MAR 17, 2019: 2 PETER OVERVIEW*

AUTHOR, DATE, AND RECIPIENTS

Peter identifies himself as an “apostle of Jesus Christ” (1:1). He specifically mentions that he was an eyewitness of the transfiguration (1:16–18; see Matt. 17:1–8). Peter probably wrote this letter from prison in Rome (see 2 Pet. 1:12–15) not too long before his death by execution, sometime during A.D. 64–67. It is difficult to identify with certainty the churches Peter addresses.

THE GOSPEL IN 2 PETER

In his first letter, the apostle Peter writes largely about the relationship between holiness and hardship. In this letter, a follow-up to the previous one (3:1), he writes about the relationship between holiness and heresy—a “hardship” in its own right in the early church as well as in the church today. Similar to Paul in his letter to the Galatians, or Jude (who likely used 2 Peter as a reference point), Peter provides an abundant and unequivocal warning to believers about those who will infiltrate the church and teach seductive blasphemy. He cautions that some will even use the words of Scripture to support their perverted doctrines and lives (3:16).

Peter urges resistance to such distortions of grace. He reminds us about the importance of accurate knowledge of the truth (1:2, 3, 5–6, 8, 12; 2:2, 20; 3:18). And he shows us once more, as throughout the New Testament, that the faithfulness needed to combat such wickedness requires: an experience of God’s powerful grace in the gospel (1:1–20); a diligence in repentant living (1:5–8; 3:14); a sober-minded awareness of and resistance to heresy (2:1–22; 3:1–4, 15–17); and a hopeful expectation of God’s patience and faithfulness (3:8–18).

For a video on 2nd Peter via The Bible Project, click here.

This week’s Bible reading schedule:

Monday: 2 Peter 1 Thursday: Mark 1:1-20
Tuesday: 2 Peter 2 Friday: Mark 1:21-45
Wednesday: 2 Peter 3 Saturday: Mark 2:1-17