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How Shall We Live? 2 Peter 3:11-18

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How Shall We Live? 2 Peter 3:11-18 Same presentation as "How Then Shall We Live" with a Christmas introduction & Jesus teaching template. Adapted from a David Owens sermon …

How Shall We Live? 2 Peter 3:11-18 Same presentation as "How Then Shall We Live" with a Christmas introduction & Jesus teaching template. Adapted from a David Owens sermon http://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?ContributorID=&SermonID=156120

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  • 1. How Shall We Live? 2 Peter 3:11-18 Adapted from a David Owens sermonhttp://www.sermoncentral.com/print_friendly.asp?C ontributorID=&SermonID=156120
  • 2. In those days Caesar Augustus issued adecree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
  • 3. He went there to register with Mary, whowas pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to beborn, and she gave birth to her firstborn, ason. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
  • 4. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone aroundthem, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ―Do not be afraid. I bring yougood news of great joy that will be for all thepeople. Today in the town of David a Saviorhas been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.‖
  • 5. Suddenly a great company of the heavenlyhost appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ―Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men onwhom his favor rests.‖ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, theshepherds said to one another, ―Let‘s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.‖
  • 6. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had beentold them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
  • 7. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:1-20 NIVThe Savior of the world has come. We must not leave Him in the manger because the reason He came as a human would not happen till about 33 years later. The writerof Hebrews tells us the importance of what He did.
  • 8. Hebrews 9:11 NET But now Christ hascome as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made withhands, that is, not of this creation, 12 and he entered once for all into the most holyplace not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured eternal redemption.
  • 9. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself withoutblemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
  • 10. 15 And so he is the mediator of a newcovenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, since he died to set them freefrom the violations committed under the first covenant. 16 For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. 17 For a will takes effect only atdeath, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive.
  • 11. We know He was not doomed to remain dead, rotting in the tomb. The Savior, OurLord was raised from the dead. Notice the end of the writer‘s prayer. Hebrews 13:20 NET Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our LordJesus Christ, 21 equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.
  • 12. The prayer is Now may the God of peace…equip you with every good thing to do his will. When we do his will we prepare ourselves & others for the promise He made. John 14:2 NET There are many dwelling places in my Fathers house.Otherwise, I would have told you, because I am going away to make ready a place for you. 3 And if I go and make ready a placefor you, I will come again and take you to be with me, so that where I am you may be too.
  • 13. Where did He go & where does He want to take us? Acts 1:9 NET After he had saidthis, while they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 As they were still staring into the sky while he was going, suddenly two men in whiteclothing stood near them 11 and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand here looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come back in the same way you saw him go into heaven."
  • 14. The story is told of a minister who visited an elderly woman in the nursing home. The young minister said, ―At your age youshould be thinking about the hereafter!‖ Theolder woman said, ―Oh, I do all the time. No matter where I am – in my room, down in the cafeteria, or down in the recreationroom – I ask myself ‗What am I here after?‘ ‖
  • 15. C.S. Lewis said, ―It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other worldthat they have become so ineffective in this one.‖ Popular author and preacher, Joseph Stowell wrote, ―When we begin to believe the reality of the other side, we start behaving differently on this side.‖
  • 16. All true believers hold firmly to the fact that Jesus will come again. We might disagree about what exactly will happen when Hereturns, but we know that He is coming andwhen He comes everything will be changed forever.
  • 17. In light of God the Son, Jesus, coming as a human baby, shedding His blood for our sins, ascending to Heaven & His certain return, we must ask and answer a very important question: ―How Shall We Live?‖ How should we be living in order to beready? What should we be doing in order to be living a life that is pleasing to God?
  • 18. Let‘s see how Peter answers this important question. The admonition that bestsummarizes Peter‘s answer is ―make everyeffort!‖ Peter has employed this idea before. Peter admonished, For this very reason, make every effort to add to yourfaith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; 2 Peter 1:5, NET
  • 19. 5 verses later he commanded, Therefore, brothers andsisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this you will never stumble into sin. 2 Peter 1:10 NETThen 5 later, Indeed, I will also make every effort that, after my departure, you have a testimony of these things. 2 Peter 1:15 NET Let‘s look at this final section of the letterand see what we must make every effort to do in light of the coming of Christ.
  • 20. 2 Peter 3:11 NET Since all these things are to melt away in this manner, what sort of people must we be, conducting our lives inholiness and godliness, 12 while waiting for and hastening the coming of the day ofGod? Because of this day, the heavens willbe burned up and dissolve, and the celestial bodies will melt away in a blaze!
  • 21. 13 But, according to his promise, we arewaiting for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness truly resides. 14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be foundat peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence.
  • 22. Because we realize that the world will be destroyed, and that even the elements will be disintegrated, we fix our hope, not onanything in this world, but only on the Lord. Because we don‘t know when all this willtake place, we must be constantly ready for His return. This expectant attitude ought to make a difference in our personal, daily conduct.
  • 23. Our conduct should be characterized by holiness (Grk “in holy conduct” NETnotes) and godliness. Holiness entails separation from evil and dedication to God. Godliness relates to piety and worship – it describesthe person whose life is devoted to pleasing God. Commentator John McArthur describes holiness and godliness this way: ―Holy conduct refers to action, godliness refers to attitude.
  • 24. Holy conduct refers to the way I live my life, godliness refers to the spirit of reverence within me by which I live my life… Peter is saying what kind of person oughtyou to be in heart and in behavior, in motive and in action, in attitude and in duty.‖ Be holy in action and godly in attitude.
  • 25. The result or conclusion of our effort to be holy and godly is addressed in verse 14 Therefore, dear friends, since you are waiting for these things, strive to be foundat peace, without spot or blemish, when youcome into his presence. It is interesting that Peter used these same words in reference to Jesus in 1 Peter 1:19 NET but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ.
  • 26. Let‘s contrast this with Peter‘s description of false teachers. 2 Peter 2:13b,c NET …By considering it a pleasure to carouse in broad daylight, they are stains and blemishes, indulging in their deceitful pleasures when they feast together with you. 14 Their eyes, full of adultery, never stop sinning; they entice unstable people. They have trained their hearts for greed, these cursed children! No peace or purity found in them.
  • 27. We want to be like Jesus, and we want to be at peace with Him & His people. Thispeace results from our efforts to please theLord, and from the forgiveness we receive through our relationship with Christ. Ultimately, those who are ―found at peace, without spot or blemish,‖ have put out of their lives the things He hates, and have put into their lives the things God loves.
  • 28. Other New Testament writers also teach that an eager expectancy of the Lord‘sreturn ought to motivate us to godly living. Paul, in his 2nd letter to the saints inCorinth, talked about the reality of the loss of our earthly tent, and our appearancebefore the judgment seat of Christ. Paul‘s conclusion is that this should cause us tomake it our goal to please the Lord and to try to persuade others.
  • 29. 2 Corinthians 5:1 NET For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, isdismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that iseternal in the heavens. 2 For in this earthlyhouse we groan, because we desire to puton our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed, afterwe have put on our heavenly house, we will not be found naked.
  • 30. 4 For we groan while we are in thistent, since we are weighed down, because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. 5 Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.
  • 31. 6 Therefore we are always full ofcourage, and we know that as long as weare alive here on earth we are absent from the Lord — 7 for we live by faith, not by sight. 8 Thus we are full of courage andwould prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So then whether we are alive or away, we make it our ambition to please him.
  • 32. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each onemay be paid back according to what he has done while in the body, whether good or evil. 11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuadepeople, but we are well known to God, and I hope we are well known to your consciences too.
  • 33. In John‘s first letter, he made these motivating points: 1 John 2:28 NET And now, little children, remain in him, so that when heappears we may have confidence and not shrink away from him in shame when he comes back.
  • 34. 1 John 3:2 NET Dear friends, we are Gods children now, and what we will be has notyet been revealed. We know that whenever it is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is. 3 Andeveryone who has this hope focused on him purifies himself, just as Jesus is pure).
  • 35. It is easy to see how the second coming should motivate us to live holy and godlylives. When Jesus returns we must strive tobe found at peace, without spot or blemish.Since Christ is coming back, we first of allmust make every effort to live godly lives.
  • 36. 2 Peter 3:15 NET And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as also ourdear brother Paul wrote to you, according to the wisdom given to him, 16 speaking ofthese things in all his letters. Some things in these letters are hard to understand, things the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they also do to the rest of the scriptures.
  • 37. Here we notice that verse 15 continues the thought that Peter began back in 2 Peter 3:9 NET The Lord is not slow concerninghis promise, as some regard slowness, but is being patient toward you, because hedoes not wish for any to perish but for all tocome to repentance. God had every reasonlong ago to judge the world and burn up its works, but His merciful desire to see more people repent, has kept Him from fulfilling the promised return.
  • 38. The Day of Judgment is coming, but until then, we continue to live in the time of theLord‘s patience which results in the Days of Salvation. Unfortunately, while we makeevery effort trying to win the lost, Satan is at work trying to foil our efforts. Satan has many tricks up his sleeve for keeping the lost lost. One of the tragic ways Satan works is through false teachers.
  • 39. Peter classifies Paul‘s letters asScripture, the inspired Word of God, which shouldn‘t surprise us since from themoment of their composition and delivery to their recipients they had the authority ofcommands of the Lord through his apostle.
  • 40. Peter points out that Paul‘s letters contain some things that can be hard tounderstand, which makes them easily used for distortion and false teaching. What happens to people who twist…the Scriptures? Peter says that they do it to their own destruction.
  • 41. It leads to destruction because it is therejection of God‘s way and the setting up ofone‘s own way in opposition to God. This is why it is so important for us to correctly handle the Word of God. (2 Tim. 2:15) G.K. Chesterson once said, ―orthodoxy islike walking along a narrow ridge; one step to either side was a step to disaster.
  • 42. Jesus is God and man; God is love andholiness; Christianity is grace and morality;the Christian lives in this world and lives inthe world of eternity. Overstress either sideof these great two-sided truths, and at once destructive heresy emerges.
  • 43. One of the most tragic things in life is when a man twists Christian truth and HolyScripture into an excuse and even a reason for doing what he wants to do instead of taking them as guides for doing what God wants him to do.‖ May God help us to correctly handle His Word – to understand it, abide by it, and lead others to Christ through it!
  • 44. Let‘s notice one final thing before we leave this point. Back in verse 12, Petermentioned that it is possible for us to hasten the return of Jesus. Peter wrote: ―whilewaiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.‖ How can we Christians hasten, speed up, the coming of Jesus? It can be done through prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, ―Thy Kingdom come.‖ (Mt. 6:10)
  • 45. It can be done through preaching and witnessing. If God is delaying the return ofChrist so that more can be saved, then if weare busy bringing people to Christ, that will speed His coming.
  • 46. It can be done through penitence (repentance and obedience).In Acts 3, Peter preached, Therefore repent and turn back so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing maycome from the presence of the Lord, and sothat he may send the Messiah appointed for you — that is, Jesus. Acts 3:19,20 NET
  • 47. Since we know that the day of Christ is coming, and since we can speed its coming,1 - let us make every effort to live godlylives.2 – let us make every effort to win the lost.
  • 48. 2 Peter 3:17 NET Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard that you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men and fall from your firmgrasp on the truth. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ. To him be the honor both now and on that eternal day.
  • 49. It is heartwarming that Peter writes with such affection in this last chapter. Four times he began his statements with ―dearfriends.‖ These concluding two verses touch on the two main themes of the letter and summarize its contents. First, there is the reminder that his reader be on your guardthat you do not get led astray by the error of these unprincipled men.
  • 50. The word translated ―guard‖ carries themeaning of constantly guarding yourself. (to watch, keep watch [Thayer]) Peter said hisreaders knew the truth, but he warned them that knowledge alone was not sufficient protection. They had to be on their guard; they had to be alert. Second, there is the exhortation, But growin the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
  • 51. Did you notice in verse 17 that a person‘s secure position is something they can fall from by being led astray by the error of these unprincipled men. Peter isemphasizing that this is serious business – we must guard ourselves or we may fall being led astray.
  • 52. So how can we maintain our steadfastnessand avoid being among those who are led astray? Peter says we can do so by growing in the grace and knowledgeof…Jesus... This command to grow carries the meaning of constantly growing. Someone said: ―The Christian life is like riding a bicycle – unless you keep moving, you fall off.‖ Peter says that we must keep on growing in the grace and knowledge of…Jesus...
  • 53. To Grow in the grace of…Jesus… includes many things. We are saved by grace and we must grow in our understanding and trust in that grace. To Grow in grace alsohas to do with becoming more like Jesus in our character and in the way we treat others. Grow in grace also means beingstrengthened by grace, (2 Tim. 2:1-4) being able to endure suffering through grace (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
  • 54. But, we must not only grow in grace, we must grow in the knowledge of our Lord. Consider the balance of these two things. Knowledge without grace is a terribleweapon, and grace without knowledge can be very shallow. Notice that we are notchallenged to grow in the knowledge of the Bible, as good and necessary as that is.
  • 55. No, we are challenged to grow in the knowledge of our Lord. It is one thing to know the Bible, but it is another thing to know the Lord, who is the central theme ofthe Bible. We should know the Bible so that we can know the Lord, not just the Bible.
  • 56. The diligent Christian must constantly beguarding themselves, lest they be led away into error, and the diligent Christian mustmake every effort to constantly grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of this requires diligence, and demands discipline.
  • 57. Nobody automatically drifts into spiritual growth and strength, but anyone can driftout of spiritual security and strength. That‘swhy the Hebrew writer wrote: Therefore wemust pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. Hebrews 2:1 NET
  • 58. Physical and spiritual growth follows prettymuch the same patterns. We grow from the inside out. We need nourishment andexercise to grow. We grow best in a lovingfamily environment. We need to grow in a balanced way. Imagine if your left & right arms or legs grew at different rates. How awkward. That‘s why we want to grow in grace and knowledge.
  • 59. Peter has reminded us there will be falseteachers and we must be on guard. Peterhas reminded us Jesus is coming back, nomatter how long His return is delayed, we must be ready.
  • 60. Today we have learned we can be ready by giving attention to three things. What action plan do you need to put into place as you leave here today?
  • 61. What changes do you need to make to be living a more godly life? What actions do you need to begin to be reaching out to the lost?Who do you need to invite over for dinner or desert? Who do you need to invite to worship? Who do you need to have a spiritual conversation with and offer to study the Bible with?
  • 62. What steps do you need to take to guard yourself and to begin growing spiritually? Do you need to be more regular in yourdaily or weekly spiritual disciplines? Do youneed to ask someone to be your mentor or your accountability partner? Let‘s be surewe leave here today ready to do something to be more ready for Christ‘s return.
  • 63. Do you remember the reports of air trafficcontrollers falling asleep on the job? A lone air traffic controller at Washington D.C.s Ronald Reagan Airport admitted to falling asleep during his shift. A little after midnight, the pilots of two commercialplanes were unable to reach the tower, butthey were in communication with a regionalair traffic control facility about 40 miles from the airport.
  • 64. Regional air traffic facilities handle aircraft within roughly a 50 mile radius of an airport, but landings and takeoffs arehandled by controllers in the airport tower. Another incident occurred when an airtraffic controller was found sleeping while on duty at an airport in Knoxville, TN.
  • 65. The airport control tower was staffed with one air traffic controller who worked both the radar and tower positions and handled seven aircraft over a five hour period because the radar controller was unresponsive. Unlike the controller at the Washington, D.C. airport who fell asleep in his chair, The Knoxville air traffic controllerallegedly made a bed out of couch cushions and covered himself with a blanket so he could be more comfortable.
  • 66. According to a anonymous federal official, aco-worker checked on the controller several times, each time shaking him awake.The controller would promise to stay awake and do his job, but, each time, he would return to his makeshift bed and sleep.
  • 67. The last thing we want to do is to be found asleep on the job when Jesus returns. We don‘t want to be caught off guard and by surprise. That means we need to be alertand ready at all times. The one who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am comingsoon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Revelation 22:20,21 NET To Him be the glory both now and forever! Amen!