Wednesday, August 14, 2013

P2 Book of 2 Peter - Exhortations to grow in God's Grace

2 Peter 3:18 "but grow in the grace and knowledge of ourLord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen."

Review from yesterday
2 Peter explains Christian growth in grace and provides exhortations (strong encouragements) to continue in such. As we saw yesterday, much of what Peter explains about such growth is found in 2 Peter 1:1-3:13.  In today's post we will conclude this brief overview of 2 Peter by noting the exhortations or strong encouragements to grow in grace from 2 Peter 3:14-18.

You may notice a repeated pattern
In 2 Peter 3:14-18 we see Peter summarizing everything that he wrote in 2 Peter 1:1-3:13.  The same three points that were used to explain growth in grace are now points of exhortation in 3:14-18.  Please note how Peter lays these out:

1. Exhortation #1 - Diligently live in God's grace. 2 Peter 3:14-16

2. Exhortation #2 - Defend against the enemies of grace. 2 Peter 3:17

3. Exhortation #3 - Determine to know the Lord of grace. 2 Peter 3:18

These exhortations are identical to the three-fold explanation we saw yesterday.  Why are we repeating them again? Because that is exactly how Peter reinforces his main point of urging believers to grow in the grace of God.  Consider the verses in 2 Peter 1 and 3 that Peter issues reminders to his readers:

1. 2 Peter 1:12-13 "Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you. 13 I consider it right, as long as I am in this earthly dwelling, to stir you up by way of reminder."

2. 2 Peter 1:15 "And I will also be diligent that at any time after my departure you will be able to call these things to mind."

3. 2 Peter 3:1-2 "This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles."

On top of pointing people to the writings of the Apostle Paul and the rest of the scriptures, Peter is wanting to reinforce the need to grow in grace.  If you and I ever expect growth in grace to be of chief priority, it must make the necessary journey from the head to the heart.  2 Peter is a wonderful book of the Bible that both explains (2 Peter 1:1-3:13) and exhorts (2 Peter 3:14-18) us on the importance of growing in God's grace.

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