1 Peter centered on persecution and attack from without, whereas 2 Peter deals with attack from within. 1 Peter dealt with unbelievers attacking from the outside. 2 Peter deals with false teachers attacking from the inside. (Again, as we said under “the Date”, this is similar to the experiences and writings of Paul ~ note his words to the Ephesian Elders (Acts 20:17-38, with special emphasis on verses 28-30).

        Here in 2 Peter, there were two main false teachings. The first dealt with heresies that denied the Lord (2:1-2), and the second one dealt with scoffers who were scorning the thought of the soon return of the Lord (3:3-4). Peter in warning the church of these false teachers, first spoke of their lifestyle and then of their teaching.

        In chapter 2, he condemns their conduct and in chapter 3, fully dissects their false doctrine. In chapter 3, Peter gives one of the fullest discussions of the end of the world in the entire Bible. He shares that the seeming delay of Jesus’ return is only apparent to us, not to God, because God lives outside the dimension of time. Peter reminds us that the Day of the Lord and then the Day of God (3:10-13) will occur, and it will be accompanied by the total destruction of this physical universe. In the meantime, we and Peter’s readers are to be careful, lest the false teachers’ lifestyle and teachings infect us. They, and we, are to grow in grace (3:17, 18). We are to stand fast so that when the Lord returns, we will not be ashamed, but rather will be able to show forth confidence at the appearing of Christ (3:11-18). In Peter’s words validate your “calling and election” by living our Christian virtues (1:4-14).

 

Theme:            Warnings about false teachers, with a reiteration of what Peter had seen (1:15-18) and what Peter had read (3:15-16)!

 

Outline:          

I. The Sheep Fed, chapter 1              

II. The Sheep Warned, chapter 2:1-3:7        

III. The Sheep Exhorted, chapter 3:8-14

 

Pastor preached through 1 & 2 Peter from January 13, 2013 to August 10, 2014 in the evening services. The messages are available on the Podcast.