Last night at The Donelson Fellowship, I presented a brief survey of 2 Peter. It seems to me that Peter’s two books were addressing twin problems in the church of his day.
- First, Peter was concerned about outward pressures, persecution, and problems; so he wrote 1 Peter, telling his readers how to respond to suffering from without.
- Second, he was concerned about inward heresy, so he wrote 2 Peter, telling them how to respond to careless preaching from within.
Second Peter is about maintaining biblical truth as a basis for Christian belief and practice, and its three chapters present three aspects of this. (The popular leadership book, The One Minute Manager, tells us that in rebuking an employee at work, a supervisor should first give a word of affirmation, then the rebuke, and then another word of affirmation. That’s what Peter does in 2 Peter. Chapter 1 is positive; chapter 2 is negative; chapter 3 is positive. He begins and ends on a positive note, putting his admonition in the middle chapter.)
Here’s a simple outline. It’s very possible to preach or teach through this book in one session or as a three-sermon series, hitting on selected verses and giving an overview. The undergirding theme is standing on the power and promises of Scripture.
Title: Truth Matters in the Church
- Look into God’s Word – Chapter 1: God’s divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through His precious promises, which holy men of God spoke as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit. The job of preachers s to remind the churches of these things.
- Look out for False Teachers – Chapter 2: This chapter is similar to the book of Jude, warning us about careless exposition and distorted teaching.
- Look Forward to Christ’s Return – Chapter 3: The consummation of biblical truth is Christ’s promised return. Verse 12: “Look forward to the day of God.” Verse 13: “We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth.” Verse 14: “You are looking forward to this.”
Conclusion: Peter’s theme — Maintain the integrity of God’s truth in our churches. We’ve got to hold on to God’s Word; hold off the false teachings; and hold fast to Christ’s imminent return.