From US to YOU

Here’s the notes from the sermon I preached in our backyard on 2 Peter 1:3-4 “From Us to You” at Cross of Christ Fellowship. You can find the audio here.

2 Peter 1:3-4 “From US to You”
INTRO: Remember the context of 2 Peter. The apostle Peter knows that his death is near and is burdened to write this letter before he dies. He sees that his readers face a DANGER, and that danger is FALSE TEACHERS. Certain individuals had come into the church and are promising FREEDOM to those who follow them. But their approach was one of mocking God-given authority, scoffing at the return of Christ, disregarding the notion of a Final Judgment, and insinuating that the apostles were telling myths. These false teachers were leading some away Christ. Peter wants to protect his readers from falling into their error and help them grow up as mature Christians.
This threat of false of teaching is not something that has gone away, but has continued in different forms throughout the age of the church. And thus, we have much to learn from this letter which God has given us in His Word.
Today, we look 1:3-4. The flow of the passage is from “us” to “you.” Peter begins by telling the readers what he and the apostles (that is the “us”) have been granted by God, and then what we non-apostles (the “you”) have experienced through our salvation in Christ. Thus, we’ll see a movement from “us” (apostles) to “you” (non-apostles, including us today). Peter is doing two main things in passage:
First
, he is helping us, the readers, see why we ought to trust the message and teaching of the apostles; we trust it because it was given by God! What we have in the NT—which is the apostolic teaching—is ENOUGH for our spiritual needs.  
Second, Peter helps us recognize what an amazing blessings we have already received when we believed in Christ; as Christians, we have become “partakers of the divine nature,” which is far better than anything these false teachers could offer.
Seeing these TWO things helps us deal with false teaching and encourages us to grow up in our faith.  
1. What we have in the Apostolic Witness (the NT) is ENOUGH (3-4a)
2. What we have in Christ in our Salvation is ENOUGH (4b)

 

1. What we have in the Apostolic Witness (the NT) is ENOUGH (3-4a)
False teachers always want to throw off the authority of God and God’s Word. This happened in Peter’s day, and in 2nd century with the GNOSTICS and throughout the age of the church up to now. We see it in Islam, which rejects the authority of the NT, and thus points us to look to the Koran. We see it in Mormonism which insists we need the Book of Mormon and Mormon prophet. Here, the apostle Peter helps us to see what we have in the apostle’s ministry—handed down to us as the NT—is ENOUGH! The Bible is ENOUGH!
-NOTICE WITH ME KEY PHRASE:GRANTED” Two times mentioned (3a, 4a) God has granted to the apostles 2 Important things: 1. All that things that pertain to “life & godliness” and 2. Precious and Very Great Promises.

1. GOD has GRANTED to the APOSTLES “all things that pertain to life and godliness
     –NOTE: God’s DIVINE POWER made this HAPPEN.
                             -Can’t get more powerful than God’s DIVINE power!
     –NOTE: “ALL” things that pertain to life and godliness.
                             –ALL THINGS that pertain to LIFE, eternal life, the life that begins now and goes into eternity
                             –ALL THINGS that pertain to godliness: a life of holiness now in the present age.
CONSIDER the NEW TESTAMENT: It is the message about Jesus Christ the Son of God who came to save us from our sins and give us LIFE and then lead us by the Holy Spirit in lives of GODLINESS now.
SOLA SCRIPTURA: Bible only INFALLIBLE authority faith & practice
                 NOTE: We are still helped by other sources (teachers, creeds), but Bible is ultimate authority

1b. Has COME through KNOWLEDGE of Christ: through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,
 
     -Christ is the KEY to “Life and & Godliness.” Col 2:3-4 “All the treasures of wisdom & knowledge found in Christ”
                 –NOTE: CALLING:  God’s call of election, whereby he calls a people to Himself
                  –FURTHER NOTE: Called to God’s “own glory and excellence
-We all want to live for a glory and have excellence; God in His grace invites us into the highest and best of both!
MARVEL: There is no glory and excellence that can compare with God’s own glory and excellence.  

2. GOD has GRANTED to us [apostles] “his precious and very great promises”
PRECIOUS
: Costly and Important. VERY GREAT: Not to be yawned at.
-These has been GRANTED to the APOSTLES, who were to share them with us!
Some Promises: ETERNAL LIFE (John 3:16); FREEDOM FROM SIN (John 8:36); ETERNAL SECURITY (John 10:28); The Holy Spirit (John 14:16); -the Return of Christ (Matt 25:31)

APP
: -Pick one of the promises of the gospel and MEDITATE on it this week.

APP2: We don’t need something more besides biblical revelation, rather, we need to go deeper into what we already have. GO DEEPER this week.
APP FOR KIDS: Kids, there is no book more important or life-changing than the Bible. Make it the book you read the most, know the best. Ask God to reveal Himself to you through it.

TRANSITION: REASON why promises were granted to the apostles, it is for us!
so that through them you [YOU NON-APOSTLES] may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” GOD’S GRACE on display=that we might experience this wonderful reality in the gospel!


2. What we have in Christ in our Salvation is ENOUGH (4b)
False teachers promise freedom and many other things to entice followers. Buddhism promises inner peace; New Age mystics promise a connection with the universe. But here Peter wants us to be grounded in the astonishing reality of what we ALREADY have when we came to faith in Christ. We have become “PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE”
ANALOGY: BILLION DOLLAR INHERITANCE BUT beg for money on street.
                 -You don’t need something more than Christ, but need to realize what you already have in Christ!
-What we HAVE through FAITH: “through them [precious & very great promises of God] you might become PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE”
     –Does NOT mean that we somehow cross over from being humans to being God
     –DOES MEAN that we begin to share in the holiness and life and glory of God.
                 –GOSPEL=We were dead in our sins, but Jesus came to earth to save us. He died on the cross for our sins and rose again. ALL who repent & trust in Him are forgiven and made alive, made partakers of the divine nature! 
-KIDS: Maybe you have dreams of what you want to do when you grow up, who you might marry, where you might live, but more wonderful than all these is coming to know God. This is offered to you in Christ!

-Coming to Christ is an ESCAPE:  having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
                
-ESCAPE not from REALITY, but from CORRUPTION that is in the world.
     –CORRUPTION in the world: we die physically, come into the world spiritually dead, things move to corruption
                 -This is in the world “because of sinful desire”: our desires have been twisted, now we follow evil desires.
MINI-APP: You should not follow every desire of your heart, because SIN has twisted our desires.
                             –Current False teaching: you can follow the sinful desire of homosexuality (or any sexual ethic contrary to the Bible) and be a faithful Christian.
                                         This is FALSE. All desires that are contrary to path of holiness are to be crucified.
APP: The PATH to growth and joy is not finding some experience outside of Christ, but to behold what an AMAZING thing we’ve already been given in Christ! We are PARTAKERS IN THE DIVINE NATURE.
     -We’ve been made spiritually alive
     -We’ve been brought close to God and into a RESTORED relationship with God
     -We’ve become holy
     -We’ve been filled with the HOLY SPIRIT
     -We’ve been washed clean from all of our sin
     -We’ve been given eternal life and promised a resurrection body
     -We come to see the TRUTH that God is better than everything

CONCLUSION: God’s Word is ENOUGH to teach us about life, godliness, and all the wonderful promises of God. And what we have in Christ is enough, through him we have become partakers of the DIVINE NATURE. 

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