Lesson 12 - Chapter 3: 14 - 18

Lesson 12 - Chapter 3: 14 - 18

Lesson for October 13, 2013

The Book of II Peter

Chapter 3:14-18

Verse 14

Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless.

The Greek word for look for is “prosdokao,” which means to anticipate. The Greek word for diligent is “spoudazo” meaning to be zealous, to be eager. Peace is the Greek word “eirene,” referring to the peace of God resulting in peace with your fellow-believers and those around you. Spotless is the Greek word “aspilos,” which refers to absence of sin in three categories: mental attitude sins, sins of the tongue and overt sins. “Blameless” is the Greek word, “amometoi,” meaning to find no fault with. Peter was making the point that believers should be motivated by future events to execute the spiritual life given to them by God utilizing the ten problem-solving devices. If you are executing His plan and advancing to spiritual maturity you will be experiencing the peace of God and when He returns you will be found spotless and blameless because you have been residing in His power system.

Verse 15-16

And regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

The patience of our Lord means that God is waiting for the completion of the body of Christ; not willing that anyone should perish. For unbelievers who remain alive at the Rapture, they will have the opportunity to believe in Christ for salvation. The Greek word for salvation here is “soteria,” which means deliverance. Salvation is deliverance from eternal separation from God, from all the adversities and problems and difficulties of life and physical deliverance from the destruction of the universe which begins the Day of God.

Our beloved brother Paul refers to the fact that all believers had phenomenal respect for Paul. Paul was once a killer of Christians, but was now a member of the family of God. Paul was once “hated” by Christians, but was now loved by them.

The Greek word for wisdom is “sofia” and means to have great knowledge so that you are capable of knowing even greater spiritual truth than most. Knowledge is always built upon knowledge. Paul was a genius at systematic theology. He knew how to let Scripture interpret itself and became the greatest teacher of New Testament doctrine to ever live. Following his example, a believer who is successful in learning and applying systematic theology will experience rapid spiritual growth.

Hard to understand means it is hard because doctrine is built upon doctrine and you have to learn so many doctrines and properly apply them in order to advance to spiritual maturity. A person who is not practicing strict academic discipline, will not concentrate, rejects the authority of the pastor-teacher, is inconsistent and will never understand the advanced doctrine necessary to move from spiritual childhood to spiritual adulthood. Lack of accurate Bible doctrine consistently being introduced into the soul results in the distortion God’s Word. Destruction is tantamount to a state of reversionism.

Verses 17-18

You therefore beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard lest, being carried away by the error of unprincipled men, you fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Knowing the final chapter of human history before it occurs should cause a person to evaluate the path they are currently on spiritually. Guard is a military word for guarding something, or having custody of something. Peter was saying to take doctrine into “custody.” You have to take control of your own spiritual life.

God has given all believers a command to grow spiritually and He never gives us a command without giving us the means necessary to obey it. God, therefore, has provided His written instruction book (the Bible) and the filling (guidance) of the Holy Spirit. Both are grace functions for every believer in this age, regardless of education or I.Q. Any believer with a positive attitude towards Bible doctrine can learn, believe and apply it accurately.

At salvation all believers are placed into union with Jesus Christ and become complete in Him (positionally). (Colossians 2:10) However, experientially we are not complete because we still have a sin nature. For this reason all believers are commanded to grow spiritually and to advance toward spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity resulting in a stabilized mind should be the goal of every person who has trusted Christ as Savior. Spiritual maturity does not happen overnight. It takes a lifetime of persistent and consistent study to learn Bible doctrine. (Ephesians 4:14-15; II Peter 3:18)

Unprincipled men refers to those false teachers who were leading the unsuspecting astray. The result of following their false teaching was instability leading to reversionism. Some believers had started growing but were now moving away from it. That is the principle here. They were hurting themselves by not continuing their advance, but were instead being led astray and falling from the steadfastness that they once had while residing in God’s power system. Whatever doctrine they accumulated in their souls, whatever part of the edification complex that had been constructed was now being destroyed. What a person fails to use they eventually lose.

The “fix” to this problem is spiritual growth. Spiritual growth is always based on God’s grace. It is God the Holy Spirit Who teaches us. What He teaches, as stated by our Savior in the Gospels, is spiritual truth. Therefore, we grow by means of God’s grace as we increase our knowledge of Jesus Christ. A believer increases their knowledge of Jesus Christ by having the mind of Christ. Bible doctrine is the mind of Christ. Problem-solving device number ten is occupation with the Person of Jesus Christ. And Peter says it is Jesus Christ alone Who deserves all the glory both now and for all eternity.

Occupation with the Person of Christ means that Jesus Christ has become our best friend. (Proverbs 18:24) It means that we are fully aware of Christ in every area of our lives and that we are staying in fellowship with Him a maximum amount of time. It means that we are thinking divine viewpoint based on our knowledge of His Word and that we have no higher goal in life than to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ in our thoughts, in our attitudes, in our words and in our actions. (II Corinthians 10:5) (I Corinthians 2:16b) It means that our minds are saturated with His mind (the Word of God). (Philippians 1:19-21) You become occupied with Christ when you obey the same mandates that He obeyed, concentrate on what He concentrated on (Divine Viewpoint Thinking), make positive decisions from a position of strength as He did and use the Problem-Solving Devices constantly, as He did. Christ was our perfect role model for the execution of the Christian Way of Life.

Summary

This letter was written just before Peter died. The whole purpose of II Peter was to head off discouragement. Sometimes we see from the Word of God the consequences of our failures in life and we wrongly assume that it is impossible for us to ever recover from our failures. Peter, at this point, since he is dying, tells us that there is no such thing as a failure for which grace has not provided. And one of the great things that we see in II Peter is the fact that grace has been provided for every failure of life, and that no matter what it is and no matter what the consequences may have been in divine discipline, there is no such thing as a failure for which grace has not made provision. So there is no such thing as a believer who cannot recover. The reason that some believers do not recover is the fact that they fail after Rebound to add the intake and application of Bible doctrine. Taking in Bible doctrine daily is going to take up the slack for anything in life, when properly applied. There is no problem in life for which the knowledge of doctrine will not bring you to the solution.

Peter concludes his epistle with a look at future events setting up the potential for the believers to whom he wrote, including us, to be equipped with a personal sense of destiny. What greater way to head off discouragement than to understand your place in God’s eternal plan and what He has planned for our eternal happiness? A personal sense of destiny is the greatest change in all of the Christian life. It is the advance from spiritual childhood to spiritual adulthood where the believer becomes fully able to take control of his or her spiritual life.

With a personal sense of destiny comes a phenomenal mental attitude, reflected in a number of passages in the word of God.

Ephesians 4:22-24, “With reference to your former lifestyle [as a loser believer] you yourself lay aside the old man which is being corrupted on the basis of the lusts of deceit and become renewed [refreshed] by means of the [Holy] Spirit by means of your thinking, and clothe yourselves with the new man which on the basis of the will of God has been created by means of righteousness and holiness toward God from doctrine.”

The greatest change in the viewpoint of life of any believer comes when that believer has finally attained a personal sense of destiny. A personal sense of destiny is a new way of objective thinking. The life of every believer has to do with how he thinks. Divine viewpoint mental attitude is a part of the greatest delegation of divine power in human history. This delegation of power is the grace provision of the omnipotence (power) of God for the execution of His plan.

Ephesians 1:19-20, “And what is the surpassing greatness of the power given to us who have believed for the delegation of His superior power which He put into operation by means of Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places.”

God has delegated His divine power to every Church Age believer in the provision of spiritual skills. This delegation of divine power comes by means of our thinking. His power is resident within us, but we must delegate it by means of application of Bible doctrine.

I Corinthians 2:16, “But who has known the thinking of Christ that he should instruct Him? We have the thinking of Christ.” Your spiritual life is what you are thinking, not what you are doing. The Bible doctrine circulating in your stream of consciousness is the delegated power of God. The delegated power of God is the mental attitude of divine viewpoint which is applied through the problem solving devices.

Romans 12:2-3, “Stop being conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your thought, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is divine production, the well pleasing to God, and the mature status quo. For I say through the grace which has been given to me to everyone who is among you stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what point you ought to think; but think in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rationale without illusion, as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine.”

Being conformed to this world means no usable doctrine in the soul, no problem solving devices to call upon, and no divine viewpoint thinking. A personal sense of destiny is the key to the change from human to divine viewpoint of life. A personal sense of destiny is the transitional problem solving device from spiritual childhood to spiritual adulthood. A personal sense of destiny is the major transformation from people fellowship to fellowship with God. Your spiritual life is not your interaction with people but your interaction with God, and is based on what you think. Your viewpoint of life is based on your emphasis in life, and you have a choice, as a priority between social interaction with people or fellowship with God.

Philippians 2:5, “Keep on having this mental attitude in you which was also in Christ Jesus.”

The nature of Christ’s spiritual life was His mental attitude, His thinking. Your spiritual life is your thinking, your mental attitude; it is made up of words. Speech and action is an expression of your thinking. Therefore, what you say and do is what you think. Thinking and speaking is a reflection of your priorities in life.

Colossians 3:2, “Keep thinking objectively about above things [divine viewpoint] and not things on the earth [human viewpoint].”

The more Bible doctrine you learn, the more you think about God. A personal sense of destiny and occupation with Christ combine to form a most fantastic life, because you are now having fellowship with God. You can have fellowship with God only by thinking the thoughts of Christ. Part of your spiritual life is personal love for God, impersonal love for all mankind, and the ability to evaluate your own life from Bible doctrine in your soul. Learning doctrine is tantamount to thinking doctrine. Thinking doctrine is tantamount to a spiritual life. A spiritual life is tantamount to application of doctrine to your experience. You have to learn doctrine before you can think doctrine and you have to think doctrine before you can apply doctrine.