Sound Teaching

This is the teaching site of the West Side church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials were written and prepared by Stan Cox

Index by Subject

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:19-21

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Peter here affirms (beginning with verse 16) that the gospel concerning the Christ was confirmed by God Himself. Though such confirmations came on multiple occasions, Peter here directly refers to the transfiguration of Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 17:1-9. Peter was an eyewitness of that event, and affirms that it is a confirmation of the fact that the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament are realized in Jesus of Nazareth.

At this point he makes a greater application. All scripture is derived from God. The Bible does not have its origin with men. It is not a product of any man’s will, but has its genesis with God (cf. 2 Timothy 3:16-17). As such, no man has the right to ignore it, nor can he alter it with impunity. Instead, “you do well to heed” (vs. 19). It is described as our illumination in darkness. As the great prophet Jeremiah proclaimed, “O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23).

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:16-18

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The apostle Peter here establishes the legitimacy of his desire to share with them the gospel message, by pointing out the veracity of the message itself. This was not mere hearsay he was repeating, not myth, but eyewitness testimony! Peter had himself witnessed the things of which he wrote.

How did Peter know that his Master was “our Lord Jesus Christ”? Among other events, he was present on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes (cf. Matthew 17:1-9). Peter heard with his own voice the words of the Father in heaven, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” (vs. 5).

Peter was a witness of other events affirming the Lordship of Jesus. He was an eyewitness of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:5). In fact, he proclaimed to the Jews on Pentecost this very proof, “This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32).

It doesn’t matter that much of Peter’s epistle is taken up in an exposé of false teachers and scoffers rather than a retelling of the simple gospel of our Lord. He was defending the faith, and equipping his readers to make their “call and election sure” (1:10).

Mining the Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:12-15

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Peter intimates that his reason for writing this short epistle was the certainty he would soon die, “knowing that shortly I must put off my tent, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed me” (vs. 14). So, he desired to remind them of certain important things. Things such as the need for maturity and growth, the hope of heaven, the trustworthiness of revelation, the danger of false teachers, and the faithfulness of the Lord’s promise of coming judgment.

These are things his readers already knew, “you know and are established in the present truth” (vs. 12). Yet, three times in this short passage he refers to the importance of reminding them of these truths. He said, 1) He was writing to remind them; 2) He would continue to remind them as long as he lived; and 3) He would ensure they would have a reminder of these things after he died.

This points out an important part of the work of preaching. Preaching is not only done to teach brethren what they do not know about God’s will; it is also done to remind them of what they do know, lest they be guilty of forgetfulness or neglect.

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:5-11

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2 Peter 1:5-11

Here the apostle Peter calls Christians to add to themselves various righteous characteristics. The list includes: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.

Peter indicates they are to do this for “this very reason”, referring back to the previous verses where eternal promises are alluded to as being given by God’s divine power. In effect, the promise of redemption and hope of heaven are our motivation to living a godly life. Considering what God has done for us in sending Jesus leads us to diligence, that we might mature into the disciples God would have us to be.

Verses 8-11 indicate that these promises are conditional, but sure. If we add these characteristics to the foundation, faith; there is no doubt as to what we will receive. “For so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom…” (vs. 11).

It is our choice. Will we choose apathy, leading to spiritual blindness and apostasy? Or, will we choose zeal, leading to a sure standing with God, and an eternal abode with our “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ”?

Mining The Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:1-4

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2 Peter 1:1-4

The apostle Peter opens his second epistle by pronouncing a blessing upon those “who have obtained like precious faith with us.”

The key to this passage is the realization that all such blessings are found through Christ. The faith mentioned above is accomplished “by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

In the following verses, Peter establishes that grace and peace come through a knowledge of Jesus; that the power of Christ has given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness”; and it is by Jesus that we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises.”

The obvious conclusion is that as Christians, we are fulfilled. We have everything we need, equipped on this earth, and equipped for a future existence with God. All of this is accomplished through the power of Jesus Christ. Through Him, we escape to eternity.