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2 Peter Bible Study


But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 3:18


How do you live the Christian life? Who is the enemy of our faith? What do we look forward to in God's plan? These are some of the questions answered by the Apostle Peter in his second letter. This is a much neglected, but powerful little book. I say neglected because it is very difficult to find commentaries on this epistle. No one today seems to pay the kind of attention to this that they do to Romans or Revelation. Well, praise the Lord, it is all His word and He uses it in our lives to glorify Himself and lift up the name of Christ!

That is the purpose of this study: to lift up Christ by helping Christians glorify Him in their lives. Our study will be a simple one. Each study will include the text (my translation), an outline, and some brief comments to lead you in your understanding of the epistle and its argument. To help you understand the flow of thought, I have included a flow chart. Remember that this was written to Christians as a letter, not as a formal essay. Peter has a theme, and argument, and a purpose. He is going somewhere, and it is basically all related. If we pay attention to the sign words like 'for' and 'because' and 'therefore', they will lead us to the Holy Spirit's meaning.

You will also find a summary of introductory matters. This is particularly important for the book of 2 Peter.

May the Lord bless you as you study.


Greetings  1:1-2

I. Practice the productive Christian life revealed through God's genuine prophets. 1:3-21

      A. Success in the Christian life and rewards in heaven are gained by supplying yourselves from the resources
                     God has provided.  3-11

           1.   God has made all necessary provision for your Christian life. 3-4
           2.   Because of God's provision, you must supply the elements of the Christian life.  5-7
           3.   The result of your supply will be fruitfulness.  8-9
           4.   Practicing these Christian graces will keep you from going astray and bring future reward.  10-11

       B. You should pay attention to these things because the authority for them is God through His genuine Prophets.  12-21

          1.   I shall see to it that you are able to recall these truths. 12-15
          2.   Our revelation concerning these things draws its authority from God.   16-21
                 a.   We had direct exposure and access to the Lord Jesus Christ.  16-18
                 b.   The Holy Spirit has provided us with a firm word of prophecy.   19-21

II. Beware the false teachers—on whom certain judgement rests—who will try to lure you into their error.  2:1-22

       A. False teachers will come to exploit you.  1-3

          1.   False teachers will come among you bringing heresies.  1
          2.   Their methods are sensuality, greediness, and false words.  2-3a 
          3.   They will cause many to follow them and bring slander to the way of truth.  2
          4.   Their destiny is sure and their destruction imminent.  1, 3b

       B. God has always punished unrighteousness and rescued the righteous. 4-9
          1.   He punished the rebellious angels.  4
          2.   He punished the ancient world and rescued Noah.  5
          3.   He punished Sodom and Gomorrah and rescued Lot.  6-8
          4.   The Lord knows how to punish the unrighteous and rescue the righteous.  9

       C. The condemnation of these false teachers is well-deserved.  10-22
          1. They are arrogant.  10b-12
                 a.   They despise authority.  10b
                 b.   They slander glorious beings.  10b
                 c.   Angels do not even do this.  11
                 d.   Like brute beasts, they slander in their ignorance.  12
          2.  They are lustful.  10a, 13-14, 18
                 a.   They focus on the flesh.  10a, 14a
                 b.   They even carouse in the daytime.  13a
                 c.   Carousing at love feasts is not beyond them.  13b
                 d.   They use lusts to lure others.  14b, 18
          3.  They are greedy.  14b-16
                 a.   Greediness is their practice.  14b
                 b.   They went astray just like Balaam.  15-16
          4.  They are condemned.  12b-13a, 17-18
                 a.   Their destruction is thorough.  12b
                 b.   Their destruction is deserved.  13a
                 c.   Their fruitlessness brings severe punishment.  17
                 d.   Enticement of others contributes to their condemnation.  18
          5.  They are enslaved.  19-22
                 a.   They are slaves of corruption because they are overcome by it.  19
                 b.   Falling back into enslavement is worse than never 
                                   having been enlightened at all.  20-21
                 c.   Their enslavement proves they were never regenerated.  22

III. In spite of the scoffers who doubt the Lord's coming, let His soon return and 
      judgement on the ungodly motivate you to godly living. 3:1-16

       A.  Remember the words of the Prophets and Apostles.  1-2
       B.  Scoffers will come doubting God's impending judgement.  3-6
          1.  There will be scoffers in the last days.  3
          2.  They will challenge the promise of Christ's return.  4-6
                 a. Their challenge will be based on continuity from Creation.  4 
                 b. They ignore the interruption of the judgement
                                          of the Great Flood.  5-6

       C.  But God's judgement on ungodly mankind is sure and terrible.  7-10
          1.  The next judgement is already scheduled.  7
          2.  God delays for the salvation of the elect.  8-9
          3.  Judgement will be sudden and terrible.  10
       D.  Knowing what is in store for the ungodly creation should motivate you to godly living.  11-16

          1.  God's upcoming judgement should affect our lives now.  11-13
                 a. We should live holy and godly lives in light of the coming destruction.  11
                 b. We should be eager for the Day of God.  12
                 c. We have a wonderful new world to look forward to.  13
          2. Our forward perspective should also affect our lives now.  14-16
                 a. Our hope for the future should cause us to avoid sin now.  14
                 b. As the Apostle Paul counseled in his writings, 
                               we must keep God's patient delay in perspective.  15-16

IV. Finally, because you foreknow these things, do not allow the opposition to rob you of spiritual progress.  3:17-18

       A.  Watch that you do not fall into the error of the ungodly.  17
       B. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the glorious One.  18

2 Peter Summary Statement:  Since you look for the imminent return of Christ, be diligent to develop the fruitfulness God has provided for rather than falling into the error of the ungodly.

       Introductory Matters

       2 Peter Flow Chart

       2 Peter 1:1-7

       2 Peter 1:8-11    

       2 Peter 1:12-15

       2 Peter 1:16-21

       2 Peter 2:1-3

       2 Peter 2:3b-10a

       2 Peter 2:10b-22

       2 Peter 3:1-6

       2 Peter 3:7-10

       2 Peter 3:11-16

       2 Peter 3:17-18

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